business

Movers: Yum Brands, VCA Antech, SiRF Technology, Whirlpool

Tuesday's stocks in the news

Yum Brands (YUM) posts fourth quarter EPS of $0.44, vs. $0.42 a year ago, on 8.2% revenue rise and fewer shares outstanding. It raises 2008 EPS guidance to $1.85 from $1.82, mainly due to growth in China. This forecast excludes one-time items that would increase per/share EPS by $0.06 to $1.91.

VCA Antech (WOOF) sees fourth quarter EPS of $0.28-$0.29 on revenue of $284 million. For 2008, it sees EPS of $1.55-$1.60 on revenue of $1.30-$1.33 billion. Piper Jaffray reportedly downgrades to neutral from buy.

SiRF Technology Holdings (SIRF) shares plunge after it posts $0.28, vs. $0.28 a year ago, fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS as narrowed gross margin offset 35% revenue rise. It says gross margin performance was hurt by competitive market pricing and a shift of product mix. Oppenheimer downgrades to perform from outperform. Jefferies downgrades to hold from buy.

Avon Products (AVP) posts fourth quarter EPS of $0.30, vs. $0.41 a year ago, as costs to implement restructuring program, final charges for its Product Line Simplification program (both reduced EPS by $0.34) offset 17% revenue rise. Expects to achieve annualized savings of approximately $430 million once all initiatives of its restructuring program are fully implemented by 2011-2012.

Whirlpool (WHR) posts fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations of $2.38, vs. $1.67 a year ago, on 7.5% sales rise. It sees $8.50-$9.00 2008 EPS from continuing operations, expects to generate $600-$650 million in free cash flow.

NYSE Euronext (NYX) was down 11.70 to 71.03 after posting $0.59, vs. $0.29 a year ago, fourth quarter EPS on 79% revenue rise. Shares seen lower on cost cuts from merger of NYSE and Euronext taking longer than expected.

Computer Sciences (CSC) was up 2.54 to 44.63 after it posts preliminary $1.11, vs. $0.85 a year ago, third quarter operating EPS on 14% revenue rise. It sees fourth quarter revenue of $4.2-$4.5 billion, operating EPS of $1.33-$1.43; $16.2-$16.5 billion fiscal year 2008 revenue, $3.75-$3.85 EPS, including adoption of FIN 48, but excluding special items. S&P reiterates hold.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) was down 3.55 to 29.49 after JP Morgan downgrades to neutral from overweight.

Rainmaker Systems (RMKR) says it has been notified by a significant client -- Dell (DELL) -- of a change in corporate direction and intent to bring work in-house, resulting in a termination of its agreement with RMKR. It now expects fourth quarter revenue of $20 million, bringing total revenue for the full fiscal year to about $73.5 million. It sees 2008 revenue of $68-$72 million. Needham downgrades to hold from buy.

UAL (UAUA) says United Airlines' January traffic fell 5.3% to 8.73 billion revenue passenger miles, down from 9.22 billion a year ago. Also reports the load factor, or percentage of seats filled, fell slightly to 76.5% from 78%, and capacity dropped 3.4% to 11.4 million available seat miles from 11.8 million a year earlier.

Boston Scientific (BSX) posts $0.31 fourth quarter loss per share, vs. $0.19 EPS (GAAP) a year ago, as various charges, write-downs and other items offset 4.2% rise in net sales. Also posts $0.24, vs. $0.30 fourth quarter adjusted EPS, which excludes charges and amortization expense. For the first quarter, it sees $0.13-$0.18 GAAP EPS, $0.15-$0.20 adjusted EPS on net sales of $1.96-$2.08 billion.

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