Stocks To Watch: Ameren, Bausch & Lomb, Google, Viacom, Wal-Mart
Today's big stories and some stocks with potential to move...
Stocks to watch for Friday, May 11:
- Ameren (AEE) late Thursday reported first-quarter net income of $123 million, or 59 cents a share, up 76% from $70 million, or 34 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The electric and gas utility said revenue in three months ended March 31 rose to $1.46 billion from $1.21 billion in the comparable period last year.
- Bausch & Lomb (BOL) late Thursday said it expects to post a rise in its first-quarter earnings, but said it would be unable to file its results for the quarter with the Securities and Exchange Commission in a timely manner.
- Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) said it reached an agreement in principle with U.S. antitrust regulators in which it would plead guilty to criminal charges related to patent litigation for its blood thinner, Plavix.
- Dean Foods (DF) said the Securities and Exchange Commission has closed its informal inquiry on stock option granting practices without any recommended enforcement action. Dean Foods is a food and beverage company.
- E. W. Scripps (SSP) raised its quarterly dividend 17% to 14 cents to 12 cents a share. The dividend is payable on June 8 to shareholders of record as of May 25, the media company said.
- Foot Locker (FL) cut it first-quarter earnings forecast to a range of 10 cents to 11 cents a share, down from its earlier forecast of 34 cents to 37 cents a share. "The shortfall in our expected earnings primarily reflects a first quarter comparable-store sales decline of 5.1% and additional markdowns taken in our U.S. stores," said Mathew Serra, chairman and chief executive, in a statement.
- Google (GOOG) executives tried to allay shareholder concerns that it has become too powerful for its own good. As put by a shareholder addressing Google's annual stockholder meeting Thursday, some Silicon Valley insiders now describe Google as "the new Microsoft, and not in a flattering way." Google co-founder Larry Page, in response to a shareholder question, said "our actions over the next 10 years will make it clear we're not the same kind of companies as you are worried about." Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt added the company has "made a commitment not to track user data."
- JDSU (JDSU) said it has agreed to acquire Innocor, an Ottawa, Canada-based provider of broadband test solutions for network equipment manufacturers. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. JDSU said it expects to complete the acquisition in the fiscal fourth quarter ending June 30.
- JetBlue (JBLU) CEO David Neeleman is stepping down, three months after a service meltdown at the airline. Dave Barger, the longtime president, will succeed him.
- A former chief financial officer of McAfee (MFE) has been convicted of 15 counts of securities fraud, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site, citing the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco. Ex-CFO Prabhat Goyal was indicted in June 2004 by a federal grand jury on 20 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy, the Journal reported. Some counts, including a conspiracy charge, were earlier dismissed, according to the report. Goyal was vice president and CFO at Network Associates, McAfee's predecessor, until his departure in 2000.
- NovaStar Financial (NFI) said that first-quarter net income came in at $46 million, a big jump from a year earlier when the subprime mortgage originator made $24 million. Net income available to common shareholders was $1.18 a share vs. 69 cents a share a year ago, the company added. NovaStar said its board of directors has decided to end the company's status as a Real Estate Investment Trust by Jan. 1, 2008. That resulted in a one-time tax-related gain of $84.2 million. Without that, NovaStar lost $39.8 million, or $1.06 a share, in the first quarter of 2007. Loan losses and other costs related to the subprime mortgage shakeout earlier this year knocked more than $30 million off results in the quarter, NovaStar explained.
- Southwest Airlines (LUV) said it expects earnings growth of 15% for 2007. The Dallas-based carrier said it reissued the comments, which were first made at a Bear Stearns conference on Wednesday, due to inaccurate media reports. In today's statement, the airline said there's growing evidence of a slowing economy that is impacting travel demand. "So for us, that makes our earnings growth target pretty tough for this year," Chief Executive Gary Kelly said. "But we do have a target to grow earnings by 15% this year ... that target stands. It is certainly going to be much tougher to achieve given our results for the first quarter and our expected results in the second quarter."
- Viacom's (VIA) net fell 36% as the entertainment company faced higher expenses, including restructuring charges at MTV.
- Wal-Mart (WMT) posted its worst monthly same-store sales results in at least 28 years, tallying a 3.5% decline in April due to this year's early Easter as well as generally challenging economic conditions for consumers.
- World Fuel Services (INT) reported first-quarter net earnings of $14.8 million, or 51 cents a share, down slightly form $15 million, or 52 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The company, which provides marine, aviation and land fuel products and services, posted revenue of $2.7 billion vs. $2.53 billion.
- Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng -1.34%, Taiwan -0.81%, Shanghai -0.69, Nikkei -1.03% and Sensex +0.18%.
- A quick look across the pond finds the CAC -0.86%, DAX -0.85%, FTSE -0.08%, ATX -1.53%, Swiss Mkt. -0.71% and Stockholm -0.32%.
- Crude oil is +0.44 to 62.25 and gold is +2.80 to 669.8 this morning.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.
Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Daily Recap Newsletter