Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Data Feed

Posted: February 28, 2008 in Charts, Futures, Sports, Technical Analysis, Trading

8:23 IHP IHOP Corp upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James (43.85 )

08:21 CVC Cablevision misses by $0.08, beats on revs (26.90 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.03 per share, $0.08 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.11; revenues rose 10.8% year/year to $1.84 bln vs the $1.79 bln consensus.
08:21 OCR Omnicare beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides FY08 EPS below consensus (23.78 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.47 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.46; revenues fell 2.7% year/year to $1.56 bln vs the $1.56 bln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $1.65-1.95 vs. $2.11 consensus.
08:20 PH Parker-Hannifin upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS (67.15 )

08:20 GOOG Google: Citigroup says trends are softening but not this much; firm cuts their ests & tgt (472.86 ) -Update-

Citigroup notes that after a careful review of the comScore U.S. Paid Click data released earlier this week, they believe GOOG’s Paid Lead & revenue deceleration from Q4 has continued into Q1, and at a rate greater than their prior estimates have implied. However, they do not believe Google’s Paid Leads have descended to a No Growth Level. Firm lowers their Q/Q revenue growth assumption to 8% from 10%, and cuts their Q1 & FY08 EPS ests. Firm lowers their tgt to $625 from $650. Reits their Buy based on several factors, including their belief that the long-term growth opportunity for Net Advertising & Search is still well intact.
08:20 CVC prelim $0.03 vs $0.11 First Call consensus; revs $1.84 bln vs $1.79 bln First Call consensus

08:20 ITW Illinois Tool upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS (49.51 )

08:19 MRK Merck’s ProQuad vaccine linked to more convulsions – DJ (45.44 )

DJ reports children suffered higher rates of fever-related convulsions when they got a MRK combination vaccine instead of two separate shots, according to a new study. The results prompted a federal advisory panel on vaccines to water down their preference for the combo vaccine ProQuad, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella as well as chickenpox. In the study of children ages 12 months through 23 months, the rate of seizures was twice as high in toddlers who got ProQuad, compared with those who got one shot for chickenpox and one for the three other diseases. The risk translates to about one extra case of convulsion for every 2,000 doses of ProQuad given said Dr. Nicola Klein, who lead the federally funded study. She presented the data at a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
08:19 GOOG Google tgt cut to $610 from $675 at Stifel (472.86 ) -Update-

Stifel cuts their tgt on GOOG to $610 from $675 saying estimates of monthly paid click growth in the United States showed a sharp deceleration at Google over the past few months according to estimates by independent Internet measurement service ComScore. As widely reported this week in the media, ComScore estimates that the U.S. paid clicks growth for Google in January 2008 was about flat year-over-year and down about 12% sequentially. The firm believes that if Google had seen no paid clicks growth in January 2008, the company would have not have expressed optimism during the conference call. Google did take steps in 4Q07 to improve advertiser ROI, which they expect to slow paid click growth for the next several quarters.
08:18 DTSI DTS: Riding the Blu-Ray wave – Kaufman (23.50 )

Kaufman says their Dec expectations for DTSI are for rev of $15.9 mln and EPS of $0.15. The Street is expecting DTS to report rev of $15.1 mln and EPS $0.15. From the quarter, firm expects to see a positive revenue trend on sales from high definition devices. They are also looking for incrementally better operating margins. Just as firm is high on the Street with their Dec expectations, they are also high on the Street for 2008 expectations. Firm’s enthusiasm comes from the conclusion of the Blu-ray/HD DVD player battle.
08:17 LLY Eli Lilly announces that FDA issues not-approvable letter for Zyprexa long-acting injection for Schizophrenia treatment (51.83 )

Co announces it has received a not approvable letter from the FDA for Zyprexa long-acting injection for the treatment and maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in adults. In its letter, the FDA said it needs more information to better understand the risk and underlying cause of excessive sedation events that have been observed in about 1 percent of patients in clinical trials. In its letter, the FDA cited a new excessive sedation event that occurred shortly before the Feb 6 hearing. LLY alerted the agency and the advisory committee about the existence of a possible new case on Feb 6, noting that LLY was investigating the details of the event including conflicting information about the time of onset. After collecting additional information, LLY was able to confirm after the advisory committee hearing that this was a case of excessive sedation and that it began between 3 to 5 hours after injection. All previous excessive sedation events had begun within three hours of injection. As with all previous patients with excessive sedation, this patient fully recovered.
08:17 EPL Energy Partners misses by $0.39, beats on revs (12.47 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.29 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.39 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.10; revenues rose 2.2% year/year to $114.1 mln vs the $111.7 mln consensus.
08:15 NZ Netezza beats by $0.05, beats on revs; guides FY09 revs above consensus (8.95 )

Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $0.07 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than the First Call consensus of $0.02. Co issues upside guidance for FY09, sees FY09 revs of $165-168 mln vs. $160.99 mln consensus.
08:15 CNP CenterPoint beats by $0.02, misses on revs; guides FY08 EPS in-line (15.24 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.32 per share, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.30; revenues rose 5.6% year/year to $2.6 bln. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $1.15-1.25 vs. $1.23 consensus.
08:15 LXP Lexington downgraded to Hold at Stifel (15.16 )

Stifel downgrades LXP to Hold from buy saying although they have great faith in management and their investment acumen, and they think the co repositioning has been very successful, they think the dividend/FAD will not be covered in 2009/2010 without additional asset sales. The firm says the projected dividend coverage shortfall is driven by 1) reversion of the reverse straight-line rents to standard SL rents, 2) the largest single asset, 100 Light Street (530k sf) in Baltimore, MD, $47/sf master lease burning off in 2009 and 3) increased lease expirations in 2009/2010.
08:15 DLM Del Monte beats by $0.04, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS above consensus (7.65 )

Reports Q3 (Jan) earnings of $0.28 per share, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $0.24; revenues rose 10.4% year/year to $1 bln vs the $0.96 bln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.27-0.31 vs. $0.25 consensus. “Results for the third quarter fiscal 2008 include $0.02 of transformation-related expense. Guidance includes $0.04 of transformation-related expense.”
08:13 ADVNB Advanta Corp initiated with a Hold at Stifel (8.38 )

Stifel initiates coverage on the Class B share of ADVNB with a Hold. The firm says the combination of weakening economy and distressed capital markets has made the current environment exceedingly challenging for nonbank lenders, especially smaller ones like Advanta. However, they believe credit card companies are better positioned to navigate through these difficult times given the product’s structural advantages and related superior access to securitization funding.
08:13 TS Tenaris: In-line quarter driven by better operating margins – Jefferies (44.00 )

Jefferies says TS’s relatively in-line quarter was largely driven by better operating margins. However, the lower realized tubes price and tempered 2008 remarks could weigh on the stock. Firm continues to maintain our long-term outlook, which includes leverage to rising deepwater activity and improving product mix.
08:12 PDE Pride Intl beats by $0.07, reports revs in-line (34.91 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.62 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.07 better than the First Call consensus of $0.55; revenues rose 14.6% year/year to $502.3 mln vs the $507.2 mln consensus.
08:12 TMA Thornburg Mortg may have to sell assets to meet margin calls (11.54 )

From today’s 10-k, “The occurrence of recent adverse developments in the mortgage finance and credit markets has affected our business and our stock price. In recent months, the mortgage industry has come under enormous pressure due to numerous economic and industry-related factors. Many companies operating in the mortgage sector have failed and others are facing serious operating and financial challenges. At the same time, many mortgage securities have been downgraded and delinquencies and credit performance of mortgage loans in the industry have deteriorated. We faced significant challenges during the second half of 2007 due to these adverse conditions in the mortgage industry and the difficulties we experienced in pricing and financing our mortgage assets, and are continuing to face these challenges in 2008. There is no assurance that these conditions have stabilized or that they will not worsen. Recent adverse changes in the mortgage finance and credit markets have eliminated or reduced the availability, or increased the cost, of significant sources of funding for us. Beginning in August 2007, the fair value of our ARM Assets as well as our Hedging Instruments declined, our margin requirements on our financing increased and in August 2007 we sold a significant amount of assets and terminated Swap Agreements in order to reduce our exposure to further margin calls on recourse borrowings and hedging transactions. There is no assurance that the value of our Purchased ARM Assets and Hedging Instruments will not decline further, that lenders will not make additional margin calls or that we will be able to satisfy additional margin calls. The price of our Common Stock declined significantly as a result of these events and the impact on our earnings. There is no assurance that our stock price will not continue to experience significant volatility as mortgage security prices continue to decline.”
08:11 VRX Valeant Pharmaceuticals misses by $0.06, misses on revs (14.22 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.15 per share, $0.06 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.21; revenues fell 4.9% year/year to $236.7 mln vs the $248.9 mln two analyst est.
08:11 HK Petrohawk Energy: Jefferies says to buy ahead of analyst meeting (17.80 )

Jefferies says they do not typically advise this sort of thing, but it makes some sense to buy HK ahead of March 12 analyst meeting in NY. Firm says the co is likely to upsize expectations for the Fayetteville Shale. Cotton Valley plays could get a boost from buzz surrounding exploration potential in deeper horizons. Firm is also raising ’08 ests to $0.63/$3.11 from $0.58/$2.92 on better production/prices.
08:11 ARCC Ares Capital misses by $0.01 (14.00 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.37 per share, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.38. Co sees adjusted EBITDA to be $100-125 mln.
08:11 ITC ITC Holdings reports Q4 results above consensus; guides in line (55.05 )

ITC reports Q4 EPS of $0.36 vs $0.26 First Call consensus; revs rose 50% YoY $109.4 mln vs $100.30 mln single analyst estimate. ITC sees FY08 EPS of $1.90-2.00 vs $1.96 First Call consensus.
08:11 ACW Accuride beats by $0.18, reports revs in-line (7.66 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.10 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.18 better than the First Call consensus of ($0.08); revenues fell 35.5% year/year to $222.5 mln vs the $222.4 mln consensus. Co sees FY08 adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $100 million to $125 million and free cash flow to be $5 million to $15 million.
08:11 PBKS Provident Bank downgraded to Sell from Hold at Sandler O’Neill (15.89 )

08:10 GCA Global Cash access to acquire Certegy Gaming Services for $25 mln (6.16 )

Co announces it has executed an agreement to acquire Certegy Gaming Services from Fidelity National Transaction Services. At the closing of the acquisition, GCA will acquire all of C.G.S.’ issued shares of stock for a purchase price of $25 mln, and C.G.S. will become a wholly owned GCA subsidiary.
08:10 WIRES On The Wires

Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) announces that Maersk Oil Qatar has awarded two contracts to provide Floating Storage and Offloading services on the Al Shaheen field off shore Qatar… VeriFone Holdings (PAY) announces a reseller arrangement with BLM Technologies, a provider of end-to-end branch technology solutions for financial institutions… Rockwell Automation (ROK) announces that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the Safety and Automation business of CEDES AG. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed… Google (GOOG) introduces Google Sites, an application that makes creating a team web site as easy as editing a document. With Google Sites, people can quickly gather a variety of information in one place and share it for viewing or editing.
08:09 MDS Midas reports Q4 (Dec) results, beats on revs; guides FY08 revs above consensus (18.20 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.36 per share, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.19; revenues rose 7.3% year/year to $46.9 mln vs the $42.8 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $190 mln vs. $180.16 mln consensus.
08:09 PDE prelim $0.62, ex items vs $0.55 First Call consensus; revs $502.3 mln vs $507.20 mln First Call consensus

08:09 DPTR Delta Petroleum reports Q4; announces agreement to develop additional reserves, production, and acreage (24.65 )

Co reports Q4 EPS of ($0.53), includes charges, may not compare to ($0.08) consensus; reports revs up 21% yr/yr to $45.1 mln vs $56.0 mln consensus. Co announces an agreement to develop additional reserves, production and acreage in the Vega Area of the southern Piceance Basin, with the transaction’s total resource potential in excess of 1.4 Tcfe. Co sees Q1 production of 5.46-5.66 Bcfe, from previous guidance of 5.28-5.48 Bcfe. Co sees Y08 production guidance up 45-60% yr/yr, to a range of 25.8-28.4 Bcfe.
08:08 SNV Synovus a takeover target? Buyer would face hurdles – Atlanta Journal Constitution (12.36 )

