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Stocks in Motion: Brookstone

December sales disappoint, and the retailer lowers earnings guidance.

Updated from 11:32 a.m. EST

Shares of



were among the


losers Thursday, falling 15.9% after the retailer warned that fiscal 2005 earnings would fall short of expectations.

The specialty retailer said same-store sales during the holiday season were below expectations, causing it to revise its full-year earnings outlook to $1.03 to $1.07 a share, down from previous guidance of $1.12 to $1.14 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting earnings of $1.15 a share. Brookstone said that products in its massage and audio categories performed below plan during the holiday season, contributing to the revised outlook. Shares traded down $2.96 to $15.72.

Nash Finch


rose 6.2% after Piper Jaffray raised its rating on the stock to outperform from market perform. The firm said that debt refinancing would reduce the food distributor's interest expense significantly, which will boost margins and earnings. The firm also said operating margins could get a lift as the company closes underperforming stores or sells them. As a result, the firm upped its 2005 earnings target to $3.85 a share from $3.45. Piper Jaffray upped its price target to $45 from $31.50. Shares traded up $2.25 to $38.55.

Shares of

United Defense Industries


rose modestly after the company received a $34.3 million contract modification from the U.S. Army. United will provide the Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command with systems support and logistics services pertaining to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle System. Work should be completed by November 2005. Shares traded up 5 cents to $44.38.

Cost Plus


fell 5% after the company cut its fourth-quarter earnings and sales guidance. The retailer now expects earnings of $1.06 a share, down from previous guidance of $1.32 a share. Sales are now expected to be $342 million, down from its previous estimate of $356 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.29 a share on sales of $354.9 million. Same-store sales are now expected to fall 1.5% during the quarter. Cost Plus previously expected a 2.5% increase. In addition to the lower same-store sales outlook, the company said a shift to lower-margin consumables and markdowns of seasonal inventories would hurt the company's bottom line during the quarter. Shares traded down $1.49 to $28.21.

Shares of

A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts


fell slightly Thursday after the company lowered its 2004 earnings outlook. Citing increased costs related to a roof collapse at its old distribution center, the company put 2004 at 86 cents to 88 cents a share, down from previous guidance of 94 cents to 97 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 98 cents a share. To a lesser extent, according to the company, compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, insurance and store openings also contributed to cost pressures. Shares traded down 13 cents to $28.93.


volume leaders included



, down 7 cents to $3.57;



, up 2 cents to $26.29;



, down 25 cents to $13.80;

General Electric


, up 29 cents to $36.22;



, up 47 cents to $48.93; and



, up 1 cent to $3.37.

Nasdaq volume leaders included

Sirius Satellite Radio


, down 15 cents to $7.49;



, down 3 cents to $26.75;



, down $1.86 to $23.18;



, up 7 cents to $22.46;



, up 28 cents to $18.85;

Sun Microsystems


, down 10 cents to $4.60;



, up 12 cents to $13.22;



, up 13 cents to $1.13.