Cyprus has begun its bizarre reboot. Banks reopened their doors at noon local time, for the first time since March 16th. But the cash is not exactly free-flowing. Individual account holders will have a daily withdrawal limit of 300 euros, about $400. And the central bank will revierw all commercial transactions over 5,000 euros. Meanwhile, deposits of more than 100,000 euros are being frozen. It's not clear how long the limits will remain in place.
Mixed results from BlackBerry (BBRY), which reported earnings this morning. The company reported earnings of 22-cents per share excluding items. That's widely beats estimates of a 29-cent loss. However, revenues were $2.67 billion, below estimates of $2.84 billion. Share prices jumped as soon as this report was released; at one point they were up 10%, but then they quickly retreated. These results do not include the rollout of the Z10 smart phone here in the U.S. The device goes on sale at Verizon today.
New numbers are out this morning on the home front. RealtyTrac reports a 9% rise in foreclosure inventories over last year. The group says there has also been a 59% jump in pre-foreclosure inventory. There are currently 1.5 million homes either in the foreclosure process or taken over by a bank. This report comes just a day after the National Association of Realtors said pending home sales fell 0.4% in February from the month before. On Tuesday the Commerce Department said new home sales slid 4.6% from a year ago.
Wal-Mart (WMT) may have a surprise in store. Reuters is reporting the chain may start paying some of its customers to make home deliveries. It's one of several strategies the world's largest retailer wants to try as it fights off Amazon. The plan could actually give Wal-Mart an advantage because it would eliminate shipping costs. Just yesterday Wal-Mart announced a related plan where online shoppers would pick up merchandise from in-store lockers.
Five Below (FIVE) is more than 5% below where it closed yesterday. Shares are down sharply following the release of the company's earnings report. The discount chain says it made 39-cents a share, actually beating expectations by a penny. But it lowered guidance for the current quarter and the full year. People who've been holding this stock for the past 52-weeks have made healthy profits, but even prior to this morning's declines, shares have been down 14% this week.
PVH (PVH) also fell sharply after reporting yesterday afternoon. This is the parent company of labels like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger in addition to Philip Van Heusen, which is the source of its name. PVH actually beat estimates, coming in with $1.54 a share versus predictions of $1.50, so it's not clear why shares moved lower. Even with this morning's drop, shares are about 50% higher than they were back in May when they were trading around $72.
Biogen (BIIB) is up in premarket trading. The F.D.A. has approved its oral drug Tecfidera to treat multiple sclerosis. The key ingredient in the pills is a chemical once used to treat sofas, but it was found to cause rashes and blisters. Shares of Biogen are also up about 50% from their lows last spring. By the way, the global market for M.S. drugs is estimated to be around $14-billion a year.
We want to take another look at BlackBerry, which reported earnings this morning. Again, the company posted a surprise profit of 22-cents a share, but revenues were down. Blackberry says it lost 3-million subcribers in the last quarter, but feels it is turning a corner. Shares popped 10% when the report was first released, but then erased all gains.
We also want to mention Pinnacle Foods (PF), which is going to market today with its IPO. This is the parent company of brands including Duncan Hines, Birdseye, Van De Kamp's Fish Sticks and Lenders Bagels. Pinnacle is offering 29-million shares at $20 each. That's at the top of the $18 to $20 dollar range which it filed with the S.E.C. Pinnacle says it's aiming to issue 18-cent quarterly dividends, which would be an annual yield of about 3.8% if shares stay where they are.