Atlanta Journal Constitution reports the co fresh from its December spinoff of Total System Services, Synovus is now a pure stand-alone bank. That status could make it more attractive — and vulnerable — to another financial institution. Since the spinoff, Synovus’ mkt cap has plunged from $7.9 bln to $4 bln, reflecting Wall Street’s valuation of the bank without the payments processor. Some analysts saw the Total System holding as a stumbling block to any buyer interested in Synovus because it would likely not want a payments processor. Yet Richard Anthony, Synovus’ plain-spoken chairman and CEO, says emphatically that the co is not for sale. “Our agenda certainly doesn’t have on it us running the bank for the short term and packaging it for sale,” he said. Besides, given the current credit crunch and mortgage mess that wrecked many banks’ balance sheets, few on Wall Street expect 2008 to produce significant bank mergers — if any… Corporate protestations notwithstanding, Synovus has a lot to offer an institution hungry for a Southeastern presence, analysts say: geography, size and customer base. They say it also has a number of stumbling blocks that would make a deal difficult: Synovus’ decentralized structure and the presence of several prominent families on its board.
08:08 WNR Western Refining misses by $0.37, beats on revs (23.41 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.38 per share, $0.37 worse than the First Call consensus of ($0.01); revenues rose 145.0% year/year to $2.42 bln.
08:08 HLYS Heelys: 4Q07 EPS preview; loss of major customer indicates that 2008 could be difficult year – Brean Murray (5.58 )

Brean Murray says HLYS will report 4Q07 results on Tuesday, March 4, after the market closes. Firm cuts their 4Q07 EPS est one cent to ($0.01) and also lowering their 2008 EPS est to $0.96 from $1.05. They believe that the combination of remaining excess retail inventory coupled with the recent loss of a major customer (DKS) could further depress 2008 results. Excluding cash, HLYS trades at 2x their 2008 EPS est, making it the cheapest stock in the branded footwear universe.
08:06 FLR Fluor beats by $0.29, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS in-line (132.07 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.47 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.29 better than the First Call consensus of $1.18; revenues rose 29.7% year/year to $4.71 bln vs the $4.55 bln consensus. Co raises EPS guidance for FY08 to $5.10-5.50 from $4.90-5.30 and vs. $5.43 consensus. Co says it continues to be very successful at winning major new projects across the diverse markets that it serves. The co expects ongoing strength in downstream oil & gas, polysilicon production, power generation and pollution reduction, mining and operations and maintenance.
08:05 JRJC China Finance Online: Estimating a Moloon write-off – Brean Murray (16.96 )

Brean Murray says as a follow-up to their 4Q07 earnings preview, irm dug a bit deeper into the potential one-time non-cash charge against the co’s minority interest in Moloon. Firm’sr analysis indicates that the impairment charge could exceed $10 mln in 4Q07. While this will likely drag GAAP earnings into negative territory for 4Q07 and 2007, it is completely unrelated to the co’s current and future operations. They believe most investors should and would focus on the solid non-GAAP results.
08:05 ILI Interleukin Genetics enters into new clinical research Collaboration with Alticor; will receive $1.2 mln in 2008 for research (1.47 )

Co announces that it has executed a new research agreement with Access Business Group International, a subsidiary of Alticor. ILI will be conducting various clinical studies, which shall be fully funded by Alticor. Studies will look to correlate single nucleotide polymorphic gene variations to the risk of osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease in Asian populations. Under the terms of the agreement, A.B.G. will pay ILI $1.2 mln during 2008 for the research. Approx $800K of unspent funding from prior research agreements with Alticor shall also be credited against the costs incurred under this new agreement.
08:04 LVLT Level 3 and IBM announce patent cross-license (2.38 )

Co and IBM (IBM) announce that the companies recently entered into a long-term patent cross-license agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, IBM granted Level 3 licenses to IBM’s approximately 42,000 pending and issued patents which cover a broad range of telecommunications services and technologies. In turn, Level 3 granted IBM licenses to those of Level 3’s more than 850 pending and issued patents which cover a broad range of information handling systems. The licenses will last as long as the lives of the respective patents. Other terms of the cross-license agreement were not disclosed.
08:04 CNP prelim $0.32 vs $0.30 First Call consensus; revs $2.6 bln vs $3.13 bln First Call consensus

08:04 S&P futures vs fair value: -7.5. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -6.0.

Early indications suggest a lower start to trading. In earnings news, Sears Holdings (SHLD) missed its EPS estimate by six cents. Freddie Mac (FRE) reported a fourth quarter loss of $3.97 per share, which is $1.63 worse than the First Call consensus. On Wednesday, Fannie Mae (FNM) also reported a larger than expected loss. Sprint (S) is down more than 10% in pre-market trading. The company had a massive write-down in the value of its wireless unit and eliminated its dividend. Fed Chairman Bernanke will once again be testifying, this time before the Senate Banking Committee. Because he already testified before the House yesterday, there should not be any real surprises today.
08:04 HURC Hurco Companies reports Q1 EPS of $1.21 vs $0.90 single estimate; reports revs up 30% yr/yr to $60.9 mln vs $51.0 mln single estimate (36.16 )

08:04 NZ raises FY09 rev guidance to $165-168 mln vs $160.99 mln First Call consensus

08:04 WDC Western Digital: Preannounces another upside quarter – Brean Murray (33.97 )

Brean Murray says in what is becoming the rule rather than the exception over the past three and-a-half years, WDC revised upward its guidance for the current quarter. While the quarter is still expected to be seasonally down from a record Dec quarter, WDC’s revised EPS range of $1.05-1.11 represents the second-highest earnings the co has ever reported. Strong execution and technology leadership in the 2.5″ and 3.5″ drive markets, which supported a high product mix, were the primary factors behind the upside announcement. Firm sees WDC’s technology leadership and the continued accretion of Komag providing upside potential for the remainder of CY08.
08:03 UA Under Armour names Wayne Marino COO and names Brad Dickerson CFO (38.63 )

08:03 NZ prelim $0.07 vs $0.02 First Call consensus; revs $39.5 mln vs $34.34 mln First Call consensus

08:02 SCMR Sycamore reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (3.48 )

Reports Q2 (Jan) earnings of $0.04 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.04; revenues rose 4.8% year/year to $41.5 mln vs the $40.5 mln consensus.
08:02 FLR sees FY08 $5.10-5.50 vs $5.43 First Call consensus

08:02 WNR prelim ($0.38) may not compare to the ($0.01) First Call consensus

08:02 VRX prelim $0.15 vs $0.21 First Call consensus; revs $236.7 mln vs $248.85 mln First Call consensus

08:01 FLR prelim $1.47, ex-items, vs $1.18 First Call consensus; revs $4.71 bln vs $4.55 bln First Call consensus

08:01 DLM sees Q4 $0.27-0.31, ex items vs $0.25 First Call consensus

08:01 SCMR prelim $0.04 vs $0.04 First Call consensus; revs $41.5 mln vs $40.53 mln First Call consensus

08:01 ARCC sees adjusted EBITDA to be $100-125 mln

08:01 DLM prelim $0.28, ex items vs $0.24 First Call consensus; revs $1 bln vs $956.83 mln First Call consensus

08:00 ACW prelim $0.10 may not compare to ($0.08) First Call consensus; revs $222.5 mln vs $222.37 mln First Call consensus

08:00 ARCC prelim $0.37, ex items vs $0.38 First Call consensus

08:00 DBRN Dress Barn: Cautiously optimistic for the co to be able to improve sales trends at the Dress Barn chain in the near-term – Merriman (12.57 )

Merriman says that despite a disappointing holiday season, firm is cautiously optimistic for the co to be able to improve sales trends at the Dress Barn chain in the near-term, while maintaining recent strength at Maurices. They continue to believe in the co’s long-term growth opportunities and believe there is potential upside to current expectations. Firm would recommend using recent weakness in the stock as a buying opportunity.
07:57 CRM Salesforce.com: Color on quarter (52.62 )

Friedman Billings says CRM reported a good quarter last night, with upside to rev and EPS, while FCF was shy of their est. Subscriber growth and bookings were solid in the quarter, helping to drive strong deferred rev growth. ARPU continues to slide, partly as a result of lower-priced, newer offerings, but also they believe to increased competition and the effect it is having on the pricing environment. With the introduction of firm’s FY10 ests, they are raising their tgt from $35 to $44, which represents 40x their FY10 pro forma EPS est… Citi says that in software universe’s darkening sky, CRM’s light shows no signs of dimming. FQ4 (Jan.) metrics were better than expected virtually across the board, as record bookings increased def revs q/q by 41% or $140M (>7x the rise in FQ3). No signs of macro slowdown as customers worldwide are flocking to CRM’s web-based on-demand architecture. Firm believes that CRM is 1 of the few mid-cap software names that could become a large cap. Firm raises their tgt to $70 from $60
07:56 CBI CB&I estimates & tgt cut to $58 at Citi (47.00 )

Citigroup cuts their 2008-10 EPS ests and tgt to $58 from $67, after Liquid Niugini announced Bechtel had won its $6.5 bln project. The LNG project was being bid between Bechtel and CBI, and accordingly its 50/50 expected value was a significant component of firm’s CBI valuation.
07:56 COWN Cowen Group reports Q4 (Dec) results, misses on revs (8.94 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.86 per share, includes charges, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of ($0.61); revenues fell 39.1% year/year to $59.3 mln vs the $63.8 mln consensus. “The Co’s results for the fourth quarter of 2007 included a $10.1 mln cumulative adjustment to compensation expense to increase the Co’s compensation and benefits expense to revenue ratio to 65% for the full year of 2007, excluding the expense related to equity awards to employees in connection with the Company’s initial public offering.”
07:56 KNDL Kendle tgt upped to $51 from $47 at Jefferies following earnings (43.97 )

07:55 GOOG Google to offer health records on the web – WSJ (472.86 ) -Update-

WSJ reports the co plans today to announce an online repository where consumers can store their health information — a move that could boost the nation’s fledgling efforts to adopt electronic medical records. With the Web service, expected to be called Google Health, consumers will be able to enter their own basic medical data and invite their doctors to electronically send information that would be stored by Google, according to one person who has tested the co’s new site.
07:55 OSIR Osiris Therapeutics reports Q4 EPS of ($0.73) vs ($0.34) First Call consensus; revs +125% yr/yr to $7.2 mln vs $5.68 mln First Call consensus (11.73 )

07:55 FNM Fannie Mae: OFHEO provides positive – Citi (27.27 ) -Update-

Citi says OFHEO stated that FNM has generally met the terms of the ‘04 consent agreement and that the 2% portfolio growth cap would be removed and the 30% capital surplus requirement could potentially be reduced. While OFHEO’s statement regarding capital contained several caveats, firm believes the prospect for any easing of capital constraints is a positive development.
07:54 NOC Northrop Grumman, Loral hook up to get US Satellite work – WSJ (80.82 )

WSJ reports seeking to create a potentially powerful new competitor for building future U.S. govt satellites, NOC and Loral Space & Communications announced a strategic partnership to share certain technology and production assets. The venture aims to shake up the satellite industry by combining Northrop’s history providing advanced sensors and spy-satellite systems to military, intelligence and other federal customers with Loral’s track record of manufacturing lower-cost commercial satellites. If successful, the arrangement announced yesterday could cut production costs and make Northrop a more-effective rival against BA and LMT, the perennial top U.S. govt satellite suppliers.
07:53 DKS Dick’s Sporting Goods: Solid Q4 expected, new product and gross margins could drive model in FY09 – Citi (29.48 )

Citi is reiterating their Buy rating before the qtr based on strong sell throughs at retail over the last three months with limited markdowns and firm’s expectation of solid FY09 guidance based on new product introductions and continued market share gains. Firm believes an underappreciated part of DKS’ story and model is its focus on increasing the amount of private brands, which currently include agreements with NKE, Reebok and Adidas. They believe the co will continue building on this strategy, which mgt disclosed generates around 600 to 800 bps more than a branded product for DKS.
07:53 SCANX Early pre-market gappers

