08:23 TJX guides Q4 EPS to high end of anticipated range of $0.60-$0.63 vs consensus of $0.62
08:22 BONDX Stepping Higher
The bond market is lightly bid this morning with Europe leading the charge on weaker data, cautious central banks & slumping stocks. Similar sentiment is carrying over into the open here as stocks point to a soft opening with help from disappointing earnings out of Cisco. Naturally all of this is putting a bid in bonds to begin the day with a run of middling data to come. The 2-10-yr yield spread remains well-steep at 168.3. Bond prices in the EuroZone are holding firm following weak German factory orders & the as-expected non-move by the ECB on policy rates. In Japan, bonds bucked the trend & lost ground on the day with blows from more official talk of no room for rate cuts & stocks squeezing out gains. Treasuries will be eyeing the jobless claims data following last week’s 375K print. Also up is another (likely) bad housing report & some Fed-speak. Bonds will be weighed on by supply with $9B 30-yrs hitting the market. Headlines are getting a tiny bit more positive on the bond insurers with MBIA potentially retaining their AAA rating which may take some of the flight-to-quality out of treasuries, leaving prices exposed to the downside. The buck is better on the euro as the move to stick on rates in the EuroZone should be followed with official talk of coming cuts, leaving the euro off against the yen as well. The yen is better on the buck, back to levels last seen at the start of the month & now looking to go back through 106.00. Gold has backed off earlier gains off of supply issues now 903.38 (+2.78) after ticking through 911. Crude has dipped some now 86.88 (-.26). Data has initial jobless claims (8:30), pending home sale (10) & consumer credit (15). Fed-speak has Atlanta’s Lockhart talks credit markets (8:30) & Dallas’ Fisher late (13). There is another auction up with an offering of $9B 30-yrs. The euro is at 1.4570 & the yen is at 106.1200 while the 10-yr yield is +07/32 yielding 3.565%.
08:21 YHOO Yahoo!: Stifel believes shares fully valued, swap into GOOG (28.57 )
Stifel calculated the expected value of YHOO shares at $29.72 per share, reflecting the estimated probability of several potential outcomes for Yahoo! in the wake of the Microsoft hostile takeover offer. Given the narrow 4% premium of expected value over the current share price, firm believes Yahoo! shares are fully valued and they would endorse swapping out of Yahoo! into shares of Google. Firm notes five scenarios: 1) MSFT succeeds in its current bid (30% chance); 2) MSFT wins with a higher $32 bid (40% chance); 3) MSFT wins, deal blocked, stock to $25 (10% chance); 4) Competing takeover offer at $34 (10% chance); 5) Yahoo! stays independent, stock to $23 (10% chance).
08:21 AG AGCO Corp beats by $0.19, beats on revs; reiterates prior FY08 guidance, which is below consensus (57.96 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.82 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.19 better than the First Call consensus of $0.63; revenues rose 32.9% year/year to $2.17 bln vs the $1.91 bln consensus. Co reiterates prior guidance for FY08; co is targeting EPS of $2.75 with a goal of getting to $3.00 vs. $3.21 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $7.58-7.72 bln vs. $7.51 bln consensus. Co says all of its major end markets continued to experience solid demand through the end of 2007. Worldwide industry retail sales of farm equipment in 2008 are expected to increase modestly from strong 2007 levels.
08:20 GET Gaylord Entertain announces $80 mln stock repurchase program (30.47 )
08:20 IDEV prelim ($0.19) vs ($0.23) First Call consensus; revs $16.4 mln vs $15.64 mln First Call consensus
08:19 DB Deutsche Bank CEO says we don’t need capital injection; many parties interested in investing in us – DJ (108.57 )
08:18 Fuel prices will make airline margers take off – NY Post
NY Post reports stung by high jet fuel prices and worried about what a recession will do to their businesses, the nation’s airlines are considering a lot of different formations… Deals are being considered, especially the combination of DAL with just about anyone, but especially NWA. “If Delta and Northwest do a deal,” says a source close to the airline industry “then you are potentially going to see a chain reaction.” Delta, which exited bankruptcy last April, has already admitted it is speaking with Northwest and UAUA. And its creditors committee turned down a deal from US Airways when it was still under court protection. A deal between Northwest and Delta is the most likely. The experts say that regulators would be more reluctant to let Delta, which is No. 3 in the industry, merge with United, the second biggest, than with No. 5 Northwest.
08:18 IAR Idearc beats by $0.12, reports revs in-line (15.22 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.75 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.12 better than the First Call consensus of $0.63; revenues fell 1.7% year/year to $787 mln vs the $791.9 mln consensus. “While we are certainly facing some economic headwinds in the current marketplace, we firmly believe the right strategy and assets are in place to maximize the long-term value of our business.
08:18 RIMM Research In Motion Blackberry demand remains strong, Lehman says- Bloomberg (84.10 )
08:17 SNMX Senomyx beats by $0.06, beats on revs; issues below consensus FY08 EPS and rev guidance (6.69 )
Reports Q4 EPS of ($0.15) vs ($0.21) First Call consensus; revs of $6.4 mln vs $5.87 mln First Call consensus. SNMX sees FY08 ($0.75-0.85) vs ($0.58) First Call consensus; sees revs $20-24 mln vs $27.56 mln First Call consensus.
08:17 EDS EDS: Strong FCF, solid signings will be overshadowed by big EPS miss; cuts tgt to $24 – Stifel (19.61 )
Stifel notes EDS reorted 4Q07 revenue and EPS below expectations, the latter worse due to lower than expected tax rate. While firm believes the market will focus mainly on the miss, and that it was largely driven by year-end contract performance issues, there were several notable positives in the quarter (e.g., FCF), and EDS shares’ valuation will likely remain attractive. Firm cuts tgt to $24 from $28.
08:17 PHX Panhandle Royalty reports Q4 EPS of $0.41, revs increase 54% y/y (28.62 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.41 per share, no estimates; compared to $0.23 year ago. Revenues increase 54% year/year to $13.7 mln. Co states, “We continue to see significant new drilling activity and well proposals on the Company’s mineral acreage in the unconventional natural gas plays. Through Jan 2008, we have agreed to participate with a working interest in the drilling of 71 wells in the Woodford shale in southeast Oklahoma and 29 wells in the Fayetteville shale in Arkansas…”
08:17 SEP Spectra Energy LP beats by $0.01, beats on revs (25.00 )
Reports Q4 cash available for distribution per limited partner unit of $0.30 per share, earnings per limited partner unit of $0.33, beating the First Call consensus of $0.29; revenues rose 12.0% year/year to $26.2 mln vs the $25.3 mln consensus.
08:16 Bernake said the central bank is “closely monitoring developments” with bond insurers – NY Post
NY Post reports Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank is “closely monitoring developments” with bond insurers, including the potential effects of ratings downgrades for banks. “Given the adverse effects that problems of financial guarantors can have on financial markets and the economy, we are closely monitoring developments,” Bernanke wrote in a Feb. 4 letter, responding to an inquiry last month from Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a Pennsylvania Democrat who leads the House Capital Markets Subcommittee. Kanjorski released the letter along with responses from other state and federal regulators. “In addition, we are closely monitoring the potential effect of downgrades of financial guarantors on bank holding companies, state member banks, and other institutions supervised by the Federal Reserve,” Bernanke wrote. “We believe we have the appropriate tools to assess exposures to bond insurers of the banks that we supervise.” Banks have “significant exposures” to the bond insurers and could be forced to “bring a sizable volume of assets” onto their books because of lower ratings, Bernanke added.
08:16 AG sees FY08 $2.75-3.00 vs $3.21 First Call consensus; sees revs $7.58-7.72 bln vs $7.51 bln First Call consensus
08:15 MGPI MGP Ingredients reports Q2 (Dec) results, misses on revs (8.52 )
Reports Q2 (Dec) earnings of $0.30 per share, including a $7 mln gain on settlement of litigation, net of related expenses, without which the company would have reported a loss before taxes of $2 mln vs the First Call consensus of $0.01; revenues rose 7.1% year/year to $93.9 mln vs the $100.6 mln consensus.
08:15 LVLT Level 3 beats by $0.05, beats on revs (3.14 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.06 per share, $0.05 better than the First Call consensus of ($0.11); revenues rose 30.0% year/year to $1.1 bln vs the $1.08 bln consensus. “We continue to expect growth in the 8-13% range for Core Communications Services revenue for the full year 2008. We expect growth to pick up over the course of the year consistent with historical trends and that our sales and install rates will increase over the course of the year compared to what we experienced in the second half of 2007. In addition, we expect 2008 Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA to range from $950 mln to $1.10 bln in 2008… In the first quarter 2008, we expect to experience the pattern of seasonality with regards to certain Core Communications Services revenue that we have seen over the last few years, with seasonally high revenue in the fourth quarter and seasonally lower revenue in the first quarter.”
08:14 FTE France Telecom: France says no plans to sell France Telecom shares – Bloomberg.com (34.33 )
Bloomberg.com reports the French government has no plans to sell France Telecom SA shares refuting speculation by analysts and investors and sending the stock to its biggest gain in more than three months. Analysts including Rob Goyens of Dexia Bank NV in Brussels have said the government, which owns 27.4% of the former monopoly, could sell shares after a lockup ended following yesterday’s earnings report. In June, it sold a 5% stake in Europe’s phone company to cut public debt… France Telecom yesterday reported net income rose 52% to 6.3 billion euros ($9.2 billion) after the co added mobile subscribers, cut jobs in its fixed-line business and had a lower tax bill.
08:14 OFG Oriental Fincl Grp reports Q4 EPS of $0.59 vs $0.34 consensus (16.88 )
08:14 AG prelim $0.82 vs $0.63 First Call consensus; revs $2.17 bln vs $1.91 bln First Call consensus
08:14 Fed’s Lockhart says recent policy easing, liquidity injections should help markets stabilize – Reuters
Fed Lockhart says foreign investors likely will be more selective when investing in U.S. credit markets.
08:13 States say mortgage companies fall short on loan modification – WSJ
WSJ reports mortgage cos have stepped up their efforts to work with delinquent borrowers, but their actions aren’t keeping up with the rapid rise in bad loans, a new study by state officials suggests. The study, compiled by the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group, which includes state attorneys general and banking regulators from 11 states, found that mortgage-servicing cos working with troubled borrowers in Oct were looking to modify 45% of the loans. The mortgage cos expect less than 7% of the troubled borrowers to come up with the funds to make the loan current. A loan modification can involve changing or freezing the interest rate on the loan, extending the term of the loan or reducing the amount owed. By contrast, less than 10% of such efforts completed in October involved a change in the terms of the borrower’s loan while nearly three-quarters of such efforts involved the borrower coming up with funds to make the loan current.
08:13 ARW Arrow Elec beats by $0.04, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS in-line, revs in-line (32.40 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.97 per share, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $0.93; revenues rose 26.5% year/year to $4.42 bln vs the $4.32 bln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.84-0.91, excluding estimated amortization of intangible assets, vs. $0.87 consensus; sees Q1 revs of $3.925-4.225 bln vs. $4.06 bln consensus.
08:11 ARJ Arch Chemicals reports Q4 (Dec) results, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS in-line (34.26 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.42 per share, including $0.30 of special items, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.24; revenues rose 12.0% year/year to $344.2 mln vs the $336.3 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees Q1 EPS of $0.10-0.15 vs $0.31 consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $2.55-2.65, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.62 consensus.
08:11 KTEC Key Technology beats by a penny, beats on revs (34.74 -0.35)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.20 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.19; revenues rose 28% year/year to $28.9 mln vs the $28.0 mln consensus.
08:11 CHUX O’Charley’s misses by $0.08; increases buyback by $20 mln; reports Q4 same store sales; guides FY08 EPS below consensus (13.50 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.12 per share, $0.08 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.20; revenues fell 10.5% year/year to $215.2 mln vs the $223.8 mln consensus. CHUX reports Stoney River Q4 same store sales -4.5% vs -0.1% Briefing.com consensus. CHUX sees O’Charley’s Q4 same store sales -4.3% vs -1.7% Briefing.com consensus. CHUX reports Ninety-Nine Q4 same store sales -2.6% vs 1.3% Briefing.com consensus. CHUX sees Y08 same store sales flat or declining. CHUX announces that its Board of Directors have approved a $20 mln increase in the co’s share repurchase authorization. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $0.75-0.90 vs. $0.92 consensus.
08:10 PTIE Pain Therapeutics misses by $0.02, misses on revs (8.76 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.02 per share, $0.02 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.04; revenues rose 122.0% year/year to $14.1 mln vs the $14.8 mln consensus. Co anticipates being cash flow positive in 2008. Co also anticipates receiving $20.0 mln of cash milestone payments in 2008 under its strategic alliance with King Pharmaceuticals.
08:09 TZIX TriZetto Group: Wins BCBS and RI contract; sales momentum builds for 2008 – Caris (18.92 )
Caris says having won both the Blue Shield of California and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island contracts, TZIX is quickly becoming the managed care industry’s healthcare IT system provider of choice. By leveraging these two contracts win, firm believes TZIX could build considerable sales momentum in 2008. Reflecting the BCBS-RI contract impact, firm raises their 2008 EPS to $0.73 from $0.72 and 2009 EPS to $0.85 from $0.81. THey recommend investors to look carefully at this managed care Healthcare IT provider story.
08:09 RSYS RadiSys announces the pricing of its $50 mln offering of convertible senior notes due 2013, conversion price of ~$13.03 per share (10.68 )
08:09 PMTI Palomar Medical misses by $0.03, misses on revs (13.49 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.22 per share, $0.03 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.25; revenues fell 28.4% year/year to $28.2 mln vs the $31.2 mln consensus.
