Private Equity Firms to Buy PETCO

GE posts higher earnings; Borders gives guidance and names George Jones CEO; plus more stocks in the news Friday

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

PETCO Animal Supplies (PETC) agrees to be acquired by two private equity investment firms, Leonard Green & Partners L.P., Texas Pacific Group, for $29.00 per share cash, or total value, including assumed debt, of approximately $1.8 billion.

General Electric (GE) posts 47 cents vs. 41 cents second quarter earnings per share (EPS) on a 9% revenue rise. It expects double-digit segment profit growth in five of its six businesses for the third quarter, and 48 cents to 50 cents EPS from continuing operations. It also reaffirms $1.94-$2.02 2006 EPS guidance.

Borders Group (BGP) sees 28 cents to 32 cents second quarter loss due to non-operating charges and weak sales trends. It now sees a mid-single digit decline in second quarter comps at Borders domestic superstores and low-double digits at Waldenbooks. It names George Jones as CEO and president.

Estee Lauder (EL) says a tax settlement with the IRS, coupled with the American Jobs Creation Act favorable tax adjustment, results in a net increase to its fiscal year 2006 income tax provision and a corresponding decrease of about 16 cents in fiscal year 2006 EPS.

EMC (EMC) posts 12 cents vs. 12 cents second quarter EPS (GAAP) on a 10% revenue rise. It sees 12 cents third quarter EPS on consolidated revenue at or above $2.66 billion and 51 cents 2006 EPS on revenue expected to exceed $10.8 billion.

D.R.Horton (DHI) says net sales orders for the third quarter fell 4.4%. It now sees third quarter EPS of about 93 cents, which includes 11 cents in write-offs and pre-acquisition costs. It cuts its fiscal year 2006 EPS estimate to $3.65 or greater on about 50,000 homes closed.

General Motors (GM) GM CEO Wagoneer and NSANY CEO Ghosn meet Friday to discuss a possible alliance.

Rocky Brands (RCKY) sees 5 cents to 10 cents second quarter loss. It cites weaker than expected results in its outdoor business for June.

Regions Financial (RF) posts 75 cents vs. 53 cents second quarter EPS, including 6 cents merger-related charges, on 10% higher net interest income.

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