March 21 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Thursday:for the Morning News Call newsletter,)
U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday as Oracle Corp ORCL.O tumbled a day after reporting sales that were below expectations. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 63.55 points, or 0.44 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 7.72 points, or 0.50 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 23.19 points, or 0.71 percent.
** ORACLE CORP, $32.71, down 9 pct (0943 ET)
The world’s No. 3 software maker blamed its rapidly expanding salesforce for a severe miss in third-quarter software sales and warned that its ailing hardware business will lose more ground this quarter.
Separately, Blackstone Group LP, which is weighing an offer for Dell Inc, is making an aggressive push to recruit Oracle President Mark Hurd to be the chief executive of the world’s No. 3 PC maker, a person familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.
** YAHOO INC, $22.60, up 2 pct (0943 ET)
Oppenheimer raised its rating on the company’s stock to “outperform” from “perform” and raised its price target by $5 to $27, partly on the assumption that Alibaba will complete its IPO within the next year, benefiting Yahoo, which has a 24 percent stake in the Chinese company.
** AIRGAS INC, $97.71, down 5 pct (0942 ET)
The industrial gas supplier said weaker-than-expected sales suggested that it may miss the lower end of its fourth-quarter earnings forecast by 4 percent.
The fifth-largest U.S. homebuilder reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss and a jump in new home orders.
** PERRY ELLIS INTERNATIONAL INC, $17.94, up 3 pct (0941 ET)
The apparel retailer’s fourth-quarter profit beat estimates, helped by sales growth and lower promotions in its Golf lifestyle apparel, Laundry by Shelli Segal and namesake brands.
** GUESS INC, $25.25, down 6 pct (0941 ET)
** TILLY‘S INC, $12.44, down 10 pct (0941 ET)
** PACIFIC SUNWEAR OF CALIFORNIA INC, $2.24, down 8 pct (0941 ET)
The apparel retailers forecast first-quarter results significantly below analysts’ estimates as they battle flagging consumer demand due to a sluggish economy and higher payroll taxes.
** ASTRAZENECA, $47.18, up 2.2 pct (0939 ET)
The company’s new chief executive announced another 2,300 job cuts in sales and administration on Thursday as he set out his stall for turning round the struggling drugmaker and returning it to growth.
** JABIL CIRCUIT INC, $18.94, down 3 pct (0938 ET)
The contract electronics maker forecast third-quarter results that fell short of Wall Street expectations as its largest customer Apple gets ready for product transitions.
** SCHOLASTIC CORP, $27.72, down 11 pct (0936 ET)
The children’s books publisher cut its full-year forecast for the second time as sales of its “Hunger Games” trilogy remained lower than last year’s and customers continued to delay spending on its educational products.
** NICHOLAS FINANCIAL INC, $14.80, up 12 pct (0936 ET)
The consumer finance company said on Wednesday that it had retained an independent financial advisor to assist in evaluating possible strategic alternatives. The company also said it had received an unsolicited offer from a potential third-party acquirer.
** TUMI HOLDINGS INC, $22.56, down 5 pct (0936 ET)
The luxury handbag maker reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by a 15 percent increase in costs related to online promotions and store expansions..
Citigroup trimmed its price target on the stock to $25 from $26.