Stocks in the news: Sears Holdings, Rio Tinto, Heinz

Some of the companies making major headlines today:

Sears Holdings (SHLD) reported Thursday that it lost money in its second quarter, dragged down by store closings, severance and pension plan costs and lower sales. Excluding items Sears had a loss of $20 million, or 17 cents per share. Revenue 10% to $10.55 billion on the stronger dollar and same-store sale declines. Analysts forecast profit of 35 cents per share on revenue of $10.73 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Shares slumped over 12 percent in pre-market trade.

Rio Tinto (RTP) posted first-half underlying earnings down 54 percent, inline with market forecasts, as metals prices and demand collapsed. But Rio said it was more confident about the future after cutting 15 percent of its workforce, cutting production at higher-cost operations and paying off nearly 40 percent of its debt.
HJ Heinz Co. (HNZ) said Thursday that its fiscal first-quarter profit fell 7 percent to $212.6 million, or 67 cents per share, partly on the stronger dollar, but the results topped analysts' estimates of 62 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters. Shares were 1.7 percent higher ahead of the bell.

NetApp Inc. (NTAP) reported late Wednesday a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street estimates, but it failed to forecast results for the current quarter. The company also named Tom Georgens as CEO. Shares dropped 4.5 percent in pre-market trading.

UBS AG (UBS) -- The Swiss government is selling its 6 billion-Swiss franc ($5.6 billion) investment in UBS, a day after signing an agreement with the U.S. on data on bank clients suspected of evading taxes. Shares climbed about 5 percent before the bell.

Hormel Foods (HRL) on Thursday posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit of $77.2 million, or 57 cents a share, bolstered by strong sales of its Spam canned ham and Hormel chili as well as lower costs for turkey feed.

China Mobile (CHL) on Thursday posted its slowest interim profit growth since it listed in 1997 and said it expects average revenue per user (ARPU) to slide in the months to come.

Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) said Thursday second-quarter net income fell to $12.3 million, or 21 cents a share as revenue fell 5 percent to $1.2 billion. Adjust earnings of 14 cents per share exceeded Wall Street expectations. Shares jumped 5 percent ahead of the bell.

Earnings in brief:
Analyst calls:
  • Deutsche Bank downgraded shares of Regional Financial Corp. (RF) to hold from buy.
  • Citigroup downgrade AstraZeneca (AZN) from Buy to Hold.
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