A number of companies made big moves Wednesday after reporting earnings in the morning.
Retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) reported a fourth-quarter earnings decline of 79% to about $1.03 per share. However, ANF shares already had been hit on expectations of a weak report, and the stock jumped 11% thanks to strong fiscal-year forecasts. Revenues were up more than 15%, and adjusted earnings per share of $1.12 met analyst expectations. But the biggest cause for optimism was the company’s fiscal 2012 forecast, which calls for earnings of $3.50 to $3.75 per share, outpacing Street expectations for $3.47.
Media company Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) beat Wall Street expectations with fourth-quarter earnings of $1.29 billion (47 cents per share), up 26% from the year-ago period and 6 cents per share higher than Street estimates. The company also increased its dividend by more than 44% — from 11.25 cents to 16.25 cents — bringing CMCSA’s yield to about 2.2%. CMCSA shares were up more than 5% in afternoon trading.
Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE:DPS) was up a modest 2.3% on Street-beating earnings. The company’s fourth-quarter EPS of 82 cents was up more than 22% from the year-ago period and 8 cents higher than analyst estimates. DPS’ full-year earnings of $2.79 was up about 16% and beat expectations by 7 cents.
Deere & Co. (NYSE:DE) didn’t fare nearly as well, with the agriculture equipment company dropping more than 3% by the early afternoon on a weak forecast for an important sales metric.
The company said U.S. farm revenue will be down to $371.9 billion from last year’s $381.4 billion — the figure was lowered from November’s forecast of $374.2 billion. DE’s first-quarter earnings beat expectations, however, with net income of $532.9 million ($1.30 per share) up 3.7% and 6 cents more than estimates. And the company also raised profit forecasts for 2012, from $3.28 billion from $3.2 billion — analysts expect earnings of $3.18 billion.
– Kyle Woodley, InvestorPlace.com Assistant Editor