08:09 IT Gartner beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS in-line, revs in-line (14.77 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.37 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.36; revenues rose 14.6% year/year to $348.4 mln vs the $340.6 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $0.90-1.00 vs. $0.99 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $1.300-1.325 bln vs. $1.31 bln consensus. Co announces that its board of directors has authorized the use of up to $250 mln for the repurchase of its common stock.
08:09 NEM Newmont Mining reports Q4 production; expects comparable gold sales in 2008 (49.87 )
For Q4 co reported equity gold sales of 1.4 mln ounces at costs applicable to sales of $384 per ounce. For the year ended December 31, 2007, the co reported equity gold sales of 5.3 mln ounces at costs applicable to sales of $406 per ounce. Consolidated capital expenditures for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2007 were $511 mln and $1.7 bln, respectively, which were below the Company’s original outlook of $1.8 to $2.0 bln for 2007. said, “We are pleased with our operating results from the fourth quarter, resulting in gold sales performance consistent with our original expectations for the year. We expect our 2008 gold sales performance to be comparable with our 2007 results, with equity gold sales expected to be between 5.1 and 5.4 mln ounces at costs applicable to sales of between $425 and $450 per ounce. Building on our strong operating performance from the third and fourth quarters of 2007, as well as the momentum we established with the completion of our Miramar acquisition and the sale of our royalty assets and certain other equity interests in December, we have embarked on 2008 with a renewed focus on operational and project execution as well as financial performance.” The Company expects to realize cost savings in Nevada of approximately $25 per ounce annually from its Nevada power plant investment that is expected to be commissioned by mid-2008.
08:08 ERJ Embraer: Universal airlines buys six Embraer 195 Jets (42.16 )
The co announces it has signed a firm order with JJH Capital, owned by Juan Jose Hidalgo, President of Air Europa and Globalia, for six EMBRAER 195 jets, plus purchase rights for another six aircraft. The total value of the deal is $237 mln, at list price, based on January 2008 economic conditions, and could double, if all purchase rights are confirmed. This deal is already included in Embraer’s fourth quarter firm order backlog as “undisclosed”.
08:08 IP Intl Paper beats by $0.04, beats on revs (30.92 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.69 per share, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $0.65; revenues rose 9.7% year/year to $5.84 bln vs the $5.63 bln consensus.
08:08 RVSN RADVision reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.11 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.11; revenues fell 11.9% year/year to $22.3 mln vs the $22 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of ($0.18) vs. $0.07 consensus; sees Q1 revs of $20.0 mln vs. $21.00 mln consensus.
08:08 PSMT PriceSmart reports January comparable warehouse sales of +20.6% (no estimates) (26.07 )
08:07 TYL Tyler Tech wins $2.7 million Odyssey Courts & Justice software contract with Galveston County, Texas (13.68 )
08:07 ARW prelim $0.97, ex items vs $0.93 First Call consensus; revs $4.42 bln vs $4.32 bln First Call consensus
08:06 BHI Baker Hughes announces January 2008 rig counts (65.37 )
Co announces that the international rig count for January 2008 was 1,053, up 17 from the 1,036 counted in December 2007, and up 81 from the 972 counted in January 2007. The international offshore rig count for January 2008 was 291, unchanged from the 291 counted in December 2007 and up 15 from the 276 counted in January 2007. The international rig count for January 2008 reflects a 16 rig increase in Europe. Included in the European rig count is a 17 rig increase in Romania compared to December 2007. The increase in Romania is attributable to improved visibility and coverage of rig activity in the country as well as higher levels of overall activity. The US rig count for January 2008 was 1,749, down 62 from the 1,811 counted in December 2007 and up 35 from the 1,714 counted in January 2007. The Canadian rig count for January 2008 was 494, up 134 from the 360 counted in December 2007 and down 74 from the 568 counted in January 2007.
08:06 ARO Aeropostale reports Jan same store sales +4.7% vs +3.3% Briefing.com consensus; reaffirms Q4 EPS guidance (26.51 )
Co reaffirms EPS guidance for Q4 (Jan), sees EPS of $0.87 vs. $0.88 First Call consensus; preannounces Q4 (Jan) revs of $583.6 mln vs. $585.72 mln consensus.
08:06 MESA Mesa Air reports January traffic including go! Hawaii’s low fare airline (3.66 )
The co reports its preliminary traffic figures for January 2008. Year-over-year available seat miles decreased 11.76% in January 2008 to 690,205 compared to 782,157 in January 2007. Revenue passenger miles decreased 13.15% from 537,740 in 2007 to 467,045 in 2008. Passenger enplanements decreased 14.33% from 1,267,414 in January 2007 to 1,085,778 in January 2008. Year-over-year load factor for the month of January was 67.67% in 2008 compared to 68.75% in 2007. go!’s preliminary traffic figures for January 2008 indicate that its operations generated 11.02 million available seat miles, 6.43 million revenue passenger miles and 43,763 passenger enplanements, resulting in a load factor of 58.36%, compared to 58.41% in 2007. Hawai’i’s low fare leader also recorded an on-time performance rate of 92.5% and an overall completion factor of 99.9% for January 2008.
08:06 SNMX prelim ($0.15) vs ($0.21) First Call consensus; revs $6.4 mln vs $5.87 mln First Call consensus
08:05 Crude: Downward slide expected to continue – Caris
Caris reaffirms their view that the price of oil is headed lower as fundamentals ease thanks to the combination of higher OPEC production, building inventories and demand worries. Firm says technical analysis indicates that oil could well breach the $80/bbl level and they believe that this could occur by the end of the first quarter. Firm maintains their ’08 NYMEX WTI crude oil price forecast of $72.25/bbl. On the bright side, lower oil prices should ease consumers’ worries of $4/gallon gasoline at the pump this summer. A crude price drop would negatively impact crude-focused producers while benefiting refiners, particularly asphalt-focused producers such as Alon USA (ALJ) and Marathon (MRO).
08:05 RGEN Repligen reports Q4 EPS of ($0.01) vs ($0.05) First Call consensus; revs $4.6 mln vs $3.70 mln First Call consensus (6.42 )
We have previously met with the FDA to discuss the results of our Phase 2 clinical study of RG1068, synthetic human secretin, for MRI imaging of the pancreas and we believe that a single positive Phase 3 clinical trial of similar design to the Phase 2 study will be sufficient for an NDA filing. We have finalized the Phase 3 protocol and we plan to initiate the study later this quarter. We believe there may be more than 150,000 pancreatic MRI imaging procedures conducted in the U.S. each year that could benefit from the use of secretin.
08:05 CHUX reports Stoney River Q4 same store sales -4.5% vs -0.1% Briefing.com consensus
08:04 KUN China Shenghuo Pharma to market 12Ways Skin Care Products in the US through agreement with Home Shopping Group (5.04 )
08:04 JAS Jo-Ann Stores preannounces FY08 revs in-line (13.36 )
Co issues in-line guidance for FY08 (Jan), sees FY08 (Jan) revs of $1.88 bln vs. $1.88 bln First Call consensus. Same-store sales increased 3.3% in the fourth quarter and 3.5% for the full-year
08:04 PTIE prelim $0.02 vs $0.04 First Call consensus; revs $14.05 mln vs $14.83 mln First Call consensus
08:04 CHUX reports Ninety-Nine Q4 same store sales -2.6% vs 1.3% Briefing.com consensus
08:04 ORLY O’Reilly Auto enters into standstill agreement with CSK Auto (29.26 )
ORLY announces that it has entered into a Standstill Agreement with CSK Auto Corporation (CAO) and will participate in CAO’s previously announced process. O’Reilly does not intend to provide any further updates with regards to the standstill agreement.
08:04 GPS Gap Inc guides Q4 above consensus; reports Jan same store sales -2.0% vs -6.4% Briefing.com consensus (18.33 )
Co expects Q4 (Jan) EPS of $0.33-0.35 vs Fist Call consensus of $0.29 “January is a clearance month for our company and our brands focused on selling their holiday merchandise to make room for spring assortments…Despite the fact that we entered the month with more units than we had planned, our efforts to clear merchandise were successful and total company merchandise margins were slightly above last year.”
08:04 KTEC prelim $0.20 vs $0.19 First Call consensus; revs $28.9 mln vs $28.00 mln First Call consensus
08:04 PMTI prelim $0.22 vs $0.25 First Call consensus; revs $28.2 mln vs $31.16 mln First Call consensus
08:03 CHUX sees O’Charley’s Q4 same store sales -4.3% vs -1.7% Briefing.com consensus
08:03 BLL Ball Corp wins Warfighter Interface Research & Technology Operations Contract for $49 mln (44.23 )
08:03 ANF Abercrombie reports Jan same store sales 0.0% vs 0.0% Briefing.com consensus (18.37 )
Co issues in-line preannouncement for FY08 (Jan), sees FY08 (Jan) revs of $3.75 bln vs. $3.79 bln First Call consensus.
08:02 TMTA Transmeta announces engagement of financial advisor to help identify options to enhance shareholder value (13.76 )
The co announces that it has engaged Piper Jaffray to work with the co’s Board of Directors and management team to help identify options to enhance shareholder value. Piper Jaffray will also assist the co in evaluating and responding to the unsolicited, highly conditional, indication of interest from Riley Investment Management. The co also announced that the Board is undertaking a thorough and prompt assessment of the unsolicited indication of interest from RIM. The co noted that it does not expect to have completed that assessment by RIM’s requested February 8, 2008 date.
08:02 MGPI prelim $0.30 includes gain, not comparable vs $0.01 First Call consensus; revs $93.9 mln vs $100.55 mln First Call consensus
08:02 SHRP Sharper Image reports January same store sales -11% vs -10.0% Briefing.com consensus (2.28 )
08:02 CHUX sees Y08 same store sales flat or declining
08:02 BJ BJ’s Wholesale reports Jan same store sales +7.8% vs +4.6% Briefing.com consensus
08:02 RZ Raser Technologies: PG&E signs agreement to purchase plug-in hybrid SUVs from Raser Technologies (8.78 )
Pacific Gas and Electric (PCG) announces it has entered into an agreement with Raser Technologies(RZ) for the purchase and demonstration of two plug-in series hybrid electric sport utility vehicles. The vehicles are designed to achieve over 100 miles per gallon in typical daily driving, while operating in near zero emission mode.
08:02 CHUX sees FY08 $0.75-0.90 vs $0.92 First Call consensus
08:02 IP prelim $0.69 vs $0.65 First Call consensus; revs $5.84 bln vs $5.63 bln First Call consensus
08:02 NAPS Napster: Cantor reducing ests, tgt on lower sub growth assumptions (1.73 )
Cantor notes yesterday that NAPS reported fiscal 3Q08 results (Dec 2007 calendar quarter). The co reported rev of $32.8 mln, below their forecast of $33.4 mln. The shortfall was due primarily to the lack of growth in the co’s subscriber base. The co ended the quarter with 743k subs vs. their expectation of 860k. The co also exhibited a slower than expected ramp in mobile music sub growth. Firm has reduced their FY08 and FY09 ests based on the co’s updated guidance and firm’s new reduced subscriber assumptions. They have reduced their assumption for FY09-end subscriber total to 832k from 1.06 mln. Firm’s FY08 rev projection is reduced from $133 mln to $126.7 mln. Firm’s FY09 revenue projection is reduced from $156 mln to $128.5 mln.
08:02 S&P futures vs fair value: -9.6. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -28.5.
Stock futures point to a negative start. The Nasdaq 100 is set to underperform due to a disappointing outlook from Cisco (CSCO). January same-store sales have not been strong. Wal-Mart (WMT) reported a smaller sales increase than expected, although Costco (COST) managed to top its estimates. The Bank of England decided to cut rates by 25 basis points to 5.25% and the European Central Bank held rates steady at 4.00%. The banks’ decisions were expected. Bond insurer MBIA (MBI) is getting a boost on news of a $750 million common stock offering that may help the company retain its AAA rating.
08:02 STJ St. Jude Medical announces clinical study of deep brain stimulation for depression (40.63 )
Co announces it has received an Investigational Device Exemption from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin enrollment in a controlled, multi-site, blinded, clinical study of deep brain stimulation for major depressive disorder, a severe form of depression.
08:01 FDO Family Dollar reports January same store sales of 0.0% vs -0.2% breifing consensus (18.18 )
08:01 DDS Dillard’s reports Jan same store sales -12.0% vs -5.0% Briefing.com consensus (18.37 )
Co issues downside preannouncemet for FY08 (Jan), sees FY08 (Jan) revs of $7.20 bln vs. $7.38 bln First Call consensus.
08:01 CHUX announces that its Board of Directors have approved a $20 mln increase in the co’s share repurchase authorization
08:01 IMX Implant Sciences receives development contract from Department of Homeland Security (1.00 )
Co announces the award of a six month $100,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract by the Department of Homeland Security, Science & Technology Directorate for the development of a handheld trace explosives sampler.
08:01 LVLT prelim ($0.06) vs ($0.11) First Call consensus; revs $1.1 bln vs $1.08 bln First Call consensus
08:01 CHUX prelim $0.12 vs $0.20 First Call consensus; revs $215.2 mln vs $223.76 mln First Call consensus
08:00 ZANE Zanett Reiterates Fourth Quarter Guidance for Q4 Revenue to Rise 8-12%; $10 Million in New Contracts since January 1st – no ests
07:58 Cisco not the positive boost that EMS bulls were looking for – Citi
Citigroup says that CSCO’s report is not good news for the EMS co’s, since CSCO’s outlook is key for EMS demand visibility. Cisco commented that trends slowed in Jan below plan, and while many of the EMS companies claimed on their recent earnings conference calls that they are not seeing a slowdown, firm believes that a much more tempered EMS demand build is soon in the works. Firm says EMS company exposure to Cisco include: JBL >10%, SMOD 12%, CLS <10%, FLEX 6- 8%, SANM ~2%.
