Updated from 11:37 a.m. ESTShares of Maytag ( MYG) were among the NYSE's losers Friday, falling 10.5% after the appliance maker posted fourth-quarter earnings and sales that were below estimates and cut 2005 earnings guidance. Excluding items, the company earned 8 cents a share on sales of $1.16 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 17 cents a share on sales of $1.19 billion. Lower Hoover floor care sales, lower sales of vending equipment in commercial products, and higher steel and energy-related costs hurt the company's recent quarter. Looking ahead, Maytag now expects 2005 earnings of $1.10 to $1.30 a share, below previous guidance of $1.50 to $1.60 a share. Both estimates include 5 cents in restructuring charges. The dour outlook comes less than two weeks after Maytag announced the departure of two high-level executives, William Beer and Thomas Briatico. Both men had played pivotal roles in Maytag's "One Company" restructuring initiative. The restructuring combined systems, facilities and personnel from Maytag Appliances, Hoover, and Maytag's corporate office all in an effort "to form a leaner, more efficient organizational structure," Maytag said. Shares traded down $1.79 to $15.26. Escalade ( ESCA) fell 7.9% after the company warned that 2004 earnings would fall significantly below year-ago results. The maker and marketer of sporting goods said it expects 2004 earnings of $7.8 million, or 60 cents a share. A year ago, the company earned $14.85 million, or $2.29 a share. The shortfall is due to "unexpected excess inventory adjustments; adjustments to the restructuring costs recorded in the third quarter; and legal and other costs associated with the company's European operations," it said. Escalade expects to post full results on Feb. 11. Shares traded down $1.20 to $13.95. Shares of Olin ( OLN) rose 4.6% after the chemical company posted fourth-quarter earnings above expectations. The company earned $22.8 million, or 32 cents a share, on sales of $487.3 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 25 cents a share on sales of $487.5 million. An improved pricing environment, especially for the company's chlorine and caustic soda, contributed to the solid fourth-quarter results. Looking ahead, Olin expects first-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share, as earnings in Olin's chlor alkali business continue to improve. Shares traded up 97 cents to $21.99.
Stewart Enterprises ( STEI) slumped 5.4% after the funeral-home and cemetery operator cut its first-quarter earnings outlook. Excluding items, the company now expects earnings of 9 cents to 11 cents a share, down from previous guidance of 11 cents to 13 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 13 cents a share. Stewart said it experienced a 5% decline in the number of events performed at its funeral homes and cemeteries during the first two months of the quarter. "We are focused on recovering our shortfall during the 10 months remaining in fiscal year 2005, and at this time believe our operating assumptions underlying the fiscal year forecasts are achievable," the company said. As a result, the company left its 2005 earnings guidance intact, saying it still expects to earn 44 cents to 48 cents a share. Analysts expect full-year earnings of 46 cents a share. Shares traded down 36 cents to $6.36. Shares of Getty Images ( GYI) rose 5.5% after the stock photography and image company posted fourth-quarter earnings and sales above expectations. The company earned $28.7 million, or 46 cents a share, on sales of $162.1 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 43 cents a share on sales of $155.1 million. A year ago, the company earned $28.2 million, or 48 cents a share, on sales of $134.4 million. Looking ahead, Getty now expects 2005 earnings of $2.10 to $2.20 a share, up from previous guidance of $2.05 to $2.15 a share. Sales are expected to be between $705 million and $715 million. Analysts are expecting earnings of $2.09 a share on sales of $692.8 million. Shares traded up $3.65 to $69.55. NYSE volume leaders included Merck ( MRK), down $3.16 to $28.02; Procter & Gamble ( PG), down $1.17 to $54.15; Gillette ( G), up $5.92 to $51.60; Sprint ( FON), up 53 cents to $23.15; Lucent ( LU), down 6 cents to $3.24; Pfizer ( PFE), down 33 cents to $24.35; and AT&T ( T), up 11 cents to $19.71.
Nasdaq volume leaders included Microsoft ( MSFT), up 7 cents to $26.18; Cisco ( CSCO), down 28 cents to $17.90; Intel ( INTC), down 7 cents to $22.24; JDS Uniphase ( JDSU), down 5 cents to $2.19; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 14 cents to $6.50; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 14 cents to $4.26; Oracle ( ORCL), down 29 cents to $13.68; and Sanmina ( SANM), down $1.05 to $6.37.