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Ticker Shock: Big Lots, Guess Ready for Takeoff; Boeing Gets Grounded


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


I'd like to finish out the week on a high note. But we'll see.

Asian stocks did okay overnight. The Hang Seng was up more than 2%. The Nikkei was off just a fraction. Europe however is showing me some red this morning. And unfortunately here in the U.S. we are trading lower.

Here's what's on my radar today. TGIF.

Yum! Brands (YUM)
Last night after the close, the chain known for its Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants offered up its outlook for 2008 and 2009.

It forecast 2008 earnings per share, excluding items, will grow 12%. That's consistent with prior guidance. Moreover, for 2009, Yum is forecasting "at least 10% EPS growth, excluding special items."

I see this as good news, and I'm a bull on this company for the longer term. I think it has terrific concepts and potential for growth. The only rub: When it comes to this space, I'd rather dabble in Burger King (BKC) or McDonald's (MCD).

Big Lots (BIG)
The Ohio-based closeout retailer's third-quarter earnings came out at the crack of dawn.

The chain posted $0.15 from continuing ops. That appears to be just short of the previous estimate of $0.16. It also indicated it's looking for $0.90 to $0.99 from continuing ops in the fourth quarter. And that seems a bit disappointing, because the estimate stood at $1.01.

That being said, I still like the shares right here. This wasn't exactly a blockbuster quarter, but we're talking about a company that's expected to earn $1.92 a share in the coming year - yet it trades at $16 and change.

Boeing (BA)
Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner is facing further delays following a 2-month strike by machinists along with a number of other production difficulties that have been plaguing the project.

This is a disappointment, and one that could aggravate customers. And I do know the stock is in the tank now. But I like the company. When I think about the potential demand for air travel in future years, Boeing is one of the first companies to come to mind. I'm a true believer - what can I say?

Guess (GES)
The retailer disseminated its third-quarter numbers last evening.

It put up $0.69 in the period, which handily beat the $0.63 per share analysts were expecting. For the year, however, it's looking for $2.27 to $2.32 a share. And that may be an issue, because the Street was at $2.42.

Look, I really don't want to speculate on today's action. However, in my mind, those would still be some pretty good numbers, given the environment. With the share price currently under $14, they defintely make my head turn.

You know what would be nice here? Some insider buying. Where are you guys?

Have a great day!
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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