Stocks to watch: JC Penney, Washington Post
The department store chain posts a loss but beats analysts' estimates. The newspaper publisher may report a quarterly profit.
Updated at 8:55 a.m. ET
J.C. Penney (JCP) posted a fourth-quarter loss of $87 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with year-earlier earnings of $271 million, or $1.13 a share. Excluding items, earnings were 74 cents a share. Revenue was $5.43 billion. Analysts were looking for earnings of 68 cents a share on revenue of $5.5 billion. Same-store sales fell 1.8%. The retailer has jumped by $1.4 billion in value since new CEO Ron Johnson outlined a turnaround plan that kicked off on Feb. 1.
Publisher Washington Post (WPO) is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $6.32 a share on revenue of $1.04 billion, according to analysts.
American International Group (AIG) reported fourth-quarter net income of $19.8 billion, boosted by a gain of $17.7 billion related to the release of a deferred tax asset valuation allowance. Operating profit in the quarter was 82 cents a share; analysts were looking for 63 cents.
Salesforce.com (CRM), the cloud computing company, topped Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings expectations. For the three months ended Jan. 31, the company reported adjusted earnings of $61.6 million, or 43 cents a share, on revenue of $632 million. Analysts were expecting a profit of 40 cents a share on revenue of $624 million. Salesforce forecast non-GAAP earnings for the current fiscal year of $1.58 to $1.62 a share on revenue of $2.92 billion to $2.95 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters see profit of $1.62 a share on revenue of $2.91 billion.
Bank of America (BAC) says it will stop selling new home loans to Fannie Mae. The announcement Thursday highlights a long legal battle over how many defaulted mortgages Bank of America should buy back from Fannie since the housing bubble burst. Bank of America has said that it will turn to Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae to back up its mortgages and that the recent decision will not affect its customers. The move, however, is huge, given that Bank of America sold almost $38 billion in mortgages to Fannie last year.
Private-equity firm Apollo Global (APO) is said to be near a deal to buy El Paso's (EP) oil-exploration business for about $7 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. The agreement, which includes Riverstone Holdings, an energy-focused private-equity group, may be signed by Friday. The oil and gas industry has been a handful of deals in the past year.
Newmont Mining (NEM) is expected to post a quarterly profit of $1.27 a share on revenue of $2.74 billion.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session on a flat note after spending the day inside narrow ranges. The S&P 500 hovered near the 2,000 mark for the majority of the trading day, but slumped to new lows during the last hour of action. The index then returned to its flat line, where it settled for the day. For the third day in a row, participation left a lot to be desired with just 487 million shares changing hands at the NYSE.
Equity indices opened with slim gains, ... More
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