Lowe's Slips on Lower Outlook

Martha Stewart posts a fourth-quarter loss; Medco declines on news of Accredo acquisition; plus more of Wednesday's stocks in the news

Lowe's (LOW ) posted 64 cents, vs. 49 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on 6.9% higher same-store sales and 18% higher total sales.

Martha Stewart Living (MSO ) posted a 14-cent fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations, vs. 5 cents earnings per share on a 15% revenue decline. The company sees a first-quarter loss of 35 cents. S&P reiterates sell.

Medco Health Solutions (MHS ) agreed to acquire Accredo Health (ACDO ) for $2.2 billion in cash and stock.

Chiquita Brands (CQB ) posted 61 cents, vs. 19 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 12% sales rise. The company agrees to acquire the Fresh Express unit of Performance Food (PFGC ) for $855 million in cash.

Novell (NOVL ) posted 90 cents, vs. 3 cents first-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on 8.6% higher revenues.

Goodyear Tire (GT ) sees 55 cents to 65 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on sales of $4.8 billion.

Allstate Corp. (ALL ) raised its quarterly dividend 14%.

USF Corp. (USFC ) is in talks to be acquired by Yellow Roadway (YELL ) in deal that could be valued at more than $1 billion, according to person familiar with matter, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Ciena Corp. (CIEN ) posted a 10-cent first-quarter loss, vs. a 16-cent loss (GAAP) on a 43% revenue rise.

Kraft Foods (KFT ) reconfirms 2005 guidance of $1.75 to $1.80 earnings per share from continuing operations, including 18 cents in restructuring charges and 4 cents in one-time gains.

Applied Signal (APSG ) posted 17 cents, vs. 19 cents first-quarter earnings per share, as a higher tax rate offset a 6.4% revenue rise. CE Unterberg says results weaker than expected and cuts estimates.

Citigroup upgrades Mediacom Communications (MCCC ) to buy from neutral. Yesterday the company posted a better-than-expected 2 cents, vs. 6 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share.

Hearst-Argyle Television (HTV ) posted 41 cents, vs. 36 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share on a 16% revenue rise. The company sees 11 cents to 13 cents first-quarter earnings per share. S&P downgrades to sell from hold..

Hershey Foods (HSY ) reaffirms a long-term goal of increasing earnings per share by 9% to 11% a year. The company sees 2005 full-year sales growth of 6% to 7% after including the first-quarter impact of two recent acquisitions.

Merrill downgrades Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM ) to neutral from buy.

Jack In The Box (JBX ) posted 68 cents, vs. 39 cents (including a 15-cent after-tax charge) first-quarter earnings per share on 2.2% higher same-store sales. The company sees 50 cents second-quarter earnings per share. It sets a $65 million stock buyback.

Carter's (CRI ) Posts 50 vs. 06 fourth-quarter earnings per share (GAAP) on 17% higher sales.

A.C. Moore Arts (ACMR ) delays fourth-quarter earnings release to March 9. The company says it is reviewing its lease accounting practices in light of recent views expressed by the chief accountant of the SEC.

Big Lots (BLI ) posted 51 cents, vs. 80 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (preliminary) as higher selling, general, and administrative costs offset 3.9% higher same-store sales. Results excluding the impact of adjustments related to lease accounting practices. The company sees 54 cents to 60 cents fiscal 2006 earnings per share.

World Wrestling (WWE ) posted 16 cents, vs. 13 cents third-quarter earnings per share on 4.6% revenue rise. The company still sees fiscal 2005 revenue of $345 million to $355 million and 49 cents to 51 cents fiscal 2005 earnings per share from continuing operations.

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