Stocks to Watch: Sears, Target (Update 1)

TheStreet.com

NEW YORK -- Sears lost big during the holiday season with a net loss of $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter, a swing from year-earlier profit of $373 million.

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Adjusted profit in the quarter was 54 cents a share, down from $3.67 a share a year earlier. Revenue decreased to $12.48 billion from $13 billion.

Analysts forecast earnings of 78 cents a share in the fourth quarter on sales of $12.44 billion.

Sears said it reached a deal to sell 11 stores in a $270 million agreement, and will raise $400 million to $500 million in a rights offering by separating out its Sears Hometown and Outlet stores and some hardware stores.

Shares were surging by 17.1% to $52.08 in premarket trading Thursday.


Target said it expects 2012 earnings of $4.55 to $4.75 a share, above the estimates of analysts.

The second largest U.S. discounter reported $1.49 a share in fourth-quarter profit on revenue of $21.3 billion. Analysts expected profit of $1.40 a share on revenue of $21.21 billion.

The stock was up 0.8% to $52.97 in premarket trading.


Hewlett-Packard, the PC and printer maker, said first-quarter adjusted earnings topped analysts' estimates but its outlook for the current quarter came in short of Wall Street expectations.

HP said it expects earnings of 88 cents to 91 cents per share for the quarter ending in April, below the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of 95 cents.


Apple holds its shareholders' meeting Thursday at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

The iPhone and iPad maker may have to address what it plans to do with its cash pile of nearly $98 billion.


Vivus said Wednesday a Food and Drug Administration panel recommended the agency approve Qnexa, the company's proposed treatment for obesity in adults.

The FDA will review the company's new drug application for Qnexa, which was submitted in October 2011. The recommendation from the FDA panel doesn't guarantee the drug will receive approval from the agency.


Kohl's saw it fourth-quarter profit fall 7.9% amid poor holiday sales.

For the period ended Jan. 28, the company reported profit of $455 million, or $1.81 a share, down from $494 million, or $1.66 a share, a year earlier. Kohl's had fewer shares outstanding in the more recent quarter.

Analysts expected profit of $1.82 a share.

The department store chain said it expects profit to rise by 2% to $4.75 a share for the year ending January 2013. Analysts are looking for $4.95 a share.

Shares were down 2.6% to $52.19.

-- Written by Chao Deng and Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

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