Fruit and vegetable distributor Chiquita ($7.77, -$4.96, -38.96%) reported a fourth-quarter loss much wider than analysts were expecting due to higher costs including flood impacts, a weaker euro and lower performance in salads. In addition, the fruit and vegetable distributor saw its stock-investment rating cut to hold from buy by BB&T.
Outdoor sporting-goods company Cabela’s ($7.76, $1.80, 30.23%) reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations. The company projected 2009 revenue would be down only slightly from 2008 and per-share earnings roughly equal with 2008 levels. Wall Street was expecting per-share earnings for the year to fall.
General Motors Corp. (GM, $1.70, -$0.30, -15.00%) fell as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers Friday are slated to hold their first meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and review the plan that GM submitted earlier this week.
WellCare Health Plans Inc. (WCG, $10.80, -$3.25, -23.13%), already burdened with a Medicaid fraud probe, disclosed Friday that it will suspend new enrollments in its Medicare health plans after the government sent a sharply worded letter imposing sanctions on the managed-care concern.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. (RRGB, $14.88, $1.72, 13.07%) again cut the number of new company-owned restaurants it plans to open this year as it posted a 43% drop in fourth-quarter net income. Results topped analysts’ expectations.
Intuit Inc.’s (INTU, $24.21, $2.94, 13.82%) fiscal second-quarter net income fell 26% as revenue suffered from a shift in timing and a big decline in product sales. The maker of TurboTax and personal-finance software Quicken offered disappointing fiscal third-quarter guidance and cut fiscal-year guidance. The company’s earnings guidance was only slightly below expectations and second-quarter earnings were slightly ahead of expectations.
Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (BRCD, $2.99, -$0.39, -11.54%) swung to a fiscal first-quarter loss on acquisition-related charges and lower margins, despite a healthy jump in sales. The data-storage networking company’s adjusted earnings topped Wall Street’s expectations.
Career Education Corp.’s (CECO, $23.04, $3.38, 17.17%) fourth-quarter earnings more than tripled from a year earlier, when bigger charges and a larger loss from discontinued operations weighed on results. The education company’s results topped Wall Street’s expectations, although revenue fell short of analysts’ estimates.
Century Aluminum Co. (CENX, $2.13, -$0.74, -25.78%) posted a $700.2 million net loss, much wider than the prior year and worse than expected on charges for goodwill, taxes and write-downs. Sales fell nearly 7% and costs of sales rose, putting the company at a large operating loss.
Information-technology company Ciber Inc. (CBR, $2.58, -$0.85, -24.78%) announced it was planning an offering of eight million shares at $2.75 a piece, despite calling it an “extremely difficult time to do an offering” and admitting it “would have preferred a better alternative” but that without the funds its hopes to raise it would be out of compliance with debt.
Kindred Healthcare Inc. (KND, $17.71, $3.13, 21.47%) reported a fourth quarter that solidly topped expectations for earnings and the operator of nursing homes and hospitals projected more growth in the first quarter, which it guided above Wall Street’s view.
Lowe’s Cos.’ (LOW, $15.61, -$1.37, -8.07%) fiscal fourth-quarter net income dropped 60% on falling sales and margins as the world’s second-largest home-improvement retailer projected upcoming earnings below analysts’ expectations.
New York Times Co.’s (NYT, $3.81, $0.30, 8.55%) board voted to suspend the quarterly dividend to help decrease debt and improve liquidity, which Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. called “a difficult but prudent measure in this operating environment.” Suspension of the dividend will save about $34.5 million a year.
Owens Corning (OC, $8.26, -$2.00, -19.49%) tumbled Friday as investors digested the dismal results from the company’s fourth-quarter earnings reported earlier this week. Suntrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Keith Hughes told Dow Jones that it took investors awhile to fully realize the impact of Owens Corning’s results, particularly in its composites business, which had normally been a “real source of strength” for the company.
Auto-parts maker TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (TRW, $2.85, $0.47, 19.75%) swung to a fourth-quarter loss amid $854 million in write-downs and slumping demand. The company also projected upcoming sales will be well below analysts’ expectations.
Brazilian mining giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (RIO, $13.47, -$1.25, -8.49%), or Vale, said fourth-quarter net profits slumped as demand flagged for iron ore, its main product. Vale, the world’s largest producer and exporter of iron ore and iron pellets, reported fourth-quarter net profit of $1.367 billion, down from $2.573 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.
VCA Antech (WOOF, $22.47, $1.91, 9.29%) late Thursday reported fourth-quarter net income rose 4.3%, beating Wall Street expectations.
WebMD Health Corp.’s (WBMD, $23.66, $3.49, 17.30%) fourth-quarter net income fell 32% on restructuring costs, while its 84% shareholder HLTH Corp. (HLTH, $11.63, $0.24, 2.11%) posted a 79% drop in fourth-quarter net income. The health-information-service providers, which announced plans to merge a year ago, called off their agreement in October due to financial-market turmoil. But in a sign that consolidation in the online-health world has become more common, HealthCentral Network bought Wellsphere last month as Web sites fight for scarce ad dollars.