07:58 Northern Rock to be classified as Public-Sector company – WSJ
WSJ reports struggling mortgage lender Northern Rock will be reclassified as a public co and its debt brought on to the govt’s accounts, Britain’s Office for National Statistics said on Thursday. The move means that Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government will be at risk of breaching its rule to keep debt below 40% of gross domestic product income. The statistics office said the Newcastle-based lender would be classified as a “public financial corporation,” but stressed it wasn’t being nationalized.
07:58 ARJ sees FY08 $2.55-2.65 vs $2.62 First Call consensus
07:57 ARJ prelim $0.42, includes a $0.30 benefit, may not be comparable to $0.24 First Call consensus; revs $344.2 mln vs $336.27 mln First Call consensus
07:56 BONT Bon-Ton Stores reports Q4 revs of $1.14 bln vs $1.16 bln First Call consensus; Jan same store sales -1.3% vs -6.0% Briefing.com consensus (6.14 )
“January sales were slightly below expectations, but we are pleased with the early results of our semi-annual home sale that began in the third week of January. This is the first big event of the new season and we had double-digit increases as the customer responded favorably to our new spring assortment in both soft and hard home. Other businesses that performed well included shoes, petites and children’s. The weakest performing businesses were missy outerwear, dresses, juniors and furniture. As we enter the new fiscal year, we are comfortable with our inventory levels, which are down 4% on a comparable store basis. We are well-positioned to execute our merchandise strategies to drive our business.”
07:56 Senate Stimulus Bill fails to advance – WSJ
WSJ reports Senate Democrats’ plan to jump-start the economy failed to clear a hurdle, leaving in limbo the effort to provide rebate checks to mlns of people and tax breaks to businesses. Supporters of the Senate bill fell one vote short of the 60 needed to advance it, as most Republicans stuck together to oppose a plan for rebate checks of at least $500 to an estimated 135 mln households in this election year. Eight Republicans broke with their leadership and supported the bill, including four who are up for re-election. Senators still hope to send an economic-stimulus bill to President Bush by midmonth, though last night’s vote increases the chances the Senate will have to move closer to a House-passed package to meet that goal. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said the senator “is going to give Republicans another chance to reconsider their vote.”
07:55 ASPM Aspect Medical beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line; guides Q1 slightly below consensus (12.03 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.02 per share, $0.03 better than the First Call consensus of ($0.01); revenues fell 0.1% year/year to $23.9 mln vs the $23.9 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $(0.01)-0.00 vs. $0.01 consensus; sees Q1 revs of $23.5-24.5 mln vs. $24.8 mln consensus.
07:55 ALVR Alvarion: Lowered estimates set stage for potential positive momentum throughout the year – Susquehanna (7.80 ) -Update-
07:54 AU Anglogold reports Q4 results, issues Y08 production guidance (39.87 )
Co reports Q4 production 5% lower yr/yr at 1.37Moz, due to safety interventions in South Africa and the operational difficulties experienced at Geita gold mine in Tanzania. Co reports total costs of $404/oz, principally affected by lower production and currency movements. Adjusted headline earnings for Q4 were $18 mln, after deducting $64 mln in accounting adjustments, including tax provisions, rehabilitation and other adjustments. Co sees Y08 production of 4.8Moz-5.0Moz of gold at cash costs of $425-435/oz.
07:53 EXBD Corp Exec Bd: Color on quarter (51.82 )
Lehman notes last night, EXBD reported better-than-expected 4Q07 EPS, but disappointing 2008 guidance. Firm expects the shares to open significantly lower. However, key operating metrics were weak: 1) contract value up 10.7% (vs. +16.2% last Q & +15% est.); 2) the cross sell ratio to large clients fell seq. & y/y; 3) EXBD did not report sales headcount, which likely indicates it remains below plan, in their view; and 4) cash flows fell significantly y/y. Firm is reducing `08 and `09 EPS by $0.31 & $0.47 to $2.05 and $2.32 (-5% & +13% y/y, resp.). Firm is also cutting their target to $42. They expect EXBD to fall sharply this morning as investors recalibrate valuation to level more appropriate for low/no growth outlook. Firm recommends waiting for concrete signs of progress before becoming more aggressive… Robert Baird notes Q4 contract value came in well below expectations, which they attribute to sales force turnover/productivity challenges as well as macro economic weakness, and will result in substantially lower revenue and earnings growth in 2008 than previously expected. Firm is cutting their FY08 EPS est to $2.10 from $2.50 and lowering their tgt to $45. Maintaining Neutral rating with the expectation that the stock will open sharply lower ($40 Brenton Flynn or below).
07:52 ANN AnnTaylor sees FY07 revs in-line with guidance; Jan same store sales 0.0% vs -3.6% Briefing.com consensus (24.02 +0.47)
The co sees FY07 revs of $2.40 bln vs $2.40 bln First Call consensus.
07:51 AWR Amer States Water sees Q4 higher operating expenses and lower water sales yr/yr (34.34 )
Co’s Q4 billed water sales were down approx 5% yr/yr due to weather changes and increased conservation efforts.
07:48 GSK GlaxoSmithKline 4Q profit dips; sees tough 2008 – DJ (45.88 )
DJ reports the co posted a declining fourth-quarter pretax profit, hit by falling sales of diabetes drug Avandia, competition from cut-price generic medicines and a weak dollar. The co also warned that 2008 earnings will be hit by the continued decline of Avandia sales, together with increased competition from cut-price generics in the U.S. At constant exchange rates, underlying earnings per share in 2008 are expected to show a mid-single digit percentage decline, GlaxoSmithKline said. Although GSK has one of strongest drug pipelines in the industry, its top-selling products have either suffered serious setbacks or are due to lose patent protection, while the U.S. approval of potential blockbuster vaccine Cervarix, which protects against cervical cancer, is still on hold.
07:47 ASPM sees Q1 ($0.01)-0.00 vs $0.01 First Call consensus; sees revs $23.5-24.5 mln vs $24.8 mln First Call consensus
07:47 MBI MBIA Inc: Ups capital plans – FBR (14.28 )
Friedman Billings is maintaining their Market Perform rating following the co’s announced next phase of its capital initiatives, increasing its planned capital raise from $500 mln to $750 mln through the issuance of common stock. Warburg is offering to backstop the deal through a convertible participating preferred stock offering. The increased capital and continued commitment from Warburg moves MBI further away from their projected worst case runoff scenario, in which regulators take aggressive action to trap capital at the operating subsidiary. However, it remains unclear whether the additional $250 mln will be enough to placate the rating agencies, especially Fitch, which has recently stated that higher levels of losses may be inconsistent with a triple-A rating, regardless of capital levels. While firm suspects that the rating agencies have been consulted about the capital plan, it is difficult to gain any confidence that the rating agencies’ capital requirements will not change going forward, as they frequently have over the last few months.
07:47 CME CME Group: Citigroup comments on DOJ letter; believe CME’s shares could rebound in the short-term (485.25 ) -Update-
Citigroup notes that CME fell 18% yesterday following a Dept of Justice letter suggesting that exchanges ownership of “clearing” was anti-competitive. Both CME and NMX defended their vertical models in press releases. They note the CFTC (regulates futures) also released a scathing response to the DOJ’s position and effectively supported CME by noting CFTC’s market neutral/more hands off approach. Virtually all of the firm’s futures industry contacts believe the likelihood of the DOJ letter turning into a tangible action forcing clearing away from CME is very low (they would agree). While the issues noted above put a cloud over the stock, they believe CME’s shares could rebound in the short-term as the initial panic subsides, but a lack of recovery would be a bad sign for the sector.
07:46 SCSS Select Comfort downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Morgan Keegan (7.15 )
07:46 ASPM prelim $0.02 vs ($0.01) First Call consensus; revs $23.9 mln vs $23.9 mln First Call consensus
07:45 CAO CSK Auto enters into standstill agreement with O’Reilly Automotive (9.10 )
Co announces that it has entered in a Standstill Agreement with O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY) to share non-public information relating to CAO’s business as a part of the CAO Board of Directors’ ongoing review of strategic alternatives. “Our Board is currently exploring alternatives for preserving and maximizing stockholder value and, in connection with this effort, more than 20 parties have been granted access to non-public information related to CAO’s business,” said Larry Mondry, CAO’s President and CEO. “We are pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement with O’Reilly that will enable them to participate in our process.”
07:45 ECONX As expected, the ECB leaves rates unchanged at 4.00%
07:44 BR Broadridge Financial reports Q2 results above consensus; issues FY08 guidance (23.00 )
Co reports Q2 $0.21 vs $0.16 First Call consensus; revs $474.4 mln vs $436.65 mln First Call consensus. Co sees FY08 at higher end of $1.30-1.40 vs $1.34 First Call consensus. “We are pleased with our second quarter revenue and earnings, which continue to be enhanced by market activity. Increased trading volume continues to provide positive momentum, although it provided less benefit this quarter than in our first quarter. Event-driven revenue was a more significant contributor this quarter than it was in our first quarter. Our operating margin increased, largely as a result of the inherent operating scale in our business. We believe that our strong second quarter performance and volume trends move us towards the higher end of our $1.30-1.40 earnings per share guidance range… The first half of our fiscal year has provided a great start. However, we do not expect to see the same magnitude of positive year-over-year performance in our financial results in the second half of the year. Markets are difficult to predict, therefore our guidance does not contemplate any major change in the markets we serve that could result in a significant change in market activity.”
07:44 BT BT Group 3Q net profit -1%, misses revenue targets – DJ (50.68 )
DJ reports the co posted a 1% drop in third-quarter net profit and missed revenue targets, as competition in the broadband mkt took its toll. The former telecommunication monopoly saw net profit for the three months to Dec. 31 drop to GBP461 mln from GBP465 mln, while revenue fell short of analysts’ expectations, growing slightly to GBP5.15 bln from GBP5.13 bln.
07:44 TRA Terra Industries beats by $0.02, beats on revs (42.67 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.66 per share, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.64; revs rose 26.8% yr/yr to $570 mln.
07:44 KVHI KVH Industries beats by $0.02, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS in-line, revs in-line; guides FY08 EPS in-line, revs above consensus (7.96 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.06 per share, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.04; revenues rose 13.2% year/year to $19.7 mln vs the $18.8 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.08-$0.12 vs. $0.10 consensus; sees Q1 revs of $23-$25 mln vs. $23.81 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $0.36-$0.44 vs. $0.43 consensus. Says FY08 revs will grow in the range of 14%-20%, compared to fiscal year 2007 (calculates to roughly $92.2-$97 mln vs $89.5 mln consensus).
07:43 STD Banco Santander Q4 net profit down 6% on Sovereign Write-Down – DJ (16.69 )
DJ Reports the bank said fourth-quarter net profit fell 6% as the bank took a EUR737 mln write-down in its main U.S. investment. Spain’s largest bank by assets said quarterly net profit fell to EUR2.49 bln from EUR2.65 bln in the fourth quarter of 2006. Underlying fourth-quarter net profit rose 29% to EUR2.12 bln from EUR1.64 bln, helped by solid revenue expansion across Europe and Latin America. Fourth-quarter net interest income grew 20% to EUR2.92 bln from EUR3.27 bln. Analysts called for quarterly net profit, excluding extraordinary gains and charges, at EUR2 bln, while net interest income was expected at EUR3.96 bln.
07:42 SAM Boston Beer Co initiated with an Overweight at HSBC- tgt $43 (36.93 )
07:42 LH Laboratory Corp beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides FY08 revs in-line (73.41 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.04 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the First Call consensus of $1.01; revenues rose 11.9% year/year to $1.01 bln vs the $0.99 bln consensus. Co issues guidance for FY08, sees FY08 EPS of $4.73-4.88 pre the acquisition of additional partnership units of its Ontario Canada based JV, and $4.74-4.90 post JV transaction vs. $4.33 bln consensus; co sees revs up 7-8% pre-JV transaction and up 13-14.3% post-JV transaction.
07:42 DSW DSW pre-announces Q4 revs $332.5 mln vs $337.79 mln First Call consensus, reports same store sales -1.7% (18.06 )
07:41 ARUN Aruba Networks downgraded to Average at Caris- tgt $12 (8.09 )
Caris downgrades ARUn to Average from Above average and cuts their tgt to $12 from $18 saying with approx 70% exposure in the N.A market combined with strong presence in the enterprise and retail sector, they believe ARUN may be impacted by shrinking I.T budgets combined with delays in spending. As a result, they are taking a cautious approach and recommending investors to stay on the sidelines for now.
07:39 MDTH Medcath reports Q1 (Dec) results, revs in-line (25.83 )
Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $0.15 per share, includes items, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.29; revenues fell 6.7% year/year to $163.7 mln vs the $163.9 mln consensus.
