MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, August 15, 2008

Opening View: Kohl's Reports Stronger-than-Expected Earnings, Boosts Outlook

In the earnings spotlight this morning is retailer Kohl's (KSS: View sentiment for KSSsentiment, chart, options) . After the close yesterday, the company reported second-quarter profit of $236 million, or 77 cents per share, exceeding the Street's forecast of 73 cents per share. Meanwhile, sales for the quarter docked at $3.7 billion, a rise of 3.8% from a year earlier and in line with expectations. However, second-quarter same-store sales fell 4.6%, with the company attributing the decline to a pullback in consumer spending. On the bright side, KSS upped its full-year guidance, now projecting earnings between $3.02 and $3.18 per share for the year; analysts, on average, are calling for full-year earnings of $3.07 per share. Ahead of the bell, the shares of KSS are set to open moderately higher than yesterday's close of $48.27.

Elsewhere, bond insurers MBIA (MBI: View sentiment for MBIsentiment, chart, options) and Ambac Financial (ABK: View sentiment for ABKsentiment, chart, options) are set to open higher, bolstered by some bullish brokerage action. More specifically, Standard & Poor's affirmed the duo's AA ratings, stating that it's no longer considering downgrading the companies. However, S&P maintained its negative outlook on both firms, citing "significant exposure to domestic nonprime mortgage and related exposures to collateralized debt obligations of asset-backed securities."

Finally, in merger-and-acquisition news, trash titan Republic Services (RSG: View sentiment for RSGsentiment, chart, options) has once again rejected a bid from rival Waste Management (WMI: View sentiment for WMIsentiment, chart, options) . RSG's board claims that the unsolicited bid of $6.73 billion – or $37 per share – "still substantially undervalues Republic." On Thursday, shares of RSG closed at $33.94.



Opening View: Kohl's Reports Stronger-than-Expected Earnings, Boosts Outlook



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