Stocks to watch: Salesforce, Gap

Salesforce expects a fourth-quarter loss. Gap's profit falls but beats forecasts.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 18, 2011 8:53AM

TheStreetBy Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet

 

Salesforce.com (CRM) posted a loss in the third quarter and said fourth-quarter earnings could come in below analysts' estimates. The software maker posted a loss of $3.8 million, or 3 cents a share, after reporting a year-earlier profit. Adjusted profit in the quarter was 34 cents a share, topping analysts' expectations for 31 cents. However, billings in the third quarter were lower than forecast. The company expects to post a fourth-quarter loss of 5 cents to 6 cents a share. On an adjusted basis, earnings would be 39 cents to 40 cents a share. Analysts forecast profit of 40 cents.

 

Gap's (GPS) third-quarter profit fell 36% as revenue dropped 1.8% to $3.58 billion. Gap earned $193 million, or 38 cents a share, down from $303 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting earnings of 36 cents a share on revenue of $3.59 billion.

 

Eastman Kodak (EK) may sell Kodak Gallery, its online photo-sharing business, to avert a cash shortfall and potential bankruptcy. The Wall Street Journal reported that private-equity firms and retailers are looking to buy the Kodak business, which stores digital photos that can be printed into memorabilia like cards and calendars with Kodak's printing technologies for a fee. The sale could net "hundreds of millions of dollars," anonymous sources told the newspaper.

 

UBS (UBS), the Swiss bank, said it will downsize several businesses, slash up to 2,000 jobs and focus on wealth management as part of an overhaul of its investment banking strategy. UBS said Thursday it will attempt to transform itself into an organization that is focused, less complex and less capital-intensive.

 

Nike (NKE), the maker of athletic shoes and apparel, raised its dividend to 36 cents a share from 31 cents. The dividend is payable Jan. 3 to shareholders of record on Dec. 5.

 

Ketchup maker Heinz (HNZ) reported a fiscal-second-quarter profit of 81 cents, excluding certain items, exceeding analysts' forecasts for 80 cents. Sales rose 8.3% to $2.83 billion, falling short of the $2.92 billion expected by analysts.

 

Computer maker Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) appointed activist shareholder Ralph Whitworth, a co-founder of the Relational Investors fund, to its board after he acquired an almost 1% stake in the company.

 

Boeing (BA) has won a $21.7 billion commercial-jet order from Indonesia's Lion Air -- its biggest order ever for commercial jets.

 

Internet security firm Blue Coat Systems (BCSI) said it would earn 19 cents to 26 cents a share in its fiscal third quarter, compared with the average analyst estimate of 15 cents.

 

Wireless networks company Aruba Networks (ARUN) reported fiscal-first-quarter revenue of $119.4 million, beating the average analyst estimate of $117.5 million. Earnings of 14 cents a share were in line with estimates. The company also said it has agreed to buy privately held network security solutions company Avenda Systems.

 

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