Stocks to Watch: First Solar, Staples (Update 1)

NEW YORK -- First Solar ( FSLR) reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue below Wall Street's expectations. It also lowered its revenue and cash flow outlook for fiscal 2012.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, First Solar posted an adjusted profit of $110 million, or $1.26 a share, on net sales of $660 million, down more than 30% on a sequential basis.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.53 a share on sales of $779.3 million.

First Solar reduced its fiscal 2012 revenue view to between $3.5 billion and $3.8 billion from a prior projection of $3.7 billion to $4 billion.

Shares were dropping 7.5% to $33.68 in premarket trading on Wednesday.


Staples ( SPLS), the office-products retailer, reported fourth-quarter net income of $283.6 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $6.46 billion.

Staples was expected by analysts to earn 41 cents a share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $6.45 billion.

Shares were popping 3% at $16.48.


Costco ( COST), the warehouse retailer, earned $394 million, or 90 cents a share, in its fiscal second quarter, up from $348 million, or 79 cents, a year earlier.

Total revenue jumped 10% to $23 billion.

Analysts expected Costco to earn 87 cents a share on revenue of $22.83 billion.

Shares were rising 1.3% to $86.40.


Wells Fargo ( WFC) and Goldman Sachs ( GS) said they received Wells notices from the Securities and Exchange Commission and could face civil claims tied to sales of mortgage-backed securities.

According to reports, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) is expected to announce Wednesday that it too received a Wells notice.

The notices generally indicate the SEC plans to bring charges or take other enforcement action against a company.

Shares of Goldman Sachs were sliding 1.2% to $115.70, while JPMorgan shares were up 0.5% to $39.40.


Joy Global ( JOY), the mining equipment maker, reported first-quarter income from continuing operations of $142 million, or $1.33 a share on net sales of $1.1 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $1.33 a share on sales of $1.16 billion.

Shares were down 0.8% at $91.


Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) plans to lay off 275 employees from its webOS software division, according to reports.

CEO Meg Whitman in December opened up the company's webOS operating system to outside developers.

Shares were flat at $26.19.


DreamWorks Animation ( DWA ) reported fourth-quarter net income of $24.3 million, or 29 cents a share, missing the consensus forecast of 32 cents.

Revenue came in at $219 million, beating the $206 million expected by analysts, on average.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel and Andrea Tse

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

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