Morning Market Briefing

Morning Market Briefing
Thursday, February 24, 2011, 09:01
__________________________________
Commentary
Stock futures are pointing to another slide Thursday morning, as concerns about the ongoing tumult in the Arab world has overshadowed another solid round of U.S. economic data, including a weekly jobless claims number that slipped back below 400,000. The major index futures are all in negative territory, with the Dow futures down by 14 points. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Economic News
Australian companies' capital spending expanded at a slower pace in the October to December period amid heavy rain and flooding in Queensland, a government survey showed on Thursday. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
The German economy expanded as estimated in the fourth quarter of 2010, official data showed Thursday. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
French households' confidence about the economic situation stabilized in February, survey data released by the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Eurozone economic sentiment resumed its upward trend in February due to a widespread improvement across sectors, while business confidence remained at its highest level since May 2000, a closely watched survey showed Thursday. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by more than anticipated in the week ended February 19th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, with jobless claims once again dipping below the 400,000 level. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
With orders for transportation equipment showing a notable rebound in January, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing an increase in durable goods orders for the month following three consecutive monthly decreases. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Earnings News
Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) said Thursday fourth-quarter profit rose primarily due to a lower tax related charges. Quarterly revenues also climbed on higher gold prices. Adjusted earnings topped estimates, but revenues missed. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Spanish oil and gas company Repsol YPF SA (REP) Thursday reported a sharp increase in fourth-quarter profit, mainly a result of higher oil and gas prices. Production declined marginally in the quarter. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, or CIBC, (CM, CM.TO) Thursday said first-quarter profit increased from the past year thanks to a lower provision of credit losses. Net interest income went up 6% with all retail products reporting “solid” volume growth.Full Article (Feb 24, 2011)
Women's apparel and beauty products retailer Limited Brands Inc. (LTD) reported Wednesday an increase in fourth-quarter profit from the prior year thanks to a 10% rise in comparable store sales. Both adjusted earnings and net sales beat estimates. The company raised its forecast for February comparable store sales and also issued its earnings guidance for the first-quarter and full-year 2011. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Oil and gas company Continental Resources Inc. (CLR) Wednesday announced a loss for the fourth-quarter as a result of mark-to-market derivative losses. Crude oil and natural gas sales however increased with a 27% increase in production. The company expects a 30% growth in production in 2011. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article

Agricultural equipment maker Deere & Company (DE) said Wednesday at its annual shareholder meeting that Agricultural Equipment and Construction Operations would be the main drivers of the company's growth towards a sales target of $50 billion by the year 2018, with the other businesses playing “vital” roles. Deere's first-quarter 2011 profit, reported last week, was its “highest ever” for that period, and it continues to expect record revenues for 2011. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
France Telecom (FTE) said Thursday fiscal 2010 profit rose as a result of a large gain from a joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile in the UK. Revenues were up marginally, mainly due to higher Rest of the World segment revenues. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS, RBS.L) Thursday reported a fourth-quarter profit on the back of lower impairment charges. Net interest margin improved 21 basis points year-over-year. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
British American Tobacco plc (BTI, BATS.L) announced Thursday a higher fourth-quarter profit as revenues rose 5% on the back of a “good” pricing momentum and favorable currency rates. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Online hotel and travel reservation service provider The Priceline Group of Companies (PCLN) said Wednesday fourth-quarter profit surged from last year on better worldwide hotel business performance. Quarterly revenues increased 35%. Adjusted earnings topped estimates, but revenues were below expectations. The company forecast first-quarter 2011 earnings per share above consensus.Full Article (Feb 24, 2011)Tenaris Q4 Profit Up 33%
Luxembourg-based steel pipe products firm Tenaris SA (TS, TS.BA, TS.MX, TEN.MI) Wednesday reported a 33% increase in fourth-quarter profit as higher demand in its tubes segment helped sales rise 12%. Earnings beat analysts' estimates, while revenues missed. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Luxembourg-based steel pipe products firm Tenaris SA (TS, TS.BA, TS.MX, TEN.MI) Wednesday reported a 33% increase in fourth-quarter profit as higher demand in its tubes segment helped sales rise 12%. Earnings beat analysts' estimates, while revenues missed. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Offshore drilling contractor Transocean Ltd. (RIG) reported Wednesday a fourth-quarter loss on the back of hefty one-time charges. Revenues also declined on lower utilization of rigs, and fell short of estimates. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Oil and gas company Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL) Wednesday announced a profit for the fourth-quarter, reversing from last year's loss, as a result of lower unrealized derivative losses. Revenues increased primarily due to a 20% increase in production. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Dish Network Corp. (DISH) reported Thursday a higher fourth-quarter profit with revenues rising 8.2% despite a decline in subscriber count. The earnings beat consensus, while revenues were on par. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Kohl's Corp. (KSS) announced Thursday a 14% hike in fourth-quarter profit as comparable store sales increased 4.3%. The results matched analysts' estimates. The company also issued its first-quarter and fiscal 2011 guidance, with full year outlook below consensus.Full Article (Feb 24, 2011)
Corporate News
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO) Thursday announced an agreement to sell two of its units. Athena Diagnostics will be acquired by Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX) for $740 million, while Lancaster Laboratories is to be bought in a $200 million deal with Eurofins Scientific SE. Both the transactions are cash deals expected to complete in second-quarter 2011. (Feb 24, 2011) Full Article
Todays WS Events
Limited Brands Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 9:00 AM ET
Limited Brands Inc. (LTD) will host a conference call at 9:00 AM ET on February 24, 2011, to discuss Q4 10 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on to www.Limitedbrands.com To listen the call, dial 1-866-583-6618 (US) or 1-973-200-3978 (International). A replay of the call can be accessed by dialing 1-866-NEWS-LTD 1-866-639-7583 (US) or 1-706-902-3452 (International). (Feb 24, 2011) 
Procter & Gamble To Present At CAGNY Conference; Webcast At 9:15 AM ET

El Paso Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 10:00 AM ET
El Paso Corp. (EP) will host a conference call at 10:00 AM ET, February 24, 2011, to discuss its Q4 10 earnings results. To access the webcast, log on at www.elpaso.com To participate in the call, dial (866) 865-6644; conference ID # 45637094. A replay of the call can be heard by dialing (800) 642-1687; conference ID # 45637094. (Feb 24, 2011) 
Target Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 10:30 AM ET
Target Corp. (TGT) will host a conference call at 10:30 AM ET, February 24, 2011, to discuss its Q4 10 earnings result. To access the webcast, log on to www.target.com/investors (Feb 24, 2011)
PepsiCo To Present At CAGNY Conference; Webcast At 10:30 AM ET
PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP) CEO, Indra Nooyi, will present at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Conference in Boca Raton, Fla. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:30 AM ET on February 24, 2011. To access the live webcast, log on at www.pepsico.com/Investors (Feb 24, 2011)

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