Gapping up: DBRN +12.9%, NRF +10.5%, CRM +10.4%, IMMC +10.0%, MIDD +9.4%, FLS +9.3%, VRNM +8.5%, REGN +8.3%, CTRP +7.2%, VISN +6.7%, NKTR +5.6%, RMBS +5.0%, MANT +4.5%, NUVO +3.6%, ZINC +3.1%, GEF +2.6%, APPL +2.5%, LTD +2.0%, APPX +1.9%, XNPT +1.4%, ABH +1.3%, MRX +1.2%… Gapping down: NGSX -39.7%, SEED -32.9%, AIRN -17.2%, S -13.4%, FIRE -12.1%, MYL -9.7%, PDGI -8.1%, ESPD -7.9%, WG -5.6%, RFMD -4.0%, TMA -3.9%, WDC -2.9%, NNN -2.5%, CEDC -2.4%, SHLD -2.1%, STX -1.9%, GFI -1.8%, FRX -1.5%, AAUK -1.4%, T -1.1%, QCOM -1.1%, FNM -1.0%.
07:53 COWN prelim ($0.86), may not compare to the ($0.61) First Call consensus; revs $59.30 mln vs $63.76 mln First Call consensus

07:52 TSTY Tasty Baking misses by $0.02, misses on revs; guides FY08 revs below consensus (6.90 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.01 per share, $0.02 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.03; revenues fell 4.0% year/year to $39.3 mln vs the $43.2 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs expected to grow by approximately 3% to 4% YoY, which equates to $175-176.7 mln vs. $180.38 mln consensus. “Gross profit is expected to decline by $3 mln dollars, which is driven by the estimated $3 mln dollar increase in depreciation versus fiscal 2007.”
07:51 SFI iStar Financial misses on revs; guides FY08 FFO below consensus (22.85 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $0.74 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.29 worse than the single analyst estimate of $1.03; revenues rose 59.8% year/year to $413.8 mln vs the $432.6 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees FFO of $3.50-4.00, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $4.25 consensus.
07:51 CETV Central European Media reports Q4 (Dec) results, beats on revs (97.83 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.71 per share, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $2.04; revenues rose 40.5% year/year to $301 mln vs the $276.2 mln consensus.
07:50 SORL SORL Auto Parts retains Jefferies as lead financial advisor (5.85 )

Co announces that it has retained Jefferies & Co as its lead financial advisor for mergers and acquisitions related to potential consolidation opportunities in the automotive parts industry and further penetration of international markets in the future.
07:49 SYPR Sypris Solutions misses by $0.04, beats on revs; guides Q1 revs in-line; reaffirms FY08 EPS guidance, revs guidance (5.01 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.12 per share, $0.04 worse than the First Call consensus of ($0.08); revenues fell 5.3% year/year to $103.7 mln vs the $94.8 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs of $102-107 mln vs. $102.56 mln consensus. Co reaffirms guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $0.05-0.10 vs. $0.10 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $460-480 mln vs. $462.46 mln consensus.
07:49 GOOG Google tgt cut to $600 at Oppenheimer; cuts 1Q08 ests (472.86 )

Oppenheimer cuts their tgt on GOOG to $600 from $715. Firm says the material slowdown in sponsored clicks is a serious concern, and the higher CPC inflation is not sustainable. Firm is cautiously optimistic–though GOOG remains exposed to the downside risk that US sponsored click growth has not bottomed out yet, international strength and possible reversal of trends in U.S. sponsored clicks can mitigate the downside risk. Firm was materially below consensus for ’08 and ’09 ests, but are further trimming their 1Q08 numbers to account for a steeper than expected slowdown in paid clicks at GOOG. For 1Q08, they are now modeling net rev of $3.61 bln (prior $3.65 bln), adj EBITDA of $2.11 bln (prior $2.13 bln), and pro forma EPS of $4.58 (prior $4.63) … (Consensus EPS is $4.66 and $3.66 bln).
07:48 Details on Citi’s downgrades of WDC and STX

As mentioned earlier, Citigroup downgraded WDC and STX to Hold from Buy, saying they are taking a more cautious stance on the Hard Disk Drive sector given their view that: 1) the group is nearing a cyclical peak, 2) the first opportunity for incremental capacity additions in approx a year appears set for ~Q3, 3) consumer demand is subject to seasonal and macro-driven moderation, and 4) firm views the likelihood of consolidation as less likely near-term.
07:47 SYPR sees FY08 $0.05-0.10 vs $0.10 First Call consensus; sees revs $460-480 mln vs $462.46 mln First Call consensus

07:47 ATSI ATS Medical initiated with an Outperform at Rodman and Renshaw- tgt $3.00 (1.69 )

Rodman and Renshaw initiates ATSI with an Outperform and a $3 tgt saying they believe ATS Medical is a company in active transformation, with management steadily executing towards a more diversified cardio-surgical platform to improve corporate revenue growth levels and profitability. The firm says from a base business of mechanical heart valves, a declining growth market with margin pressures, the co continues its migration towards higher growth, higher margin products, including tissue heart valves, heart valve repair, and cryothermy based surgical atrial fibrillation ablation technologies.
07:47 SYPR sees Q1 revs $102-107 mln vs $102.56 mln First Call consensus

07:46 SYPR prelim ($0.12) vs ($0.08) First Call consensus; revs $103.7 mln vs $94.78 mln First Call consensus

07:46 TPX Tempur-Pedic: Channel checks indicate headwinds remain; stock oversold but lacks catalyst – Oppenheimer (18.54 )

Oppenheimer says that based on recent channel checks, as expected it appears the U.S. mattress industry slowdown firm saw in late 2007 is continuing into 2008. Firm believes this is driven by macroeconomic pressures rather than housing. While TPX is not immune to these challenging conditions, its sales continue to outpace the overall market. Importantly, they believe the stock is extremely oversold and represents a compelling valuation, discounting a “doomsday scenario” in which sales and earnings decline in 2008, which firm views as unlikely. That said, the stock lacks a near-term catalyst and is most appropriate for patient investors at this point.
07:44 FRE Freddie Mac misses by $1.63 (25.09 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $3.97 per share, $1.63 worse than the First Call consensus of ($2.34). Net loss was $2.5 bln for 4Q07, compared to a loss of $1.2 bln for the 3Q07. The majority of this increase in loss resulted from significant mark-to-market losses detailed below in the discussions of other non-interest loss and other non-interest expense. Without giving effect to the accounting changes for the co’s guarantee obligation discussed above, the Q4 net loss would have been $3.7 bln. “Today’s economy represents one of the most severe housing downturns in American history, and our results reflect that difficult environment as well as Freddie Mac’s steadfast commitment to its important mission of providing liquidity, stability and affordability to the U.S. housing finance system… We remain extremely cautious as we enter 2008. If the economy weakens substantially from here – a possibility for which we need to be prepared as a company – it will have a further negative effect on homeowners across the country and drive credit costs higher. However, we have taken the steps to add capital, tighten our management of credit risk and institute pricing policies that are more consistent with the risk we bear… In 2008, we will continue to prudently manage our capital, particularly given the outlook for continued weakening in the housing market.” In addition, as a result of the continuing deterioration in the U.S. housing market, the co has revised its estimate of total credit losses for 2008 and 2009 to $2.2 bln and $2.9 bln, respectively.
07:42 CIM Chimera Investment initiated with a Neutral at J.P Morgan (17.65 )

07:42 TSTY prelim $0.01 vs $0.03 single analyst est; revs $39.26 mln vs $43.16 mln single analyst est

07:41 BYD Boyd Gaming downgraded to Neutral at Calyon- tgt cut to $27 (24.28 ) -Update-

Calyon downgrades BYD to Neutral from Add and cuts their tgt to $27 from $38 due to continued challenges in Las Vegas ‘locals’, Atlantic City, and N. Indiana markets, which together comprised ~70% of 2007 EBITDA. Firm says they continue to see long-term value in the shares, but the lack on near-term catalysts and further downside risk to 2009 estimates leave a Neutral risk/reward for now.
07:39 HSP Hospira beats by $0.06, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS in-line (39.90 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.63 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the First Call consensus of $0.57; revenues rose 33.9% year/year to $946.1 mln vs the $915.8 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $2.45-2.55 vs. $2.47 consensus.
07:39 BRL Barr Pharma reports Q4 (Dec) results, beats on revs; guides FY08 revs above consensus (49.19 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) adjusted earnings of $0.79 per share, excludes stock based compensation expense which analysts are including, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.74; revenues rose 16.0% year/year to $668.7 mln vs the $624.9 mln consensus. Co issues guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $3.05-3.35, may not be comparable to $3.70 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $2.7-2.8 bln vs. $2.69 bln consensus.
07:39 BYD Boyd Gaming downgraded to Underweight at Keybanc- tgt $20 (24.28 )

KeyBanc downgrades BYD to Underweight from Hold and sets a $20 tgt, following Q407 EPS that exceeded consensus estimates and Q108 EPS guidance below firm/consensus estimates based on Blue Chip’s competitive and construction issues that will likely exist througout the year while consumer spending trends that remain sluggish.
07:39 ABH AbitibiBowater beats by $0.33, misses on revs (16.53 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $2.34 per share, $0.33 better than the First Call consensus of ($2.67); revenues rose 73.2% year/year to $1.49 bln vs the $1.65 bln consensus.
07:38 AAPL Apple: New Penryn iMacs Tuesday? – LoopRumors (122.96 )

LoopRumors reports the co is rumored to be releasing new iMacs this coming Tuesday. German Mac site, MacNotes.de believes that Apple will release a new line-up of iMacs based on the Intel Penryn processors, switching from current Merom based machines. If accurate, this release would continue the trend of weekly releases since Macworld. Apple is scheduled to host a Special Event next Thursday, March 6th, to roll out the iPhone and iPod Touch software developer kit. Rumors also indicate that select developers have received an early release and have been working with the SDK for months. This suggests that more than just the SDK will be announced, and possibly some new native applications that will take advantage of the unique touch screen.
07:38 VTIV inVentiv Health beats by $0.02, beats on revs; reaffirms FY08 guidance (30.72 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.47 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.45; revenues rose 26.5% year/year to $268 mln vs the $254.7 mln consensus. Co reaffirms FY08 guidance of EPS of $1.80-1.90 vs. $1.85 consensus, and revs of $1.05-1.15 bln vs. $1.09 bln consensus.
07:38 PRICE Filings, Offerings, Pricings and IPOs

Filings: AMDL Inc (ADL) files an s-3 relating to a 4.34 mln share common stock offering by selling shareholders… Pricings: National Retail Properties (NNN) prices a $220 mln convertible notes offering; notes are convertible into cash and at the co’s option, cash, common stock or a combination thereof at an initial conversion price of $25.42/share
07:38 NMTI NMT Medical initiated with a Market Perform at Rodman and Renshaw (4.11 )

Rodman and Renshaw initiates NMTI with a Market Perform saying they believe NMT Medical’s growth is handicapped by challenges in clinical and FDA regulatory pathways for its devices. With P.F.O device clearance not expected in the US until 2010, European product revenue growth capped somewhat by a lack of broader based clinical data, and next generation device that is still in pre-clinical trials, they believe the stock is range-bound.
07:36 ABH prelim ($2.34) vs ($2.67) First Call consensus; revs $1.49 bln vs $1.65 bln First Call consensus

07:36 IPGP IPG Photonics misses by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (17.96 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.18 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.19; revenues rose 30.9% year/year to $55.1 mln vs the $53.2 mln consensus. For Q1, co sees EPS of $0.14-0.18 vs. $0.19 consensus; sees Q1 revs of $50-54 mln vs. $52.2 mln consensus.
07:36 NRF Northstar Realty misses by $0.01, reports revs in-line (8.12 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $0.39 per share, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.40; revenues rose 67.2% year/year to $110.9 mln vs the $111.4 mln consensus. “For the first quarter 2008 NorthStar expects to adopt SFAS 159 — Fair Value Option… Beginning in the first quarter, NorthStar will designate certain assets and liabilities for fair value accounting. The fair value analysis for first quarter 2008 is ongoing, however, we believe that based on fair values of our financial assets and liabilities as of December 31, 2007, there could be an over $4.00 per share increase to book value upon adoption of SFAS 159.”
07:36 NGSX Neurogesx: Moving forward with PNH Indication, HIV in question – Susquehanna (5.97 )

