Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Morning

US stocks will open slightly positive in a few minutes.

In earnings news, home-improvement giant Lowe's(LOW) reported earnings this morning slightly ahead of expectations, while giving 2010 guidance that was below estimates. Despite the weak guidance, shares are up about 2% premarket, as indications for next year's store growth mean that there might finally be some Free Cash Flow of significance...

Campbell Soup(CPB) reported earnings in line, and guidance in line. Revenue was a little light, and shares are trading flat.

Among analyst actions (from

- Deutsche Bank upgrades Viacom (VIA.B 29.94) to Buy from Hold and raises their tgt to $37 from $28, due to shares trading at 9x FCF, share repurchases that should resume in earnest mid-year, 10% affiliate fee revenue growth that appears sustainable for some time, mgmt that has not been acquisitive and the co is strategically complete, and VIAb benefits from being a near pure-play in the attractive cable networks business..

-Oppenheimer donwgrades H&R Block (HRB 21.12) to Perform from Outperform, based on uninspiring early season HRB data that points via channel checks of HRB and Jackson Hewitt locations, commentary from a third storefront competitor that implied overall soft industry conditions, and Intuit's allusion to overall IRS filings that were down a few points YTD through 2/13/10...

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