Spotlight Stocks: Gap, Lehman, Toyota, Verizon
Friday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.
Stocks to watch for Friday, August 22, 2008:
- Foot Locker (FL) reported 2Q profits of $18 million, or 11 cents a share, up from a year ago loss of $18 million, or 12 cents a share. Revenue rose 1.5 percent to $1.3 billion, up from $1.28 billion last year. Markdowns at the company were lower than expected, which allowed it to beat analyst expectations of 3 cents per share on revenue of $1.27 billion.
- Gap (GPS) swung to a 2Q profit of $229 million, or 32 cents a share, up 51% from $152 million, or 19 cents per share, a ago and beating analyst expectations of 30 cents a share. Sales dropped 5% to $3.5 million. The company said cost cutting and higher profit margins helped turn out the gain.
- Lehman Brothers (LEH) may be acquired by the state-run Korea Development Bank. KDB said it was open to mergers or acquisitions as its government looking to privatize the company by 2012. This news comes a day after KDB and China's CITIC Securities walked away from a proposal by Lehman to sell up to a 50% stake. The Asian companies said the asking price was too high.
- Toyota (TM) is expected to cut its sales forecast for 2009 -- which is more than 10 million vehicles -- by 5%. Last month the company cut its 2008 global sales forecast by 3.7 percent to 9.5 million vehicles. Toyota should lower the number for 2009 to 9.8 million vehicles at its annual business briefing next Thursday.
- Verizon (VZ) is close to striking a deal with Google (GOOG) as a way to expand and improve its mobile search business. Google would become Verizon's default search provider and would give a share of ad revenue. Today, users have to go to different places to look up services such as ringtones, restaurants and Web pages, reported The Wall Street Journal. This partnership is aimed at simplifying the process.
- Asian trading closed with the Nikkei -0.68%, Sensex +1.11%, Taiwan -0.10% and Shanghai -1.09%.
- A quick check across the pond finds the CAC +0.57%, DAX +0.61%, FTSE +1.02%, ATX +0.46%, Swiss Market +0.24% and Stockholm +0.95%.
- In commodities, crude oil is trading lower -0.71 to 120.47 and gold is also down -4.3 to 828.7 this morning.
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