MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, May 30, 2008

Opening View: Tiffany & Co. Earnings Sparkle, Dell's Numbers Best Expectations

U.S. stock futures are trading mildly higher heading into the open, indicative of a potentially positive start to the regular session. In overseas trading, Asian exporters – including Canon and Toyota Motor – were lifted on a weaker yen, while European stocks got a boost from lower crude-oil prices. In focus this morning are earnings from Dell and Tiffany & Co., as well as merger-and-acquisition news (or lack thereof) from United Airlines and US Airways.

Stepping into the earnings limelight yesterday after the close was computer guru Dell (DELL: View sentiment for DELLsentiment, chart, options) . The company reported first-quarter earnings of 38 cents per share, up 4 pennies from the same period a year ago, while revenue for the quarter docked at $16.08 billion. Analysts, on average, were looking for a first-quarter profit of 34 cents per share on revenue of $15.7 billion. Already this morning, the prince of PCs was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Merrill Lynch, and the shares are set to open roughly 10% higher.

In other earnings news, high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co. (TIF: View sentiment for TIFsentiment, chart, options) reported first-quarter net income of $64.4 million, or 50 cents per share, up from $54.1 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $668.1 million from $595.7 million. The Street was calling for earnings of 40 cents per share on sales of $647.6 million. In addition, the firm upped its fiscal-year earnings guidance by 5 cents, and announced plans to introduce a new, smaller store format later this year.

Elsewhere, The Wall Street Journal this morning reported that a merger between United Airlines (UAUA: View sentiment for UAUAsentiment, chart, options) and US Airways (LCC: View sentiment for LCCsentiment, chart, options) is off the table, with the companies reportedly slated to officially announce the news today. Now, it seems United is close to an alliance – not a merger - agreement with sector peer Continental Airlines ( CAL: View sentiment for CALsentiment, chart, options) .


Opening View: Tiffany & Co. Earnings Sparkle, Dell's Numbers Best Expectations

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