Estee Lauder, Applied Materials, and More Post Results

Loews to sell Carolina Group stock; Cheesecake Factory warns of potential adjustments related to stock option investigation; plus more stocks in the news Wednesday

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Applied Materials (AMAT) posts 33 cents vs. 23 cents third quarter earnings per share (EPS) (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) on a 56% sales rise. It says CFO Nancy H. Handel is to retire, effective Jan. 5, 2007.

Loews (LTR) agrees to sell 15 million shares of its Carolina Group stock in a public offering through J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.

Estee Lauder (EL) posts 21 cents vs. 30 cents fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) (GAAP) despite a 5% net sales rise. It sees 15 cents to 20 cents first quarter EPS from continuing operations on 5% to 7% higher sales, and $2.00 to $2.10 fiscal year 2007 EPS from continuing operations.

Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) Although the Audit Committee's review of its stock option grant practices is ongoing, based on preliminary results, the company thinks potential adjustments would likely be material to the current year and possibly prior years resulting in restatement of 2005 and first quarter 2006.

Limited Brands (LTD) sees 28 cents second quarter EPS, but expects the third quarter to be flat vs. the year ago's breakeven. It sees $1.55 to $1.65 fiscal year 2007 EPS. It also says CFO Ken Stevens will retire; Martyn Redgrave, Chief Administrative Officer, will assume the additional responsibilities of CFO.

Shanda Interactive (SNDA) posts RMB1.86 ($0.24) vs. RMB3.06 second quarter earnings per American Depositary Shares on a 25% sales decline. It says second quarter results showed solid improvement quarter over quarter.

Brightpoint (CELL) Based upon continued strong global demand for wireless devices, it raises its estimate for units handled in 2006 to 55 million to 60 million from 50 million to 55 million.

Great Wolf Resorts (WOLF) says it has no plans to sell or engage an investment banking firm to explore the possible sale of the company. This follows news yesterday that a shareholder encouraged the Board to engage an investment banker to explore such a sale.

LA-Z Boy (LZB) posts 2 cents vs. 5 cents first quarter EPS from continuing operations on 5.5% lower same-store written sales and 2.7% lower total sales.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) posts 72 cents vs. 63 cents second quarter EPS on a 15% total sales rise. It plans its first Europe site in London for early 2007 and sees $3.15 to $3.20 second half EPS.

The Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack (PBY) posts 3 cents vs. a penny second quarter EPS from operations (before accounting change) on flat comp and total sales. It concludes review; the board says alternatives will be more profitably revisited when operating results improve.

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