Micron swings to loss as sales slip
(4:08 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Micron Technology /zigman2/quotes/205710729/composite MU +0.89% on Thursday reported a fiscal second-quarter loss of $224 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a profit of $72 million, or 7 cents a share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue totaled $2.1 billion, down from $2.3 billion. Analysts had expected the chipmaker to report a loss of 19 cents a share, on revenue of $2.02 billion, according to a consensus survey conducted by FactSet Research.
Canada down; Avion Gold slumps 12% after Mali coup
(10:49 AM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The Canadian stock market fell on Thursday in response to weak economic data from overseas. Mining firms with operations in Mali were also battered following a coup in the Western African country. The S&P/TSX Composite Indexslid 76.03 points, 0.6%, to 12,360.46. The S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals & Mining Indexled the declines, slumping 1.9% while the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index /zigman2/quotes/210598495/delayed XX:TORGC187 -7.81% was off 1.6%. Avion Gold Corp., which owns major stakes in gold projects in Mali, sank 12% and Robex Resources Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201166614/delayed CA:RBX 0.00% also lost 2.3%. Lululemon Athletica Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203839209/delayed CA:LLL -20.00% /zigman2/quotes/204011506/composite LULU -4.28% rose 0.6% in Toronto after its earnings beat analysts' expectations.
FedEx shares down on outlook
(10:40 AM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- FedExshares fell 4% to $92.23 early Thursday. FedEx trimmed its global economic growth forecast due to euro zone weakness and issued a its fourth-quarter profit outlook of $1.75 to $2 a share. Analysts are expecting FedEx to earn $2, according to FactSet. FedEx also said it plans to bulk up in Europe by winning more business rather than buying other companies. Investors had speculated FedEx might make a play for Dutch package shipper TNT, which agreed this week to be acquired by UPS /zigman2/quotes/201245396/composite UPS -2.10% . FedEx shares are up 10% since Jan. 1, in line with the gain for the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.72% .
Lululemon earnings jump 34% in fourth quarter
(8:02 AM ET) LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Retail firm Lululemon Athletica Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204011506/composite LULU -4.28% said Thursday that fourth-quarter earnings jumped 34% to $73.5 million, or 51 cents a share, from $54.8 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago-period. Revenue for the quarter ended Jan. 29 rose 51% to $371.5 million from $245.4 million for the quarter, while comparable-stores sales increased 26% on a constant dollar basis. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research expected quarterly earnings of 48 cents a share on revenue of $360.2 million. For the first quarter of fiscal 2013 the retailer expects net revenue in the range of $265 million to $270 million and earnings per share between 28 cents and 29 cents.
ConAgra profit up 26%
(7:52 AM ET) NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- ConAgra Foods inc. /zigman2/quotes/200394144/composite CAG -1.18% said Thursday its third-quarter profit rose to $271.6 million, or 65 cents a share, from $214.8 million, or 50 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Net sales for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 26 rose 7% to $3.37 billion. Excluding items, ConAgra earned 51 cents a share in its latest quarter. Wall Street analysts expected the food company to earn 49 cents a share on sales of $3.36 billion, according to a survey by FactSet Research. "Conditions have been difficult across the industry due to high inflation and soft volumes for retail consumer food brands," the company said. "Our Lamb Weston potato business performed well, and we benefited from total margin management efforts that include price increases in both operating segments and good overall cost savings."
FedEx profit jumps, tops Wall St. estimates
(7:44 AM ET) NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- FedEx Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203047719/composite FDX -3.37% on Thursday posted fiscal third-quarter profit of $521 million, or $1.65 a share, compared to $231 million, or 73 cents a share a year ago. Revenue in the quarter rose to $10.56 billion from $9.66 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet Research had expected the firm to earn $1.34 a share, on revenue of $10.60 billion. Looking forward, FedEx said it expects fourth-quarter earnings to be $1.75 to $2 a share, and fiscal year earnings of $6.35 to $6.60 a share. "This guidance assumes the current market outlook for fuel prices and moderate growth in the global economy," the company said.
European stocks lower after downbeat China data
(4:22 AM ET) MADRID (MarketWatch) -- European stock markets opened lower on Thursday, with banks leading the decliners and miners also off after a sharp fall in Chinese manufacturing activity. The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -2.34% fell 0.3% to 267.86, with Randgold Resources Ltdoff 12%, and heavyweights such as Spain's Banco Santander SA /zigman2/quotes/205677933/delayed ES:SAN -3.00% down 1.4%. Shares of Lanxess AG /zigman2/quotes/204947644/delayed DE:LXS -1.51% jumped 9% after an upbeat outlook for 2012. The French CAC 40 index /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -2.28% fell 0.5% to 3,509.49, led by Societe Generale SA /zigman2/quotes/206663756/delayed FR:GLE -3.93% down 1.7% and BNP Paribas SA /zigman2/quotes/206351084/delayed FR:BNP -2.73% down 1.1%. The German DAX 30 index /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -1.97% fell 0.3% to 7,052.36, with a nearly 1% fall for Bayer AG /zigman2/quotes/210533053/delayed DE:BAYN -0.87% . The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -1.97% fell 0.3% to 5,872.02, with Kingfisher PLC /zigman2/quotes/200571451/delayed UK:KGF +0.21% and Next PLC /zigman2/quotes/200704121/delayed UK:NXT -4.66% off over 1% each after the retailers released results.
Kingfisher net profit up 30%, sales rise slightly
(3:27 AM ET) MADRID (MarketWatch) -- Do-it-yourself retailer Kingfisher PLC /zigman2/quotes/200571451/delayed UK:KGF +0.21% on Thursday reported a 30% rise in full-year profit on higher sales amid growth in its three main operating divisions. Net profit for the full year ended Jan. 28 rose 30% to 649 million pounds ($1 billion) against £494 million in the prior year. Sales rose 3.6% to £10.8 billion and rose 1.3% on a comparable basis. Kingfisher's full-year dividend rose 25% to 8.84 pence. Kingfisher's group chief executive, Ian Cheshire, said that while the "immediate economic outlook remains uncertain."