Market Focus

Lowe’s

Lowe’s reported profit growth on improving sales. The home-improvement retailer, which continues to benefit from a recovering housing market, also issued a $5 billion stock buyback program. The chain’s earnings outlook for the year came in just shy of estimate. Still shares rose more than five percent to $50.72.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch’s profit plunged 58 percent, but the struggling teen retailer relieved investors with an earnings beat. Cost cuts and discounts helped the company win back young shoppers during the holiday quarter. Abercrombie’s board also approved a $150 million share buyback program. The stock surged 11 percent to $40.04.

TJX Companies

Home Goods and Marshall’s parent TJX Companies, reported an earnings miss and blamed it on the cold weather. The retailer’s profit outlook also fell short of analyst estimates. TJX did announce a new $2 billion buyback program and said it plans to increase its quarterly dividend. Shares were off one percent to $60.29.

Barnes & Noble 

Barnes & Noble reported a profit for the holiday quarter despite a decline in revenue. But losses in its digital books business continued to weigh down the bookseller. Barnes & Noble also dismissed the offer it received last week from an investment firm for a 51 percent stake. Shares rose four percent to $18.47.

Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company reported earnings after the closing bell and the results were weaker than expected. Both profits and revenue missed expectations. That sent shares initially lower after the report, ending the regular session at $39.55.

Ebay 

Carl Icahn and Ebay took their battle to a new level today. The activist investor, who owns a more than two percent stake in the company, has been calling for Ebay to sell off its fast-growing PayPal business. In a letter to shareholders, Icahn also called corporate governance at Ebay “dysfunctional.” Ebay responded to Icahn by saying his claims are “dead wrong.” The scuffle boosted shares by two percent to $57.34.

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