07:35 AMAG AMAG Pharma downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill (47.18 )

07:35 REV Revlon reports EPS in-line, misses on revs (1.10 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.08 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.08; revenues rose 1.0% year/year to $382.6 mln vs the $401.3 mln consensus.
07:34 PRGO Perrigo initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse- tgt $40 (35.01 )

Credit Suisse initiates PRGO with a Neutral and a $40 tgt saying Perrigo is well positioned to grow share with geographic expansion and take advantage of an estimated $10 bln in brand value which could undergo Rx-to-OTC switches over the next 5 years. Firm says Gross margin expansion and operating leverage are capable of driving FCFs in the $150-200 mln per year range.
07:34 AMGN Amgen: Negative ODAC, tighter label coming – FBR (46.60 )

Friedman Billings says yesterday they hosted an ODAC preview call with two thought leaders. These thought leaders debated the safety of EPOs in cancer, disagreed on the role of the EPO receptor, said there was little new clinical data for the ODAC, and that the panel will likely vote the same way it did last time: to restrict the label. While the FDA ignored the advice of the panel last time and left the label unchanged, firm is sensing this time is different. They believe the FDA will come up with something looking like the NCD or stricter. Firm is now confident enough that the label will be restricted to now lower their Aranesp numbers in cancer, by 4% in 08 and 28% in 09, when we expect to see the full effect of a potentially tightened label. Firm’s new price target is $45, down from $50.
07:34 RHD R.H. Donnelley reports Q4 (Dec) results, revs in-line; guides FY08 revs in-line (17.80 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.17 per share, includes charges, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.10; revenues rose 9.8% year/year to $680.8 mln vs the $679 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $2.6-2.7 bln vs. $2.7 bln consensus.
07:34 WIRES On The Wires

EMCOR Group (EME) announces that its Dynalectric subsidiary in Los Angeles has been awarded a contract to upgrade and install the electrical systems for the Port of Long Beach Pier G East Terminal in Long Beach, California… China Automotive Systems (CAAS) announces that its subsidiary, Jingzhou Henglong Automotive Parts, has passed Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Company safety test and road test for its power steering gears and started preparing its initial shipment of model Dongfeng Peugeot 206 to D.P.C.A.
07:34 VTIV reaffirms FY08 $1.80-1.90 vs $1.85 First Call consensus; sees revs $1.05-1.15 mln vs $1.09 bln First Call consensus

07:33 VTIV prelim $0.47 vs $0.45 First Call consensus; revs $268.0 mln vs $254.71 mln First Call consensus

07:33 BRL sees FY08 $3.05-3.35 vs $3.70 First Call consensus; sees revs $2.7-2.8 bln vs $2.69 bln First Call consensus

07:32 RHD sees FY08 revs $2.6-2.7 bln vs $2.70 bln First Call consensus

07:32 IPGP sees Q1 $0.14-0.18 vs $0.19 First Call consensus; sees revs $50-54 mln vs $52.2 mln First Call consensus

07:32 FRE prelim ($3.97) vs ($2.34) First Call consensus

07:32 RHD prelim ($0.17) may not compare $0.10 First Call consensus; revs $680.8 mln vs $678.96 mln First Call consensus

07:32 BRL prelim $0.79 vs $0.74 First Call consensus; revs $668.7 mln vs $624.90 mln First Call consensus

07:31 SCRX Sciele Pharma initiated with a Outperform at Credit Suisse- tgt $30 (20.48 )

07:31 NRF prelim funds from operations of $0.39 vs $0.40 First Call consensus; revs $110.92 mln vs $111.42 mln First Call consensus

07:31 LJPC La Jolla Pharm reports Q4 EPS of ($0.36) vs ($0.37) consensus (2.73 )

07:31 REP Repsol profit surges on asset sales, output falls – DJ (34.51 )

DJ reports the co said that fourth-quarter net profit jumped 56%, driven by gains from asset sales, though output fell sharply, led by contractual changes and aging projects in South America. Repsol YPF said net profit was EUR740 mln for the three months to Dec. 31, compared with EUR473 mln in the same period a year ago. Fourth-quarter adjusted net profit rose 19% to EUR650 mln from EUR547 mln, beating a consensus forecast.
07:31 IPGP prelim $0.18 vs $0.19 First Call consensus; revs $55.1 mln vs $53.2 mln First Call consensus

07:30 LSE Capital Lease Funding: Outlook defensive; lowering estimates – FBR (8.42 )

Friedman Billings says this is what a recession means to LSE: the dividend is stable, and the portfolio is largely static. There may be some scheduled paydowns in its loan and securities portfolio, which may then be reinvested at higher spreads that prevail today, but firm is not factoring in any upside at this point, given the revised guidance. If there is a recession and if it is even only a moderate recession, the revised lower guidance is appropriate. firm does not expect credit quality deterioration to threaten the current dividend, which is $0.80 per year and was well covered by FFO of $0.28 in 4Q07. Value creation in a recession is not measured by portfolio growth, but by maintaining dividends. The key risk for LSE continues to be the amount of debt that has not yet been termed out.
07:30 REV prelim $0.08 vs $0.08 First Call consensus; revs $382.6 mln vs $401.25 mln First Call consensus

07:30 GERN Geron announces that U.S. Patent Office upholds key human embryonic stem cell patent (5.17 )

Co announces that the U.S. Patent Office has upheld the validity of a key patent for human embryonic stem cells. GERN holds an exclusive license under these patents to develop and commercialize therapies based on three types of cells derived from human embryonic stem cells: neural cells, cardiomyocytes and pancreatic islet cells.
07:29 OMGI Orion Marine initiated with a Buy at Kevin Dann (13.25 )

Kevin Dann initiates OMGI with a Buy and sets an $18 tgt, due to the increasing number of projects, rising demand for improvements to infrastructure and high barriers to enter the industry thus allowing OMGI’s revenue stream and margins to have a higher level of preservation
07:29 PT Portugal Telecom 4Q net profit hit by curtailment losses – DJ (12.20 )

DJ reports the co said fourth-quarter net profit fell sharply, as curtailment costs and a weak domestic wireline business canceled the positive effect of strong Brazilian operational performance. Portugal Telecom said net profit in the three months to Dec. 31 fell 78.9% to EUR71.8 mln, compared with EUR339.8 mln a year earlier. The co said net profit figures for both years were impacted by one-off events that, if excluded, would result in an 11.2% fall in net profit to EUR105.1 mln. The figure was still well above the average analyst forecast, who expected a 91% fall in net profit to EUR30.5 mln, with a one off gain of EUR36 mln from the sale of a stake in Banco Espirito Santo boosting the result.
07:28 CVG Convergys initiated with a Buy at Brean Murray- tgt $18 (15.39 )

Brean Murray initiates CVG with a Buy and an $18 tgt saying they believe Convergys, as a market leader, will achieve accelerating EPS growth in 2008 and 2009, along with increasing revenue and cash flow. Firm believes declining revenue associated with certain customer migrations off the Convergys platform will stabilize over upcoming quarters, while the company gains scale and moves toward profitability in its HR outsourcing business.
07:28 TXCO TXCO Resources: Third Point amends 13D filing; files complaint for breach of duty against the co (14.72 )

Earlier this morning, in filing the firm states “On February 25, 2008, Third Point filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery an Amended Verified Complaint which, based on newly-discovered internal emails and memoranda, provided further factual support for the allegations in the Verified Complaint filed on January 23, 2008 and added a separate count for breach of the duty of care. The Amended Complaint alleges that newly-discovered memoranda and emails confirm that the purpose of adding James Hewitt to the Board was to prevent Third Point from obtaining three out of six seats on the Board at the 2008 Annual Meeting. The Amended Complaint also alleges, based upon newly-discovered evidence, that the appointment of Mr. Hewitt was the product of a breach of duty of care because Mr. Hewitt’s appointment was a rushed and reckless process, without due deliberation by, or even a meeting of, the Board or its Governance and Nominating Committee. The Amended Complaint further alleges that internal communications confirm that Mr. Hewitt’s appointment on January 11, 2008 was in direct response to a call for action by James E. Sigmon, the Company’s Chairman and CEO, on December 18, 2007 – a few weeks after Third Point filed its Schedule 13D announcing its intent to nominate a slate of directors to replace half of the Board at the 2008 Annual Meeting and warning the Board not to deprive shareholders of the important opportunity to elect three of the Board’s six members. The Amended Complaint also alleges that, contrary to the misleading impression created by the Company’s January 14 Press Release that the search for Mr. Hewitt was a deliberative process, internal communications reveal that the search for Mr. Hewitt was not a search at all, but a mad dash to add a seventh director and that the Company’s January 14 Press Release was designed to cover up the Board’s astonishing lack of care as well as the true purpose in appointing Mr. Hewitt, namely, to ensure that Third Point and the Company’s other shareholders could only elect a minority of the Board at the 2008 Annual Meeting.” The firm disclosed an 8.3% stake in the filing.
07:28 SLXP Salix Pharm initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse- tgt $7 (6.80 )

Credit Suisse initiates SLXP with a Neutral and a $7 tgt saying they view generic Colazal as an obvious setback and now look to 2008 as a transition year during which they see the Xifaxan pipeline moving forward towards a substantially large market potential while the base business struggles to stay afloat as generic Colazal and tax pressures more than offset purgative franchise growth.
07:27 CTB Cooper Tire beats by $0.07, beats on revs (19.11 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.43 per share, $0.07 better than the First Call consensus of $0.36; revenues rose 7.0% year/year to $765.1 mln vs the $743.8 mln consensus.
07:27 TLM Talisman Energy reports Q4 (Dec) results (17.79 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.30 per share, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.35; total revenues rose 13.3% year/year to $2.08 bln.
07:26 LINE Linn Energy beats by $0.02, misses on revs (23.05 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.37 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.35; revenues rose 473.5% year/year to $154.7 mln vs the $158.8 mln consensus.
07:25 VRNM Verenium: Expected to continue to be a beneficiary of persistently strong legislative tailwinds – Broadpoint Capital (2.35 )

Broadpoint Capital says VRNM has been awarded ne of four grants from the U.S. Department of Energy under a $33.8-mln program. The other winners include Genencor, Novozymes and DSM Innovation Center. Firm says VRNM is expected to continue to be a beneficiary of persistently strong legislative tailwinds. It has an outstanding application with the Department of Energy for $80-$90 mln of grants that are to be awarded for small scale (demonstration) facilities, and would benefit from biofuel provisions (most notably loan guarantees) that are expected to be included in the Farm Bill currently in legislation.
07:25 CHINA CDC Corp initiated with a Buy at Cantor Fitzgerald- tgt $6 (3.87 )

Cantor Fitzgerald initiates CHINA with a Buy and a $6 tgt saying they believe that the complexity of the company’s corporate structure, combined with poor financial disclosure, results in its shares being significantly undervalued. They suspect that this valuation gap will close during 2008 as the company takes actions to clarify its structure and financial position through the public listing of at least one of its subsidiaries, CDC Software.
07:23 BSX Boston Scientific discloses that the DoJ is conducting an investigation regarding the promotion of biliary stents for off-label uses (13.00 )

In its 10-K, the co discloses that “in Dec 2007, we were informed by the Department of Justice that it is conducting a civil investigation of allegations that we and other suppliers improperly promoted biliary stents for off-label uses. Although we have not received a subpoena for documents in this regard, we intend to cooperate with the investigation.”
07:23 PTIE Pain Therapeutics initiated with an Underperform at Credit Suisse- tgt $7 (9.36 )

Credit Suisse initiates PTIE with an Underperform and a $7 tgt saying the bull case in some ways just makes common sense. Co notes this is a safer version of a well known and effective product for chronic pain. They believe the technology will be effectively abuse resistant and with similar efficacy to oxycodone. However, the firm ultimately believes there are multiple obstacles, which in aggregate substantiate their view that too much can go wrong for Remoxy to be successful.
07:23 FNM Fannie Mae: Tough year ahead; focus is on capital preservation – FBR (27.27 ) -Update-

