Stocks to Watch: Costco, Yum! Brands

NEW YORK -- Costco Wholesale ( COST), the warehouse retailer, posted fiscal second-quarter earnings of $547 million, or $1.24 share, up from year-earlier earnings of $394 million, or 90 cents a share.

The latest quarter includes a tax benefit of 14 cents a share.

Net sales in the second quarter rose 8.2% to $24.34 billion. Including membership fees, net revenue was $24.87 billion.

Same-store sales in the quarter jumped 5%.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.06 a share on revenue of $25.13 billion.


VeriFone Systems ( PAY) said Monday that CEO Douglas Bergeron was stepping down after 12 years with the maker of terminals for electronic payments.

VeriFone warned last month that first-quarter earnings and revenue would be below expectations. He said many of the troubles were "self-inflicted," and could lead to possible executive changes.

"Now is the right time for new leadership to take the baton and continue to drive the company forward," Bergeron said in a statement Monday.

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Yum! Brands ( YUM) reported Monday a decline of 20% in its same-store sales in China for January and February, but that was better than the company's forecast of a 25% drop.

The company's sales in China have been hurt in recent months by a food scare over its chicken suppliers.

Yum! owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants.


KKR ( KKR) is considering teaming with other private-equity firms to pursue a buyout of Life Technologies ( LIFE), The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

At least two other strategic buyers, Danaher ( DHR) and Thermo Fisher Scientific ( TMO) are weighing bids for biotech firm Life Technologies, according to other people, the newspaper said.

Life Technologies is valued at $12.5 billion.


Urban Outfitters ( URBN) posted fourth-quarter net income of $82.5 million, or 56 cents a share, compared with year-earlier earnings of $39.3 million, or 27 cents a share.

Revenue in the quarter rose to $856.8 million from $730.6 million.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 57 cents a share on revenue of $850.5 million.


Dole Food ( DOLE) is expected by analysts Tuesday to post a fourth-quarter loss of 2 cents a share.

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Bon-Ton Stores ( BONT) is forecast by Wall Street to report fourth-quarter earnings of $3.57 a share on revenue of $1.04 billion.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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