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$TWC Reports a 51% Increase in Earnings, Raises Divi by 11%


“NEW YORK (AP) — Time Warner is reporting a 51 percent increase in fourth-quarter earnings even as revenue was largely unchanged. Rising fees from cable and satellite companies and higher ad revenue at the TV networks offset revenue declines at its movie studio and magazine businesses.

Net income was $1.17 billion, or $1.21 a share, for the final three months of 2012. That’s up from $773 million, or 76 cents a share, a year earlier.

Adjusted for one-time items, earnings came to $1.17 per share. That beat the $1.10 per share that analysts expected.

Revenue was almost steady at $8.16 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected revenue of $8.22 billion.

The company expects 2013 adjusted earnings to be up in the low double-digit percentage.

Time Warner Inc. is raising its quarterly dividend by 11 percent to 28.75 cents per share.”

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$MT Posts a Beat and Expects a Recovery in Earnings for 2013

ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, said it expects an earnings recovery in 2013 after posting the lowest quarterly profit in three years as the European debt crisis eroded demand for the metal.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to $1.32 billion in the fourth quarter from $1.71 billion a year earlier, ArcelorMittal said today in a statement. That beat the $1.25 billion median estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company said 2013 Ebitda will exceed last year’s $7.1 billion as it ships more steel.

“Although we expect the challenges to continue in 2013, largely due to the fragility of the European economy, we have recently seen some more positive indicators,” Lakshmi Mittal, chief executive officer of the Luxembourg-based company, said in the statement. These will “support an improvement in the profitability of our steel business this year.”

ArcelorMittal will report 2013 Ebitda of $8 billion, according to the mean estimate of 30 analysts. Aditya Mittal, chief financial officer, wouldn’t comment on those projections on a call with reporters.

Steel-industry earnings have slumped as Europe’s economic crisis saps demand and slower Chinese growth weighs on commodity prices. European steelmakers are grappling with excess capacity that’s pushing down prices as operating costs climb. The region has capacity to make about 210 million metric tons of steel a year, while demand in a “normal market” is 150 million to 160 million tons, according to industry lobby group Eurofer.

Optimistic Signs…”

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$SU Posts its First Quarterly Loss in 3.5 Years


Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest energy company by market value, reported its first quarterly loss in 3 1/2 years after a charge of C$1.49 billion ($1.49 billion) related to its Voyageur oil project in the province of Alberta, which may face cancellation.

The net loss in the fourth quarter was C$562 million, or 37 cents a share, the biggest in at least two decades, compared with net income of C$1.43 billion, or 91 cents, a year ago, the Calgary-based company said yesterday in a statement that also disclosed it faces a possible C$1.2 billion tax bill. Operating earnings fell 30 percent to C$1 billion.

“The economic outlook for the Voyageur upgrader project is challenged,” the company said in the statement. “Suncor and its partners have agreed to minimize expenditures on the project pending a decision” on whether to proceed at the end of the first quarter, the company said.

The Voyageur upgrader project, being built by Suncor and a unit of France’s Total SA, will process about 269,000 barrels a day of bitumen from the Fort Hills and Joslyn mines, according to Total E&P Canada Ltd.’s website. The plant will use the heavy bitumen to produce 218,000 barrels a day of synthetic crude oil. Construction of the plant began in January 2012, according to the website.

Suncor Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams has been evaluating expansion plans since taking over from predecessor Rick George last year. The company is looking to reduce costs amid an expansion, including its oil-sands operations that may boost output to 1 million barrels a day by 2020.

Voyageur Prospects…”

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$DIS Beats Both Top and Bottom Line



The Walt Disney Company (DIS) today reported earnings for its first quarter ended December 29, 2012. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter was $0.77, but excluding certain items affecting comparability EPS was $0.79 compared to $0.80 in the prior-year quarter.

“After delivering another record year of growth in 2012, we’re off to a solid start in Fiscal 2013,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Our ongoing success is driven by our long-term strategy, the strength of our brands and businesses, and our high quality family entertainment.”

The following table summarizes the first quarter results for fiscal 2013 and 2012 (in millions, except per share amounts)…”

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$EXPE Beats on Revs, Misses on Profits


“Online travel bookers Expedia (EXPE) this afternoon reported Q4 revenue and profit per share that topped analysts’ expectations.