Friedman Billings believes current valuation does not fully reflect the credit headwinds or the capital constraints the co is facing. FNM reported a significant 4Q07 earnings loss of $3.80 per share, reflecting large credit expenses and asset write-downs of $4 bln and derivative losses of $3.2 bln. Rising credit losses in this deteriorating housing market is pressuring FNM’s capital levels, and they expect a further capital loss of $2-$3 bln in 1H08, restraining growth potential for the co. Even with a gradual decrease of the 30% capital surcharge by OFHEO, which could free up $3-$5 bln, FNM’s participation in the mortgage market will remain limited as capital is king in the current adverse environment. Firm doesn’t expect any earnings upside in the next few quarters from the OFHEO capital relief but rather more downside through higher credit losses. Firm cuts their FY08 EPS est to a loss of $3.50 from their prior est of $0.45.
07:22 AMD Advanced Micro: JMP Securities highlights positive meeting with AMD mgmt (7.28 )

JMP Securities says yesterday they met with AMD mgmt note their key takeaways including: 1) Positive update on Barcelona, Phenom quad-core processors and next-generation Griffin mobile processor; 2) AMD indicated that 1Q08 will be “seasonally down,” consistent with earlier guidance; 3) AMD indicated continued success in design win momentum with key PC and server customers; 4) AMD’s ATI graphics business is executing well and beginning to yield synergies; and 5) Mgmt indicated that they are focused on strengthening the balance sheet, which has $1.6 bln in cash.
07:21 VPHM ViroPharma: 4Q07 better than expected; no signs of Akron’s generic Vancomycin – Susquehanna (9.30 )

07:21 Paulson dismisses mortgage rescue plans – WSJ

WSJ reports the Bush administration is hardening its opposition to the chorus of Democrats, bankers, economists and consumer advocates calling for a big-money govt rescue program for struggling homeowners. In an interview yesterday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson branded many of the aid proposals circulating in Washington as “bailouts” for reckless lenders, investors and speculators, rather than measures that would provide meaningful relief to deserving, but cash-strapped, mortgage borrowers. Mr. Paulson, citing estimates that as many as two mln Americans could lose their homes to foreclosure this year, predicted that the administration’s mkt-based approach will be enough to keep the situation under control. Its centerpiece is a plan that encourages the mortgage industry to voluntarily ease up on certain borrowers. “I don’t think I’ve seen any scenario where the American taxpayer needs to be stepping in with more taxpayer dollars,” Mr. Paulson told The Wall Street Journal.
07:21 S Sprint Nextel: Stores not opening until 11 am today – Pali Research (8.95 ) -Update-

Pali Research says they found it interesting that S will be not be opening its stores tomorrow until 11 am. Firm called various stores nationwide to confirm this closing. The co is reported Q4 results to investors today and is likely to provide a 2008 outlook. Firm could only speculate about what will be happening in the stores during the closing. Firm believes it could just be new CEO Dan Hesse talking to the troops about the state of the co on a day in which the S is likely to get a lot of press. Or perhaps they are taking SBUX’s lead on retraining employees about customer care. There has certainly been plenty of speculation in the press about what types of new rate plans might be announced and firm would support any plans that significantly cut rates in order to gain share, lower churn and lower CPGA.
07:20 BIIB Biogen Idec: Sells off on month old news of Tysabri liver toxicity – Rodman & Renshaw (60.13 )

Rodman & Renshaw says BIIB issued a “Dear Doctor” letter informing physicians that Tysabri may cause significant liver injury within six days of the first dose, which caused a moderate sell off. The letter sent today comes a month after Biogen and the FDA revised the Tysabri label to reflect the risk of hepatotoxicity in January 2008. Recall that worldwide, there are approx 21,000 patients on Tysabri commercially. The co reiterated its goal of having 100,000 patients on Tysabri by the end of 2010 despite today’s news. However, they remain cautious in their projections as the co’s guidance implies that the rate of PML remains significantly below 1:1,000, a rate that will not be known for several more months. Until they can better understand the true rate of PML, firm conservatively assumes approx 42,000 patients by YE2010.
07:20 NAVI NaviSite: Merriman expects Q2 bookings to reaccelerate, but co to potentially reduce high-end of guidance (4.15 )

Merriman says with its most recent acquisitions, NAVI has expanded its scale and product set, further leveraging the primarily fixed cost structure of its facilities. Although the acquisitions create integration risk, firm expects synergies to significantly increase margins in FY08. Long-term, they believe its unique bundle of co-location, managed hosting and application mgmt solutions strongly position NAVI in the converging world of telecom and IT, which should lead to above average growth or acquisition. Firm expects results on March 4 with revs and EBITDA to be slightly above firm’s and the Street’s ests, and within guidance of $39-40 mln and $8.3-8.8 mln. Firm believes NAVI could potentially reduce the high-end of guidance.
07:19 BHP BHP Billiton confirms workers striking at Colombia Nickel Mine – DJ (75.01 )

DJ reports the co confirmed workers at its 114,000-metric-ton nickel operation in Colombia have gone on strike. It is not known how long production at the nickel mine and smelter will be affected, said a co spokeswoman. Workers downed tools after negotiations for a new labor agreement for January 2008 to December 2009 broke down. Trade union vice president Carlos Barroso said the strike may last for as long as two months, but he expected the union and the company to reach an agreement sooner than that.
07:18 WPCS WPCS Intl: Merriman is reducing 3Q08 ests due to temporary project delays; expect rebound in 4Q08 (8.01 )

Merriman is reducing their 3Q08 ests to $24.1 mln in rev and $0.07 in EPS due to the combination of weather-related issues in California, the continuation of competitive pressures in non-wireless state business from 2Q08 and the anticipated slowdown in Sprint Nextel (S) related work. Despite firm’s est reduction, they are maintaining their Buy rating based on the temporary nature of the expected shortfall with the anticipation of a rebound in 4Q08 (ends 4/30/08) based on the co’s strong backlog and bid list ($36 mln and $125 mln, respectively, as of 10/31/07).
07:18 CPNO Copano Energy reports Q4 EPS of $0.39 vs 0.47 consensus; revs +73% yr/yr to $355.9 mln vs $309.8 mln consensus (35.00 )

07:17 GIL Gildan Activewear profiled in New America section of IBD (39.15 )

IBD reports the co is trying to replicate at retail the success it’s had on the wholesale side, says analyst Jessy Hayem of Desjardins Securities. It aims to cater to many types and sizes of retailers. The faster way to build relationships with retailers, she adds, is via acquisitions of established companies with a distribution network in place in similar categories to what it offers… The idea is to start with socks and eventually provide Wal-Mart and other retailers with Gildan’s other product lines. Overall, Gildan is selling mainly socks at retail, she says… As for mgmt’s game plan, its main strategy is to grow organically, CFO Laurence Sellyn says. “We feel even though we’re the market leader in the screen-printer channel, we have the opportunity to maximize our share,” he said. “We’re only beginning our entry into retail. We feel we have an opportunity to build on our acquisitions to grow organically on all our product lines, not only socks.” We’ll certainly look at opportunities to redeploy our cash in acquisitions as well as organic growth,” Sellyn said. Sellyn says the co has continued to gain mkt share in all categories within its distribution channel. It’s also reaping benefits from manufacturing efficiencies as it builds up its two offshore manufacturing hubs. “They’ve executed flawlessly on getting cost savings through these hubs and passing the savings on to customers and grabbing market share,” said Hayem. One wild card is the U.S. govt’s proposed plan to impose a tariff on cotton socks imported from Honduras.
07:17 MRVL Marvell: Earnings preview; expect a Q4 beat – FBR (11.85 )

Friedman Billings says MRVL will report FY 4Q08 earnings results on March 6. They believe business is robust, with the firm benefiting from strong demand for RIMM’s Blackberry devices, and hard disk drives (>10% customer Western Digital just raised its 1Q guidance). Recent production checks show continued order strength at MRVL as the firm needs more product. The Street, however, is only forecasting a measly 2% sequential rev decline for Q1. One possible scenario is that the Street is too aggressive with its April-quarter rev est. The other possible scenario is that MRVL beats 4Q rev ests and guides 1Q seasonally down, which would get one close to the 1Q Street est. Firm raises their 4Q and forward ests to reflect this latter scenario.
07:16 NRG NRG Energy misses by $0.16, reports revs in-line, announces management changes (40.74 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.34 per share, $0.16 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.50; revenues rose 21.8% year/year to $1.38 bln vs the $1.37 bln consensus. CO announces management changes: Robert Flexon has been promoted to the newly created position of COO. Kevin Howell has been promoted to Chief Administrative Officer. Clint Freeland, currently the co’s Treasurer, will be promoted and will succeed Flexon as NRG’s CFO.
07:15 OMG OM Group beats by $0.23, beats on revs (62.86 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.53 per share, $0.23 better than the First Call consensus of $1.30; revenues rose 79.8% year/year to $309.4 mln vs the $283.8 mln single estimate.
07:15 PAET PAETEC Holding reports Q4 net income of $10.5 mln vs $7.8 mln in yr ago period; reports revs up 91% yr/yr to $288.6 mln vs $293.9 mln consensus (7.99 )

Co sees Y08 revs of $1.70-1.74 bln vs $1.46 bln consensus.
07:14 S Sprint Nextel beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line; not to declare a dividend for the forseeable future (8.95 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.21 per share, $0.03 better than the First Call consensus of $0.18; revenues fell 5.7% year/year to $9.85 bln vs the $9.92 bln consensus. Wireless had 53.8 million total subscribers at the end of 2007. At the end of the fourth quarter, Sprint Nextel served a little more than 35 million subscribers on the CDMA platform, 17.3 million on iDEN and 1.4 million PowerSource subscribers who access both platforms. Overall, post-paid churn was 2.3% in the quarter. In the fourth quarter, the post-paid churn rate was flat with the third quarter for both the iDEN and CDMA bases. Board of Directors has determined that the company will not declare a dividend for the foreseeable future, in an effort to retain greater financial flexibility.
07:14 DTG Dollar Thrifty misses by $0.05, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS in-line (16.40 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.88 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 worse than the First Call consensus of ($0.83); revenues fell 0.9% year/year to $389.2 mln vs the $376.1 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $1.00-1.50 vs. $1.17 consensus. Co said, “Given current market conditions and economic uncertainty, we expect that our operating environment will remain challenging through at least the first half of 2008”.
07:13 BRKR Bruker BioSciences beats by $0.06, beats on revs (12.22 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.17 per share, $0.06 better than the First Call consensus of $0.11; revenues rose 35.5% year/year to $183.7 mln vs the $154.5 mln consensus.
07:12 KG King Pharms beats by $0.01, beats on revs (10.96 -0.07)

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.46 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.45; revenues rose 4.0% year/year to $533.3 mln vs the $526.9 mln consensus.
07:12 AEG AEGON N.V.: Hearing upgraded to buy from neutral at tier 1 firm (15.50 )

07:12 AVCI Avici Systems beats by $0.54, beats on revs (7.24 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.93 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.54 better than the single estimate of $1.39; revenues rose 182.4% year/year to $44.9 mln vs the $42.1 mln single estimate.
07:11 MTX Minerals Tech: Hearing downgraded to neutral from buy at tier 1 firm (64.13 )

07:11 ULBI Ultralife Batteries reports Q4 (Dec) results, misses on revs; guides Q1 revs above consensus; reaffirms FY08 revs guidance (13.39 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.27 per share, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of ($0.18); revenues rose 22.3% year/year to $36.8 mln vs the $38.4 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs of $50-60 mln vs. $46.95 mln consensus. Co reaffirms guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of at least $238 mln vs. $241.41 mln consensus.
07:11 CEM Chemtura: Hearing upgraded to buy from neutral at tier 1 firm (8.43 )

07:11 TNE Tele Norte Leste posts jump in fourth-quarter profit – Reuters.com (26.40 )