07:39 LH prelim $1.04 vs $1.01 First Call consensus; revs $1.01 bln vs $992.55 mln First Call consensus
07:39 RACK Rackable Systems: Color on quarter (7.99 ) -Update-
Merriman says RACK reported 4Q07 rev of $111.6 mln, up 28% sequentially, and ahead of their $105.7 mln est and the Street’s $106.3 mln est. Non-GAAP gross margin increased to 21.7% vs. 19.2% last quarter and was nicely ahead of firm’s 18.9% est. Proforma EPS was $0.18, which was ahead of their $0.06 est and the street’s $0.05 est. The co generated $46 mln in cash from operations in FY07, and total cash is now $198 mln or around $7.00 per share. The co expects to generate at least this amount in FY08… Thomas Weisel says RACK reported positive 4Q07 results on better-than-expected gross margin expansion. RACK reported 4Q07 rev of $112 mln and EPS of $0.18, above TWP ests of $109 mln and $0.05 and consensus ests of $106 mln and $0.05. Non-GAAP gross margin improved from 19.2% to 21.7%, which primarily drove the positive EPS upside. Firm notes that the non-GAAP 21.7% gross margin reported for the quarter was 130bp above the high end of implied guidance of 20.4%. The EPS result for the Dec quarter excludes an estimated $0.74 of a one-time impairment of goodwill as well as $0.09 of recurring non-cash items…
07:39 SBH Sally Beauty misses by $0.01, misses on revs (7.44 )
Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $0.08 per share, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.09; revenues rose 4.1% year/year to $655.8 mln vs the $662.8 mln consensus.
07:38 AKAM Akamai Tech: Color on quarter (28.73 ) -Update-
Citigroup states AKAM reported 4Q results with upside to both rev and EPS. They recommend investors use recent market/AKAM share weakness as an opportunity to build/add to positions in AKAM. Firm sees the strong 4Q results and ’08 guidance as sentiment changing catalysts. They think the bear arguments of customer defections, competition and pricing pressure will fade with each passing Q they fail to materialize. While AKAM’s rev growth will decelerate from almost 50%/year over the last two years; firm expects ~25% rev and EPS CAGR through 2009 will afford the shares a significantly higher multiple than the current 18x. While AKAM is unlikely to be totally immune from economic weakness; it should have relatively superior growth… Merriman expects AKAM’s gross margin to continue to decline through 2008 and beyond as a result of both increased competition and volume discounting. At the same time, top-line and EBITDA growth appears to be reverting to that of its peer group, which consequently reduces its premium valuation. Firm still believes the acquisition of Nine Systems and Netli will prove to be very strong acquisitions and that Akamai is now in a better position strategically to maintain its dominant market share, however they believe this is reflected in its current share price… Friedman Billings notes last night AKAM reported very strong 4Q07 results, with upside to rev, margins, and EPS. Management provided 2008 revenue and EPS guidance that was ahead of consensus. Declining gross margins continue to be more than offset by larger deals, increased bandwidth demand, adoption of value-added services, and operating leverage. This has driven operating and EBITDA margin expansion, which they expect to continue. Firm also believe ARPU will continue to move higher, thanks to increases in volume and the adoption of value-added services.
07:38 GHDX Genomic Health upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC (22.79 )
07:37 GOT Gottschalks reports preliminary revs of $204.4 mln (no estimates), same store sales decrease 8.5% (2.57 )
Reports preliminary Q4, 13 week, revenue of $204.4 mln (no estimates), down 14.2% from 14-week Q4 period in FY06. Same store sales for the comparable 13-week period decreased 8.5% from 4Q06.
07:37 ALVR Alvarion: Cautious outlook requires a more critical look at the competitive landscape; lowering ests – Merriman (7.80 ) -Update-
Merriman says that despite posting solid 4Q07 results, they continue to see two factors contributing to ALVR’s tepid FY08 outlook – namely increasing competitive pressure from larger rivals, and growing concerns about the viability of the fixed wireless broadband business model. While the negative effects of interest and exchange rates will not help matters, firm believes the market should focus on the bigger picture heading into 2008. That is, can Alvarion compete with the tier1’s in urban mobile applications, and if not, can it deliver operating leverage serving its current markets?
07:37 SMRT Stein Mart sees Q4 EPS and revs above consensus; reports Jan same store sales -2.5% vs -8.0% Briefing.com consensus (5.45 )
Guides Q4 EPS of ($0.28-0.33) vs ($0.44) First Call consensus; revs $417.4 mln vs $402.50 mln First Call consensus. Co also suspends quarterly dividend.
07:37 RAI Reynolds American reports EPS in-line, misses on revs (64.56 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.15 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $1.15; revenues rose 7.8% year/year to $2.23 bln vs the $2.28 bln consensus. Co also sees FY08 EPS mid-single-digit percentage growth, up from 2007 adjusted EPS of $4.57. The co also says “And we plan to deliver mid- single-digit growth over the next several years.”
07:37 SPR Spirit Aerosystems reports Q4 (Dec) results, misses on revs; reaffirms FY08 EPS guidance, revs guidance (27.15 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.54 per share, includes $0.02 of expense associated with the co’s evaluation of Airbus’ European manufacturing sites, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.56; revenues rose 15.0% year/year to $980 mln vs the $1055.8 mln consensus. Co reaffirms guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $2.30-2.40 vs. $2.42 consensus; sees FY08 revs of approx $4.7 bln vs. $4.71 bln consensus.
07:37 ABCO Advisory Board profiled in New America section of IBD (54.70 )
IBD reports medicare and Medicaid reimbursement get lower. Nursing shortages are acute. And costs keep rising. Despite the challenges, though, some hospitals and medical organizations have figured out innovative ways to make ends meet. Advisory Board makes sure those tricks don’t remain a secret. The co conducts research and disseminates best practices to hospitals, pharmaceutical cos and others in the $2.3 trillion U.S. health care field. There’s some growth there. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services say spending on health care has been climbing about 7%. It expects that to continue through at least 2016. But Advisory Board has grown faster… The co is branching out to advise colleges and universities. “We think that’s going to be an important market for them,” said Brandt Sakakeeny, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities. “There’s really no one targeting it right now.” Advisory Board says college and universities are a logical place to expand. Higher-education leaders face similar challenges, such as rising expectations, increased public scrutiny and issues of affordability and access… Hospitals and other medical groups typically aren’t shy about sharing their data and know-how with Advisory Board. There also is a spirit of cooperation in the medical field, the co says. Hospitals typically don’t view distant facilities as direct competition.
07:37 NBR Nabors Ind: International markets could provide catalyst – FBR (28.95 ) -Update-
Friedman Billings notes NBR reported operating EPS of $0.70 vs. consensus of $0.73, including a $0.04 loss from investing but excluding an $0.08 gain from oil and gas activities. Headline EPS was $0.78. Firm believes market sentiment may have bottomed for NBR; however, the timing of a North American activity rebound is elusive at present and may not occur until 2009, given the pending growth in LNG imports into the U.S. later this year. If Nabors’ management is correct and the bottom is near for the U.S. land rig market, its strong international growth could finally start to garner some appreciation.
07:36 AMLN Amylin Pharms: ACCORD Trial data may point to weight as culprit – Friedman Billings (30.50 ) -Update-
Friedman Billings notes yesterday morning, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute announced they are discontinuing treatment for patients enrolled in the intensive arm of the ACCORD study in Type II diabetes due to a higher number of deaths reported in that arm relative to the standard-treatment arm (257 vs. 203). Because Byetta was one of the drugs used in the intensive arm, the stock market interpreted this news as a negative for AMLN. Firm does not think it’s a negative. In fact, even though NHLBI said there was no single culprit, it is possible that insulin will emerge as the more risky of these drugs, certainly for patients with existing heart problems. In that case, Byetta-which causes weight loss on average-could emerge as an insulin alternative. Firm continues to believe LAR is a best-in-class drug that should garner at least $3 billion in worldwide peak sales.
07:36 BDC Belden beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS in-line, revs in-line (40.68 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.83 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.82; revenues rose 54.3% year/year to $584.6 mln vs the $572 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $3.45-$3.75 vs. $3.62 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $2.2-$2.3 bln vs. $2.27 bln consensus.
07:36 NANX Nanophase Tech: Expect weakness in housing to continue to impact business – Broadpoint Capital (3.72 )
Broadpoint Capital does not expect much of a surprise from Dec. results. Firm expects NANX to report an in-line 4Q:CY07 as in mid-January, Nanophase announced that 4Q revs would come in at approx $2.6 mln. This would represent 21% rev growth from 4Q:CY06 revs of $2.17 mln. At $2.6 mln, fourth-quarter 2007 revs would represent the highest fourth quarter in the co’s history. Firm’s channel checks at several Home Depot stores from different regions of the country indicate that while BEHR’s newly launched exterior paint Premium Plus had seen good traction with customers in the second and third quarters of CY07, painting activity in general has declined given the recent housing slowdown, consumer worries, and seasonality.
07:35 TNH Terra Nitrogen reports Q4 EPS of $3.59 vs $2.60 single analyst est (135.82 )
TNH’s 2007 earnings improvement over those of 2006 was due to higher sales volumes and selling prices, and lower natural gas costs. 2007 results were affected by the same factors affecting fourth quarter results: strong commodity grain prices driven by low global grain inventories and a tight global nitrogen supply/demand balance.
07:35 RAI for FY08 EPS sess Mid-single-digit percentage growth, up from 2007 adjusted EPS of $4.57
07:35 CCJ Cameco: Weaker results and guidance; acquisitions hold promise; lowering tgt to $41 – FBR (31.85 ) -Update-
Friedman Billings is lowering their 2008 and 2009 ests to C$2.35 and C$2.69 from $2.65 and $3.19, respectively. Firm lowers their price tgt to $41/share. 2008 guidance was weaker than they anticipated on lower production forecast and higher costs, but offset by higher gold production and prices at Centerra Gold. A ray of hope was reported on the Cigar Lake remediation. Firm welcomed hearing mgmt on the conference call emphasizing the resiliency of the long-term uranium price index at $95/lb, despite the short-term spot price volatility. In terms of co specific catalysts for stock, firm believes potential acquisitions and progress on Cigar Lake will be most important this year. On the macro front, firm expects shares to rebound gradually with spot uranium prices.
07:35 ADS Alliance Data’s Canadian Loyalty business signs multi-year renewal with real estate Century21 Canada (51.37 )
07:34 CSCO Cisco Systems: Color on quarter (23.08 ) -Update-
Wachovia expects significant N.T. pressure with shares remaining range bound over coming months. They state that CSCO’s reduced growth forecast has left investors with a VERY tough call. Cisco is clearly seeing more macro-driven downward pressure than previously expected. January orders missed expectations and therefore have resulted in the company reducing growth to 10% yr/yr looking into FQ3’08. Firm also highlights the fact that the co will see tough comps looking out over the next 3-4 qtrs, weakening service provider growth in Europe, ongoing questions around organic growth trends; coupled with what appears to be a worsening level of global economic uncertainty… Citigroup says that although firm anticipated a modest take-down was likely, the magnitude and abruptness with respect to the deceleration will generate more questions than answers over the next several months as investors look for the second shoe to drop. Firm cuts tgt to $25 from $28… Jefferies says CSCO provided cautious outlook for April quarter as it experienced significant slowdown in month of January, with two largest regions U.S. and Europe softening. Despite the challenging environment, firm believes CSCO could fair well due to its broad product, customer and geographic diversification.
07:34 TRA prelim $0.66 vs $0.64 First Call consensus; revs $570 mln
07:34 FNLY Finlay Enterprises reports preliminary revs above consensus; comparable store sales decrease 6.4% (1.72 )
Reports preliminary revs of $383.4 mln vs consensus of $373.56 mln. Comparable store sales for Q4 decreased 6.4%.
07:34 KVHI sees FY08 $0.36-0.44 vs $0.43 First Call consensus
07:33 RAI prelim $1.15 vs $1.15 First Call consensus; revs $2.23 bln vs $2.28 bln First Call consensus
07:33 KVHI sees Q1 $0.08-0.12 vs $0.10 First Call consensus; sees revs $23-25 mln vs $23.81 mln First Call consensus
07:33 SPR sees FY08 $2.30-2.40 vs $2.42 First Call consensus; sees revs approx $4.7 bln vs $4.71 bln First Call consensus
07:33 BDC sees FY08 $3.45-3.75 vs $3.62 First Call consensus; sees revs $2.2-2.3 bln vs $2.27 bln First Call consensus
07:33 KVHI prelim $0.06 vs $0.04 First Call consensus; revs $19.7 mln vs $18.82 mln First Call consensus
07:33 COGO Comtech partners with Freescale Semiconductoer to design automotive solutions in China; expects new business in 2H2008 (10.55 )
The co announces it is forming a breakthrough alliance with Freescale Semiconductor, one of the world’s largest semiconductor cos for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. Using Comtech’s innovative business model, the cos expect to generate meaningful results by the second half of 2008.
07:32 JWN Nordstrom reports Jan same store sales -6.6% vs -0.6% Briefing.com consensus (36.33 )
Co pre-reports Q4 (Jan) revenue of $2.51 bln vs $2.58 bln First Call consensus.
07:32 SPR prelim $0.54 vs $0.56 First Call consensus; revs $980 mln vs $1.06 bln First Call consensus
07:32 MDTH prelim $0.15, may not compare to the $0.29 First Call consensus; revs $163.7 mln vs $163.93 mln First Call consensus
07:32 BDC prelim $0.83 vs $0.82 First Call consensus; revs $584.6 mln vs $571.95 mln First Call consensus
07:32 FNLY reports Q4 prelimary revs of $383.4 mln vs consensus of 373.56 mln
07:32 CBK Christopher & Banks reports January same store sales -6% vs -2.8% Briefing.com consensus (11.75 )
Co sees Q4 EPS of ($0.05)-($0.07) vs $0.03 consensus.
