Shares of YRC Worldwide ( YRCW) were among the Nasdaq's losers Thursday, plunging 15% after the trucking company slashed its first-quarter earnings guidance. The company, which was previously known as Yellow Roadway, now sees earnings of 65 cents to 70 cents a share, down from an earlier view of $1.00 to $1.05 a share. Analysts project earnings of $1.05 a share. "Although our business levels remain ahead of last year, overall volumes for the quarter are projected to come in below our expectations across all of our asset-based business units," the company said. "In addition to general competitive pressure, some of our large retail customers have made significant inventory adjustments in the quarter, which have impacted our business levels." The company said that cost overruns in several areas of its Yellow Transportation business are hurting results as well. YRC said it plans to update 2006 earnings guidance when it posts first-quarter results in late April. Shares were down $6.43 to $38.86. Meanwhile, shares of fellow trucking companies fell in response. J.B. Hunt ( JBHT) shares declined 5%, while Swift Transportation ( SWFT) sank 6%. CNF ( CNF) issued a statement reiterating its first-quarter guidance of 71 cents to 77 cents a share, but shares of the freight transportation company recently were down 67 cents, or 1.3%, to $50.85. Shares of Scholastic ( SCHL) slid 7% after the children's book publisher posted weak third-quarter results and slashed its full-year guidance. The company reported a third-quarter loss of $15.5 million, or 37 cents a share, on revenue of $487.7 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected a much smaller loss of 7 cents a share and revenue of $502.8 million. During the year-earlier period, the company recorded a loss of $800,000, or 2 cents a share, on revenue of $480.8 million. "Our third quarter was disappointing, and based on our review of these results and their impact on the fourth quarter, we are reducing our outlook for the fiscal year," the company said.
Scholastic now sees full-year earnings of $1.70 to $1.80 a share, including a one-time severance charge of 15 cents a share. The company now predicts revenue of about $2.3 billion. Previously, the company predicted that earnings would be at the low end of a range of $2.30 to $2.50 a share on revenue of $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion. Analysts project earnings of $2.24 a share and revenue of $2.31 billion. Scholastic shares were trading down $2.20 to $27.22. Carnival ( CCL) fell 5% after the cruise-ship operator posted mixed first-quarter results and cut its full-year forecast. The company earned $280 million, or 34 cents a share, on revenue of $2.46 billion. The results included an investment write-down of 2 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings of 36 cents a share and revenue of $2.53 billion. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $345 million, or 42 cents a share, on revenue of $2.4 billion. Carnival said that its latest results were weighed down by significantly higher fuel prices. Carnival, noting that the number of bookings and pricing since February has been slightly below last year's levels, sees second-quarter earnings of 48 cents to 50 cents a share. Analysts, meanwhile, project earnings of 57 cents a share. For the full year, Carnival lowered its forecast to $2.90 to $3.00 a share from $3.00 to $3.10. Analysts project earnings of $3.09 a share for the year ending in November. Shares were trading down $2.55 to $47.48. ConAgra Foods ( CAG) rose 1% after the packaged foods company posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings. For the quarter ended Feb. 26, the company reported a loss of $31.7 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $2.88 billion. Excluding items, the company earned 37 cents a share for the quarter, beating analysts' estimate by 3 cents. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $165.3 million, or 32 cents a share, on sales of $2.76 billion. Shares were trading up 25 cents to $20.51.
Shares of Family Dollar Stores ( FDO) rose 5% after the discount retailer posted second-quarter earnings that topped forecasts. For the quarter ended Feb. 25 the company earned $54.5 million, or 35 cents a share, down from $80.1 million, or 48 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding a litigation-related charge, the company earned $82.9 million, or 53 cents a share, beating analysts' forecast of 48 cents. Sales rose to $1.74 billion, matching analysts' estimate, from $1.59 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 3.2%. Family Dollar anticipates third-quarter earnings of 33 cents to 36 cents a share on same-store sales growth of 4% to 6%. Analysts project earnings of 36 cents a share and total sales of $1.57 billion. Shares were trading up $1.41 to $27.24. General Mills ( GIS) rose 1% after the cereal maker posted better-than-expected third-quarter results. The company earned $246 million, or 68 cents a share, for the quarter ended Feb. 26. Results included a charge of a penny a share. Analysts expected earnings of 65 cents a share. Sales totaled $2.86 billion, narrowly beating Wall Street's target of $2.85 billion. During the year-earlier quarter, General Mills earned $230 million, or 58 cents a share, on sales of $2.77 billion. The year-earlier results included one-time items that reduced earnings by 15 cents a share. Looking ahead, General Mills continues to see full-year earnings of $2.80 to $2.85 a share, including an 8-cent-a-share charge related to convertible debt. Analysts project earnings of $2.91 a share. Shares were trading up 47 cents to $50.45. NYSE volume leaders included Lucent Technologies ( LU), up 1 cent to $2.83; Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD), up $1.15 to $35.52; Carnival ( CCL), down $2 to $48.03; AT&T ( T), up 1 cent to $26.93; EMC ( EMC), down 23 cents to $13.70; Qwest ( Q), up 4 cents to $6.71; and Alcatel ( ALA), up 16 cents to $15.51. Nasdaq volume leaders included Level 3 Communications ( LVLT), up 52 cents to $3.96; Intel ( INTC), unchanged at $19.98; Generex Biotech ( GNBT), up 31 cents to $3.53; Oracle ( ORCL), down 11 cents to $13.88; JDSU ( JDSU), down 4 cents to $3.92; Yahoo! ( YHOO), up 89 cents to $31.64; Microsoft ( MSFT), down 22 cents to $26.93; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 9 cents to $4.77; Apple Computer ( AAPL), down 57 cents to $61.10; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 2 cents to $4.79; and Cisco ( CSCO), down 5 cents to $21.37.