Revenue in the three months ended in December rose to $975 million, yielding EPS of 63 cents.

Analysts had been modeling $933 million and 65 cents a share.

Expedia shares are up $3.25, or 4%, at $70.75.”

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$ZNGA Reports No Growth

“SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zynga Inc. (ZNGA), the world’s leading provider of social game services, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2012.

  • Full year 2012 revenue of $1.28 billion, up 12% year-over-year, and bookings of $1.15 billion, down 1% year- over-year
  • Full year net loss of $209 million and adjusted EBITDA of $213 million
  • Full year 2012 GAAP EPS of ($0.28) and non-GAAP EPS of $0.07
  • Q4 revenue of $311 million, flat year-over-year, and bookings of $261 million, down 15% year-over-year
  • Q4 net loss of $48.6 million, down 89% year-over-year, adjusted EBITDA of $45 million, down 34% year-over- year
  • Q4 GAAP EPS of ($0.06) and non-GAAP EPS of $0.01

“The biggest highlight of the quarter was seeing our team deliver a successful sequel in FarmVille2, a next generation social game that offers cutting edge 3-D experiences loved by millions ofFarmVille fans,” said Mark Pincus, CEO and Founder, Zynga. “In 2013 we’re excited to bring this new class of social games to mobile phones and tablets and build a network that offers an easier, better way for people to play together.” …”

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$CMG Comes in Line

“The company reported earnings of $1.95 per share, right in line with expectations.

Revenues came in at $699.2 million, also right in line.

Same-store sales also matched expectations, up 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

The company says it sees 2013 sales growth unchanged or in low single digits.

We will have the full release here momentarily.


ORIGINAL: Minutes away from Chipotle Mexican Grill’s fourth-quarter 2012 earnings report, expected out just after the closing bell at 4 PM ET.

Analysts expect the fast-food chain to report earnings of $1.95 per share (matching company guidance) down from $2.30 in Q3.

Sales are expected to come in at $699 million, down slightly from $700.5 million in Q3 and just below company guidance of $699.2 million.

Chipotle pre-announced this release in mid-January, which is where the guidance numbers above come from. The stock fell 5 percent on the news, but has since rallied 3 percent above the level it was trading at before the pre-announcement….”

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$MA Doubles Divi and Announces a $2 Billion Buy Back Program

“(Reuters) – MasterCard Inc doubled its quarterly cash dividend and said it would buy back up to $2 billion of its Class A shares, days after the card payment network reported strong fourth- quarter results helped by its performance in emerging markets.

The new buyback program will become effective after the company completes its existing $1.5 billion repurchase program, which had about $440 million remaining as of January 25.

MasterCard shares were up 1.4 percent before the bell.

The new dividend of 60 cents per share effectively returns $75 million to shareholders every quarter, based on 124 million shares outstanding as of January 31.

“Our strong financial performance allows us to increase the return of cash to shareholders through our dividend and share repurchase programs,” MasterCard Chief Executive Ajay Banga said in a statement.

MasterCard’s fourth-quarter results topped Wall Street estimates, but the company said global economic uncertainty could slow revenue growth in 2013….”

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$BP Profits Fall 79% on Settlement Charges

“LONDON (AP) — Oil and gas giant BP’s profit fell nearly 80 percent in the fourth quarter in results released Tuesday, dragged down by payouts related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BP said that net profit fell to $1.62 billion in the quarter ending on Dec. 31, down from $7.69 billion in the same period the year before. BP took a loss of $3.85 billion for its settlement of all federal criminal charges with the U.S. government. Underlying replacement cost profit for the period, which strips out the changes in the value of inventories, was down 20 percent on the same period last year at $3.98 billion.

The company’s settlement with the U.S. Justice Department shut the book on the criminal probe of BP’s role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster and Gulf oil spill, but civil claims remain. The London-based oil giant could pay billions more in damages for the 2010 spill.

Nevertheless, the results surpassed analysts’ predictions, and BP said that its downstream activities — refining and sale of petroleum products — earned a record amount for the year. Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said in a statement that the result “lays a solid foundation for growth into the long term.” …”

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$K Posts a Smaller Loss Than Expected


“(Reuters) – Kellogg Co reported a narrower quarterly loss on Tuesday helped by improvements in Latin America and stood by its full-year forecast.

