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Stocks To Watch: Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Google, Gymboree, Viacom


Today's big stories and some stocks with potential to move...


Stocks to watch for Wednesday, March 14:

  • Abiomed (ABMD) said it plans to offer 5 million shares in an underwritten public offering. The underwriters will be granted an option to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares to cover over-allotments, the maker of medical devices said. The offering will be managed by Morgan Stanley & Co. and UBS Securities LLC as joint book-running managers, the company said.
  • Buca (BUCA) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $943,000, or 5 cents a share. In the same period last year, the company posted a net loss of $6.42 million, or 32 cents a share. The restaurant chain said revenue in the three months ended Dec. 31 rose 13.6% to $71.5 million from $62.9 million, while comparable sales in the period rose 4%. The fourth-quarter of fiscal 2006 contained 13 weeks, as compared to 12 weeks in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005. The additional week contributed roughly $6.1 million in sales, the company said.
  • Clear Channel (CCU) pushed back the date of its proposed-privatization meeting, potentially increasing the company's chance of winning shareholder approval.
  • Claire's Stores (CLE) said it is delaying its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2007 results in order to pre-clear an accounting issue with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • CommScope (CTV) raised its first-quarter revenue forecast to $415 million to $425 million from a previous range of $390 million to $410 million, citing trends in sales, orders and operations. The coaxial cable company also boosted its first-quarter operating margin expectation to 12.5% to 13.5% from a previous prediction of 10.5% to 11.5%, excluding any items.
  • Juniper Networks (JNPR) said Chief Financial Officer Robert Dykes and executive vice president Robert Sturgeon have resigned from the company, with Sturgeon's resignation effective this month. Dykes will step down at the end of April. Juniper has delayed filing several consecutive quarters of results, amid probes into its accounting practices for employee stock options.
  • Lehman (LEH) acquired a 20% interest in the two management units that run D.E. Shaw, one of the world's largest hedge funds.
  • Goldman (GS) is thinking of pushing deeper into the subprime-lending business. The firm's net surged 29%.
  • Golfsmith International Holdings (GOLF) said its fourth-quarter loss narrowed to $1.57 million, or 10 cents a share, from $2.26 million, or 23 cents a shares, a year earlier. The Austin, Texas sports equipment retailer's revenue rose to $75 million from $71.8 million in the year-ago period. For the first quarter, the company expects per-share earnings of 22 cents to 20 cents on revenue of $77 million to $79 million. For 2007, the company expects per-share earnings of 69 cents to 79 cents on revenue of $417 million to $430 million.
  • Gymboree (GYMB) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $24.4 million, or 75 cents a share, up from $20.4 million, or 61 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The San Francisco-based children's clothing retailer said revenue in the 14 weeks ended Feb. 3 rose to $241 million from $203.7 million in the comparable period last year.
  • Maxygen (MAXY) said Hoffman-La Roche Inc., a pharmaceutical unit of F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., terminated its codevelopment and commercialization agreement, effective April 12. The biopharmaceutical company said under the agreement, Maxygen and Hoffman-La Roche developed the MAXY-VII blood product for acute bleeding indications
  • Pep Boys (PBY) named Jeffrey Rachor as president and chief executive, effective March 26. Rachor was also appointed to the board of the Philadelphia-based automotive aftermarket retail and service chain. Rachor most recently served as president and chief operating officer of Sonic Automotive (SAH). Separately, Sonic Automotive named B. Scott Smith as president.
  • Pope & Talbot (POP) postponed its year-end 2006 earnings release, previously scheduled for March 15, to April 3.
  • Sapient (SAPE) said its preliminary results indicated it swung to a fourth-quarter loss of $686,000, or a penny a share, from a profit of $10.5 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, earnings were 6 cents a share. The technology and business consulting firm said revenue increased 38% to $119.2 million from $86.6 million a year ago. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted fourth-quarter revenue of $110.4 million. Sapient predicts first-quarter service revenue of more than $116 million, the company said.
  • SeaChange International (SEAC) said its fiscal fourth-quarter loss widened slightly to $3.75 million, or 13 cents a share, from $3.07 million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier. The Acton, Mass. digital video systems company's revenue for the quarter ended Jan. 31 rose 21% to $40.1 million from $33.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial estimated, on average, a fourth-quarter loss of 4 cents a share on revenue of $41 million.
  • SMTC (SMTX) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $2.11 million, or 14 cents a share, up from $1.42 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $76.1 million from $58.1 million.
  • Viacom (VIA) sued Google (GOOG) and its YouTube unit, claiming copyright infringement. The suit seeks $1 billion in damages.
  • (UBET) said it swung to a fourth-quarter net loss of $5.1 million, or 14 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $1.5 million, or 4 cents a share. The Los Angeles online-betting company's net revenue grew 41% to $9.2 million from $6.6 million a year earlier, while total revenue rose to $32.4 million from $20.8 million in the year-ago period. Net revenue for the recent quarter included $2.1 million from United Tote, which Youbet acquired in February 2006. Excluding an arbitration payment, tax settlement and other items, the loss for the recent period was 3 cents a share.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -2.57%, Nikkei -2.92%, Sensex -3.92%, Taiwan -1.48% and Shanghai -1.97%.
  • Looking over at Europe, we find the CAC -1.78%, DAX -1.64%, FTSE -1.90%, ATX -2.10%, Swiss Mkt. -2.02% and Stockholm -2.51%.
  • Gold is trading -8.40 to 641.0 and crude oil is -0.01 to 57.92 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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