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Major Movers on March 20; FRAN, FDX, GIS, WSM, ADBE

Shares of Francesca’s Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: FRAN) rallied on Wednesday after the boutique chain, late last evening, reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth results and provided guidance on the current quarter and full-year which matched Street’s estimates.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, the Houston-based Company posted net earnings of $14.9 million or 33 cents a share, up from $8.4 million or 19 cents a share, in the same quarter of last year. Sales jumped 40.6% in the recently concluded quarter to $86.70 million from $61.65 million, in the year-earlier quarter.  For the current quarter, the Company expects earnings of 25 to 26 cents. Comparable-store-sales are expected to grow 4% to 5% both in the fiscal first quarter and full-year. The Company said it’s planning to open 80 new boutiques in the current fiscal.

Shares of FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) plunged on Wednesday after the U.S’s no 2 package courier company’s fiscal third quarter results missed Street’s expectations.

For the fiscal third quarter, FedEx reported a profit of $361 million, or $1.13 a share, down from $521 million, or $1.65 a share, in the same quarter of last year.

Stripping out onetime items such as restructuring costs, adjusted or non-GAAP earnings came at $1.23 a share compared to $1.55 a share, in the year earlier quarter.

Revenue however rose 4 percent to $11 billion, from $10.56 billion, in the year earlier quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, were expecting earnings of $1.38 a share on revenue of $10.85 billion. The Company said that cautious customers are preferring cheaper and slower mode of dispatching shipments as a result, the international climate in packaged delivery business was weak.

General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) edged up on Wednesday. Although the maker of Cheerios cereal and Progresso soups posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday, it raised its earnings outlook on full year only marginally, citing increasing costs.

For fiscal 2013, which will end in May, General Mills expects earnings to come in the range of $2.66 to $2.68 a share, which was only a penny higher than its lower and higher range of the initial earnings guidance. For the fiscal third quarter ended Feb 24, General Mills reported net income of $398.4 million or 60 cents a share, compared to a profit of $391.5 million or 58 cents a share, in the same quarter of last year. Excluding items earnings came at 64 cents a share whiel analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of 57 cents a share.

Shares of Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM) rallied after the home furnishing retailer late last evening reported fourth quarter results which topped analysts’ consensus estimates.

For the quarter ended Feb 3, the Company reported a profit of $133.7 million or $1.34 a share on revenue of $1.41 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet Research were expecting earnings of $1.29 a share on revenue of $1.4 billion.

The Company also lifted its quarterly dividend by 41% to 31 cents a share. Nonetheless, outlook on full-year missed Street’s estimates.  The Company expects earnings to come in the range of $2.65 a share to $2.75 a share on revenue of $4.20 to $4.28 billion while analysts were expecting earnings of $2.82 a share on revenue of $4.23 billion.

Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ: ADBE) gained. Although net income in the fiscal first quarter contracted from the last year, adjusted earnings and revenue edged past Street’s expectation while its guidance on the current fiscal as well exceeded analysts’ forecast.



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