8-21-13 4:44 PM EDT | Email Article
 

By Sue Chang and Saumya Vaishampayan, MarketWatch

 

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Staples Inc. sank Wednesday by its biggest daily percentage margin since May 2011 after its quarterly results came in more dismal than projected, ensuring that the retail sector held the market's attention even on a day when Wall Street was keen to learn what U.S. central bankers had to say about "tapering" at their July policy meeting.

 

Decliners

 

Cablevision Systems Corp. shares (CVC) retreated 4.2%. The stock was downgraded to neutral from buy and its target price cut to $19 from $20 at Nomura earlier this week.

 

J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) slid 4.9%, one of the weakest performers among the S&P 500. The retailer said Tuesday that it swung to a wider loss in the second quarter as net sales dropped 12%.

 

Shares of PetSmart Inc. (PETM) shed 5.3%. The pet-supplies retailer reported that its second-quarter profit rose to 89 cents a share from 71 cents a share in the year-ago period. It also raised its fiscal 2013 earnings outlook to the $3.88-to-$3.98-a-share range from between $3.82 and $3.94 previously. PetSmart said it expects third-quarter earnings per share of 83 to 87 cents versus an average forecast of 87 cents a share from analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

 

Staples shares (SPLS) slumped 15.3%, the stock's worst one-day loss in over two years. The retailer of office supplies saw a 3% decline in same-store sales in North America as overall sales fell 2.2% in the second quarter. Profit fell to $102.5 million from $120.4 million in the year-earlier period, and the company lowered expectations for 2013.

 

Gainers

 

Shares of Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) advanced 4.8%. The stock was raised to neutral from sell at Goldman Sachs, according to investment website Benzinga.

 

Lowe's Cos. shares (LOW) rose 3.9%. The home-improvement retail chain on Wednesday posted second-quarter earnings that were up 26% and increased its 2013 per-share earnings outlook to $2.10. "Lowe's showed a solid beat to expectations on a strong comp sales result, driven in part by a healthy housing backdrop and a rebound in seasonal businesses," wrote Daniel Binder, an equity analyst at Jefferies. "[Lowe's] should get some credit for today's strong results, but if action in [Home Depot] yesterday is any example, maybe not much." Shares of rival Home Depot Inc. (HD) were down 0.3%.

 

Top Tickers Trending

 

$AAPL: Apple Inc. shares (AAPL) rose 0.3%. The stock's price target was raised to $560 from $500 at UBS on Wednesday on expectations of a higher gross margin for a midrange iPhone that is due next month, according to Steven Milunovich. However, he does not believe Carl Icahn will succeed in getting Apple to increase its buyback in the short term despite his having taken to Twitter to highlight that push.

 

Separately, Apple's market share in tablets is shrinking in China, falling to 28% in the second quarter from 49% a year earlier, according to a Bloomberg report. The move was accompanied by a gain in market share by Samsung Electronics Co. to 11% in the quarter from 6%.

 

$HLF: Herbalife Ltd. shares (HLF) slid 1.5%. Bill Ackman, the outspoken hedge-fund manager who shorted Herbalife last year, has claimed that he's made progress in attracting federal regulatory interest in the company's business practices, according to a letter to Pershing Square investors posted by the New York Post.

 

RELATED STORY: Short sellers suffer worst losses in a decade.

 

$TGT: Target Corp. shares (TGT) declined 3.6%. The retailer said Wednesday that second-quarter earnings fell 13% to $611 million, or 95 cents a share. On an adjusted basis, Target earned $1.19 a share.

 

$EW: Edwards Lifesciences Corp. shares (EW) rose 1.8%. The company said its Sapien XT transcatheter aortic heart valve was approved for insurance reimbursement in Japan. The Sapien XT valve is used to treat patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis.

-Sue Chang; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

 

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

08-21-13 1644ET

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