The world’s largest cereal company posted a net loss of $32 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with a loss of $195 million, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a mark-to-market accounting change, earnings were 65 cents per share, down from 71 cents per share a year earlier.

The company, whose brands include Corn Flakes, Eggo waffles and Keebler cookies, stood by its 2013 outlook, which calls for earnings-per-share growth of 5 percent to 7 percent and sales growth of about 7 percent.

Net sales rose to $3.56 billion from $3.02 billion a year earlier.

Shares were up 0.7 percent at $58.50 in premarket trading.”

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Munich Re Raises Dividend After Reporting Better Than Expected Earnings

“Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurer, headed for the biggest increase in six months after saying it will pay 12 percent more in dividends and fourth- quarter profit beat analysts’ forecasts.

Munich Re proposed raising the dividend for last year to 7 euros a share from 6.25 euros in 2011, the Munich-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. Net income after minority interests fell to about 480 million euros ($646 million) from 627 million euros a year earlier, according to preliminary earnings. That exceeded the 448.3 million-euro average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Our core business in insurance and reinsurance is healthy, while the claims burden from major losses was slightly below average,” Chief Financial Officer Joerg Schneider said in the statement. “We also achieved a good investment result.”

Munich Re rose 2.1 percent to 136.90 euros at 11:37 a.m. in Frankfurt, heading for the biggest advance since Aug. 3. The shares have climbed 29 percent over the past year, beating gains of 15 percent for the Stoxx 600 Insurance Index (SXIP) and valuing the company at 24.6 billion euros.

Reinsurers, who help insurers such as Allianz SE (ALV) and AXA SA (CS) shoulder risks, benefited from decreasing disaster claims, growing life reinsurance premiums and a recovery in capital markets last year, offsetting negative effects from low interest rates….”

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$UBS Posts a $2 Billion Loss on Libor Fines & Reorg Costs

UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, posted a second straight quarterly loss after booking a fine for trying to rig global interest rates and costs tied to job cuts.

The net loss amounted to 1.89 billion Swiss francs ($2.08 billion) in the fourth quarter, compared with a 323 million- franc profit a year earlier, the Zurich-based bank said today. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg on average estimated a loss of 2.16 billion francs.

Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti is cutting 10,000 jobs over three years and exiting most debt-trading businesses to concentrate on money management and boost return on equity, a measure of profitability, to at least 15 percent in 2015. The results today presented a mixed picture: While UBS accelerated a plan to slash risk-weighted assets at the securities unit to free capital, revenue from managing money for rich clients fell short of analysts’ estimates….”

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A Stronger Yen Helps $TM to Raises Profits Guidance

Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), the world’s largest carmaker, counts on the Camry sedan and the Prius hybrid to outsell other automakers. For profits, it’s counting on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his campaign to cheapen the yen.

“Ever since the new government took control, it feels as though Japan is filled with the spirit for economic revival,” Toyota Senior Managing Officer Takahiko Ijichi said in a briefing in Tokyotoday. “Some say that they can’t feel any real substance in the whole ‘Abenomics’ phenomenon, but as a result, it’s weakened the yen and boosted stock prices.”

Toyota, which today raised its profit forecast to a five- year high, is leading the revival of Japan Inc. (NKY) as the weakening local currency attracts investors and drives up stocks to levels last seen in 2008. Behind the recovery is the new prime minister, whose calls for monetary easing have helped the yen weaken against all other currencies since mid-November, making Japanese products from cars to vacuum cleaners more profitable overseas.

“Abenomics has proven to be a great plus to Japanese companies,” said Masayuki Kubota, who helps oversee the equivalent of $1.8 billion at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. in Tokyo. “The biggest result we’re seeing is in the foreign exchange and stock market.”

Japan’s biggest manufacturer raised its forecast for net income in the year ending March by 10 percent to 860 billion yen ($9.3 billion). Toyota climbed as much as 2 percent in German trading after the company reported earnings following the close of trading in Tokyo, where the stock dropped 1.2 percent to 4,540 yen….”

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$CLX Beats Street Estimates in Part From the Recent Flu Outbreak

“Feb 4 (Reuters) – Clorox Co quarterly profit soundly beat analysts’ estimates as a severe flu season boosted sales of disinfecting wipes, and results were helped by a new concentrated version of its namesake bleach.

