MBIA (MBI) and Ambac (ABK) are seen higher as Buffett tells CNBC that last week he sent letter to three bond insurers offering to take over liabilities. Buffett says that one bond insurer rejected his offer, but he declined to say who.
General Motors (GM) posts $0.08, vs. $0.32 a year ago, fourth quarter adjusted EPS (excluding special items) on 7.3% lower revenue. Including special items, it posts $1.28 fourth quarter net loss, vs. $1.68 EPS. Also says it will offer buyouts or early retirements to all 74,000 U.S. hourly workers represented by the United Auto Workers.
Monsanto Company (MON) raises fiscal year 2008 ongoing EPS guidance to a range of $2.70-$2.80, vs. previous guidance range of $2.50-$2.60, reflecting increased confidence in its seed and traits business commitments and continuing strong performance of its Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides.
Sprint Nextel (S) announces the appointment of Ralph V. Whitworth to the company's Board of Directors. Whitworth is the founder and principal of Relational Investors LLC, a registered investment advisor based in San Diego, Calif. S&P notes that Mr. Whitworth is a 2% shareholder in Sprint; believes his addition to board is positive; it reiterates hold.
Wyndham Worldwide (WYN) posts $0.58, vs. $0.48 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 6.4% revenue rise. It affirms first quarter guidance range of $0.30-$0.35 EPS, which reflects a reduction of about $0.12-$0.15 for deferred vacation ownership revenue that will be recognized in future quarters. Still sees $2.23-$2.38 2008 EPS on $4.8-$4.9 billion revenue. S&P maintains buy.
Schering-Plough (SGP) posts $0.27, vs. $0.17 a year ago, fourt quarter non-GAAP EPS (excl. Organon BioSciences acquisition) on 41% revenue rise.
Indymac Bancorp (IMB) posts $6.43 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $0.97 EPS, noting it absorbed $863 million in total pre-tax credit provisions/costs in the latest quarter. It suspends its common stock dividend "in light of current financial performance." Says it remains well-capitalized, and anticipates posting a profit of roughly $13 million in 2008, including first quarter restructuring charges.
99 Cents Only Stores (NDN) posts $0.14, vs. $0.13 a year ago, third quarter EPS on 2.9% higher same-store sales, 7.6% higher total sales. It expects second half of fiscal year 2008 income to be higher than in second half of fiscal year 2007, and expects to be able to offset the effects of increased minimum wages compared to same period last year by anticipated pricing leverage and operating efficiency improvements.
Masco (MAS) posts $0.19, vs. $0.35 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations (excluding non-cash impairment charges for goodwill and other intangible assets) on about 7.8% lower sales. It sees $0.85-$1.15 2008 EPS, with sales declining by high-single to low-double digits percentage vs. 2007. Notes that economic conditions remain difficult in a number of markets.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) posts $0.66 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $0.22 loss a year ago, on 46% revenue decline. It notes increased costs for telaprevir development, decrease in collaboration revenues. Sees 2008 GAAP loss including restructuring charges and stock-based compensation expense of $380-$410 million, and non-GAAP loss excluding those items of $320-$350 million, on revenue of $200-$220 million. It sees R&D expenses of $490-$520 million.
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