lowered its fourth-quarter revenue outlook and reported preliminary earnings that were below analysts' estimates, causing its shares to slump nearly 15 percent in after-hours trading. The Calabasas-based performance-testing systems provider said its fourth-quarter revenue is now expected to be between $37 million and $38 million, down from its previous guidance.
Fourth-quarter earnings are anticipated to be 7 cents to 8 cents per share. Excluding the impact of non-cash charges and the related income tax effect, earnings are expected be 8 cents to 9 cents per share. Analysts pegged fourth-quarter profit at 13 cents per share.
& #8226; Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. named Peter C. Haeffner as the publisher of its TV Guide magazine. Haeffner will assume the publisher's post previously held by Scott Crystal, who was promoted to president of the TV Guide Publishing Group in October. As publisher, Haeffner will oversee all advertising sales and marketing for TV Guide, which re-launched on Oct. 17th as a full-size, full-color publication. Before his previous position at Better Homes and Gardens, he served as eastern sales director for TV Guide, where he oversaw ad sales for Chicago, Detroit, and New York.
- DirecTV Group Inc. announced an agreement with Fox Entertainment Group to offer customers of the El Segundo-based satellite television provider prime-time shows from the FX network one to two days before they actually air. For $2.99, DirecTV subscribers who have the company's on-demand digital video recorder will be able to watch various shows prior to their initial broadcasts; for 99 cents, they will be able to watch shows six to seven days following their national broadcast.
Under terms of the agreement, viewers will have on-demand access to dramas, comedies and documentaries including FX's "The Shield" and "Rescue Me" and Fox Broadcasting's "24" and "Prison Break."
- Guess Inc. reported that its December sales at stores open at least one year rose 17.5 percent. Total retail sales last month for the L.A.-based apparel maker jumped 27.4 percent to $103.4 million. Retail sales for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 increased 25.6 percent to $207.1 million, from $165 million a year earlier. Fourth-quarter comparable store sales increased 15.9 percent.
- Shoe Pavilion Inc. said its fourth-quarter comparable store sales rose 5.5 percent. Net sales for the 13 weeks ended Dec. 31 increased 18.9 percent to $29.5 million, from $24.8 million a year earlier. The Sherman Oaks-based discount footwear retailer said its full-year same-store sales jumped 6.9 percent, while its net sales for the 52-week fiscal year ended Dec. 31 rose 19.5 percent to $102.5 million, compared with $85.8 million in the year-prior period.
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