07:31 SBH prelim $0.08 vs $0.09 First Call consensus; revs $655.8 mln vs $662.84 mln two analyst est
07:31 BR sees FY08 $1.30-1.40 vs $1.34 First Call consensus
07:31 MPAA Motorcar Parts & Access. names David Lee as the new CFO; previous CFO Mervyn McCullouch, will become Chief Acquisitions Officer (7.21 )
07:31 BR prelim $0.21 vs $0.16 First Call consensus; revs $474.4 mln vs $436.65 mln First Call consensus
07:30 CHTP Chelsea Therapeutics begins patient dosing in pivotal phase III trial of droxidopa in neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (6.12 +0.11)
Co announces that it has initiated patient dosing in study 302, the first of two pivotal Phase III trials designed to demonstrate efficacy and support US marketing of approval of Droxidopa in neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. It is anticipated that both pivotal studies will be completed by year-end 2008, allowing for a new drug application to be filed with the FDA early in 2009.
07:28 WMT Wal-Mart reports Jan same store sales +0.5% vs +2.1% Briefing.com consensus; reaffirms Q4 EPS guidance (48.83 )
Unfavorable weather negatively affected overall general merchandise sales, especially in the Midwest. Gift card redemptions were below expectations, and customers appear to be holding gift cards longer and using them more often for food and consumables rather than discretionary purchases. Co reaffirms guidance for Q4 (Jan), sees EPS of $0.99-1.03 vs. $1.02 First Call consensus. Co sees Feb same store sales flat to +2%.
07:26 CTR Cato reports Jan same store sales +1.0% vs -7.0% Briefing.com consensus; Reaffirms 4Q and Full Year EPS Estimate (15.65 )
Co reports Q4 net sales of $209.4 mln vs $207.4 mln consensus. Co reaffirms Q4 EPS will be at the low end of the ($0.08)-$0.00 range, vs ($0.08) consensus. Reaffirms full year EPS in range of $0.99-$1.07 (vs $0.99 consensus).
07:25 TIN Temple-Inland: Hearing downgraded to neutral from buy at tier 1 firm (17.29 )
07:24 CME CME Group: WSJ article discusses yesterday’s DOJ letter & CFTC response (485.25 )
WSJ reports that Chicago Mercantile Exchange parent CME countered against a Justice Department recommendation that futures exchanges not be allowed to own or control lucrative “clearing” businesses that process trades. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees futures exchange, is reviewing the Justice Department letter. A spokeswoman for the agency said that “the CFTC is charged not only with encouraging fair competition, but also enhancing financial integrity and minimizing systemic risk.” One CFTC commissioner, Bart Chilton, criticized the letter as “troubling.” In a statement, he wrote: “The DOJ staff letter has, unfortunately, roiled the markets; this is precisely the kind of behavior that government regulators are supposed to take ordinary care and attention to avoid.” The Treasury Department will make a decision on the recommendation as part of a new blueprint for financial markets regulation due to be outlined later this spring, a Treasury spokeswoman said.
07:24 PLD ProLogis beats by $0.11; guides FY08 FFO in-line (55.70 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $0.79 per share, $0.11 better than the First Call consensus of $0.68; total revs are up 29.1% yr/yr to $799.9 mln. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees FFO of $4.65-4.85 vs. $4.83 consensus.
07:24 WMG Warner Music Group downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill (6.94 )
07:23 DTV DIRECTV upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Merrill (22.81 )
07:23 UL Unilever PLC fourth-quarter profit drops on job-cut costs – Bloomberg.com (31.20 )
Bloomberg.com reports co reported a 64% decline in Q4 earnings because of costs to reduce jobs. Net income was $1.05 bln, down from a year earlier. Unilever said the U.S. market is “softening” and European growth will “moderate” in the current quarter. Fourth-quarter sales rose 6.1%, the most in five years, as Unilever raised prices in Europe to counter surging raw-material costs. (UL UN)
07:22 PLD reaffirms FY08 funds from operations of $4.65-4.85 vs $4.83 First Call consensus
07:21 DO Diamond Offshore misses by $0.07, misses on revs (110.30 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.61 per share, $0.07 worse than the First Call consensus of $1.68; revenues rose 15.3% year/year to $666.7 mln vs the $680.7 mln consensus.
07:21 TGX Theragenics reports Q4 EPS of $0.03; revs increased 2.7% (3.80 )
Reports Q4 EPS of $0.03 compared with $0.12 YoY; revs increased 2.7% to $15.2 mln vs $14.8 mln YoY. “We are also actively pursuing continued growth and diversification through acquisitions.”
07:20 PRICE Filings, Offerings, Pricings and IPOs
Filings: Javelin Pharmaceutic (JAV) files for a $60 mln mixed shelf offering… Particle Drilling (PDRT) files for a $20 mln mixed shelf offering… Pricings: Biodel (BIOD 15.95) prices a 3.81 mln share common stock secondary offering at $154.50/share.
07:20 PLD prelim funds from operations of $0.79 includes items may not be comp vs $0.68 First Call consensus
07:20 AHII Animal Health Intl reports Q2 (Dec) results, beats on revs; guides FY08 revs in-line (11.95 )
Reports Q2 (Dec) earnings of $0.23 per share, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.29; revenues rose 19.3% year/year to $203.2 mln vs the $190.4 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $700-730 mln vs. $707.54 mln consensus; co reaffirms EBITDA guidance of $38-40 mln.
07:18 PENN Penn Natl Gaming misses by $0.05, misses on revs (50.13 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.36 per share, $0.05 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.41; revenues rose 2.3% year/year to $585.8 mln vs the $593.3 mln consensus. Note that on June 15, 2007, the co announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by certain funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group. The co is seeking to complete the merger late in 2Q08.
07:18 BKRS Bakers Footwear reports preliminary Q4 revs slightly below consensus; comparable sales decrease 6.8% (3.12 ) -Update-
Reports Q4 preliminary revenues of $54.7 mln vs the $54.98 mln consensus. Comparable store sales for Q4 decreased 6.8%, compared to a 13.8% decrease for 4Q06. Co states, “…As we begin fiscal 2008, we are pleased with our positioning, having ended the quarter with inventories in excellent shape, and with added liquidity from our recent financing transaction. This, combined with early favorable reads on spring product, positions us well for a rebound in 2008.”
07:18 SPC Spectrum Brands misses by $0.03, misses on revs (4.58 )
Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $0.06 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.09; revenues fell 0.7% year/year to $560.5 mln vs the $594.1 mln consensus.
07:18 NWY New York & Co pre-reports JanQ revs below consensus, affirms prior EPS guidance (5.42 )
Co pre-reports Q4 (Jan) revenue of $359.4 mln vs First Call consensus of $380 mln. Same store sales declined 3.5%. Co remains comfortable with Q4 guidance it gave on Jan 14. Expects EPS of $0.15-0.19 vs $0.18 consensus. Co says that while its expects FY08 to remain challenging, it is pleased with the early response to its new Spring product and the appeal of its assortments coupled with continued tight control of inventory and expenses have the co positioned solidly.
07:17 MLNM Millennium Pharm reports Q4 results (14.41 )
Co reports Q4 EPS of $0.13 vs $0.13 First Call consensus; revs $181.2 mln vs $159.47 mln First Call consensus. “In 2008, the Company is focused on elevating its success by maximizing the launch of VELCADE in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, initiating a pivotal trial program with MLN0002 in inflammatory bowel disease and achieving our financial guidance.”
07:17 CNMD CONMED beats by $0.06, beats on revs (24.24 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.44 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the single estimate of $0.38; revenues rose 11.6% year/year to $189.6 mln vs the $180.7 mln single estimate.
07:17 ELNK EarthLink beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line (6.67 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.19 per share, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $0.15; revenues fell 14.1% year/year to $281.9 mln vs the $281 mln consensus.
07:16 MKSI MKS Instruments beats by $0.08, beats on revs; guides Q1 (Mar) EPS in-line, revs in-line (17.89 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.33 per share, $0.08 better than the First Call consensus of $0.25. Co issues upside guidance for Q1 (Mar), sees EPS of 0.28-0.35 vs. $0.26 consensus; sees Q1 (Mar) revs of 180-190 mln vs. $173.33 mln consensus.
07:16 TMA Thornburg Mortg upgraded to Neutral at Credit Suisse- tgt $12 (12.77 )
Credit Suisse upgrades TMA to Neutral from Underperform and raised their tgt to $12 from $5 following earnings. The firm says TMA had a net spread of 71 bps in the third quarter compared to a “normalized” spread of 65 bps in September. The spread should have additional improvement in the first quarter as TMA has $18.1 bln of fixedrate assets funded with floating-rate debt. Additionally the firm says TMA has seen a 20- 30 bp reduction in its financing spreads from the widest levels. Thornburg indicated on the conference call that it was adding assets at a 250 bp spread today.
07:15 DO prelim $1.61 vs $1.68 First Call consensus; revs $666.7 mln vs $680.67 mln First Call consensus
07:15 TBL Timberland beats by $0.01, misses on revs (15.93 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.52 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.51; revenues fell 9.3% year/year to $442.7 mln vs the $460.2 mln consensus. TBL sees Y08 low-single digit revenue declines.
07:14 PEP PepsiCo beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides for FY08 (66.73 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.80 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.79; revenues rose 16.8% year/year to $12.35 bln vs the $11.56 bln consensus. PEP intends to repurchase approx $4.3 bln in 2008. For 2008, the Company expects 3% to 5% volume growth, mid-to-high single digit net revenue growth and EPS of at least $3.72 vs $3.74 consensus. The Company expects total worldwide input cost inflation to be in the mid-single-digit range. The tax rate is expected to be about 27.5%.
07:14 VLNC Valence Tech reports Q3 EPS of ($0.05), revs up 48% YoY (1.49 )
Reports Q3 earnings of ($0.05) from $0.06 per share YoY; revenues rose 47.8% year/year to $3.4 mln.
07:14 CONN Conns reports Q4, comparable store sales (18.04 )
Co reports Q4 revs up 6% yr/yr to $200.6 mln vs $235.7 mln consensus. Co reports Q4 same store sales +1.9%.
07:14 ABMD Abiomed reports Q3 results, issues FY08 guidance (14.58 )
Co reports Q3 EPS of ($0.26) vs ($0.21) First Call consensus; revs rose 24% YoY to $16.0 mln vs $15.03 mln First Call consensus. ABMD sees FY08 revs $58-62 mln vs $59.22 mln First Call consensus.
07:13 CXW Corrections Corp beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS in-line; guides FY08 EPS in-line (23.02 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.28 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.27; revenues rose 11.1% year/year to $386.4 mln vs the $382.4 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.26-$0.28 vs. $0.28 consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $1.21-$1.28 vs. $1.24 consensus.
07:13 SIRO Sirona Dental Systems: Upgrade details (29.88 )
As mentioned at 6:43 BofA upgraded SIRO to Buy from Neutral and maintains their $39 tgt, based on fundamental expectations that are low and current valuation implications of trough levels.
07:13 EPEX Edge Petroleum announces 2007 production and provides an update to its strategic alternative review process (6.48 )
Co announces that its estimated production volume for 2007 was 24.1 billion cubic feet equivalent, an increase of 40% over 2006… Providing an update on Edge’s strategic assessment process announced December 18, 2007, co is continuing to conduct a thorough review and assessment of Edge’s strengths and weaknesses, competitive position and asset base. After careful analysis, co believes that the best route to maximize shareholder value at this time is to focus on an assessment of a potential merger or sale of Edge. Co is moving quickly to implement a process to explore this strategic alternative.
07:12 ENER Energy Conversion beats by $0.05, beats on revs; guides Q3 revs in-line; guides FY08 revs in-line (23.90 )
Reports Q2 (Dec) loss of $0.08 per share, $0.05 better than the First Call consensus of ($0.13); revenues rose 146.3% year/year to $56.4 mln vs the $52.7 mln consensus. Revenues from the company’s solar business were $51.7 million, or 92% of total revenues. Gross margins in the solar business were 19.2%, co had guided for 15-16%. Co issues in-line guidance for Q3, sees Q3 revs of $65-70 mln vs. $65.55 mln consensus; expects gross margins in the range of 21-23%. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $235-245 mln (co narrowed to the high end of previous guidance of $220-245 mln) vs. $241.90 mln consensus. laminates. Co remains confident that they will reach sustainable profitability by the fiscal fourth quarter, expects gross margins to be 23-25% in Q4.
07:12 ARQL ArQule misses by $0.02, misses on revs; guides FY08 revs below consensus (5.22 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.33 per share, $0.02 worse than the First Call consensus of ($0.31); revenues rose 52.1% year/year to $2.5 mln vs the $2.7 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $10.0-10.5 mln vs. $15.65 mln consensus.
07:12 MCO Moody’s beats by $0.13, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS above consensus (33.51 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.60 per share, $0.13 better than the First Call consensus of $0.47; revenues fell 14.4% year/year to $504.9 mln vs the $481.7 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $2.17-2.25 vs. $2.13 consensus. Co also says “for Moody’s overall, FY08 revenue is expected to decline in the low double-digit percent range. This decline assumes foreign currency translation in 2008 at current exchange rates. We anticipate a weak first half of 2008 with improvement in market liquidity and issuance conditions later in the year. Under this scenario, we note that Moody’s first half 2008 performance is likely to reflect unusually weak market conditions, as well as challenging year-on-year comparisons against the first half of 2007 when Moody’s delivered record performance. Excluding the 2007 restructuring charge, we expect the full-year 2008 operating margin to decline to the mid- to high-forties percent range, due primarily to lower ratings revenue. Full-year expenses are expected to be about flat to full year 2007, excluding the restructuring charge, as the annualized impact of new hires added in the first half of 2007 and investments we continue to make in the growing areas of our business will be offset by savings from our restructuring actions….”