The company also on Monday raised its full-year sales forecast to an increase of 3 percent to 5 percent, from 2 percent to 4 percent.

The company, which also makes Brita water filters and Burt’s Bees skin care products, said it earned $123 million, or 93 cents per share, in its fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 31. It earned $105 million, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, targeted 81 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose 9 percent to $1.33 billion, topping the average analyst estimate of $1.27 billion.

The volume of goods sold rose 5 percent…..”

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Commerzbank Posts its Largest Loss in Three Years

Commerzbank AG (CBK), Germany’s second- biggest lender, posted its biggest quarterly loss in three years after taking charges related to the sale of Bank Forum and a tax asset writedown.

The fourth-quarter loss of 720 million euros ($976 million) compares with a profit of 320 million euros in the year-earlier period, the Frankfurt-based bank said today in a statement. Bank Forum charges totaled 185 million euros, while Commerzbank wrote down 560 million euros on deferred tax accruals….”

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$HMY Posts Higher Profits on Lower Costs and Higher Prices

Harmony Gold Mining Co. (HAR)Africa’s third-largest producer, said profit rose 28 percent as costs dropped and prices received for the metal climbed even as its biggest operation was shut due to strikes. The stock rallied.

Earnings excluding one-time items advanced to 680 million rand ($77 million), or 1.58 rand a share, in the quarter through December from 529 million rand, or 1.23 rand a share, in the prior three months, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for earnings of 1.05 rand a share.

Gold output dropped 9 percent in the December quarter from the previous three months because of work stoppages and violence at Harmony’s Kusasalethu mine, its largest. The operation, which is in Carletonville, South Africa, has been shut since then for safety, and Harmony has until March 7 to complete a review with unions that may lead to the mine’s closure.

“It’s very difficult not to agree to law and order and safety no matter what side of the fence you are on,” Chief Executive Officer Graham Briggs said on a call today. The agreement Harmony and labor unions are working on should allow for “lasting and sustainable engagement,” he said.

Harmony rallied 6.5 percent, the most on an intraday basis since Nov. 7, to 61.10 rand by 9:27 a.m. in Johannesburg….”

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Rising Costs and Strikes Hurt Anglo American Platinum’s Earnings

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS), the biggest producer of the metal, reported a loss for 2012 and continues to suspend its dividend as sales of refined platinum fell and cash operating costs rose.

Anglo American Platinum had a so-called headline loss excluding one-time items of 1.47 billion rand ($166 million), or 5.62 rand a share, from a profit of 3.57 billion rand, or 13.65 rand a share, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a loss of 5.59 rand a share. The company last year skipped its interim dividend.

The company, controlled by Anglo American Plc (AAL) and known as Amplats, last month proposed to shut four mine shafts to curb costs and stem losses spurred by a two-month strike last year. The plan, which would cut about 7 percent of global output, was put on hold following criticism from the South African government. The postponement allows for talks with the Department of Mineral Resources and unions.

“We need to take action to turn this business around,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith said on a conference call today. “Primary supply challenges will continue in 2013.”

Local analysts use headline earnings as the benchmark measure of company performance. Amplats reported an attributable loss of 6.68 billion rand compared with a profit of 3.59 billion rand. Cash operating costs increased 21 percent to 16,364 rand per refined ounce, it said….”

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$CVX Profits Rise 42%


“NEW YORK (MarketWatch) – Chevron Corp.CVX -1.12% said fourth-quarter net profit rose to $7.25 billion, or $3.70 per diluted share, from $5.12 billion, or $2.58 per share a year earlier. The San Ramon, Calif.-based energy company said revenue fell to $56.3 billion from $58 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of $3.06 a share. “Strong cash flows allowed us to invest aggressively in our major capital projects and to acquire several important, new resource opportunities,” said John Watson, chief executive officer.”

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$XOM Sees Profits Rise 6%


“Feb 1 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, on Friday reported a 6 percent increase in quarterly profit, partly due to higher refining margins.

The Irving, Texas company said profit in the fourth quarter was $9.95 billion, or $2.20 per share, compared with $9.4 billion, or $1.97 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Oil and gas output fell 5.2 percent, Exxon said.”

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