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Stocks to Watch: American Eagle, Ford, Morgan Stanley, Rambus, Starbucks, Time Warner


Coming down the back stretch


Stocks to watch for Thursday, August 3

  • Alltel (AT) said second-quarter earnings rose 7% as the nation's fifth-largest wireless company added more customers and took measures to keep current subscribers more loyal. Revenue rose 18% to $2.67 billion from $2.26 billion, as the carrier added 146,000 net wireless customers to bring its total base to more than 11 million.
  • American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) raised its second-quarter forecast after "favorable customer response" in July. The retailer said that sales at stores open longer than a year climbed 7%. That's below the 8.6% average estimate reached by Wall Street.
  • Brooks Automation (BRKS) reported third-quarter net earnings of $17.2 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with $903,000, or 2 cents a share, in the same period last year. Brooks expects fourth-quarter per-share net earnings of 18 cents to 23 cents, on revenue of $200 to $210 million.
  • Conseco (CNO) reported a second-quarter net loss of $22.3 million, or 21 cents a share, after previously announced legal costs of $100.3 million. A year earlier, the company made $88.1 million, or 48 cents a share.
  • Constellation Brands (STZ) said it plans to invest in new distribution and bottling facilities in the United Kingdom and streamline its Hardy Wine Co. operations in Australia in an effort to reduce costs. The alcoholic-beverage producer said it expects the initiatives to reduce net operating expenses by $5 million in fiscal 2008, and by more than $15 million annually beginning in fiscal 2009.
  • Deutsche Boerse reported second-quarter earnings of 1.86 euros ($2.38) a share, compared with 1.02 euros a share during the year-ago period. Revenue for the German Stock Exchange operator rose 21% to 491.1 million euros from 405.5 million euros.
  • Ford (F) said it lost twice as much in the second quarter as previously reported due to pension-related losses and said it expects its Premier Automotive Group to be unprofitable for the year
  • InfoSpace (INSP) said second-quarter net income fell as operating costs grew and the company recorded a $4.6 million expense for stock-based compensation. The mobile media concern said quarterly revenue rose to $95.8 million from $83.2 million in the prior year.
  • Levitt (LEV) said it swung to a second-quarter net loss as the company recorded $6 million of impairment charges associated with Tennessee operations. Levitt said quarterly revenue rose to $131.7 million from $108 million, while analysts had expected $146.3 million.
  • McClatchy (MNI) said it has completed its divestiture plan with the closing of sales of 12 former Knight Ridder newspapers, and has received $2.08 billion from the sales.
  • Medtronic (MDT) posted preliminary revenue and per-share earnings for its fiscal first quarter below analysts' average expectations.
  • Merck (MRK) said a jury in Los Angeles rejected a California man's claim that the use of the company's drug Vioxx caused his heart attack.
  • Morgan Stanley (MS) CEO John Mack testified in the SEC's insider-trading probe of Pequot Capital.
  • Electrical equipment maker Molex (MOLX), a costly restructuring effort mostly behind it, reported a 12-fold increase in its fourth-quarter profit and provided investors with a look at its fiscal 2007 earnings expectations.
  • Prudential Financial (PRU) reported a 44% drop in second-quarter net income as results from the insurance and annuity company came up short of analyst expectations.
  • Public Storage (PSA) said second-quarter net income rose to $128.9 million, or 55 cents a share, from $108.3 million, or 47 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. Public Storage said quarterly revenue rose to $298 million from $262.8 million.
  • The FTC found Rambus (RMBS) guilty of monopolistic tactics. Shares in the developer of memory-chip technology plunged 26% on the news.
  • Ranbaxy Laboratories (RBXLF) said it's evaluating its options after a federal appeals court issued a split ruling on patent infringement regarding Pfizer's (PFE) Lipitor. The Indian pharmaceutical company said it now has the opportunity to bring the launch date for a generic version of the antidepressant forward to March 2010 from June 2011 with 180-day exclusivity in the U.S. market.
  • Six Flags (SIX) said it swung to a second-quarter loss as operational expenses grew, and the company recorded non-cash costs and other items. The New York-based theme park operator said the quarterly loss was $39.6 million. During the same period in the prior year, Six Flags reported quarterly net income of $11.1 million. Quarterly revenue fell to $356.1 million from $360.6 million in the prior year.
  • Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group (SWRG) said July comparable restaurant sales rose 1.5% to $7.3 million from $7.2 million during the same period in the prior year. Total monthly sales fell 0.3% to $7.8 million from last year.
  • New outlets, along with same-store sales gains, helped Starbucks (SBUX) push its fiscal third-quarter profit up nearly 16%, while revenue jumped 23%. SBUX is currently trading -9.6% in the pre-market hours.
  • Time Warner (TWX)swung to a $1.01 billion profit on strong cable gains and confirmed it will offer AOL free to high-speed Internet users.

Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.09%, Nikkei +0.04%, Shanghai +0.09%, Taiwan -0.14%, Jakarta -1.05% and Sensex +0.43%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.75%, DAX -0.76%, FTSE -1.13%, Swiss mkt -0.70%.
  • Crude oil is trading -0.55 to 75.26 while gold is -6.4 to 657.7.
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