07:11 STST Argon ST reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides FY08 revs in-line (17.23 )
Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $0.19 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.19; revenues rose 23.0% year/year to $74.3 mln vs the $72.2 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $325-345 mln vs. $334.54 mln consensus.
07:11 BPO Brookfield Pptys reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides FY08 FFO below consensus (20.38 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $0.47 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.47; revenues rose 23.2% year/year to $849 mln. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees FFO of $1.44-1.52 vs. $1.70 consensus.
07:10 QCCO QC Holdings misses by $0.04, misses on revs; guides FY08 revs below consensus (9.95 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.19 per share, $0.04 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.23; revenues rose 17.5% year/year to $57.3 mln vs the $58.2 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees FY08 rev growth of 6-10% which computes to $226-235 mln vs. $242 mln consensus.
07:10 ZLC Zale guides Q2 EPS in-line, revs slighly below consensus, same store sales decreased 7.3% (16.73 ) -Update-
Co guides Q2 EPS in-line to $1.08 – $1.13 vs consensus of $1.10, and revs of $827 mln vs consensus of $828.24 mln. Co says Q2 same store sales decreased 7.3%.
07:09 SCVL Shoe Carnival reports comp store sales for 13-week period ended Feb 2 decreased 5.7%; sees Q4 EPS of $0.11-$0.13, ex items, vs $0.11 consensus (13.31 )
Co announces that sales for the thirteen-week period ended February 2, 2008, decreased 7.3% YoY to $164.3 mln (vs $167.3 mln consensus). Earnings for Q4 of fiscal 2007 are now expected to range from $0.11-$0.13, ex items, vs consensus of $0.11. Accordingly, EPS for the full fiscal year 2007 are expected to range from $0.98-$1.00, ex items, vs $0.99 consensus. Due to difficulties in the economic environment and the uncertainty of the effect on consumer spending, the co will no longer provide quarterly and annual earnings guidance.
07:08 ATG AGL Resources beats by $0.02, misses on revs; guides FY08 EPS below consensus (37.63 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.86 per share, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.84; revenues fell 3.1% year/year to $685 mln vs the $720.8 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $2.75-2.85 vs. $2.86 consensus.
07:08 HEPH Hollis-Eden Pharm commences Phase I/II clinical trial in Ulcerative Colitis with novel oral anti-inflammatory drug candidate TRIOLEX (1.98 )
07:08 MPS MPS Group beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS in-line, revs in-line (9.96 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.24 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.23; revenues rose 17.3% year/year to $570 mln vs the $554.1 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.18-0.22 vs. $0.19 consensus; sees Q1 revs of $550-580 mln vs. $558.76 mln consensus.
07:07 ZLC Zale sees Q2 revs of $827 mln vs $828.24 mln
07:07 CBB Cincinnati Bell reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides FY08 revs in-line (3.82 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.08 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.08; revenues rose 9.6% year/year to $359.9 mln vs the $342.4 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $1.4 bln vs. $1.39 bln consensus.
07:07 WLSN Wilsons Leather reports Jan same store sales +10.4% vs -4.0% single analyst estimate (0.69 )
07:06 ZLC guides Q2 EPE in-line
07:06 IPCC Infinity Prpty & Casualty beats by $0.61, reports revs in-line; guides FY08 EPS in-line (39.32 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.53 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.61 better than the First Call consensus of $0.92; revenues rose 1.4% year/year to $267.1 mln vs the $268.6 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $3.27-3.67, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.56 consensus.
07:05 MKSI sees Q1 $0.28-0.35 vs $0.26 First Call consensus; sees revs $180-190 mln vs $173.33 mln First Call consensus
07:05 MKSI prelim $0.33 vs $0.25 First Call consensus; revs $184.1 mln vs $169.75 mln First Call consensus
07:05 ELNK prelim $0.19 vs $0.15 First Call consensus; revs $281.9 mln vs $280.96 mln First Call consensus
07:05 LTD Limited reports Jan same store sales -8.0% vs -7.3% Briefing.com consensus; guides in-line (17.85 )
Co issues in-line guidance for FY08 (Jan), sees FY08 (Jan) revs of $10.09 bln vs. $10.19 bln First Call consensus.
07:04 BKRS Bakers Footwear reports Q4 net sales of $54.7 mln (vs $54.9 mln consensus); reports Q4 comparable store sales decreased 6.8% compared to a decrease of 13.8% a year ago (3.12 )
07:04 ATG sees FY08 $2.75-2.85 vs $2.86 First Call consensus
07:03 ENER sees Q3 revs $65-70 mln vs $65.55 mln First Call consensus
07:03 ATG prelim $0.86 vs $0.84 First Call consensus; revs $685 mln vs $720.80 mln First Call consensus
07:03 PLCE Children’s Place reports Jan same store sales +6% vs +3.0% Briefing.com consensus (17.78 )
07:03 PSUN Pacific Sunwear reports Jan same store sales -7.4% vs +1.3% Briefing.com consensus (11.20 )
Co issues in-line guidance for Q4 (Jan), sees EPS of $0.29-0.32 vs. $0.29 First Call consensus.
07:03 ENER raises the low end of their rev guidance, now sees FY08 revs $235-245 mln vs $241.90 mln First Call consensus
07:03 AHII sees FY08 revs $700-730 mln vs $707.54 mln First Call consensus
07:02 BOE says inflation will quicken on higher energy and food costs; fall in pound likely to rebalance demand and increase exports
07:02 AHII reaffirms EBITDA guidance of $38-40 mln
07:02 ISCA Intl Speedway announces $100 million increase in share buyback program (41.06 )
Co announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of an incremental $100 million of the Company’s Class A Common Stock. This authorization is in addition to the $34 million remaining under the Company’s existing $150 million share repurchase program as of January 31, 2008.
07:02 ENER prelim ($0.08) includes other items, may not be comparable to vs ($0.13) First Call consensus; revs $56.4 mln vs $52.74 mln First Call consensus
07:02 AHII prelim $0.23 vs $0.29 First Call consensus; revs $203.2 mln vs $190.38 mln First Call consensus
07:02 DSPG DSP Group announces a Share Repurchase Program of up to 5 mln shares
07:01 SWIM Investools acquires mytrade.com, terms of the acquisition were not disclosed (13.43 -0.18)
Co announces the acquisition of mytrade.com, an online social-networking content platform for investors at all experience levels. mytrade aggregates news and market data searchable by ticker, insight from over 200 top financial blogs, charts, watch lists, streaming audio and video market commentary and investor education content in a user-customized interface. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
07:01 HGSI Human Genome Sciences and Xencor announce antibody collaboration (5.80 )
The cos announce a collaboration agreement under which Xencor will apply its proprietary XmAb humanization and optimization technologies to enhance the pharmacologic properties of monoclonal antibodies developed by HGS that specifically target antigens discovered by HGS… Under the terms of the agreement, Xencor will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive additional payments including development and commercial milestones, and royalties on any products commercialized under the agreement. HGS will be responsible for all preclinical and clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization. Financial terms were not disclosed.
07:01 TBL sees Y08 low-single digit revenue declines
07:01 WTSLA Wet Seal reports Jan same store sales -5.7% vs -1.2% Briefing.com consensus; guides Q4 EPS above consensus (2.89 )
Co issues upside guidance for Q4 (Jan), sees EPS of $0.09-0.10 vs. $0.07 First Call consensus. The increased guidance is primarily a result of better than previously estimated operating expense savings and a slight increase in expected gross margin.
07:01 SPC prelim $0.06, ex items, vs $0.09 First Call consensus; revs $560.5 mln vs $594.10 mln First Call consensus
07:01 BKE The Buckle reports Jan same store sales +19.1% vs +12.0% Briefing.com consensus (37.38 )
07:00 CBB Cincinnati Bell board authorizes $150 million stock repurchase (3.82 )
07:00 ECONX As expected, the Bank of England cuts rates 25 bps to 5.25%
07:00 PENN prelim $0.36 vs $0.41 First Call consensus; revs $585.8 mln vs $593.29 mln First Call consensus
07:00 TBL prelim $0.52 vs $0.51 First Call consensus; revs $442.7 mln vs $460.17 mln First Call consensus
07:00 DO Diamond Offshore declares special cash dividend of $1.25 (110.63 )
07:00 PEP intends to repurchase approx $4.3 bln in 2008
06:59 ECOL American Ecology Corp. beats by $0.02, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS in-line (21.24 )
Reports Q0 earnings of $0.27 per share, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.25; revenues rose 21.1% year/year to $45.9 mln vs the $38.8 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $1.17-1.23 vs. $1.20 consensus.
06:59 TOC Thomson beats by $0.08, beats on revs (34.75 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.67 per share, $0.08 better than the First Call consensus of $0.59; revenues rose 9.9% year/year to $2.03 bln vs the $2.01 bln consensus. Thomson is confident that its proposed acquisition of Reuters Group PLC (RTRSY) will be approved by the European Commission, U.S. Department of Justice and Canadian Competition Bureau in the next few weeks, and the transaction is expected to be completed early in the second quarter of
06:59 PEP sees FY08 $3.72 vs $3.74 First Call consensus
06:59 OFI Overhill Farms reports Q4 EPS of $0.10 vs $0.06 single analyst est; revs rose 1.4% YoY to $56.8 mln vs $47.00 mln single analyst est (3.65 )
“Overhill Farms is continuing to increase revenues and improve margins and operating profits… The interest of two competing private equity groups in acquiring the Company, disclosed in yesterday’s announcement, underscores the Company’s fundamental strength and potential for profitable growth. The Board of Directors remains committed to exploring all opportunities to enhance stockholders’ value.”
06:58 PEP prelim $0.80, ex items, vs $0.79 First Call consensus; revs $12.35 bln vs $11.56 bln First Call consensus
06:58 TOC prelim $0.67 vs $0.59 First Call consensus; revs $2.03 bln vs $2.01 bln First Call consensus
06:57 AIR AAR Corp initiated with a Buy a Jesup and Lamont -tgt $35 (27.14 )
Jesup and Lamont initiates AIR with a Buy and a $35 tgt given the recent macro economic uncertainty they believe AIR’s portfolio will benefit from the commercial aerospace sweet spot, the aftermarket. Additionally, the firm believes that AIR’s opportunistic management team will continue to exceed expectations.
06:57 GYMB Gymboree guides Q4 above consensus; Q1 below consensus; FY09 above consensus (35.80 )
Co issues upside guidance for Q4 (Jan), sees EPS of $0.93-0.95 vs. $0.90 First Call consensus; sees Q4 (Jan) revs of $275.50 mln vs. $272.71 mln consensus. Comparable store sales for the equivalent thirteen-week period increased 10%. Co issues downside guidance for Q1 (Apr), sees EPS of $0.73-0.75 vs. $0.78 consensus. Co issues upside guidance for FY09 (Jan), sees EPS of $3.00-3.05 vs. $2.99 consensus.
06:57 ITWO i2 Tech misses by $0.04, misses on revs (12.66 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.26 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.30; revenues fell 20.5% year/year to $63.3 mln vs the $67.3 mln consensus. Co sees Q1 to be “reasonably comparable” yr/yr, excluding the effect of contract revs recorded in the prior year period.
06:52 IFX Infineon Technologies Report 1Q Loss – AP (9.52 )
According to the AP, IFX said Thursday that a downturn at its Qimonda computer memory chip subsidiary pushed it to a loss in the first quarter of its fiscal year. The company posted a loss of euro396 million (US$578.9 million) in the October-December period compared with a profit of euro120 million a year earlier, but the results were still better than the euro445 million (US$650.6 million) loss that analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast. The decrease was largely due to a decline in profit from Qimonda, in which Infineon holds a 77.5 percent stake, the company said. Revenue slipped to euro1.6 billion (US$2.3 billion) in the quarter compared with euro2.1 billion a year ago. Excluding the memory chip maker, Infineon said its pretax profit was euro65 million (US$95 million) in the quarter, compared with a loss of euro9 million a year earlier.
06:51 ITWO i2 Tech says strategic review committee has recommended, and the board has agreed, that the review process be extended (12.66 )
Co announces an update on the progress made by the strategic review committee of the board of directors. The strategic review committee engaged outside advisors and has evaluated many facets of the company. Among those items evaluated were i2’s intellectual property portfolio, the net operating loss carryforwards, the company’s operational plans, and alternative business models. The review process has generated credible interest in a variety of strategic options. As a result, the strategic review committee has recommended and the board has agreed that the review process be extended to ensure thorough consideration of all strategic options. The strategic review committee intends to work as expeditiously as possible to conclude its process and provide final recommendations to the board. The board will communicate its conclusions at the appropriate time. In addition, the board of directors announced that it is continuing its evaluation of several outstanding chief executive officer (CEO) candidates, including Pallab Chatterjee, who will continue as the company’s interim CEO.
06:50 CALLS Early Research Calls III
Upgrades: Baird upgrades CommVault Systems (CVLT 14.54) to Outperform from Neutral and maintains their $19 tgt, based on valuation, following in-line Q308 revenue and negative operating margin guidance. Downgrades: JP Morgan downgrades Nalco (NLC 19.92) to Neutral from Overweight. Miscellaneous: Merriman initiates GSI Technology (GSIT 2.92) with a Buy, based on resolved customer inventory issues and sales of high margin SigmaQuad SRAM into carrier equipment starting to ramp and believe the co stands to benefit as growing bandwidth demand and complex protocols drive the need for faster and higher density memory in networking equipment… Jefferies initiates Continental Resources (CLR 22.70) with a Buy and sets a $30 tgt, based on 17% growth this year compared to 19% last year that will come from enhanced oil recovery in the core Red River area, accelerated drilling in the North Dakota Bakken, and from a 30% capex bump in the Woodford Shale.
