9 Buzzing Stocks: Barnes & Noble Sinks 30%, Monsanto Jumps 1.8% and Gap Falls 5%

Shares of Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) are down more than 3 percent early Thursday, as the company says 2012 profit could fall 20 percent.  Lilly said it sees 2012 earnings of $3.10 to $3.20 per share, well below the mean estimate of $3.61 per share among analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.  Other drug companies such as Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) also traded lower.

Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) shares are jumping 1.8 percent as earnings came in better-than-expected.  For the quarter ended Nov. 30, Monsanto reported a profit of $126 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $9 million, or 2 cents a share.

Don’t Miss: These 5 CEOs Made Bank on Rising Share Prices in 2011.

Shares of Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN) and Macy’s (NYSE:M) are increasing 1.2 percent and .50 percent, respectively.  Nordstrom reported a boost in same-store sales of 8.7 percent, while Macy’s doubled its dividend.  Shares of retailer Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) are trading lower as its same-store sales decreased .10 percent.  Target (NYSE:TGT) is also trading lower after reporting softer-than-expected holiday sales.

Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) shares plummeted 30 percent after the company said it is looking at options to spin off Nook, its e-book reader.  “We see substantial value in what we’ve built with our Nook business in only two years, and we believe it’s the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value,” William Lynch, the firm’s CEO, said in a press release.  The Nook competes with Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad lineup.

J.C. Penny Co. (NYSE:JCP) shares are down more than 5 percent.  J.C. Penney, the third largest department store chain, said fourth-quarter profit would come to 65 cents to 70 cents a share. It had projected profit of as much as $1.15. Analysts estimated $1.08 on average.

Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) shares fell 5 percent after announcing that sales at stores open at least one year declined 4 percent.  Analysts, on average, had expected same-store sales to fall 1.3%, according to Thomson Reuters.

Don’t Miss: A Look at Last Year’s Chemical Deals.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

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