New Century Financial Plummets

Circuit City accelerates restructuring plan, Eastman Kodak cuts up to 30,000 jobs, and more of Thursday's stocks in the news

New Century Financial (NEW) shares tumbled after the company says it expects a fourth-quarter loss due to early payment defaults and loan repurchases. It plans to restate results for the first three quarters of 2006 to correct errors it discovered in its application of GAAP regarding the company's allowance for loan repurchase losses. Jefferies downgrades the stock to hold.

HSBC Holdings (HBC) says credit quality of its U.S. sub-prime mortgage business has deteriorated further. It expects a 2006 impairment charge in Mortgage Services to be about 20% higher than analysts' expectations.

Circuit City Stores (CC) shares rise on news the electronics retailer accelerates its restructuring initiatives. It plans to close 7 domestic stores by the end of February and about 62 stores in its international segment. It also changes its management structure. The company will record pretax expenses of $85-$105 million. S&P keeps a hold opinion on the stock.

Davita purchases $20 million in Nxstage Medical (NXTM) stock (about 7%), as part of a multi-year agreement under which the two companies will collaborate on expanding availability of home hemodialysis to patients across the U.S.

Sina Corp. (SINA) posts fourth-quarter EPS of 20 cents (GAAP), vs. 24 cents a year ago, as higher expenses offset 8.6% total revenue rise. It sees first-quarter total revenues of $48-$50 million. CIBC upgrades to sector outperform, citing strong ad fundamentals and other factors.

Riverbed Technology (RVBD) posts 3 cents fourth-quarter non-GAAP EPS, vs. 9-cents loss, on a sharp revenue rise. It plans to offer 5 million shares in an underwritten secondary public offering. Baird downgrades to underperform from neutral.

Borg Warner (BWA) shares rise after the company posts 70 cents, vs. $1.12, fourth-quarter GAAP EPS despite a 15% sales rise. As a result of a fourth-quarter restructuring, it expects 2007 EPS to be 10 cents higher than previous guidance, or in the range of $4.70-$4.90. S&P maintains a hold opinion.

Alcon (ACL) posts $1.16, vs. 19 cent (including after-tax charges), fourth-quarter EPS on a 16% global sales rise. It sees $5.10-$5.20 2007 EPS on $5.35-$5.45 billion in sales. It authorizes an additional 5 million share buyback. S&P reiterates its buy recommendation.

Gymboree (GYMB) shares fall after the retailer posts flat January same-store sales, and 24% increase in continuing retail operations. Excluding costs, reduced gross margin related to closure of Janeville division, it still sees EPS of 70-72 cents in the fourth quarter, and $1.97-$1.99 in fiscal year 2007.

Eastman Kodak (EK) says based on restructuring and selling, general and administrative (SG&A) cost reduction actions to-date, and the remaining actions (to conclude by yearend), including the divestiture of Health Group, it expects total workforce cuts will be 28,000-30,000. The photography company sees $3.6-$3.8 billion in charges.

Spectralink (SLNK) agrees to be acquired by Polycom in a deal valued at about $220 million in cash, or $11.75 per share. Separately, Spectralink posted 3 cents fourth-quarter GAAP EPS. S&P downgrades to hold from buy.

Toll Brothers (TOL) says its first-quarter home-building revenues were about $1.09 billion, down 19% from $1.34 billion a year ago.

It also says first-quarter quarter-end backlog was about $4.15 billion, off 30%; net signed contracts in the quarter were about $749 million, off 34% from the year-ago period.

Walt Disney (DIS) posts first-quarter EPS of 50 cents (excluding items), vs. 35 cents a year ago, on a 10% revenue rise. S&P maintains a strong buy on the stock.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) posts 2.2% higher total U.S. same-store sales, 11% higher total company sales. It sees a February comps rise of 1%-2%.

Target (TGT) posts 5.1% higher January same-store sales and 37% higher total sales.

Federated Department Stores (FD) posts 8.6% higher January same-store sales and 19% higher total sales. The company raises fourth-quarter EPS from continuing operations guidance to $1.55-$1.60, including a 6-cents gain related to the completion of a debt tender offer.

AnnTaylor Stores (ANN) posts 10% lower January same-store sales and 21% higher total sales. It expects fiscal year 2007 EPS to be in the range of $1.95-$1.98.

Gap Inc. (GPS) posts flat January same-store sales and 25% higher total sales. It expects fiscal year 2007 EPS to be 89-91 cents, which reflects the fact that the company moved more holiday clearance merchandise than previously expected.

Pacer International (PACR) posts 57 cents, vs. 54 cents, fourth-quarter EPS despite slightly lower sales. S&P says fourth-quarter EPS missed its estimate, and downgrades to sell from buy.

Bausch & Lomb (BOL) files Form 10-K for 2005. It says 2005 EPS were 35 cents on sales of $2.35 billion, vs. 2004's restated $2.83 EPS on sales of $2.23 billion.

Express Scripts (ESRX) posts fourth-quarter EPS from continuing operations of $1.02, vs. 77 cents, as fewer shares outstanding offset a slight revenue drop. It raises first-quarter EPS guidance to 90-95 cents, and 2007 EPS to $4.08-$4.20.

Electronic Data Systems (EDS) posts fourth-quarter adjusted EPS of 47 cents, vs. 21 cents, on an 11% revenue rise. It sees 2007 revenue of $22-$22.5 billion, and $1.60 adjusted EPS.

EMC Corp. (EMC) plans to sell about 10% of VMware via an initial public offering of newly issued VMware stock. EMC will retain ownership of the remaining shares. S&P reiterates buy.

PepsiCo (PEP) posts fourth-quarter EPS of $1.06, vs. 65 cents a year ago, on 2.8% higher revenue. It notes year-over-year comparison reflects the impact of one extra week in the fourth quarter of 2006. The beverage maker sees mid-single-digit volume, net revenue growth; anticipates EPS of at least $3.30.

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