06:49 COV Covidien beats by $0.03, misses on revs (42.86 )
Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $0.59 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the First Call consensus of $0.56; revenues rose 8.8% year/year to $2.32 bln vs the $2.39 bln consensus.
06:48 HZO MarineMax reports EPS in-line, revs in-line (15.09 )
Reports Q1 (Dec) loss of $0.35 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of ($0.35); revenues fell 8.0% year/year to $215.3 mln vs the $214.4 mln consensus.
06:46 URBN Urban Outfitters preannounces Q4 revs above consensus (26.68 )
Co issues upside guidance for Q4 (Jan), sees Q4 (Jan) revs of $465.41 vs. $451.01 mln First Call consensus. Co reports Q4 same store sales +11%.
06:43 CALLS Early Research Calls II
Upgrades: JP Morgan upgrades Universal Technical Institute (UTI 14.10) to Neutral from Underweight… UBS upgrades Principal Financial (PFG 53.96) to Neutral from Sell… BofA upgrades Sirona Dental Systems (SIRO 29.88) to Buy from Neutral… ThinkEquity upgrades Alphatec (ATEC 5.32) to Buy from Source of Funds… UBS upgrades Celanese (CE 39.05) to Buy from Neutral. Downgrades: JP Morgan downgrades XL Capital (XL 43.97) to Neutral from Overweight… Lehman downgrades Virgin Mobile (VM 6.27) to Equal-weight from Overweight… Think Equity downgrades Napster (NAPS 1.73) to Accumulate from Buy and lowers their tgt to $2.00 from $5.00, following a Q308 loss that was narrow than consensus estimates and believe near-term revenue visibility is cloudy given delayed handset rollouts from Napster’s mobile carrier partners… UBS downgrades downgrades Elbit Systems (ESLT 57.51) to Neutral from Buy… Bear Stearns downgrades BT Group (BT 50.68) to Peer Perform from Outperform… J.P Morgan downgrades Cisco (CSCO 23.08) to Neutral from Overweight… Bear Stearns downgrades CPI International (CPII 13.30) to Peer Perform from Outperform. Miscellaneous: Lehman initiates Ventas (VTR 41.45) with an Equal-weight and sets a $46 tgt, based on valuation and believe strong FFO growth and attractive dividend yield should provide 10% total annual returns over the next several years… Lehman initiates HCP (HCP 29.16) with an Overweight and sets a $35 tgt, as they believe the key differential between HCP and its peers is the number of different growth drivers (base triple net lease, operating assets, development pipeline, acquisitions and alt. investments) providing the flexibility to take advantage of changes in the market… J.P Morgan adds IntercontinentalExchange (ICE 115.90) to their Focus List.
06:41 SGU Star Gas Prtnrs reports Q1 EPS of $0.33 vs $0.06 in yr ago period; revs $453.9 mln vs $330.24 mln in yr ago period (3.90 )
06:36 WBC WABCO Holdings beats by $0.17, beats on revs; issues Y08 outlook (41.52 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.02 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.17 better than the First Call consensus of $0.85; revenues rose 30.7% year/year to $679.2 mln vs the $634.3 mln consensus. Co sees Y08 EPS up 20-25% yr/yr, with revs up 8-11% yr/yr.
06:34 MFLO Moldflow reports Q2 EPS of $0.35 vs $0.21 in yr ago period; co reports revs up 19% yr/yr to $17.1 mln with no estimates (13.75 )
06:33 BG Bunge reports Q4 (Dec) results, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS in-line (123.58 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.82 per share, includes $25 mln of impairment and restructuring charges, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $1.54; revenues rose 82.5% year/year to $14.02 bln vs the $11.79 bln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $6.01-6.30 vs. $6.26 consensus.
06:32 GTIV Gentiva Health Svcs and CIGNA HealthCare extend national homecare contract through January 31, 2011 (19.61 )
Co announces that its CareCentrix ancillary care benefit management unit has signed an extension of its current national homecare contract with CIGNA HealthCare, which will provide for the coordination and delivery of homecare services to CIGNA members through January 31, 2011. The extension amends a previous agreement that was set to expire January 31, 2009. For the first nine months of 2007, the CIGNA HealthCare relationship contributed approximately 19% of total Gentiva revenues of $915.9 mln.
06:31 AIZ Assurant reports EPS in-line, revs in-line (64.34 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) operating earnings of $1.29 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the First Call consensus of $1.29; revenues fell 1.1% year/year to $2.18 bln vs the $2.2 bln consensus.
06:31 STXS Stereotaxis receives $20 million in additional loan commitments (6.74 )
Co announces that it had obtained $20 million in one-year unsecured loan commitments from two current shareholders. In addition, the co may extend the commitment for an additional 90 days, at its option. Funds drawn on the commitment would be subordinated to borrowings under its current bank facility. In consideration of providing the commitment, Stereotaxis agreed to grant to the investors common stock warrants, equal to 20% coverage of the commitment amount at an exercise price of $6.99 per share. Additional warrants equal to 5% coverage would be issuable if the Company exercised its 90-day extension.
06:30 WW Watson Wyatt Chief Financial Officer plans to retire (45.59 ) -Update-
Co announces that vice president and chief financial officer Carl Mautz plans to retire in August 2008, after completing the financial results for the current fiscal year and the financial plan for fiscal 2009.
06:30 CALLS Early Research Calls I
Upgrades: Deutsche Bank upgrades Danaher (DHR 73.12) to Buy from Hold and raise their tgt to $90 from $88, as they consider FCF to be a more relevant valuation metric given DHR’s large structural difference between GAAP and cash earnings, and therefore its sub-15x FCF is a more valid proxy of true value… Citigroup upgrades Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD 40.43) to Buy from Hold and lowers their tgt to $50 from $58, following Q407 results and based on improving fundamentals led by expiration of adverse hedges and VPPs, improved visibility for production growth and falling capital needs. Downgrades: Deutsche Bank downgrades Regal-Beloit (RBC 37.26) to Hold from Buy and lowers their tgt to $45 from $56, following an in-line Q407 and Q108 guidance and based on concerns that a recession could drive the core motors and mechanical transmission businesses into negative growth, on top of the weakness in the residential HVAC arena… Citigroup downgrades Polo Ralph Lauren (RL 63.19) to Hold from Buy and lowers their tgt to $69 from $85, following Q308 EPS that exceeded consensus estimates, lowered FY09 guidance and based on fundamental challenges in key markets and a lack of visibility on the challenged Japanese market… Baird downgrades Cisco (CSCO 23.08) to Neutral from Outperform and lowers their tgt to $23 from $34, following Q208 in-line results and a lowered forecast due to a sudden downturn in January activity in the U.S. and European markets.
06:29 S&P futures vs fair value: +0.4. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -16.5.
06:26 European shares shed 1 pct, techs weigh
European shares lost 1% by mid-morning on Thursday as technology shares fell after a warning from Cisco triggered fresh concern that the U.S. economic slowdown may erode corporate profitability. By 1017 GMT The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.9% at 1,309.47 points, having hit an intraday low of 1,308.27. Around Europe, London’s FTSE 100 index fell 0.7%, while Frankfurt’s DAX and Paris’ CAC 40 both fell 0.9%. (Reuters)
06:26 Nikkei gains, most Asian markets closed; Sensex ends down over 600pts
Japanese stocks rebounded Thursday after touching a two-week low even as markets in India and Australia sank amid persistent uneasiness about the U.S. economy after Wall Street’s overnight drop. Markets across much of Asia, including Hong Kong and South Korea, were closed for the Lunar New Year Holiday. Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index rose 0.82% to close at 13,207.15 points. The index plunged 4.7% the previous day and dipped below 13,000 in intraday trade Thursday for the first time in two weeks… The Sensex opened with a positive gap of 60 points at 18,199, which also turned out to be the high for the day. The index plunged to a low of 17,492 in late noon deals – an intra-day decline of nearly 650 points from the previous close. The Sensex finally closed with a loss of over 600 points (3.4%) at 17,527. (Thomson, Business Standard)
06:25 BLTI Biolase Technology announces FDA 510(k) clearance of its Waterlase MD Laser System for dermatology (3.33 )
Co announces that it has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA allowing it to market a version of its Waterlase MD Laser System for use in dermatological applications as well as general and plastic surgery.
06:23 SNN Smith & Nephew beats by $0.04, beats on revs (60.65 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings per ADS of $0.83 per share, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $0.79; revenues rose 25.4% year/year to $967 mln vs the $933.8 mln consensus.
06:23 ACOR Acorda Therapeutics reschedules Q4 and FY07 results to Feb 11, 2008 (23.43 )
Co states that it will report its financial results for Q4 and FY07 on Monday, February 11, 2008, instead of its originally-scheduled report date of February 19, 2008. Due to its recently announced proposed public offering of common stock, the co will not be hosting a conference call following the release of its financial results.
06:20 FLIR FLIR Systems reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus (31.85 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.30 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.30; revenues rose 30.5% year/year to $242.6 mln vs the $233.8 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $1.13-1.20 vs. $1.12 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $1-1.05 bln vs. $957.92 mln consensus.
06:17 DRAD Digirad reports EPS in-line, revs in-line; reaffirms FY08 revs guidance (2.63 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.06 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of ($0.06); revenues rose 9.3% year/year to $18.8 mln vs the $19 mln consensus. Co reaffirms guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $80-84 mln vs. $80.50 mln consensus.
06:16 MDC MDC Holdings reports Q4 (Dec) results, beats on revs (42.80 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $6.14 per share, includes deferred tax asset valuation allowance of $160.0 mln, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of ($0.44); revenues fell 41.6% year/year to $784.8 mln vs the $762.3 mln consensus. MDC received orders, net of cancellations, for 748 homes with an estimated sales value of $187.0 mln during the 2007 fourth quarter, compared with net orders for 1,571 homes with an estimated sales value of $515.0 mln during the same period in 2006. The Company ended the fourth quarter of 2007 with a backlog of 1,947 homes with an estimated sales value of $650.0 mln, compared with a backlog of 3,638 homes with an estimated sales value of $1.30 bln at December 31, 2006.
06:16 DHI DR Horton misses by $0.16, includes charges, beats on revs (14.81 )
Reports Q1 (Dec) loss of $0.41 per share, includes $245.5 mln in pre-tax charges to cost of sales for inventory impairments and write-offs of deposits and pre-acquisition costs related to land option contracts that the co doesn’t intend to pursue, $0.16 worse than the First Call consensus of ($0.25); revenues fell 39.0% year/year to $1.71 bln vs the $1.62 bln consensus. Sales order backlog of homes under contract at December 31, 2007 was 8,138 homes ($2.0 bln), compared to 16,694 homes ($4.7 bln), at December 31, 2006.
06:16 S&P futures vs fair value: +0.4. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -16.5.
06:15 European Markets
06:15 Asian Markets
Nikkei…13207.15…+107.91…+0.8%. Hang Seng…Holiday………
06:14 AET Aetna reports EPS in-line, revs in-line; guides Q1 EPS below consensus; reaffirms FY08 EPS guidance (53.28 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.88 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.88; revenues rose 12.3% year/year to $7.14 bln vs the $7.17 bln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.92 vs. $0.94 consensus. Co reaffirms guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $4.00 vs. $4.03 consensus.
06:12 RGC Regal Entertainment beats by $0.04, misses on revs (18.40 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.15 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $0.11; revenues fell 8.1% year/year to $599.9 mln vs the $613.4 mln consensus.
06:12 MWRK Mothers Work reports January same store sales -2.1% vs -6.0% for January 2007 (17.80 )
06:11 WW Watson Wyatt beats by $0.12, beats on revs; guides Q3 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus; guides FY08 EPS above consensus, revs in-line (45.59 )
Reports Q2 (Dec) earnings of $0.82 per share, $0.12 better than the First Call consensus of $0.70; revenues rose 22.0% year/year to $447 mln vs the $422.9 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.79-0.81 vs. $0.82 consensus; sees Q3 revs of $435-443 mln vs. $444.02 mln consensus. Co issues guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $3.10-3.15 vs. $3.05 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $1.68-1.72 bln vs. $1.7 bln consensus.
06:09 JOSB Jos. A. Bank reports Jan same store sales -1.2% vs +1.0% Briefing.com consensus; preannounces FY08 revs in-line (24.14 )
Co issues in-line guidance for FY08 (Jan), sees FY08 (Jan) revs of $604 mln vs. $605.71 mln First Call consensus.
06:08 SSI Stage Stores issues upside Q407 EPS and reaffirms FY08 EPS (11.73 )
Co issues upside guidance for Q4 (Jan), sees EPS of $0.76-0.81 vs. $0.74 First Call consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08 (Jan), sees EPS of $1.23-1.27 vs. $1.24 consensus.
06:04 SSI Stage Stores reports January same store sales +1.0% vs -5.3% Briefing.com consensus (11.73 )
06:00 BIG Big Lots reports Q4 comp store sales decrease of 0.6% (15.16 )
This result is in line with the co’s guidance communicated on November 30, 2007, which called for slightly negative comparable store sales.