Reuters.com reports the co posted a fourth-quarter net profit of 911 mln reais ($545.5 mln), up from earnings of 613 mln reais in the same period in 2006. EBITDA rose to 1.55 bln reais from 1.5 bln reais in the fourth quarter of 2006. TNE posted a net profit of 2.36 bln reais for the whole of 2007, up from 1.31 bln reais the previous year.
07:10 AXA AXA: Hearing upgraded to neutral from sell at tier 1 firm (35.83 ) -Update-

07:10 BORL Borland reports EPS in-line, misses on revs; guides FY08 revs below consensus (2.61 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.04 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of ($0.04); revenues fell 18.8% year/year to $61.5 mln vs the $66.1 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $235-255 mln vs. $271.81 mln consensus.
07:10 CATM Cardtronics reports Q4 EPS of $0.02, ex-items, vs ($0.10) in yr ago period; reports revs up 55% yr/yr to $116.0 mln vs $115.0 mln consensus (7.05 )

Co sees Y08 EPS of $0.30-0.35, excluding non-recurring items, with revs of $480-505 mln.
07:09 LEAP Leap Wireless misses by $0.10, reports revs in-line (37.44 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.27 per share, $0.10 worse than the First Call consensus of ($0.17); revenues rose 36.6% year/year to $429.8 mln vs the $429.2 mln consensus. Co says with the planned coverage expansion and launches of new markets, it expects to cover up to an additional 12-28 mln POPs by the end of 2008, bringing total covered POPs to 66-82 mln by 2008 year end.
07:09 SFD Smithfield Foods reports Q3 (Jan) results, beats on revs (26.05 )

Reports Q3 (Jan) earnings of $0.44 per share, includes negative tax impact, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.21; revenues rose 15.6% year/year to $3.79 bln vs the $3.63 bln consensus.
07:08 WIRES On The Wires

Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX) announces that the European Patent Office has issued a Decision to Grant a Patent covering compositions and uses of bupropion and naltrexone for affecting weight loss… American Mold Guard (AMGI) announces that it has signed aggregate new customer orders exceeding $200,000 for inspection, remediation and emergency dry down services since the introduction of these new services in Dec 2007.
07:08 FRX Forest Labs coverage transfered and downgraded to Market Perform at Friedman Billings- tgt cut to $42 from $52 (42.52 )

Freidman Billings transfers coverage of FRX and downgrades it to Market Perform from Outperform and cuts their tgt to $42 from $52 saying though the near-term EPS growth outlook for FRX looks solid, the co faces an uphill battle in bringing new products to market that will replace nearly $4.4 bln in revenues from the erosion of Lexapro and Namenda due to generic competition starting in FY 2013 (nearly 70% of total sales). The firm says FRX will continue to use its $2.6 bln cash position to build its late-stage product pipeline, but it will be difficult to uncover a Lexapro-like blockbuster, and they do not see a $2 bln+ blockbuster from its current pipeline of late-stage products.
07:08 OGE OGE Energy reports Q4 EPS of $0.40 vs $0.24 in yr ago period; reports revs up 15% yr/yr to $958.2 mln with no estimates (33.57 )

Co sees Y08 EPS of $2.40-2.60; co sees rev growth of approx 2%.
07:06 TCK Teck Cominco upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC (39.95 )

07:06 CTCM CTC Media reports Q4 EPS of $0.38 vs $0.38 single analyst estimate; reports revs up 37% yr/yr to $161.7 mln vs $160.0 two analyst estimate (31.75 )

Co sees Y08 revs of $600-650 mln, co does not include expected revs from its CIS operations in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, may not compare to $635.6 mln consensus.
07:05 ATRC AtriCure initiated with an Outperform at Rodman and Renshaw- tgt $15 (11.90 )

Rodman & Renshaw initiates ATRC with an Outperform and sets a $15 tgt, as they believe AtriCure is on the cusp of emerging minimally invasive surgical AF treatments, supported by a growing body of positive clinical data, some endorsement from recent HRS guidelines, steady flow of devices with enhanced capabilities, active collaboration with surgical and EP thought leaders, increasing awareness form both the surgical and EP communities and forecast the co to gain incremental share of the worldwide surgical AF market, reaching 41.0% in ’09 from 39.5% in ’07.
07:05 SFD prelim $0.44, may not be comparable vs $0.21 First Call consensus; revs $3.79 bln vs $3.63 bln First Call consensus

07:05 DTG sees FY08 $1.00-1.50 vs $1.17 First Call consensus

07:04 FNM Fannie Mae: Moody’s places FNM’s B+ BFSR on review down; affirms debt and preferred ratings (27.50 )

Moody’s placed FNM B+ Bank Financial Strength Rating on review for possible downgrade. Fannie Mae’s Aaa senior debt, Prime-1 short-term debt, Aa2 subordinated debt, and Aa3 preferred stock ratings were affirmed with stable outlooks. The rating action follows Fannie Mae’s announcing a $3.6 bln loss for Q4 and a $2.1 bln loss for FY07. Additionally, Moody’s expects the company to record sizable losses in the first half of 2008 and possibly a net loss for the year due to the continued deterioration in the residential mortgage sector. Moody’s concerns regarding Fannie Mae’s capital position is partially mitigated by the announcement by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, Fannie Mae’s safety and soundness regulator, that it will discuss with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FRE) the gradual decreasing of the current required 30% surplus to the statutory minimum. Removing the 30% surplus requirement would reduce Fannie Mae’s regulatory capital requirement by $9.6 bln, significantly lowering the probability of a breach of this minimum. Additionally, Moody’s noted that co could improve its capital position over the short term by reducing its mortgage portfolio and reducing or eliminating its dividend. Over the medium term capital could be enhanced by tightening underwriting standards and increasing guarantee fee increases… During the review, Moody’s will focus on co’s ongoing earnings prospects given their expectations of continued deterioration and volatility in asset quality, as well as co’s ability to offset higher losses with greater guarantee and other fees. Additionally, Fannie Mae’s future capital position relative to its regulatory requirements and the risks in its business will be a subject of the review.
07:04 DTG prelim ($0.88) vs ($0.83) First Call consensus; revs $389.2 mln vs $376.07 mln First Call consensus

07:04 CATM sees FY08 $0.30-0.35 vs $0.14 First Call consensus; sees revs $480-505 mln vs $505.6 mln First Call consensus

07:03 KG prelim $0.46, ex items vs $0.45 First Call consensus; revs $533.27 mln vs $526.92 mln First Call consensus

07:03 CATM prelim revs $116 mln vs $115 mln First Call consensus

07:03 ULBI sees FY08 revs at least $238 mln vs $241.41 mln First Call consensus

07:03 EXH prelim $0.95, ex items, vs $0.65 First Call consensus; revs $853.4 mln vs $772.90 mln First Call consensus

07:03 AVCI prelim $1.90 vs $1.39 single estimate; revs $44.87 mln vs $42.07 mln single estimate

07:02 AZN AstraZeneca: Merck retains interest in AstraZeneca products (39.15 )

Merck (MRK) announces that it has advised AZN that it will not exercise its option to sell its interest in certain AstraZeneca non-proton pump inhibitor products this year. Those products are Atacand, Lexxel, Plendil and Entocort plus certain products currently in clinical development. As a result of this decision, AstraZeneca will have its own option to acquire Merck’s interest in these non-PPI products in the first half of 2010 and, should it exercise that option, another option to acquire Merck’s interest in the PPI products, including Nexium, in 2012. Merck will still receive certain payments from AstraZeneca in the first quarter of 2008 in the net amount of $2.6 billion — a payment of approximately $4.0 billion offset by a loan repayment of $1.4 billion to AstraZeneca from Merck. There is no change to Merck’s 2008 financial guidance or to the previously disclosed guidance with respect to the expected gain from the payments that will be made by AstraZeneca in the first quarter of 2008 as a result of this announcement.
07:02 TRW TRW Automotive downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P Morgan (24.83 )

07:02 ULBI sees Q1 revs $50-60 mln vs $46.95 mln First Call consensus

07:02 ULBI prelim $0.27 may not compare to ($0.18) First Call consensus; revs $36.8 mln vs $38.36 mln First Call consensus

07:02 OMG prelim $1.53 vs $1.30 First Call consensus; revs $309.4 mln vs $283.80 mln First Call consensus

07:02 XNPT Xenoport and GlaxoSmithKline report ‘positive’ top-line results of final pivotal trial of XP13512/GSK1838262 for restless legs syndrome (54.98 )

Co and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announce positive top-line results from the final pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of XP13512 for the treatment of moderate-to-severe symptoms of primary restless legs syndrome, or RLS. XP13512 demonstrated statistically significant improvements compared to placebo on both of the co-primary endpoints of the trial and was generally well-tolerated.
07:01 BORL sees FY08 revs $235-255 mln vs $271.81 mln First Call consensus

07:01 LEAP prelim ($0.27) vs ($0.17) First Call consensus; revs $429.8 mln vs $429.2 mln First Call consensus

07:01 BORL prelim ($0.04) may not compare ($0.04) First Call consensus; revs $61.5 mln vs $66.12 mln First Call consensus

07:01 TK Teekay Shipping reports Q4 (Dec) results, misses on revs (46.62 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.31 per share, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.41; revenues rose 16.0% year/year to $514.1 mln vs the $538.1 mln consensus.
07:00 S prelim $0.21, ex items vs $0.18 First Call consensus; revs $9.85 bln vs $9.92 bln First Call consensus

07:00 BRKR prelim $0.17 vs $0.11 First Call consensus; revs $183.7 mln vs $154.52 mln First Call consensus

07:00 JPM JP Morgan Chase earnings estimate cut by Goldman, Merrill – Bloomberg.com (44.38 )

Bloomberg.com reports JPMorgan had its earnings estimates cut by Goldman Sachs Group and Merrill Lynch on expectations of writedowns in the value of its home-equity loans. Goldman analysts trimmed their 2008 EPS estimate to $3.30 from $3.44. Merrill Lynch analyst cut his 2008 EPS estimate on JPMorgan to $3.83 from $4.07 and is also maintaining a “neutral” rating. JPMorgan’s CEO of the bank’s retail division, said yesterday that the bank may write half as many home-equity loans this year, due to changed underwriting practices and a sluggish housing market. The lender had $94.8 billion of home equity loans on its books as of Dec. 31. As housing prices fall, loans issued in more recent years are defaulting sooner than older loans, making it hard to predict the extent of losses.
07:00 LEA Lear downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P Morgan (30.53 )

06:59 NLC Nalco upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse (22.09 )

06:59 CNQ Canadian Natrl Res beats by $0.16, beats on revs (73.39 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.02 per share, $0.16 better than the First Call consensus of $0.86; revenues rose 4.1% year/year to $3.2 bln vs the $2.36 bln consensus.
06:59 BWA Borg Warner downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P Morgan (46.09 )

06:58 STJ St. Jude Medical initiated with an Outperform at Rodman and Renshaw- tgt $50 (43.54 )

Rodman & Renshaw initiates STJ with an Outperform and sets a $50 tgt, as they believe their recent investments in both its CRM product portfolio and sales organization were opportune, bolstering its competitivenes and facilitating continued CRM market share gains in coming years and expect them to deliver healthy revenue and earnings growth in ’08 and ’09, complimented by 20%+ growth expectations in its AF and neuromodulation franchise.
06:58 CDI CDI Corp beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides Q1 revs above consensus; guides FY08 revs in-line (23.45 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.40 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.39; revenues rose 4.9% year/year to $299 mln vs the $298.8 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs up 1-3% yr/yr, which equates to approx $335-342 mln vs. $303.98 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs up approx 3-6% yr/yr, which equates to approx $1.223-1.259 bln vs. $1.24 bln consensus.
06:57 PLXS Plexus upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse (24.41 )

06:45 MTZ MasTec earnings correction – Q1 guidance in-line with consensus (7.98 )

Last night we said that MTZ has guided below consensus for Q1, this was incorrect. Co guidance of $0.11-0.12 for Q1 is in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.12. We have removed the original comment.
06:43 GTLS Chart Indust beats by $0.16, beats on revs; guides FY08 EPS above consensus, revs in-line (30.00 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.57 per share, $0.16 better than the First Call consensus of $0.41; revenues rose 26.5% year/year to $182.7 mln vs the $166.3 mln consensus. Co issues mixed guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $2.28-2.40 vs. $2.20 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $730-765 mln vs. $738.50 mln consensus.
06:43 CALLS Early Research Calls II

