(8:28 PM ET) SYDNEY (MarketWatch)-- J.P. Morgan has cut its earnings estimates for Alcoa Inc. AA-0.67% following softer aluminum prices. The broker has lowered third-quarter earnings per share (EPS) estimates to $0.01, from $0.04 previously forecast. The alumina producer is due to report earnings on Oct. 9. In a research note, J.P. Morgan said currency many also be a "slight headwind" during the period. The broker has maintained its EPS estimates for the fourth quarter of 2012 at $0.07. Alcoa shares ended down 0.7% at $8.85 on Tuesday.
Fast Retailing sales to break ¥1 tln mark: report
(7:36 PM ET) LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- New store openings will likely propel Fast Retailing Co. JP:9983+2.34%FRCOF-4.26% to become the first-ever Japanese clothing retailer to generate 1 trillion yen ($12.8 billion) in annual group sales, the Nikkei business daily reported Wednesday. Fast Retailing, the operator of Uniqlo casual-wear stores, plans to open dozens of new Japanese stores and as many as 300 outlets overseas, primarily in Asia, as it seeks a 10% sales gain for the fiscal year ending August 2013, the report said. For the past fiscal year, Fast Retailing is expected to post ¥930 billion in group sales, buoyed by a projected 70% jump in foreign sales.
Xyratex Q3 earnings fall nearly 20%, sees Q4 loss
(4:31 PM ET) LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Data storage-systems company Xyratex Ltd. XRTX-5.33% late Tuesday said fiscal third quarter net earnings were $7.7 million, or 28 cents a share, down from $9.7 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings were 37 cents a share. Revenue for the most recent period declined to $275.7 million from $361.8 million. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 44 cents a share on $316.3 million in sales. Weaker-than-expected enterprise storage demand hurt its quarterly results and "industry dynamics are weaker than what was expected a few months ago," resulting in a "more cautious outlook going forward," said Xyratex's Chief Executive Steve Barber in a statement. The company expects a fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted loss of 15 cents to 43 cents a share, on revenue of $235 million to $285 million. Shares of Xyratex were halted as the company's quarterly results were released.