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Stocks To Watch: Aeropostale, Brinker, Citigroup, CVS Caremark, Shuffle Master


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


Stocks to watch for Thursday, June 7:

  • Aeropostale's (ARO) May same-store sales rose 1.9%. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected the company to post a same-store sales gain of 4.2%. The casual apparel and accessories company said net sales for the four-week period ended June 2 increased 19.3% to $88.1 million from $73.9 million from a year ago.
  • AnnTaylor Stores (ANN) named Diane Holtz executive vice president, merchandising and design, for its Ann Taylor LOFT division. The upscale women's clothing retailer said Holtz will be taking over the responsibilities of Donna Noce, who resigned as president of Ann Taylor LOFT in January for personal reasons.
  • Brinker International (EAT) reported a 2.8% slump in same-store sales in May as the restaurant operator saw weakness across all of its brands. Same-store sales -- or sales at outlets open more than a year -- were down the most at its On The Border chain, where they fell 4.2%. Chili's, meanwhile was down 3% and Macaroni Grill 2.1%. The relatively recently acquired Maggiano's was the best performer with a drop of 1.5%.
  • A Citigroup (C) unit agreed to pay $15.2 million to settle charges that its financial advisers misled BellSouth employees.
  • CVS Caremark (CVS) received a three-year pact to provide retail pharmacy benefit and clinical services for the Blue Cross & Blue Shield federal employee program, or FEP, through 2010. The provider of pharmacy services said the retail and clinical portion of the program generates about $4 billion in annual revenue.
  • DSW (DSW) reported first-quarter net earnings of $23.7 million, or 54 cents a share, up 36% from $17.5 million, or 40 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The footwear retailer said revenue for the 13 weeks ended May 5 rose to $357 million from $316.5 million in the comparable period last year.
  • Gilead Sciences (GILD) said a Phase III trial of its Viread drug as a potential treatment for chronic hepatitis B met its primary endpoint by reducing virus and liver inflammation. The company said that after 48 weeks, 70.8% of patients receiving Viread had a complete response, compared with 48.8% of patients receiving the company's once-daily antiviral drug Hepsera. The trial is one of two Phase III studies evaluating Viread for hepatitis B. The second study is expected to be complete later this year.
  • Greif (GEF) reported second-quarter net earnings of $18.6 million, or 32 cents per Class A share, down from $28.7 million, or 49 cents per Class A share, during the year-ago period. The company said income before special items came in at $39.2 million, or 66 cents per Class A share, versus $30.4 million, or 52 cents per Class A share, last year. The industrial packaging company said revenue for the three months ended April 30 rose 31% to $815 million from $620.1 million last year. Greif raised its annual earnings forecast, excluding special items, to a range of $3.05 to $3.10 a share.
  • IDT's (IDTC) fiscal third-quarter net loss widened to $15.9 million, or 20 cents a share, from a year-earlier net loss of $8.6 million, or 9 cents a share. The telecommunications and phone card company's revenue declined 11% to $485.4 million, from $547.2 million in the year-earlier period ended April 30.
  • Martek Biosciences (MATK) reported second-quarter net earnings of $4.87 million, or 15 cents a share, down 11% from $5.45 million, or 17 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The biotechnology company said that revenue for the three months ended April 30 rose to $76.7 million from $70.2 million last year.
  • Meritage Homes (MTH) said May and April sales were weaker than expected with a decline of 21% from a year earlier, putting the company's 2007 outlook in jeopardy. The homebuilder said cancellations increased to 36% of gross orders from 27% in the first quarter due to credit concerns and difficulties in subprime markets. Meritage Homes no longer expects to reach its 2007 revenue and earnings forecast on the decrease in demand.
  • Shuffle Master (SHFL) swung to a second-quarter profit of $3.44 million, or 10 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss of $12.7 million, or 37 cents a share. The gaming supply company's revenue grew to $44.6 million from $43.3 million.
  • Six Flags (SIX) said revenue for year-to-date period through June 3 rose 5%, or roughly $12 million, from the same period last year. Guest spending per capita grew 3%, while total revenue per capita increased 5% to roughly $39.70.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) acknowledged in a settlement with LVMH that it sold fake handbags and other merchandise under Fendi's label.

Market Update:

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -0.09%, Nikkei +0.07%, Sensex -0.49%, Taiwan +0.49% and Shanghai +3.03%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.29%, DAX -0.06%, FTSE +0.21%, ATX -1.88%, Swiss Mkt. -0.28% and Stockholm -1.78%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.22 to 66.18 while gold is +0.7 to 675.3 this morning.
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