Goldman Sachs Group (GS) shares rise after the company posts $4.97 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $7.01 EPS a year ago, on negative net revenues of $1.58 billion. Street was looking for loss of about $3.50. Investment Banking revenues in fourth quarter declined 48%. S&P keeps hold. Ladenburg Thalmann upgrades to neutral from sell.
General Electric (GE) confirmed fourth quarter EPS guidance of $0.50-$0.52, excluding previously announced $1.0-$1.4 billion of charges ($0.36-$0.42 Q4 EPS, including charges); it sees 2008 EPS of $1.78-$1.84 on $185 billion revenue. For 2009, it has set forth a framework of industrial businesses' earnings growth of 0%-5%. Also says it will no longer provide specific quarterly EPS guidance, but will provide a full-year operating framework with detail in the industrial and financial businesses.
Best Buy (BBY) posts better-than-expected $0.35, vs. $0.53 adjusted third quarter EPS on 5.3% same-store sales drop, 16% total revenue rise. Street was looking for $0.25. Says negative impact of same-store sales drop, expense deleverage was partially offset by revenue gains from new store openings as well as an improvement in gross profit rate. Maintains guidance range for fiscal year 2009 EPS of $2.30- $2.90, excluding the investment impairment charge. S&P keeps buy.
STEC (STEC) cuts fourth quarter revenue guidance to about $55-$59 million from $69-$72 million, citing the cancellation of previously anticipated orders. STEC notes this will negatively affect its operating results, including its previous non-GAAP diluted EPS guidance issued Nov. 10. On that date, STEC forecast $0.11-$0.14 fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS. Needham cuts estimates, target; but maintains strong buy.
Beckman Coulter (BEC) expects 2008 revenue to increase by about 12%, with operating margins on par with prior year results, between 11.5% and 12%. Continues to expect EPS in the $3.55-$3.65 range. Street is looking for 2008 EPS of $3.59. Sees 2009 revenue growth of about 5% on a constant currency basis. Shift in mix toward higher margin recurring revenue and a conservative approach toward spending should allow BEC to achieve its 2009 EPS growth objective of 10%. S&P keeps hold.
Merrill Lynch upgrades Potash (POT), Mosaic (MOS), Intrepid Potash (IPI), and Terra Industries (TRA) to buy from underperform.
Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PEI) announces that it has completed three non-recourse mortgage loans with total proceeds of $173 million that are secured separately by Exton Square, Francis Scott Key and Viewmont Malls. Year to date, PEI says it has completed 14 financings for an aggregate of more than $820 million. S&P keeps hold.
Satyam Computer Services Limited (SAY) says its Board has approved the proposals to acquire 100% stake in Maytas Properties, 51% in Maytas Infra. Total outflow for both the acquisitions is expected to be $1.6 billion, comprising of $1.3 billion for 100% stake in Maytas Properties, $300 million for 51% stake in Maytas Infra.
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