05:38 BUD InBev, Anheuser-Busch in merger talks: Magazine – Reuters (47.20 )
Reuters reports InBev and Anheuser-Busch (BUD) are in talks that could lead to a merger of the two, Belgian business magazine Trends said on Thursday. InBev and Anheuser-Busch have been the subject of consistent merger speculation over the past year. Last week, the Wall Street Journal said talks between the brewing giants had become more serious and that a deal was possible this year. Both brewers have repeatedly declined to comment. Trends noted that InBev was not obliged by Belgian financial markets watchdog CBFA to comment on rumors, but would have to if there were concrete information. “If InBev is not communicating it must be concluded that there is no information that has a specific character,” the magazine continued.
05:34 ALU Alcatel-Lucent deal, revisited – WSJ (6.19 )
The Wall Street Journal reports some big Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) investors claim the struggle to integrate the two cos has resulted in a buying opportunity. And there are some fundamental strengths, these investors say, that have been overlooked in the recent flood of negative headlines. “We’ve made a bet that the demand for telecom equipment is decent, that the consolidation the sector has undergone will help and that Alcatel is a relevant global player with good assets,” T. Rowe Price Associates research analyst David Eiswert said. “We started really buying the stock in the fall of 2007.” As of the end of last year, T. Rowe Price held 35.4 mln Alcatel shares valued at $331 mln, according to FactSet Research Systems. However, Mr. Eiswert acknowledges a big unknown: “The key to our investment being successful over the next year or two is the management team’s ability to unlock the value of the company,” he said. You have to have guts to buy Alcatel-Lucent right now,” said Richard Windsor, a sell-side analyst at Nomura Securities who has a “neutral,” or “hold,” rating on the stock. But he says medium- to long-term prospects are brighter. Investors willing to buy the shares and “shut them in the closet,” he said, stand to end up with “a pretty great earner in a few years.” Even some who were burned by Alcatel-Lucent’s tumble last year say they see encouraging signs. Tony DeSpirito, portfolio manager at Pzena Investment Management LLC, acknowledges that it was “painful” to watch the share price slide, but his fund bought the stock again as recently as September, according to the latest publicly available data from FactSet Research. “Our view that the merger will make a stronger combined company hasn’t fundamentally changed,” Mr. DeSpirito said. He said the debilitating price wars between Alcatel-Lucent and its rivals could be “stabilizing.” He cited statements by Ericsson’s (ERIC) management that the firm wouldn’t push to gain market share in wireless equipment by cutting prices as it had early last year.
05:28 DB Deutsche Bank escapes credit woes – WSJ (108.57 )
The Wall Street Journal reports Deutsche Bank (DB) Thursday reported a 48% decline in Q4 net profit, on a higher tax rate, lower noninterest revenue and higher credit-loss provisions. However, the bank reported no write-downs related to structured products and less than EUR 50 mln ($73.14 mln) net write-downs in leveraged finance, down from EUR 603 mln in Q3. Net profit was EUR 953 mln, compared with EUR 1.84 bln a year earlier. A poll of 14 analysts by Dow Jones Newswires estimated earnings of EUR 887 mln. Full-year net profit rose 7% to EUR 6.47 bln, above analyst expectations of EUR 6.41 bln. DB said it will recommend a 13% dividend increase to EUR 4.50 a share for 2007, up from EUR 4 a share a year earlier. The bank also reiterated its EUR 8.4 bln pretax profit goal for 2008, even though it said it expects “conditions to remain challenging in 2008.” Deutsche Bank’s quarterly results were partly offset by lower noninterest revenue, notably visible in a 61% decline in trading income, which fell to EUR 897 mln from EUR 2.27 bln. The bank also posted higher provisions for credit losses and higher noninterest expenses.
05:23 Early Newspaper Headlines: DB – ALU – BUD
WSJ: Deutsche Bank (DB) escapes credit woes… Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) deal, revisited. Reuters: InBev, Anheuser-Busch (BUD) in merger talks: Magazine.
05:07 GAIA Gaiam announces filing of Form S1 for IPO of its solar subsidiary (22.00 )
Co proposes an IPO of a minority interest in Gaiam’s Real Goods Solar subsidiary (currently 100% owned). A registration statement has been filed with the SEC relating to an IPO of shares of Real Goods Solar’s Class A common.
05:03 PNX The Phoenix Cos misses by $0.01, misses on revs; intends to spin off Phoenix Investment Partners (10.61 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.26 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.27; revenues fell 5.4% year/year to $638.7 mln vs the $656 mln consensus. Co announces its intention to spin off its asset management subsidiary, Phoenix Investment Partners, to Phoenix’s shareholders.
04:57 MEND Micrus Endovascular misses by $0.10, beats on revs; guides FY08 revs in-line (17.62 )
Reports Q3 (Dec) loss of $0.17 per share, excluding the R&D expenses of $3.0 mln related to acquisition fo ReVasc Technologies and including stock-based compensation, $0.10 worse than the First Call consensus of ($0.07); revenues rose 18.0% year/year to $18.3 mln vs the $17.8 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $65-75 mln vs. $68.26 mln consensus.
03:44 COST Costco reports January same store sales +7.0% vs +6.6% Briefing.com consensus (63.71 )
Co reports net sales of $5.11 bln for the month of January, the four weeks ended February 3, 2008, an increase of 11% from $4.62 bln in the same four-week period last year.
03:38 PTI Patni Computer Systems beats by $0.10, beats on revs; guides Q1 revs in-line (13.55 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.36 per ADS, $0.10 better than the First Call consensus of $0.26; revenues rose 12.8% year/year to $174.1 mln vs the $170.6 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs of $175-176 mln vs. $176.08 mln consensus. Board approves share buyback program of up to $60 mln.
02:03 SYT Syngenta reports FY07 results (50.05 )
Co reports FY07 sales increased 11% at constant exchange rates to $9.24 bln. EPS incerased 31% to $11.45 (EPS of $11.42 after restructuring and impairmnent). Crop protection sales increased 11% to $7.3 bln. New product sales increased 20% to $1.2 bln. Seeds sales increased 12% to $2.0 bln.
00:54 FRX Forest Labs mentioned positively in Weekday Trader – Barron’s Online (41.51 )
Barron’s Online reports Forest Lab’s (FRX) share price could climb 20% to 40% in the next year or two as investors start appreciating its pipeline of new drugs and the considerable cash flow it uses to license new drugs rather than pay investors a dividend. “The shares have been dramatically mispriced, offering an opportunity at a time when investors want to mitigate risk and are looking for havens and fallen angels,” says David Lickrish, an analyst with Broadpoint Capital. “Wall Street underestimates the pipeline. This company generates in excess of $1 billion in free cash flow annually, and they already have a sizable cash position for acquisitions and licensing deals.” Meanwhile, Forest has six drugs that could hit the market by 2012. The high blood-pressure drug Bystolic is being launched now. Milnacipran, a treatment for fibromyalgia (a mysterious pain condition that affects 10 mln Americans) awaits approval from the FDA in October. Four other drugs are finishing or entering late-stage clinical trials this year. If all six drugs receive FDA approval, they could generate sales totaling $2.1 bln by 2013, says Ian Sanderson, an analyst with Cowen & Co. The stock could drop sharply if generic versions of Lexapro or Namenda hit the market sooner than expected or if its pipeline suffers more setbacks.
00:53 ‘Mad Money’ Recap: Lightning Round cont. – TheStreet.com
Cramer was bearish on American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), Ford Motor (F), Mindray Medical (MR), Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and Intel (INTC).
00:52 ‘Mad Money’ Recap: Lightning Round – TheStreet.com
Cramer was bullish on Wal-Mart (WMT), TJX Companies (TJX), Foster Wheeler (FWLT), Textron (TXT), Elan Corp (ELN), Arch Coal (ACI), Peabody Energy (BTU) and Chimera Investment (CIM).
00:51 Cramer’s ‘Mad Money’ Recap – TheStreet.com
On Wednesday’s edition, Jim reiterates his positive view on Annaly Capital Management (NLY) and noted their aversion to credit risk. Next, he favors Petroleo Brasilero (PBR) because of reserve growth and production growth. In the Sudden Death round, he was bullish on Manitowoc (MTW), Terex (TEX) and Wachovia (WB).
00:50 EPCT EpiCept announces results of Phase II trial for NP-1 Cream in diabetic peripheral neuropathy (1.55 )
Co announces preliminary results from its Phase II “Neuracept” trial for EpiCept NP-1 Cream in patients suffering from diabetic peripheral neuropathy. All pain scores measured trended in favor of the NP-1 treated patients over the placebo group, indicative of an analgesic effect in this type of peripheral neuropathic pain. EpiCept has concluded that preliminary data derived from the trial support the continued study of NP-1 in a late-stage pivotal clinical trial. “We believe this clinical trial successfully demonstrated proof of concept of NP-1 in DPN. The consistent analgesic trends we observed in this Phase II trial warrant advancement into a pivotal Phase III registration trial,” stated Jack Talley, President and Chief Executive of EpiCept.
00:47 FMC FMC Corp misses by $0.11, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS above consensus; guides FY08 EPS in-line (51.92 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.59 per share, $0.11 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.70; revenues rose 14.8% year/year to $674.3 mln vs the $666.6 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $1.15-1.20 vs. $1.13 consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $3.80-4.00 vs. $3.88 consensus.
00:43 ACL Alcon beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus (140.17 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.31 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the First Call consensus of $1.28; revenues rose 20.0% year/year to $1.47 bln vs the $1.39 bln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $6.24-6.30 vs. $6.23 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $6.175-6.275 bln vs. $6.11 bln consensus.
00:39 CVGI Commercial Vehicle Group beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (9.54 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) net of breakeven, excluding non-cash loss on mark-to-market of forward foreign exchange contracts, $0.03 better than the First Call consensus of ($0.03); revenues fell 18.4% year/year to $178.5 mln vs the $176.7 mln consensus. Co issues mixed guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $0.10-0.50 vs. $0.75 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $762.0-814.0 mln vs. $787.29 mln consensus.
00:28 EMKR EMCORE reports Q108 results, misses on revs; issues in-line guidance for Q208 and upside guidance for FY08 (12.03 )
Reports Q1 (Dec) loss of $0.13 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 worse than the First Call consensus of ($0.07); revenues increases 21.5% year/year to $46.89 mln vs. $49.36 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q208, sees revenue of $56.0-57.0 mln vs $56.15 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for FY08, sees revenue of $265-285 mln vs $245.44 mln consensus.
Wednesday After the Close
19:31 WRAPX After Hours Summary: CSCO -7.3% on earnings/guidance; MBI +7.5% (to issue $750 mln in common stock; MBIA Capital Raising May Preserve AAA Rating — Wilbur Ross during Bloomberg TV interview) -Update-
Companies moving in after hours trading in reaction to earnings: Trading Up: UTI +13.5%; POWI +12.0%; DSCM +9.0%; KNL +6.4%; WMS +4.7%; PPDI +4.2%; UNCA +4.2%; ANDE +4.1%; DHX +3.7%; CCI +2.8%; TLEO +2.5%; NSIT +2.4%; HHGP +2.4%; LTRE +2.3%; SUN +2.3%; ATRM +2.3%; SRCL +2.2%; NAVR +2.2%; CREL +2.0%; HUBG +1.9%; NAPS +1.7%; JKHY +1.6%; ATML +1.5%; AKAM +1.5%; POL +1.2%; GXP +1.1%… Trading Down: EXBD -21.8%; UFPI -8.6%; CSCO -7.3%; DTLK -6.5%; SNWL -6.0%; SCSS -5.7%; PRU -5.0%; EDS -4.2%; FISV -3.2%; OESX -2.7%; SFLY -2.6%; RACK -2.4%; CPII -2.1%; ULTI -1.0%… Companies moving in after hours trading in reaction to news: Trading Up: POWI +12.0% (acquires Potentia Semiconductor for $5.5 mln; POWI’s Q4 results will include a one-time charge of $1.4 mln); MBI +7.5% (to issue $750 mln in common stock; MBIA Capital Raising May Preserve AAA Rating — Wilbur Ross during Bloomberg TV interview; provides updated information on 2007 financial results); IDIX +4.3% (reported data for IDX899; IDX899; demonstrates rapid and profound inhibition of HIV replication in a Phase I/II Clinical Trial); PPDI +4.2% (to acquire InnoPharm, an independent contract research organization based in Russia); NWA +3.7% (Northwest Airlines/Delta merger talks pick up steam, sources say — WSJ); ABK +3.4% (‘financially strong’ – state regulator-DJ); BEXP +3.2% (announces 2008 capital budget); WOLF +3.1% (resorts closes $55 mln mortgage loan); HOTT +2.8% (reports January comp store sales -3.6%, reaffirms Q4 EPS of $0.25-0.29 vs $0.26 First Call consensus); FRED +2.1% (announces strategic plan to improve profitability and operating margin, sees FY07 EPS of $0.50-0.56 vs $0.57 First Call consensus); AIRT +1.9% (announced an order for $14.7 million); NMX +1.8% (issues statement in response to DOJ opinion letter); NYNY +1.4% (confirms that it has not abandoned the St. Regis Mohawk casino project in Monticello and has no intention of doing so); CTRN +1.2% (says total sales in the 13-week period ended Feb 2, 2008, increased 6.2% to $134.6 mln (consensus of $136.67 mln)); WIND +1.2% (reorganizes into product divisions to optimize growth and profitability, some positions will be eliminated)… Trading Down: GLW -2.5% (adds LCD glass capacity in Taiwan); ATEC -1.4% (acquires an exclusive worldwide license for innovative dynamic anterior cervical plate technology); BMY -1.1% (announced results from the CASTLE study; study showed similar efficacy between once-daily REYATAZ and twice-daily lopinavir/ritonavir at 48 weeks in previously untreated HIV-infected adult patients).