MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Opening View: President Bush Signs Housing Bill, Garmin Reports Earnings

Checking in on Capitol Hill, President Bush this morning signed the housing and mortgage relief bill into law. The new law will aid government-backed lenders Fannie Mae ( FNM: View sentiment for FNMsentiment, chart, options) and Freddie Mac (FRE: View sentiment for FREsentiment, chart, options) , providing $300 billion in additional loan guarantees for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The new legislation will also offer a temporary tax credit to first-time homebuyers, and give money to local governments to purchase foreclosed properties before they can plague the neighborhood.

In earnings news, GPS-maker Garmin (GRMN: View sentiment for GRMNsentiment, chart, options) this morning reported that its second-quarter profit rose to $256.1 million, or $1.19 a share, from $214.4 million, or 98 cents per share, in the period a year ago. Excluding foreign exchange, earnings were $1.18 per share, up 18 cents from a year prior. Analysts, on average, were predicting earnings of $1.01 per share. Meanwhile, revenue for the quarter rose 23% to $912 million. The company also slashed its full-year earnings forecast to $4.13 per share on revenue of $3.9 billion, citing macroeconomic conditions and rising fuel costs. In premarket activity, the shares of GRMN are currently set to open about 6 points beneath yesterday's close of $45.06.

Elsewhere, Comcast (CMCSA: View sentiment for CMCSAsentiment, chart, options) announced that its second-quarter earnings rose 8% to $632 million, or 21 cents per share, from $588 million, or 19 cents per share, a year earlier. The Street had forecast earnings of 23 cents per share. The Philadelphia-based entertainment firm said that sales jumped 11% higher to $8.6 billion from $7.7 billion, while free cash flow in the quarter quadrupled to $1.16 billion. Ahead of the bell, the shares of CMCSA are set to open moderately higher than Tuesday's close of $19.18.

Finally, Corning (GLW: View sentiment for GLWsentiment, chart, options) this morning reported that its second-quarter net skyrocketed to $3.2 billion, or $2.01 per share, from $489 million, or 31 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, earnings were 49 cents per share, within the company's guidance. Sales for the quarter increased by 19% to $1.69 billion. Analysts, on average, had forecast earnings of 48 cents per share on revenue of $1.7 billion. However, the shares of GLW are lower heading into the open, after the company announced that third-quarter profit would come in below expectations.



Opening View: President Bush Signs Housing Bill, Garmin Reports Earnings


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