MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pre Market Trading Gap News

Starting with Ford (NYSE: F) then, the world's third largest automaker posted (after items) a loss of $1.38 billion, or 62 cents. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected Ford to report a loss of 28 cents a share. The headlines scream of a loss of $8.7 billion though, which includes $8 billion in pretax writedowns of North American plants and assets of Ford Motor Credit Co. Ford also said it will convert three truck factories to produce small cars as rising gasoline prices sap U.S. truck sales.

Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW)
couldn't manage to offset higher costs of energy and raw materials with the recent price increases it announced, and posted a 27% decrease in profit for the period. Net income was $762 million, or 81 cents a share. Revenue is up 23% to $16.38 billion. Earnings were below analyst expectation according to Thomson Financial of 85 cents per share, but better than the sales estimates of $14.9 billion. DOW shares are dropping some 9.5% in premarket trading as the company said it expects the economy to weaken.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) posted strong earnings Wednesday after the close, proving its growth days aren't over in this weakened economy hurt by high gas prices. Not only did it beat estimates -- with a 41% climb in revenue to $4.06 billion compared to $3.96 expected, and EPS of 37 cents compared to expectations of 26 cents -- but it also raised its full-year revenue projections. AMZN shares are climbing about 6.5% in premarket trading.

While there aren't many earnings reports today, there are a few including Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO), Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Black & Decker (NYSE: BDK) among others.

Crocs (NASDAQ: CROX) shares are tanking over 44% to $5 after after it cut its earnings outlook significantly on softer demand for its plastic shoes. With all those knockoffs around, is it any wonder? Robert W. Baird downgraded Crocs from Outperform to Neutral, slashing the target price from $21 to $5.

Meanwhile, Juniper Networks (NASDAQ: JNPR) surged 12% in premarket trading after the company not only beat estimates when reporting quarterly results Thursday, but also increased its sales forecast for the third-quarter much higher than analyst estimates. Friedman Billings and Citigroup both upgraded Juniper to Outperform and Buy respectively.

In deal news, Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCU) shareholders on Thursday approved a $17.9 billion takeover by private equity funds Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital. This ends the 20-month long effort.

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