Sears Shares Fall

Take-Two announces a third quarter loss; News Corp. to buy IGN Entertainment; plus more of Thursday's stocks in the news

Sears Holdings (SHLD ) shares were lower Thursday after the company posted 98 cents second quarter earnings per share on unchanged Kmart same-store sales and 7.4% lower Sears domestic same-store sales. The department store noted that its results are not comparable to the prior year and named Aylwin Lewis CEO and president.

Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO ) posted a 41 cent third quarter loss vs. a 21 cent loss despite a 6% sales rise. The company sees lower-than-expected 85 cent to 90 cent fiscal year 2005 earnings per share on sales of $1.22 billion to $1.27 billion. Take-Two initiated fiscal year 2006 guidance at $1.25 to $1.55 earnings per share on sales of $1.4 billion and $1.5 billion.

Coca-Cola (CCE ) said its third quarter European volume was below expectations. The beverage company sees its third quarter earnings per share below 51 cent consensus estimates, and its 2005 earnings per share in the low to mid-$1.30s, excluding the impact from Hurricane Katrina.

News Corp. (NWS ) said it plans to acquire IGN Entertainment, a community-based Internet media and services company, for $650 million in cash.

Ulticom( ULCM ) posted 10 cent vs. 9 cent second quarter earnings per share (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). It also announced that the settlement of a breach of contract claim offset its 6.4% sales decline. Wedbush Morgan upgraded the stock to buy from hold.

Hayes Lemmerz International (HAYZ ) posted a $1.85 second quarter loss vs. a 26 cent loss despite a 9.8% sales rise. The auto parts maker said North American volumes for key platforms were lower than last year, 1 times costs. It cut its $220 million to $235 million adjusted fiscal year 2006 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization guidance to $190 million to $205 million.

Barr Pharmaceuticals( BRL ) posted 77 cent (adjusted for a potential litigation settlement and the product acquisition of Mircette) vs. 13 cent fourth quarter earnings per share on 7.5% lower revenue. The company sees $2.95 to $3.10 fiscal year 2006 earnings per share.

Intuit (INTU ) named Kiran Patel as its chief financial officer. Patel was formerly the CFO at Solectron (SLR ).

Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV ) posted $1.76 vs. $1.33 third quarter earnings per share on a 24% rise in revenue. The residential home builder sees its fiscal year 2005 (ending October) earnings per share of $7.00, and fiscal year 2006 earnings per share of $8.05 to $8.40.

Drug research tool provider Charles River Laboratories International (CRL ) sees its third quarter results at the low end, or slightly below, its guidance for 58% to 61% net sales growth, 44 cent to 46 cent earnings per share, and 58 cent to 60 cent non-GAAP earnings per share.

UST (UST ) lowered the top end of its previously announced 2005 earnings per share guidance of between $3.20 and $3.30 to between $3.20 and $3.25; third quarter earnings per share are to be slightly below the prior year's level. S&P cut its estimate but maintained its hold opinion on the smokeless tobacco and wine maker.

Dave & Buster's (DAB ) posted a 9 cent second quarter loss vs. 16 cents earnings per share. A charge offset its unchanged revenues at stores that had been open for longer than a year. Total revenue rose 23%.

Xilinx (XLNX ) said its second quarter tax rate will decline to approximately 15% from its prior guidance of 24%, primarily due to a recent favorable tax court decision pertaining to cost sharing and the release of related reserves.

Footwear retailer DSW (DSW ) posted 26 cents vs. 20 cents second quarter earnings per share (pro forma) on a 3.3% sales rise at stores that had been open longer than a year, and an 18% total sales rise.

Comverse Technology( CMVT ) posted 16 cents vs. 6 cents second quarter earnings per share (under generally accepted accounting principles) on a 23% sales rise.

Alloy (ALOY ) posted an 8 cent second quarter loss from its continuing operations vs. a 28 cent loss on a 9% revenue rise. The company plans to spin-off its merchandising business from its media & marketing services business in the near term.

Myogen (MYOG ) is planning to offer 4 million shares in an underwritten public offering.

SWS Group (SWS ) will file for an extension to file its fiscal year 2005 10-K, after it discovered an error in connection with its accounting of derivative securities. The financial services company sees 30 cent fourth quarter earnings per share.

Technical Olympic USA (TOA ) priced its offering of 4 million shares at $28 per share.

The Pantry ( ) said direct financial impact from Hurricane Katrina in terms of uninsured property losses or store closings in affected areas has been minimal. The convenience store chain remains comfortable with its previous fiscal year 2005 earnings per share forecast of $2.10 to $2.15.

USEC (USU ) set its restructuring and said it would take a $5 million charge in the third quarter. The nuclear power plant supplier sees a third quarter loss and adjusted its 2005 earnings per share guidance to between 21 cents and 27 cents, which reflects the impact of the restructuring offset by savings in the fourth quarter 2005.

Software company Astea International (ATEA ) said a major European service integrator has selected its latest version of Astea Alliance, a comprehensive Microsoft .NET based service lifecycle management offering.

Fleetwood Enterprises (FLE ) The motor home and housing producer posted a 31 cent first quarter loss from continuing operations vs. 21 cent earnings per share on a 6.5% revenue decline. BB&T Capital said Fleetwood Enterprises showed strong operating improvement from recent quarters and reiterated a buy.

National Semiconductor (NSM ) posted better-than-expected 24 cent vs. 31 cent first quarter earnings per share on 11% lower sales. The technology company sees 5% higher sequential second quarter revenue and set a $400 million stock buyback. S&P raised its estimates on the stock and reiterated its hold opinion.

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