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Stocks to Watch: Bank of America, Countrywide, Men's Warehouse, National Oilwell Varco, Rambus

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Thursday's top stories and stocks with potential to move...

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Stocks to watch for Thursday, August 23, 2007:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) reported second-quarter net earnings of $81.3 million, or 88 cents a share, up 24% from $65.7 million, or 72 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The teen retailer said revenue rose to $804.5 million from $658.7 million.
  • Bank of America (BAC) received a $2 bln equity stake in Countrywide (CFC) in a bid to bolster the confidence of creditors and investors in the mortgage lender. Bank of America invested the $2 billion in the form of a nonvoting 7.25% APY convertible preferred security, which can be converted into common stock at $18 a share with trading restrictions for 18 months after conversion.
  • Boeing (BA) changed the management of a surveillance project along the U.S.-Mexican border after falling behind schedule.
  • Cyberonics (CYBX) will cut its employee base by about 12% to reduce operation costs. The company said it will book about $2.5 million in staff-reduction costs in the fiscal second quarter.
  • Foot Locker (FL) said it swung to a second-quarter net loss of $18 million, or 12 cents a share, from net earnings of $14 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The athletic apparel and footwear chain said revenue for the three months ended Aug. 4 fell 1.5% to $1.28 billion from $1.3 billion. Second quarter comparable-store sales decreased 7.3%.
  • Gymboree's (GYMB) second-quarter net income increased to $5.8 million, or 19 cents a share, from $544,000, or 2 cents a share, a year earlier. The designer of children's clothing's revenue increased to $182.4 million from $152.1 million.
  • Hot Topic's (HOTT) second-quarter loss widened to $1.73 million, or 4 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss of $905,000, or 2 cents a share. The retailer said revenue for the quarter ended Aug. 4 increased to $161.7 million from $160.3 million, while same-store sales fell 5.8%.
  • Macy's (M) plans to launch an estimated $100 million ad campaign featuring such celebrities as Martha Stewart and Donald Trump
  • Men's Wearhouse's (MW) second-quarter net income rose 52% to $54.2 million, or $1 a share, from $35.6 million, or 65 cents a share, a year earlier.
  • National Oilwell Varco's (NOV) board approved a 2-for-1 stock split to be effected in the form of a stock dividend, to be made Sept. 28. In after-hours trading, National Oilwell shares were recently at $113.48 after trading as high as $115.01.
  • OptionsXpress Holdings (OXPS) said that David Kalt plans to step down as chief executive officer, effective Sept. 30. The firm said it has named President David Fisher to succeed Kalt as CEO, and also will take his seat on the board.
  • Rambus (RMBS) confirmed that the European Commission issued a Statement of Objections against the company alleging violations of European Union competition law. Rambus said the European Commission's statement represents the agency's preliminary view in its antitrust investigation of the company.
  • Synopsys (SNPS) reported third-quarter net earnings of $24.9 million, or 17 cents a share, up from $7.55 million, or 5 cents a share, in the year-ago period.


Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +2.77%, Nikkei +2.61%, Sensex -0.59%, Taiwan +2.82% and Shanghai +1.05%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +0.96%, DAX +0.96%, FTSE +0.94%, ATX +1.73%, Swiss Mkt. +1.04% and Stockholm +1.01%.
  • Crude oil is trading +0.54 to 69.80 and gold is also higher +4.7 to 673.4 this morning.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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