Movers: Countrywide Financial, Children's Place, Abercrombie & Fitch

Thursday's stocks in the news

Countrywide Financial (CFC) says Bank of America (BAC) made a $2 billion strategic equity investment in Countrywide in the form of a non-voting convertible preferred security yielding 7.25% annually, which can be converted into common stock at $18 per share, with resulting shares subject to restrictions on trading for 18 months after conversion.

Children's Place Retail Stores (PLCE) falls after the chain posts a preliminarily $27.1 million second quarter loss on a 1% same-store sales drop. It says results are subject to adjustment until it completes its historical financial statements. The retailer sees lower-than-expected $2.25-$2.40 fiscal year 2008 EPS. It says it has been unable to meet several of the deadlines set forth in license deal with Disney (DIS).

Foot Locker (FL) posts $0.12 second quarter loss per share, vs. $0.09 EPS a year ago, on 7.3% same-store sales decline, 1.5% total sales drop. Analysts had expected an $0.18 loss.

Limited Brands (LTD) posts $0.67, vs. $0.28 a year ago, second quarter EPS (GAAP) on 2.0% higher same-store sales, 6.9% higher total sales. The retailer says it is comfortable with current First Call consensus EPS estimates of $0.04 for the third quarter and $1.18 for tje fourth quarter. It sets $250 million stock buyback.

Stein Mart (SMRT) posts $0.05, vs. $0.19 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 1.2% same-store sales drop, 1.7% total sales drop. It says the 53rd week in fiscal year 2006 created a timing shift in the 4-5-4 calendar for fiscal year 2007, resulting in a 1-week difference between its fiscal reporting periods and comparable-store sales reporting periods. Based on current unfavorable selling trends, other factors, it sees a $0.03-$0.06 third quarter loss per share.

GameStop (GME) posts $0.13, vs. $0.02 a year ago, second quarter EPS on 29% same-store sales rise, 39% total sales rise. It sees third quarter same-store sales up 30%-32%, EPS of $0.19-$0.21. It raises fiscal year 2008 EPS guidance to $1.45-$1.48.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) posts $0.88, vs. $0.72 a year ago, second quarter EPS despite 2.0% same-store sales decline. Total sales rose 22%. The apparel retailer expects second half fiscal year 2008 EPS of $3.63-$3.67; now sees full fiscal year 2008 EPS of $5.16-$5.20.

Hot Topic (HOTT) posts $0.04 second quarter loss. vs. $0.02 loss a year ago, on 5.8% same-store sales decline, 1% total sales rise. It sees third quarter EPS of $0.13-$0.16, fourth quarter EPS of $0.29-$0.33 on low-single digit same-store sales decline (seen for both quarters). S&P maintains buy; cuts estimate, target.

Men's Wearhouse (MW) posts $1.00, vs. $0.65 a year ago, second quarter GAAP EPS on 1.1% rise in U.S.-based same-store sales, 24% total sales rise. It sees third quarter EPS of $0.70-$0.73. It replenishes $100 million stock buyback plan by authorizing $90.3 million to be added to remaining $9.7 million of current program.

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) agrees to sell its Canadian subsidiary, Pioneer Natural Resources Canada Inc., to Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC for cash proceeds of $540 million, subject to normal closing adjustments.

Mercantile Bancorp (MBR) says it expects to see a gain of more than $1 million on its $4 million investment in First Charter Corp. (FCTR) when it is acquired by Fifth Third Bancorp. It notes this estimate assumes that shareholders receive the previously settled $31 per share.

E-House (China) Holdings Ltd. (EJ) posts $0.09, vs. $0.03 a year ago, second quarter EPS on sharply higher revenue. It sees third quarter revenue in $24-$26 million range, up 208%-233% from the third quarter of 2006.

Smithfield Foods (SFD) posts $0.47, vs. $0.36 a year ago, first quarter EPS from continuing operations on 21% sales rise.

C-Cor (CCBL) posts $0.16, vs. $0.20 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations, as stock compensation expense, amortization related to intangible assets, restructuring charges offset 25% revenue rise. It sees first quarter sales of $70-$74 million, EPS from continuing operations of $0.08-$0.12.