Earnings Confessions Starting (AFFX, BEAV, COHR, CONN, NTY, ORBK)

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As we are entering earnings season, we are also starting to get "confession season" where companies begin issuing updates ahead of their formal earnings.  Some of these will make some obvious sense, and others are almost counter-intuitive. Here is a look at some recent annooucements.

Affymetrix Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFX) announced preliminary revenues of about$75.0 million vs. $90 million expected from First Call consensus.  Thecompany said global sales fell below expectations for the quarter asincreased competition for academic research funding and continuedsoftness in industrial spending.

BE Aerospace Inc. (NASDAQ: BEAV) is seeing its shares tradeup on a large order announcement from Airbus.  The maker of airplaneinteriors raised earnings guidance for this past quarter to $0.54 per share vs. $0.50estimates, but it lowered guidance in Q4 to $0.50 vs. $0.57estimates.  Due to issues in the airline sector and delays in aircraftorders and building delays, the company is also lowering 2009 and 2010expectations.

Coherent, Inc. (NASDAQ: COHR) expects revenue of $141 million to$142.5 million rather compared with its prior range of $154 million to $157 million.The photonics-based solutions provider company is also closing itsexcimer laser site in Munich, Germany and will consolidate thoseoperations in Goettingen, Germany.

Conn’s, Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN) said Hurricanes Ike and Gustav took outroughly 144 store days of performance for the quarter.  The companysaid it will update guidance in November, but for all practicalpurposes this is a light version of an earnings warning from theelectronics and home appliances retailer with operations throughoutLouisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma.

NBTY Inc. (NYSE: NTY) issued preliminary guidance of $602 million inrevenue, rather than the $614.7 million estimates.  The company saidorganic growth in US wholesale nutrition sales were up 12%, butEuropean sales were down 14%.  It also noted that same-store sales inthe US were down 10%.  No indications have been seen on this one yet.

Orbotech Ltd. (NASDAQ: ORBK) has issued lower guidance for thirdquarter revenues with a lower range of $90 to $95 million rather thanthe $104.5 million consensus as certain PCB customers have deferreddeliveries for its PCB systems.

Jon C. Ogg
October 13, 2008