Upgrades: Bear Stearns upgrades the Restaurant Sector to Market Weight from Underweight… JMP Securities upgrades Sotheby’s (BID 35.11) to Outperform from Market Perform and sets a $42 tgt, based on the continued strength in the art market despite the weakened macro-economic picture and financial market volatility following Q407 EPS and revenue that exceeded consensus estimates and a “solid” Contemporary Art Evening auction in London… Morgan Stanley upgrades National CineMedia (NCMI 22.12) to Equal-weight from Underweight… JMP Securities upgrades Maxwell Technologies (MXWL 10.29) to Market Perform from Underperform, based on valuation following Q407 pro forma EPS and revenue that exceeded consensus estimates and look for additional anecdotal evidence that the market for ultracapacitors is nearing an inflection point, as well as improving margins, before becoming more positive on shares. Downgrades: Citigroup downgrades Western Digital (WDC 33.97) and Seagate Tech (STX 23.59) to Hold from Buy… Jefferies downgrades RF Micro Devices (RFMD 3.50) to Hold from Buy and cuts their tgt to $4 from $5 based on the continued softness in the China Market…. Wachovia downgrades First Potomac (FPO 16.00) to Underperform from Market Perform… Merrill Lynch downgrades Edison International (EIX 51.05) to Neutral from Buy.
06:42 MIC MacQuarie Infrastructure reports Y07 (34.00 )

Co reports Y07 EPS of ($1.27), includes gains, charges, may not be comparable to ($0.61) consensus; co reports revs up 59.8% yr/yr to $831.4 mln vs $796.68 mln consensus.
06:33 FRP Fairport Comms reports EPS in-line, misses on revs (10.63 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.13 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.13; revenues fell 3.1% year/year to $68.2 mln vs the $70 mln consensus.
06:32 CRZO Carrizo Oil & Gas beats by $0.02, misses on revs (58.77 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.30 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.28; revenues rose 65.1% year/year to $40 mln vs the $41 mln consensus.
06:31 EMCI EMC Insurance Group beats by $0.04 (22.43 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.39 per share, $0.04 better than the single estimate of $0.35. Management is projecting that 2008 operating income will be within a range of $2.10 per share to $2.35 per share. This estimate is based on a projected GAAP combined ratio of 101.8 percent and management’s expectations of continued rate competition in both the property and casualty insurance marketplace and the reinsurance marketplace.
06:31 FCSX FCStone and NASDAQ OMX Group announce Agora-X investment (48.95 )

Co and The NASDAQ OMX Group (NDAQ) announce that NASDAQ OMX Group has agreed to invest up to $7.5 mln in FCStone’s subsidiary Agora-X. FCStone, Agora-X and NASDAQ OMX have signed definitive agreements for NASDAQ OMX to acquire a 20 percent equity interest in Agora-X if the full $7.5 million is committed, pending fulfillment of closing conditions and milestones.
06:25 YTEC Yucheng Technologies raises target of nation-wide POS installation base from 20k to 25k by the end of 2008 (18.01 )

Co announces it increased its management guidance on POS terminal installation base from 20,000 to 25,000 for 2008 and announced the appointment of Remington Hu as its new Chief Financial Officer. Previous CFO Peter Li will remain with Yucheng as a senior advisor. “Observing from our business momentum in Q1 and the strong prospects into the rest of 2008, we would like to reiterate our confidence in delivering the 2008 management guidance on revenue and net income.”
06:23 CALLS Early Research Calls I

Upgrades: UBS upgrades Varian (VARI 54.84) to Buy from Neutral… JP Morgan upgrades Blockbuster (BBI 3.16) to Overweight from Neutral. Downgrades: MDB Capital downgrades SourceForge (LNUX 1.74) to Neutral from Buy and lowers their tgt to $2 from $5, following Q208 revenues that were in line with co guidance and slightly below firm estimates and based on weak media revenues… Jefferies downgrades EnerNOC (ENOC 16.31) to Hold from Buy and lowers their tgt to $18 from $54, following a slight top line beat and stronger-than-expected gross margins in Q407 that were more than offset by growth in operating expenses while a lack of visibility on the quantification or timing of eventual profits complicates valuation and raises questions about the scalability of the business model, in their view. Miscellaneous: Standpoint Research initiates Abbott Labs (ABT 54.54) with a Hold and sets a 3-yr tgt of $65-$40, based on solid growth in the pharmaceutical segment being driven by Humira and positive catalysts that include the potential of Humira for Juvenile RA, Xience DES in US and Freestyle Navigator (continuous glucose monitor), while concerns include a concentration in pharma, lower drug reimbursements and high interest expenses.
06:18 S&P futures vs fair value: -7.7. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.5.
06:18 European Markets

FTSE…6010.40…-66.10…-1.1%. DAX…6928.08…-69.77…-1.0%.
06:18 Asian Markets

Nikkei…13925.51…-105.79…-0.8%. Hang Seng…24591.69…+107.85…+0.4%.
06:17 DT Deutsche Telekom Posts $1.1 Billion Loss – AP (19.40 )

According to the AP, Deutsche Telekom AG on Thursday posted another quarterly loss but said that its business was stabilizing after many quarters of declines because of an exodus by fixed-line customers. The Bonn-based company lost 757 million euros ($1.1 billion) in the October-December period compared with a loss of euro 898 million a year earlier. But the company said that its adjusted net profit for the fourth quarter was euro 808 million ($1.2 billion), about 2 percent lower than the euro 824 million it earned a year earlier. Sales were about half a percent lower at euro 15.8 billion ($23.7 billion), compared with euro 15.9 billion a year earlier.
06:17 Japan stocks slip 0.8 pct on weak output, while HK shares rise as resource, property plays support; Sensex ends flat

Japanese stocks slipped 0.8% on Thursday as a stronger yen hit exporters such as Toyota Motor, while worse-than-expected industrial output sapped investor enthusiasm. But the market received some support from a newspaper report that the government has decided not to seek limits on foreign ownership of airports this year, helping ease investor worries about the Japanese market being too closed. The Nikkei average fell 105.79 points to 13,925.51. Hong Kong stocks rose on Thursday for a third straight day as a commodities rally fuelled resource plays, and refiner Sinopec leapt on talk it may receive government subsidies as oil prices test records. The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended up 0.4% at 24,591.69. The China Enterprises Index of Hong Kong-listed mainland companies , or H shares, finished up 0.7% at 14,039.98… The Sensex opened marginally (15 points) lower at 17,811 on mixed cues from the Asian markets. The index moved into positive zone and touched a high of 17,922 in early trades. The index could not hold gains and slipped back into negative territory. The index touched a low of 17,690 – down 232 points from the day’s high – but rebounded into positive zone in late trades. The Sensex finally ended on a flat note (down two points) at 17,824. (Reuters, Business Standard)
06:17 European shares extend fall, UBS weighs on banks

European shares fell to session lows by midmorning on Thursday, weighed down by another slide in bank stocks, while disappointing earnings from Axa and Bayer jolted investors. Swiss bank UBS (was the largest negative weight on the broader market, falling by 4.3%, followed by BP, which shed 1.6% in line with a dip in the price of crude oil CLc1. By 1042 GMT the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 1% at 1,344.55 points, having struck a session low at 1,343.85 points. Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE lost 0.7%, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC both fell 0.8%. (Reuters)
06:14 ELMG EMS Tech beats by $0.13, misses on revs (29.12 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.46 per share, $0.13 better than the First Call consensus of $0.33; revenues rose 5.0% year/year to $76 mln vs the $78.1 mln consensus.
06:12 WTI W&T Offshore misses by $0.02, beats on revs (37.55 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.65 per share, $0.02 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.67; revenues rose 28.4% year/year to $339.5 mln vs the $284.7 mln consensus.
06:10 WIRES On The Wires

GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes (GOL) announces an interline agreement between V.R.G and Japan Airlines. Beginning this month, passengers of both airlines can purchase tickets to all destinations served by V.R.G and J.A.L… Anadys Pharmaceuticals (ANDS) announces that patient dosing has commenced in a Phase I study of ANA773, the company’s oral TLR7 agonist prodrug, in patients with advanced solid tumors.
06:09 SHLD Sears Hldg misses by $0.06, misses on revs (101.60 )

Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $3.04 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 worse than the First Call consensus of $3.10; revenues fell 6.8% year/year to $15.07 bln vs the $15.26 bln consensus.
06:08 IRM Iron Mountain to promote Bob Brennan to CEO (34.18 )

Co announces that Bob Brennan, the co’s President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Richard Reese as Iron Mountain’s Chief Executive Officer. Reese notified the co’s Board of Directors of his intention to step down as CEO to become the co’s first Executive Chairman of the Board.
06:08 PDGI PharmaNet Devlpmt beats by $0.02, misses on revs; guides FY08 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (41.35 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.33 per share, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.31; revenues rose 16.7% year/year to $92.3 mln vs the $94.5 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $1.42-1.57 vs. $1.76 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $401-409 mln vs. $414.81 mln consensus.
06:08 IRM Iron Mountain misses by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q1 revs in-line; guides FY08 revs in-line (34.18 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.19 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.20; revenues rose 19.3% year/year to $727 mln vs the $705.8 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs of $725-745 mln vs. $730.63 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY08, sees FY08 revs of $3.0-3.08 bln vs. $3.04 bln consensus.
06:07 ASTI Ascent Solar and ITOCHU to pursue strategic relationship (15.25 )

Co and ITOCHU Corp of Japan announce that the companies will begin work toward the development of one or more strategic cooperation relationships in the following areas: 1) procurement of select machinery for Ascent Solar’s planned 100 MW manufacturing facility; 2) sourcing of raw materials used for the manufacture of solar modules; 3) distribution of Ascent Solar future products in Japan and other parts of the world where ITOCHU is currently pursuing a number of solar installations; 4) managing future OEM relationships in Japan including the development of potential strategic partners engaged in the development of building integrated photovoltaic and electronic integrated photovoltaic products using Ascent Solar’s future flexible CIGS solar modules.
06:04 TEF Telefonica reports Q407 results; announces 100 mln share buyback and dividend of EUR 1/share (89.07 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of EUR 0.22, EUR 1 better than the Reuters estimate of EUR 0.21; revenues were EUR 14,426.0 mln vs EUR 14,369.6 consensus. Co announces share repurchase program for 100 mln shares and pay a EUR 1 dividend, up 33% from previous year.
05:35 AXA AXA FY07 highlights (35.83 )

Co reports underlying Underlying earnings were up 27% on a reported basis to EUR 4,963 mln, or up 15% on a comparable basis, reflecting solid growth in all segments (+10% in Life & Savings, +8% in Property & Casualty and +21% in Asset Management). Adjusted earnings reached EUR 6,138 mln, up 22% on a reported basis, or up 14% on a comparable basis, as a result of higher underlying earnings and Euro 1,175 mln net capital gains, in line with last year. Net income was up 11% on a reported basis to EUR 5,666 mln, or up 7% on a comparable basis, mainly as a result of higher adjusted earnings, negative impact from the change in fair value of financial assets (under fair value option) and derivatives, positive impact from the sale of the Dutch operations and Winterthur integration costs. Underlying EPS, net of interest charges on perpetual subordinated debt, increased by 16% to EUR 2.27, outpacing Ambition 2012 targets. Dividend per share of EUR 1.20, up 13% in line with adjusted EPS, will be proposed at AXA’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. The dividend will be payable on April 29, 2008 with an ex-dividend date of April 24, 2008.
05:31 RBS reveals further GBP 450 mln losses from turmoil – Finacial Times

