Stocks to Watch: Deere, Target, J.C. Penney (Update 1)

NEW YORK --

Deere ( DE), the farm machinery manufacturer, reported second-quarter earnings of $1.06 billion, or $2.61 a share, up from year-earlier profit of $904.3 million, or $2.12 a share.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $2.53 a share.

Deere also raised earnings guidance for the year to $3.35 billion.

Shares of Deere rose 1.15% in premarket trading Wednesday to $77.50.

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Target ( TGT) reported Wednesday first-quarter net earnings of $697 million, or $1.04 a share, up from $689 million, or 99 cents a share, a year earlier.

First-quarter adjusted earnings were $1.11 a share.

Analysts, on average, anticipated Target would post a profit of $1.01 a share on revenue of $16.86 billion.

Target said earlier this month that same-store sales rose 5.3% in the first quarter, its strongest quarterly performance in more than six years.

Shares of Target rose 2.58% in premarket trading Wednesday to $56.50.

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J.C. Penney ( JCP) reported a wider-than-expected quarterly adjusted loss of $55 million, or 25 cents a share, and said it was discontinuing its dividend.

J.C. Penney expects to have additional restructuring charges in 2012 so it dropped its outlook for GAAP earnings of $1.59 a share for the year. Eliminating the quarterly dividend of 20 cents a share is expected to save J.C. Penney $175 million annually.

Shares J.C. Penney dropped 13.54% to $28.81 in premarket trading Wednesday.

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Staples ( SPLS), the office products retailer, reported Wednesday first-quarter net income of $187.1 million, or 27 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $198.2 million, or 28 cents.

The first quarter included $28 million in pretax expenses, or 3 cents a share, related to staff reductions and a contractual dispute from the acquisition of Corporate Express.

On average, analysts expected the company to earn 30 cents a share in the first quarter on sales of $6.18 billion.

Shares of Staples fell 4.07% in premarket trading Wednesday to $14.15.


Teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF) reported Wednesday quarterly net income of $3 million, or 3 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $25.1 million, or 28 cents.

The company was forecast by analysts to post first-quarter profit of 2 cents a share.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch fell 7.14% in premarket trading Wednesday to $42.16.


General Electric ( GE) said on Tuesday that it is acquiring a pair of underground mining equipment companies.

Shares of GE rose 2.45% in premarket trading Wednesday to $18.85.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

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