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Stocks To Watch: Callaway, Clear Channel, Crocs, Nationwide Financial, News Corp.


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


Stocks to watch for Friday, May 4:

  • Bebe Stores (BEBE) fiscal third-quarter earnings fell to $12.9 million, or 14 cents a share, from $13.3 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier as higher costs and expenses offset an increase in revenue. The women's apparel company said that net sales for the quarter ended April 7 rose 16% to $154.4 million from $132.8 million.
  • Cabela's (CAB) first-quarter net income fell 21% on increased depreciation, timing differences in recording incentive compensation expense, and new store-opening costs. Net income fell to $7.14 million, or 11 cents a share, from $9.08 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier. The sporting goods retailer's revenue rose 14% to $462.1 million from $404.8 million, while same-store sales fell 0.9%.
  • Callaway Golf (ELY) reported first-quarter net earnings of $32.8 million, or 48 cents a share, up 44% from $22.9 million, or 33 cents a share, during the year-ago period. Excluding charges, per-share earnings were 49 cents, compared with 34 cents, last year. Revenue at the company rose to $334.6 million from $302.4 million.
  • Chesapeake Energy (CHK) reported first-quarter net income fell to $232 million, or 50 cents a share, from $604 million, or $1.44, a year ago. Revenue for the three months ended March 31 fell to $1.58 billion from $1.94 billion.
  • Two private equity firms made a last-ditch effort to salvage their buyout of Clear Channel (CCU) by adjusting a $19.35 billion bid, but Clear Channel's board promptly rejected the revised offer.
  • Crocs' (CROX) first-quarter net income soared to $24.9 million, or 61 cents a share, from $6.41 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier. The footwear manufacturer and retailer said revenue more than tripled to $142 million from $44.8 million a year ago.
  • Darden Restaurants (DRI) reported U.S. same-restaurant sales for the four-week period ended April 29 as Olive Garden rose 5% to 6%, compared with about a 1% rise in the year-ago period. Darden said same-restaurant sales at Red Lobster fell 1% to 2%, compared with a 9% to 10% increase a year ago.
  • General Motors (GM) posted a 90% drop in quarterly profit, as housing market weakness weighed on results and the company's core North American business continued losing money despite cost cuts.
  • Jones Soda (JSDA) reported first-quarter net earnings of $58,312, or breakeven on a per-share basis, up from $2,542, or breakeven on a per-share basis, during the year-ago period. There were 26.4 million shares outstanding during the quarter and 22.6 million outstanding last year. The loss before interest income and taxes was $427,784. A year ago, earnings before interest income and taxes were $44,832. The Seattle-based soda manufacturer posted revenue of $9.19 million vs. $8.76 million.
  • Nationwide Financial Services (NFS) reported first-quarter net earnings of $203.2 million, or $1.38 a share, up from $142.3 million, or 93 cents a share, during the year-ago period. Revenue at the insurance and financial services company rose to $1.12 billion from $1.08 billion.
  • News Corp. (NWS) is taking its case for buying Dow Jones (DJ) to both the media company's controlling family, the Bancrofts, and to The Wall Street Journal staff.
  • Sears Holdings (SHLD) said it expects first-quarter earnings of $1.30 to $1.53 a share, and net income of between $200 million and $235 million.
  • Tim Hortons' (THI) first-quarter profit dropped about 7% in the first quarter on a higher effective tax rate of 34.6% vs. 14.8% a year ago, as well as more shares outstanding in the latest period. The company said it earned C$59.3 million or 31 Canadian cents a share in the first quarter, vs. C$63.6 million or 39 Canadian cents a year earlier. Total revenue rose to C$424.6 million in the first quarter, up 14% compared to C$372.8 million in the first quarter of 2006.
  • Vonage Holdings (VG) bid for a retrial in its patent dispute with Verizon Communications (VZ) was thrown out by a Federal Circuit Court. The Internet phone provider had sought to have the original jury verdict that it had violated three of Verizon's five patents overturned and a new trial ordered.

Market Update

  • Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng +0.77%, Taiwan +1.76% and Sensex -1.02%.
  • A quick look across the pond finds the CAC +0.38%, DAX +0.27%, FTSE +0.84%, ATX +0.11%, Swiss Mkt. +0.56% and Stockholm +0.35%.
  • Crude oil is -0.07 to 63.12 and gold is +1.8 to 686.2 this morning.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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