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Stocks - Disney, Virgin Galactic Fall in Premarket

By Geoffrey Smith -- Stocks in focus in premarket trade on Wednesday, February 26th.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)stock was down 1.5% at a 10-month low after the company abruptly announced that chief executive Robert Iger will step down with immediate effect (he’ll carry on as executive chairman for the rest of his contract, which ends in December 2021).

Iger’s successor is Bob Chapek, a long-term company insider who currently runs the theme park business. The outlook for that division has been badly clouded by the coronavirus outbreak, which has led to parks in China and Hong Kong being subject to extended shutdowns.

Salesforce (NYSE:CRM)stock fell 1.0% after the enterprise software company’s earnings per share fell to 66c from 70c in the fourth quarter of 2018. That was still some 20% above consensus forecasts.

Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE)stock fell 4.7% after the space tourism company’s quarterly results reminded exuberant investors how far it still is from commercializing its vision.

Virgin’s fourth-quarter net loss widened to $73 million from $46 million a year ago. The company said it will resume accepting deposits from prospective future customers, a move that will slightly reduce its cash burn but risks alienating customers with the reality of long wait times.

Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) stock rose 1.7% after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings ahead of expectations at 94 cents a share. However, its guidance for the coming year, at a midpoint of $6.55 a share, was fractionally below consensus forecasts.

Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN)stock fell 1.8% after the burger chain guided for lower sales in 2020 than the market was expecting. The company expects underlying earnings per share of around 61c this year, rather than the 65c expected by the Street.

SmileDirectClub (NASDAQ:SDC) stock fell 24%, wiping out all its gains for 2020 so far, after a sharp widening in its net loss in the fourth quarter alarmed investors.

The company has scaled down its growth forecasts for the next five years to between 20% and 30% from 40% previously, according to Jefferies analysts, who cut the stock to Hold from Buy on the results.

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