Headlines this morning include Wellpoint updating its guidance, Destination Maternity reporting strong same-store sales, Lindsay Corp. easily beating earnings estimates, Target making price matching permanent, Chesapeake reining in executive compensation, Lampert taking over as CEO of Sears and AIG considering a suit against the government over the terms of its bailout.
Wellpoint (WLP) said Tuesday that it expects earnings for 2012 to be at the high-end of its previously announced guidance range of $7.30 to $7.40 per share. Analysts expect the company to earn $7.46 for the year. Earnings are scheduled to be released on Jan. 23.
Specialty retailer Destination Maternity (DEST) said Tuesday that fiscal first-quarter revenue was $135.3 million, in the range of the company's guidance for $132.5 million to $136.5 million. Revenue at stores open a year or more, which also includes online sales, rose by 1.9%. The company said it expects first-quarter earnings to be in the middle of its previous forecast for 25 cents to 32 cents per share.
Irrigation system maker Lindsay Corp. (LNN) reported EPS of $1.15 per share for the quarter ended Nov. 30, topping analysts' estimates for 75 cents per share. Revenue rose to $147.4 million, compared to estimates for $130.4 million. Rick Parod, the company's CEO, said in a statement that order volumes were “extremely robust” reflecting lingering drought conditions, “positive farmer sentiment, farm incomes and commodity prices.”
Retailer Target Corp. (TGT) said Tuesday that its holiday guarantee to match prices of some online rivals is now a year-round policy. The company said it will match prices on identical prices found at Wal-Mart, Best buy, Toys R Us and Babies R Us.
Chesapeake Energy Corp.
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that CEO Aubrey McClendon will not be paid a bonus for 2012, and his use of corporate aircraft will also be limited. The company also said it plans to cut charitable and political spending while also allowing shareholders to nominate some directors to the company's board. The company's value dropped by 25% in 2012 after revelations about McClendon's financial dealings, growing debt levels and a liquidity crunch all challenged investors' confidence.
Edward Lampert, the chairman of Sears Holdings (SHLD), will step in as CEO the company said. Lampert will succeed Lou D'Ambrosio who is leaving the company due to the medical condition of a family member. Lampert is taking over while the company's sales are in decline and it has been steadily losing money.
American International Group
Insurance giant American International Group (AIG) is reportedly considering joining a shareholder lawsuit against the government. While it doesn't argue that the company didn't need a bailout, the suit does contend that the nature of the rescue took value from shareholders and violated the Fifth Amendment.