Movers: Wal-Mart, Sears, Macy's, GameStop, Thinkorswim

Stocks in the news Thursday

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) cuts $1.03-$1.07 fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations estimate to $0.91-$0.94. Posts 1.2% higher December U.S. same-store sales (1.7% without fuel), slightly lower total company sales. Notes total sales in intl segment improved on a constant-currency basis. Sees flat-to-2% rise in January same-store sales.

Macy's (M) cuts fourth quarter EPS view to $0.90-$1.00, excluding items, on worse-than-expected fourth quarter same-store sales decline of about 7.5%. Posts 4.0% lower December same-store sales, 4.7% lower total sales. Also says it is closing 11 underperforming stores. Costs associated with these 11 store closings will be about $65 million (of which about $12 million will be cash), most of which will be booked in fourth quarter.

Sears Holding (SHLD) posts 1.1% lower Kmart December same-store sales, 13% lower Sears Domestic same-stores sales, 7.3% lower December total same-store sales. Notes gross margin rates for QTD period improved slightly from last year as higher margin rates at Kmart were somewhat offset by lower margin rates at Sears Domestic Currently expects fourth quarter EPS of $2.44-$3.09 (excluding items). S&P raises target, but maintains sell opinion.

GameStop (GME) rises 3.23 to 25.84 after the company says total sales during 2008 holiday period were $2.856 billion, a 22% increase from year ago, while same-store sales rose 10.2%. It raises fourth quarter same-store sales guidance to 9.0%-9.5% and low end of its EPS guidance by $0.02, resulting in a range of $1.31-$1.34. Also sees fiscal year 2009 EPS of $2.37-$2.40 (an increase of 32%-33% year-over-year), same-store sales growth of 12.0%-12.5%, total sales growth of 24%-25%. Wedbush raises estimates, reiterates buy.

Whole Foods Market (WFMI) rises 2.01 to 12.02 after supermarket magnate Ronald Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. investment firm discloses in an regulatory filing that it has a 7% stake in WFMI. In the filing, Yucaipa says "there are substantial opportunities for the company to improve operations and its pricing image while maintaining its high-quality product offering."

Limited Brands (LTD) posts 10% lower December same-store sales. Currently estimates a January comp decline in the mid-to-high teens. Expects fourth quarter EPS in the range of $0.55-$0.70, below current estimates.

Urban Outfitters (URBN) posts 3% higher same-store sales for the two months ended Dec. 31, 2008, 9% higher total sales. Cowen upgrades to outperform from neutral.

Thinkorswim Group (SWIM) agrees to be acquired by TD Ameritrade (AMTD) in cash and stock deal valued at about $606 million. Terms: each share of SWIM will be exchanged for $3.34 in cash and 0.3980 of AMTD share.

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) expects fourth quarter revenue of about $232 million, increasing 22% year-over-year. According to Reuters, analysts were expected fourth quarter revenue of $255 million. Sees 15% revenue increase for 2009, reflecting increased instrument, accessory and service revenue, buy continued flat systems revenue. S&P keeps hold.

According to Reuters story, Verizon Communications ( 2 3 Next Page

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