Financial Times reports Royal Bank of Scotland on Thursday revealed an additional GBP 450 mln of losses from the turmoil in the credit markets, as the banking group predicted it could squeeze a third more in cost and revenue savings from its recent acquisition of ABN Amro. The disclosures came as RBS reported pre-tax profits of GBP 9.9 bln for 2007 — an increase of 8% on the previous year, but slightly lower than expected by most analysts. The bank said it had not taken additional losses on top of the GBP 1.2 bln write-down on the value of mortgage-backed securities and loans to private equity groups it announced in December. However, it did write off an additional GBP 456 mln to reflect the deteriorating credit quality of specialized bond insurers, which have insured some of RBS’s debt. Even after the write-down, RBS revealed that it still has exposure of GBP 2.5 bln to bond insurers. It is part of a consortium of US and European banks that is considering injecting new capital into Ambac (ABK) in order to preserve its credit rating. RBS announced it had increased the write-down associated with the value of financial instruments owned by ABN Amro (ABN) to GBP 978 mln, up from its initial estimate of about GBP 300 mln in December. This figure did not hit RBS’s reported profits. The write-downs were partially offset by a GBP 1.19 bln profit on the sale of some RBS-owned assets, including Southern Water. RBS boosted its estimate of the cost savings and increased revenues it expects to squeeze from the ABN Amro acquisition to EUR 2.3 bln, compared to EUR 1.7 bln at the time it announced its takeover bid.
05:26 ABN ABN AMRO makes $2.36 bln pre-split writedown – Reuters (57.70 )

Reuters reports ABN Amro (ABN) said on Thursday it had made a 1.56 bln euro ($2.36 bln) writedown in its global markets business in its last results before being split between three buyers. ABN AMRO said in a statement its valuation methodology was aligned in the fourth quarter to that of Royal Bank of Scotland, which is buying its wholesale and investment banking unit and its Asian operations. ABN said that excluding the writedown, which was due to the downturn in credit markets, adjusted net profit from continuing operations in 2007 rose 18% to 2.945 bln euros. ABN said its operating income rose 5% to 17.27 bln euros, boosted by growth in Latin America, Asia and the Netherlands. Net profit, including a 7.16 bln euro gain from the sale of U.S. bank LaSalle, stood at 9.85 bln euros. Adjusted EPS was 1.44 euros, hit by the writedown and the continued poor performance of Italian bank Antonveneta, ABN said.
05:23 AIG AIG and Swiss Re could deliver bad news next week – WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports two insurers that are announcing earnings in the next two days could lead with bad news. American International Group (AIG) reports its earnings after the market closes today, and Swiss Reinsurance will report tomorrow. AIG will have the tougher task convincing investors to focus on the good news. The insurer’s shares suffered their worst drubbing since the 1987 stock market crash after it announced earlier this month that its auditor had found a “material weakness” in its accounting systems, and that it will have to sharply increase the size of its write-down on the value of the credit default swap portfolio for October and November, to $4.88 bln. It announced the write-down after telling investors weeks before that the damage in the first two months of the quarter would be almost one-fifth as severe. The worst-case scenario for AIG is it has to write-down the October and November numbers again.
05:20 AA Alcoa faces allegation by Bahrain of bribery – WSJ (100.98 )

The Wall Street Journal reports a co controlled by the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain accused Alcoa (AA) of a 15-year conspiracy involving overcharging, fraud and bribery. A suit in federal court in Pittsburgh by Aluminum Bahrain BSC alleged that Alcoa steered payments for an aluminum precursor ingredient to a group of tiny companies abroad, in order to pay kickbacks to a Bahraini “senior government official.” The Bahraini firm, known as Alba, alleged that Alcoa had overcharged it for the precursor material, alumina. Bank records and invoices show that more than $2 bln in Alba’s payments for alumina passed from Bahrain to tiny cos in Singapore, Switzerland and the Isle of Guernsey. The suit alleged that some of the money found its way back to officials involved in granting the contracts. “Defendants…furthered their fraud through bribes paid to one or more officials of the Government of Bahrain,” said the suit, which didn’t name the officials and didn’t cite any direct evidence of such payments. Alcoa said it will look into the matter. “We have not had the opportunity to review these allegations and are not in a position to comment,” spokesman Kevin Lowery said. “However, we are completely unaware of any wrongdoing by the company or its employees.”
05:17 RIO Vale’s talks with Xstrata hit wall – WSJ (36.65 )

The Wall Street Journal reports talks between Brazil’s Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (RIO) and Anglo-Swiss Xstrata plc have hit serious obstacles, said people familiar with the matter, threatening a deal that would create the world’s largest miner. The Brazilian miner, known as Vale, is objecting to the role of major Xstrata shareholder Glencore International AG in a combined co, these people said. Glencore, which owns a 35% stake in Xstrata, holds long-term agreements to market a significant portion of Xstrata’s mining output. One of these people said Glencore wishes to significantly expand its market agreements to cover Vale products other than iron ore — a stance Vale rejects. The talks, under way for about a month, have already taken several twists and turns and could still resume. But in recent days, Vale made at least one informal offer for Xstrata, for less than GBP 47 ($93) a share, said one of the people familiar with the matter. That offer was rebuffed, and since then, disagreements had stalled the talks and reduced everyone to “sitting around the table staring,” said another person.
05:15 Early Newspaper Headlines: RIO – AA – AIG – ABN – RBS

WSJ: Vale’s (RIO) talks with Xstrata hit wall… Alcoa (AA) faces allegation by Bahrain of bribery… AIG (AIG) and Swiss Re could deliver bad news next week. Reuters: ABN Amro (ABN) makes $2.36 bln pre-split writedown. Financial Times: RBS reveals further GBP 450 mln losses from turmoil.
04:19 TPGI Thomas Properties Group reports Q407 results (10.07 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.07 per share, includes items, $0.48 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.41; revenue rose 5.3% year/year to $21.87 mln vs the $25.09 mln consensus.
03:55 GSS Golden Star Resources reports Q407 results (4.03 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.03, excluding valuation allowance for tax assets, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of ($0.01); revenue rose 112% year/year to $69.88 mln vs the $68.32 mln consensus.
03:43 ABV AmBev reports Q407 results, includes items (85.50 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of R$1.84 per share, includes goodwill amortization and may not be comparable to the the First Call consensus of R$1.33.
03:35 NAFC Nash Finch beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (35.16 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.73 per share, excluding excluding promotional markdowns and closure costs of retail stores, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.72; revenues fell 2.7% year/year to $1.07 bln vs the $1.06 bln consensus.
03:05 WIRES On The Wires

UTEK (UTK) agrees to acquire Strategos, a strategy consulting firm providing services primarily to Fortune 500 companies.
01:33 NVS Novartis’s everolimus extends progression-free survival in advaned kidney cancer patients after failure of other targeted therapy (49.92 )

Co announces an independent data monitoring committee stopped a Phase III clinical trial of the investigational drug everolimus after interim results showed significantly better progression-free survival in patients with advanced kidney cancer who received everolimus compared to placebo. The committee stopped the trial of more than 400 patients conducted in 12 countries because the study met its primary endpoint. The interim findings are being shared with investigators to allow them to offer everolimus to patients remaining on placebo.
01:25 DNA Genentech mentioned positively in Weekday Trader – Barron’s Online (76.66 )

Barron’s Online reports efforts to find new markets for Avastin, already Genentech’s (DNA) top-selling drug, could add billions to future sales, and raise profits even faster than already expected. “It’s a reasonable multiple for this stock given the potential upside to earnings forecasts and the potential for Avastin,” says Greg Dunn, an analyst with Thornburg Investment Management. “Despite the current premium, this stock looks attractive.” “Avastin is a powerful tool, and if it proves to be effective in adjuvant [early stage of cancer] settings, its use will grow tremendously,” says Dr. Julia Smith, director at the NYU Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Screening and Prevention Program
01:24 AFFX Citadel increases stake in Affymetrix – Barron’s Online (19.31 )

Barron’s Online reports Citadel Investment Group on Tuesday reported it now owns 3,861,403 shares in Affymetrix (AFFX), up from 826,792 shares held at the end of Q407.
01:23 CGV CGGVeritas reports Q407 results; misses by $0.01 (53.27 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.69, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.70; revenues rose 29% year/year to $876.0 mln vs the $878.81 mln consensus.
01:15 ATLS Atlas America reports Q407 results (62.64 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.39, ex-items, $0.19 worse than the single-analyst estimate of $0.58; revenues rose 65.9% year/year to $503.6 mln (no estimates available).
01:09 CETV Central European Media Enterprises reports Q407 results (97.83 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.88, excluding non-recurring items and may not be comparable to the single-analyst estimate of $2.59; revenues rose 40% year/year to $300.96 mln vs the $274.4 mln consensus.
01:00 BKD Brookdale Senior Living reports Q407 results (23.17 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.32 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the First Call consensus of ($0.35); revenue rose 8.6% year/year to $469.46 mln vs the $475.89 mln consensus.
00:53 CEDC Central European Dist misses by $0.03, reports revs in-line; guides FY08 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (62.36 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.73 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.76; revenues rose 32.0% year/year to $393.4 mln vs the $396.4 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY08, sees EPS of $2.08-2.18, excluding future acquisitions, vs. $2.28 consensus; sees FY08 revs of $1.30-1.40 bln vs. $1.42 bln consensus.
00:48 KEG Key Energy Services reports Q407 results, beats by $0.01 ex-items (13.80 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.30, excluding cost of debt refinancing, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus fo $0.29; revenue rose 4.9% year/year to $428.62 mln vs the $415.45 mln consensus.
00:43 EPCT EpiCept announces non-binding opinion by European regulatory authority on Ceplene marketing application (1.49 )

Co announces they recently presented at the Oral Explanation meeting to the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, the scientific committee of the European Medicines Agency, regarding the remaining outstanding issues on the marketing authorization application for Ceplene, which is intended to be indicated for the maintenance of remission and prevention of relapse of patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in first remission. A non-binding trend vote taken after the Oral Explanation indicated that a slight majority of the votes by CHMP members was not in favor of recommending a positive opinion. The majority view of the CHMP considered that the data presented in the application, while supportive of the product’s efficacy and safety in AML, the indication for which approval was sought, should be confirmed by further clinical data from an additional, replicate study.
00:39 SPPR Supertel Hospitality misses by $0.02 (6.12 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) FFO of $0.13, $0.02 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.15; revenue rose 45.1% year/year to $27.41 mln vs the $29.78 mln consensus.
00:34 GIFI Gulf Island Fabrication beats by $0.11, misses on revenue (29.35 )

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.62, $0.11 better than the First Call consensus of $0.51; revenue rose 32.8% year/year to $100.89 mln vs the $106.55 mln consensus.
00:12 Dealers having difficulty selling variable-rate demand notes – WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports a new round of higher debt costs confronts some states and cities as another part of the credit markets runs into trouble. This time, the culprits are variable-rate demand notes. And banks that guarantee they will act as buyers of last resort face something they never expected — having to purchase many of them at once. Variable-rate demand notes let issuers borrow for long periods — but at short-term interest rates. Like auction-rate securities, interest payments adjust on a weekly or even daily basis. The difference is that for variable-rate demand notes, securities firms sell the debt at whatever interest rate meets the market’s demand. The problem: Just like many issuers of auction-rate securities whose interest costs soared after auctions for some of their debt failed, an increasing number of municipalities are being hit with sharply higher interest on their variable-rate demand notes because dealers of the debt are having trouble selling it. Last week, rates on $300 mln of California’s variable-rate demand notes rose to 8.25% from 2% the previous week. “This is an amazing confluence of problems that no one expected to happen,” California Deputy Treasurer Paul Rosenstiel said. “The entire floating-rate [municipal bond] market is in disarray,” said Michael J. Marz, vice chairman at First Southwest Co., a Dallas financial adviser to governments and municipalities. With variable-rate demand notes, securities firms unable to sell the debt — as has been happening for the past couple of months — have the right to essentially turn the bonds over to a bank that has guaranteed to buy them. When the backstop banks buy the bonds, the debt turns into so-called bank bonds. The interest payment rises to the prime rate – or an amount even higher than the prime rate, now 6%.

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So if you buy the retail numbers all is good again. I don’t know, but I think all rallies up to 1400 on any moves here. The masses have all switched bullish well at least over 53% of bloggers are now bullish, so I continue to fade that. I still think that on a daily chart still looks like we need to work out some downside. Time will tell, but I am in no rush to get long for more than a rental in stocks until we can close the spx above 1440. Still a bit away in my book. Until then trade em around as we flop and chop.

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