Stocks to Watch, Sept. 5: Altera, J. Crew Group, and Guess

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trading in Wednesday's session are Altera Corp., J. Crew Group Inc., and Guess Inc.

ADC Telecommunications Inc. (ADCT) is expected to report third-quarter earnings of 23 cents a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Financial.

Altera (ALTR) is expected to post earnings of 20 cents a share for the third quarter.

Casella Waste Systems Inc. (CWST) is expected to report a first-quarter loss of a penny a share.

Casey's General Stores Inc. (CASY) is expected to post earnings of 45 cents a share for the first quarter.

DSW Inc. (DSW) is expected to report second-quarter earnings of 30 cents a share.

J. Crew Group Inc. (JCG) is expected to post earnings of 29 cents a share for the second quarter.

Martek Biosciences Corp. (MATK) is expected to report third-quarter earnings of 18 cents a share.

OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS) is expected to post earnings of 20 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

Watch List

Applebee's International's Inc. (APPB) said that domestic, systemwide same-store sales fell 0.9 percent in August. The Overland Park, Kan., restaurant operator said same-store sales at franchise restaurants fell 0.7 percent, while same-store sales for company-owned restaurants decreased 1.6 percent. The company said the drop reflected a 6 percent to 6.5 percent decline in guest traffic.

Assurant Inc. (AIZ) ended its stock buyback program and said it doesn't expect to initiate a new program in 2007. The New York property insurance company said it is extending the normal quarterly blackout period for company stock transactions, which restricts its ability to initiate a new stock repurchase program, because of the company's involvement with the Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation into certain loss mitigation procedures. For 2007, Assurant has repurchased 5.7 million shares for $312.6 million. The current authorization, approved Nov. 10, 2006, has $261 million remaining.

Avanex Corp.'s (AVNX) fourth-quarter loss narrowed to $5.69 million, or 3 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss of $9.06 million, or 4 cents a share. The Fremont, Calif., optical network processor company's revenue grew 12 percent to $51.1 million from $45.5 million in the year-earlier period ended June 30. Excluding stock compensation and other items, profit for the recent period totaled $49,000, or less than 1 cent a share. Wall Street expected fourth-quarter income of less than 1 cent a share, on revenue of $50.7 million, according to the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial. The company forecast first-quarter revenue of $52 million to $55 million and a flat gross margin. Analysts expect first-quarter earnings of 1 cent a share, on revenue of $54.9 million.

Bob Evans Farms Inc.'s (BOBE) August same-store sales at Bob Evans Restaurants rose 4.3 percent from the year-earlier period. For the four weeks ended Aug. 24, same-store sales at Mimi's Cafe fell 1.9 percent from a year earlier. The Columbus, Ohio, restaurant operator said average menu prices were up about 2.6 percent at Bob Evans Restaurants and 3.9 percent at Mimi's Cafe. Shares of Bob Evans closed the regular session up 49 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $33.86.

CA Inc. (CA) said it has entered into a $1 billion, five-year unsecured revolving credit facility that will expire August 2012. The new facility replaces an existing $1 billion, four-year facility that was due to expire in December 2008, the Islandia, N.Y.-based software company said.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) will sell producing assets in Kentucky and West Virginia for about $550 million. The company expects the deal to close by the end of the year. The company also plans to pursue the sale of four similar packages of mature properties every six months in 2008 and 2009 for total proceeds of about $2 billion. The Oklahoma City-based energy company is also going to form a private MLP to own a non-operating majority interest in its midstream natural gas assets. The company expects the deal to be valued at over $1 billion. After the deals, Chesapeake said it will be able to monetize about $3.5 billion of its assets. Chesapeake also decided to curtail its near-future production by about 6 percent and defer some drilling activity in response to lower natural gas prices, but reaffirmed growth forecasts for 2007 and 2008.

Donaldson Co. (DCI) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $43.3 million, or 53 cents a share, up 20 percent from $36.2 million, or 43 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The Minneapolis-based provider of air and liquid filtration systems said revenue for the three months ended July 31 rose to $524.7 million from $468.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast, on average, a per-share profit of 48 cents on revenue of $501 million. Gross margins were 32.4 percent for the quarter compared with 33.4 percent a year ago. Additionally, Donaldson said it expects fiscal 2008 per-share earnings of $1.92 to $2.01. Sales are expected to growth 5 percent to 7 percent for the year in the engine products group, and 8 percent to 10 percent in industrial products, the company said.

Finisar Corp. (FNSR) put revenue for the fiscal first-quarter ended July 29 at $105.7 million, down slightly from $106.2 million a year earlier. The Sunnyvale, Calif., provider of fiber-optic products and services said Tuesday it has delayed reporting its earnings results for the quarter because of an ongoing option grant review.

Guess (GES) reported second-quarter net earnings of $37.5 million, or 40 cents a share, up from $20.6 million, or 22 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The Los Angeles-based apparel company said revenue rose to $388.3 million from $261.9 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast, on average, a per-share profit of 33 cents on revenue of $343 million. Operating margin increased to 15.3 percent during the quarter from 12.8 percent last year. Additionally, Guess said it expects per-share earnings for the year ended Feb. 2, 2008, of $1.79 to $1.84, up from its previous outlook of $1.75 to $1.80. The company said it sees consolidated net revenue for the year to range between $1.56 billion and $1.6 billion, and operating margin of about 17.5 percent. Guess also raised its quarterly cash dividend 33 percent to 8 cents a share. The dividend is payable on Oct. 5 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 19, the company said.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) appointed David Murphy to head up the company's new printing Web services and software unit. Murphy, a former executive with Mercury Interactive, which H-P acquired in 2006, will serve as senior vice president of the unit that is within the company's imaging and printing group. Murphy's appointment comes as H-P is launching a series of new online printing initiatives aimed at extending the reach of the world's No. 1 printing and imaging company.

NCI Building Systems Inc.'s (NCS) fiscal third-quarter net income fell to $21.3 million from $21.7 million a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the company's net income rose to $1.02 from $1. Excluding the impact of the company's 2.125 percent convertible senior subordinated notes, per-share earnings for the most recent period were $1.07. The Houston-based metal products maker's revenue fell 3.5 percent to $433.8 million from $449.4 million in the year-ago period. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected per-share earnings of $1 on revenue of $470 million. Analyst estimates exclude 5 cents a share from the impact of convertible senior subordinated notes. NCI reaffirmed its full-year earnings guidance, saying it expects a profit of $3.30 to $3.80 a share.

Palm Inc. (PALM) said in a regulatory filing that Bruce Dunlevie is resigning from the company's board of directors. The company said Dunlevie, a venture capitalist with Benchmark Capital, informed the company of his move in an Aug. 28 letter. The company also said that Scott Mercer has decided to remain on the board. Mercer and director Eric Benhamou had planned to resign from the board to make room for Fred Anderson and Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners, an investment firm that took a stake in Palm earlier this year. The company said the departures of Dunlevie and Benhamou will enable the addition of the Elevation members when the deal closes.

Triarc Cos. (TRY) named Stephen Hare as senior vice president and chief financial officer, succeeding Francis McCarron, effective Sept. 1. The New York-based restaurant holding company also named Thomas Garrett executive vice president and chief operating officer. Garrett also serves as president and COO of Arby's Restaurant Group. Hare is CFO of Arby's, a position he has held since June 2006.

UAL Corp.'s (UAUA) United Airlines reported that traffic in August rose 2.3 percent while capacity fell 1 percent. Load factor, or the percentage of the plane filled with passengers, increased by 2.8 percentage points to 86.3 percent, the Chicago-based carrier said.