Wal-Mart Gains on Higher February Sales

ChevronTexaco reportedly considering bid to buy Unocal; Best Buy boosted by higher sales; plus more of Thursday's stocks in the news

Wal-Mart (WMT ) posted higher March U.S.-same store revenue. February sales rose 11 percent to $22.4 billion, vs. 6.2% last year.

ChevronTexaco Corp. (CVX ) is considering a bid to buy smaller rival Unocal Corp. (UCL ), according to the Wall Street Journal.

Best Buy (BBY ) posted 2.8% higher fourth-quarter same-store sales and 9% higher total sales. Based on revenue results, the company expects fourth-quarter earnings per share will be at the low end of, or slightly below, its prior $1.56 to $1.66 guidance. S&P keeps strong buy.

Taser International (TASR ) announces a lawsuit against the company was dismissed without prejudice.

Kohl's Corp. (KSS ) posted 6.1% higher February same-store sales and 20% higher total sales.

CVS Corp. (CVS ) posted 9.2% higher February same-store sales and 36% higher total sales. The company raises 59 cents to 61 cents first-quarter earnings per share guidance to 66 cents to 69 cents and $2.62 to $2.68 2005 earnings per share to $2.66 to $2.72.

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX ) posted 9% higher February same-store sales and 23% higher total sales.

PetsMart (PETM ) posted 43 cents, vs. 38 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (adjusted) on 4.6% higher same-store sales and 11% higher total sales. The company is to correct accounting for certain leases. Restatements will be required. It sees $1.25 to $1.26 fiscal 2006 earnings per share on 5% to 6% higher comps.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR ) posted 15% lower February same-store sales and 9.7% lower total sales. Due to weak sales and merchandise margin in February, the company sees 25 cents to 27 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share.

Coach (COH ) sees at least $400 million third-quarter sales and 43 cents earnings per share. The company sees at least $400 million fourth-quarter sales and 42 cents earnings per share. It raised its second-half earnings per share forecast of at least 83 cents to at least 85 cents. It sees at least $1.89 fiscal 2005 earnings per share.

Viisage Technologies (VISG ) posted an 11-cent fourth-quarter loss, vs. a 6-cent loss as an impairment charge and non-cash deferred tax expense offset an 84% revenue rise. The company sees $15 million to $17 million in first-quarter revenue and $73 million to $80 million in 2005. It says it is not sharing specific EBITDA targets.

Napster (NAPS ) raises $14 million in fourth-quarter revenue guidance to $15 million based on robust growth in its subscription service.

Pep Boys (PBY ) posted a 17-cent fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations, vs. a 9-cent loss despite 6% higher comparable merchandise sales, 1.2% lower comparable service revenue, and 4.6% higher total sales.

Michaels Stores (MIK ) posted 80 cents, vs. 68 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 7% higher same-store sales and 11% higher total sales. The company says same-store sales for the first-quarter are trending towards the high-end of its 3% to 5% guidance. Wachovia and Lehman reportedly upgrade.

Bombay Company (BBA ) posted 6.5% lower February same-store sales and 2% lower total sales. The company says it is reevaluating its lease accounting practices.

Bebe Stores (BEBE ) posted 25% higher February same-store sales and 37% higher total sales.

Hot Topic (HOTT ) posted flat February same-store sales and 16% higher total sales. The company will restate its consolidated financial statements for certain prior periods to reflect changes related to lease accounting.

Chico's Fashions (CHS ) posted 18 cents, vs. 14 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 13% higher same-store sales and 33% higher total sales. S&P reiterates buy.

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