S&P 500 Week in Review: Verizon and Coinstar Attack Netflix, iPhone Subsidies Hit Sprint

The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closed the week down 0.02% to settle at 1,343. Lots of action as the EU focused on Greece. These companies had some of the biggest stories of the week.

Monday

Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM): Q4 results missed expectations, and the company lowered expectations going forward. This is in spite of membership growth, relatively light use of health benefits and an 86% increase in earnings.

Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN): Although Q4 earnings got the homebuilding sector off to a good start, Lennar is giving back some of those gains. Concerns about Greece impacts the whole economy, including homebuilding.

Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY): The food distributor is down as reported fiscal second quarter estimates were disappointing.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) was down on concerns that Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and Coinstar (NASDAQ:CSTR) are creating a joint venture of video streaming. David Ernst of Hudson Square Research believes that Verizon/Coinstar won’t be able to match Netflix’s content, but the market is still concerned.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU): Tragedy struck Micron on Friday, as CEO Steve Appleton passed away. Micron was the only company Appleton worked for.

Tuesday

Federated Investors Inc. (NYSE:FII): In an effort to stabilize the money markets, the SEC intends to place new rules on mutual funds. Specifically, they must set aside capital reserves in case of an emergency, and investors will be less likely to withdraw funds all at once. CEP Christopher says he will fight the decision.

Unum Group Common Stock (NYSE:UNM): In yesterday’s post-trading earnings report, Q4 EPS beat expectations but revenues were flat with expectations. Standard and Poor’s has downgraded the company. S&P says its not related to to Unum’s decision to leave the long-term care insurance business.

Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE:LEG) announced yesterday that Q4 profits declined six cents a share, as a consequence of restructuring.

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW): The fund industry is down as a consequence of new SEC rules that tighten regulations. While the rules are designed to prevent another financial crisis, money-market execs argue that the rules will just hurt the industry, for no constructive benefit.

Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG): Citi has downgraded Walgreen as a consequence of its conflict with Express Scripts regarding patient coverage. Citi sees no resolution this year: Walgreen has “limited negotiating leverage; and Walgreen’s benefit management rates are above the rates currently seen by employers.”

Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE:LM) is down with the rest of the mutual fund industry today. The SEC’s rules will make it more difficult for corporations to get lending.

Wednesday

Computer Sciences (NYSE:CSC): The market looked very favorably upon the news Computer Science increased its new business by 26% to $4.1 billion. Computer Science is considered a troubled company by Wall Street, so these developments are very much welcomed.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL) has delivered positive guidance to investors. Revenue growth forecasts are expected to climb 20% this year.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) now has no debt. Moreover, the company will issue its first dividend which will be 15 cents a share and given quarterly.

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is offering so many subsidies selling Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, the telecom carrier actually increased quarterly losses. However, the company insists gains will come down the road with multi-year contracts.

Western Union (NYSE:WU): In the most recent earnings report, Western Union has reduced expectations for 2012 by predicting a return of $1.70-$1.75. The consensus is 1.80. Jeffries sees the downturn as a buying opportunity, as valuations are attractive.

CBRE (NYSE:CBG): Yesterday’s post-market report was a downer. Net profits fell 16%, margins shrank, and leasing revenue from the Americas was down.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Gillette at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com