D.R.Horton Posts Lower First Quarter Home Sales

Wachovia to buy European Credit Management; GE reportedly looks to sell its plastics business; plus more stocks in the news Tuesday

D.R.Horton (DHI) Reports first quarter net sales orders of $2.3 billion (8,771 homes) vs. $3.2 billion (11,463 homes) in the first quarter of fiscal year 2006.

Wachovia Corp (WB) Agrees to acquire the privately held European Credit Management Ltd., a London-based fixed income investment management firm with about $26 billion in assets under management.

General Electric (GE) the Wall Street Journal reports that the company is seeking bids for its plastics business, with estimated 2006 sales of $6.7 billion.

Sprint Nextel Co (S) Sees about $42 billion 2007 operating revenue; notes lower average revenue per subscriber and lower wireline revenues.

Borders Group (BGP) Says sales for the 9-week holiday period rose 3.5%: comps at Borders domestic superstores fell 1.9%, driven primarily by a decline in store traffic; comps at Waldenbooks fell 6.3%. Now sees a fourth quarter earnings per share (EPS) shortfall.

Boston Scientific (BSX) Says fourth quarter cardiac rhythm management (CRM) sales rose 10% to about $489 million. Plans to reallocate CRM Research & Development resources in order to focus on a more selective number of R&D projects; is also to reduce the CRM workforce by 500 to 600 employees.

New York & Co (NWY) Sees fourth quarter EPS at the low end of the 37 cents to 46 cents guidance range provided in Nov. Cites higher-than-anticipated non-recurring JasmineSola litigation expenses and increased costs.

Helen of Troy (HELE) Posts $0.72 vs. $0.72 third quarter EPS on an 8.1% sales rise; notes gross margin pressure in Personal Care, Housewares, and expenses. Sees $0.25 to $0.30 fourth quarter EPS and cuts $1.70 to $1.80 fiscal year 2007 guidance to between $1.53 and $1.58. Sees fiscal year 2008 EPS of $2.00+.

Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) Posts 0.8% higher fourth quarter same-store sales and 18% higher total revenue.

Talbots Inc (TLB) Sees a breakeven fourth quarter (GAAP), reflecting a $0.07 decline in Talbots brand performance vs. a year ago, higher-than-anticipated loss at J. Jill brand, and acquisition related costs. Sees $0.36 to $0.43 first quarter GAAP EPS.

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