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Stocks To Watch: Bear Stearns, General Motors, Southwest Airlines, Tribune, UBS

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

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Stocks to watch for Friday, March 16:

  • Ameriprise Financial (AMP) authorized a share repurchase through March 15, 2009, of up to $1 billion. The Minneapolis financial planning and services company also boosted its quarterly dividend to 15 cents from 11 cents.
  • Bear Stearns (BSC) posted a 7.7% rise in earnings, and the firm said problems in the subprime-mortgage market had only a minor impact on its performance.
  • Celebrate Express (BDAY) said its board has completed its strategic review and recommended that the company remain a standalone entity. The company also said it expects to report third-quarter revenue between $16.5 million and $16.7 million, down from $18.8 million a year ago. Celebrate Express also expects to report a loss ranging from 2 cents to 4 cents a share. For 2007, the company expects sales to range from $84 million to $87 million and a loss to range from 1 cent to 8 cents a share.
  • General Motors (GM) is tightening its financial-reporting procedures and beefing up its accounting staff following a review that concluded its controls were ineffective.
  • Manitowoc (MTW) raised its fiscal 2007 earnings forecast to a range of $4.20 to $4.30 a share from its earlier view of $3.85 to $4 a share. The maker of lifting equipment also said it expects fiscal first quarter earnings to exceed the average Wall Street analysts' estimate of 79 cents a share by roughly 10%.
  • Morgans Hotel Group (MHGC) said its fourth-quarter loss narrowed to $1.06 million, or 3 cents a share, from $1.07 million a year earlier, as revenue rose 10%. The company had an initial public offering in February 2006 and didn't report a per-share result for the year-ago period. The New York company's revenue rose to $77.3 million from $70.1 million in the year-ago period. On average, analysts expected revenue of $78 million, according a poll by Thomson Financial. For 2007, the company expects revenue of more than $300 million, compared with Wall Street's estimate of $307.1 million.
  • OccuLogix (OCCX) said its financial statements for fiscal year 2006 include a going concern qualification from its auditor, Ernst & Young LLP.
  • OpenTV (OPTV) said it swung to a fourth-quarter loss of $3.42 million, or 3 cents a share, from net income of $2.9 million, or 2 cents a share, a year earlier. The San Francisco provider of enabling technologies for advanced digital television services said revenue rose 10% to $26.7 million from $24.2 million a year ago. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected a loss of a penny a share on revenue of $25.7 million.
  • Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $9.06 million, or 13 cents a share, down from $47 million, or 63 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The fourth-quarter 2006 results include asset impairment and inventory write-down charges of $16.6 million, or 24 cents a share. Excluding items, the company posted a profit of $25.7 million, or 37 cents a share diluted share, compared with $45.2 million, or 60 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.
  • QAD (QADI) said its fiscal fourth-quarter net income fell to $4.7 million, or 14 cents a share, from $11.7 million, or 35 cents a share a year earlier. Last year's earnings included a $10.7 million tax benefit. The provider of enterprise software and services said revenue for the quarter ended Jan. 31 rose to $66.5 million from $60.1 million.
  • Silicon Storage Technology (SSTI) said it plans to voluntarily review its historical stock option grant practices since its 1995 initial public offering. As a result, the memory products maker said it won't file its annual 10-K report on time and doesn't expect to submit it by the extended filing date as well.
  • Six Flags (SIX) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $189.7 million, compared with a net loss of $139 million in the same quarter last year. The theme park operator posted a net loss applicable to common stockholders of $195.2 million, or $2.07 a share, versus $144.5 million, of $1.55 a share, in the year-ago period. Loss from continuing operations came in at $1.12 a share compared with $1.20 a share last year. Revenue slipped to $104.3 million from $104.5 million, while attendance fell 16%. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting a per-share loss of $1.18.
  • Southwest Airlines (LUV) said its board authorized a new share repurchase program to acquire up to $300 million of the company's stock.
  • Tektronix (TEK) reported fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $22.8 million, or 28 cents a share, down from $26.5 million, or 32 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, earnings from continuing operations came in at $31.1 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with $31.1 million, or 37 cents a share, for the same period last year. The maker of testing and measurement systems said revenue in the quarter ended Feb. 24 rose to $265.8 million from $262.1 million in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting, on average, a per-share profit of 37 cents on revenue of $280 million.
  • TLC Vision (TLCV) said its fourth-quarter loss narrowed to $2.36 million, or 3 cents a share, from $3.02 million, or 4 cents a share, a year earlier. The St. Louis provider of eye-care services said revenue increased 5% to $63.5 million from $60.3 million a year ago. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected fourth-quarter revenue of $64.9 million.
  • Tribune (TRB) is re-evaluating the economics of its "self-help" plan, which likely would involve taking on more debt, amid a continued drop in revenue from print ads.
  • UBS's (UBS) investment-bank head, Ken Moelis, may be preparing to leave the firm. He is said to be frustrated by the pace of UBS's moves into new markets.
  • Universal Display (PANL) said its fourth-quarter net loss narrowed to $4.41 million, or 14 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss of $4.64 million, or 17 cents a share. The light-emitting diode technology company's revenue grew 11% to $2.54 million from $2.3 million. Analysts expected a fourth-quarter loss of 13 cents a share, on revenue of $3.05 million, according to Thomson Financial.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.08%, Nikkei -0.68%, Sensex -0.90%, Taiwan +0.31% and Shanghai -0.72%.
  • Looking over at Europe, we find the CAC -0.52%, DAX -0.56%, FTSE -0.38%, ATX -0.38%, Swiss Mkt. -0.16% and Stockholm -0.40%.
  • Gold is trading +4.80 to 651.9 and crude oil is +0.14 to 57.69 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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