WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Among the stocks that could see active trade in Friday’s session are Cache Inc., Williams Cos. and Research In Motion Ltd.
The earnings calendar runs light Friday. Finish Line Inc. , MFC Industrial Ltd. , Birner Dental Management Services Inc. and Natuzzi SpA /zigman2/quotes/206283720/composite NTZ +6.87% are the featured names on deck to close out the trading week.
Along with reporting fourth-quarter and 2011 results, Cache /zigman2/quotes/206817775/composite CACH 0.00% issued financial forecasts for the first half of 2012 late Thursday. For the first quarter, the New York-based retailer of women’s apparel sees a net loss of 9 cents a share, wider than the 6-cent loss posted in the first three months of 2011. Cache cited greater promotional activity as a factor expected to pressure gross margins for the current quarter. In addition, percentage growth in comparable-store sales is pegged at a rate in the “high single-digit range,” as opposed to 7.7% growth in the year-ago quarter, with sales in the last three weeks of March having strengthened over February and early March. And for the first half, Cache said it anticipates earnings will come in above the 16 cents a share generated over the first six months of 2011, as comp-store sales growth picks up to a “low double-digit range” into the second quarter.
Williams /zigman2/quotes/205467183/composite WMB -0.92% said it plans to make a public offering of 26 million common shares under a shelf registration previously declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Underwriters have a 30-day option to buy up to 3.9 million additional shares, the Tulsa-based energy company said. Net proceeds will be used to purchase additional common units in Williams Partners LP , in conjunction with the latter’s pending acquisition of Caiman Eastern Midstream LLC, a $2.5 billion deal announced earlier this month.
Thursday earnings recap
Continuing to grapple with the changing landscape for wireless devices, Research In Motion reported a net loss of $125 million, or 24 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ended March 3, a reversal from the prior year’s profit of $934 million, or $1.78 a share, as revenue fell to $4.19 billion from $5.56 billion. The maker of BlackBerry handhelds said that it would have had earnings of 80 cents a share on an adjusted basis for the latest quarter and that it will no longer make quarterly forecasts. In a survey by FactSet Research, the consensus of analysts who follow RIM had been for an adjusted profit of 81 cents a share on revenue of $4.54 billion. It marked the first quarterly report for President and Chief Executive Thorsten Heins. In the earnings release, he said: “I have assessed many aspects of RIM’s business during my first 10 weeks as CEO. I have confirmed that the company has substantial strengths that can be further leveraged to improve our financial performance, including RIM’s global network infrastructure, a strong enterprise offering and a large and growing base of more than 77 million subscribers. I’m very excited about the prospects for the BlackBerry 10 platform, which is on track for the latter part of calendar 2012. Notwithstanding these strengths and opportunities, the business challenges we face over the next several quarters are significant and I am taking the necessary steps to address them.” Read more about Research In Motion.
Tibco Software Inc. reported a net profit of $20.6 million, or 12 cents a share, for the first quarter ended March 4, up from $16 million, or 9 cents, earned in the same period a year earlier. Excluding stock-based compensation, acquisition-related expenses and other items, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company’s earnings would have been 20 cents a share for the latest quarter, up from the prior year’s 16 cents a share. Tibco’s quarterly revenue reached $225.7 million from $185.3 million, as operating margin widened to 10.7% from 10.2%. In December, management pegged quarterly target ranges at 18 cents to 19 cents a share for earnings and $220 million to $225 million for revenue. Tibco also said its board authorized up to $300 million for stock repurchases, replacing an existing buyback program that had a remaining authorization of about $38 million. The company bought back 2.8 million common shares during the first quarter.