J.C. Penney Gains

Alltel reportedly in talks to buy Western Wireless; Tivo partners with Microsoft; plus more of Thursday's stocks in the news

J.C. Penney (JCP ) posted 3.1% higher holiday (nine-week) same-department-store sales. The company believes fourth-quarter earnings per share is trending toward the high-end of previously communicated guidance, with earnings per share now expected to be $1.00 to $1.05, including previously disclosed one-time charges.

Alltel Corp. (AT ) is in advanced talks to buy Western Wireless (WWCA ) for about $4 billion, according to the New York Times.

Tivo (TIVO ) partners with Microsoft (MSFT ), Sonic Solutions (SNIC ), and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD ) to offer solutions that extend TiVoToGo service by enabling portability of entertainment that can't be found on generic DVRs. Starbucks (SBUX ) posted 8% higher December same-store sales, and 22% higher total sales.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS ) posted 33% higher December same-store sales, and 41% higher total sales. The company raises $1.08 to $1.10 fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations guidance to $1.30 to $1.31. S&P raises estimates, and keeps a hold rating.

A U.S. District Court in Delaware rules against Medtronic (MDT ) in patent litigation between Medtronic and a Guidant (GDT ) unit and between Medtronic and Boston Scientific (BSX ).

Sears, Roebuck (S ) posted 3% lower December domestic same-store sales, and 2.4% lower total sales.

The Cendant (CD ) board approves a spin-off of its mortgage and fleet business through a distribution of 100% of shares of its PHH Corp. unit to holders of Cendant. Terms of the spin-off are one share of PHH Corp. for every 20 shares of Cendant held.

BlackRock Inc. (BLK ) raises 56 cents to 60 cents fourth-quarter GAAP earnings per share guidance to 74 cents to 76 cents, and $1.98 to $2.02 2004 GAAP earnings per share to $2.16 to $2.18. The asset-management firm cites income tax benefit of 14 cents per share, and higher than expected operating revenue and investment income.

Target (TGT ) posted 5.1% higher December same-store sales, and 11.3% higher total sales. The company remains comfortable it will deliver a double-digit percentage increase in fourth-quarter earnings per share (continuing operations), but believes the actual growth rate will be lower than estimates.

Kohl's (KSS ) posted 3.1% higher December same-store sales, and 16% higher total sales. The retailer expects to achieve 93 cents to 97 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share.

Best Buy (BBY ) posted 2.5% higher December same-store sales, and 10% higher total sales. The company reiterates $1.56 to $1.66 fourth-quarter earnings per share. It now anticipates its fourth-quarter same-store sales gain to be at the low end of the 3% to 5% prior range.

Hot Topic (HOTT ) posted 6.2% lower December same-store sales, and 8% higher total sales.

Big Lots (BLI ) posted lower-than-expected flat December same-store sales, and 5.3% higher total sales. The company expects fourth-quarter same-store sales will decline in the low single digits. It cuts fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations guidance to 48 cents to 51 cents.

Overland Storage (OVRL ) expects second-quarter revenue to be about 10% below previous guidance of $69 million issued in Oct. 2004. The company cites lower-than-expected sales to both OEM and branded customers in the Americas region. It now sees 18 cents to 20 cents second-quarter earnings per share.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR ) posted 8.8% lower December same-store sales, and 3.5% lower total sales. The company now sees 31 cents to 38 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE