3M fourth-quarter profit meets Wall Street view

ST. PAUL, Minn., Thu Jan 24, 2013 — 3M Co. reported a 3.9 percent rise in quarterly profit, matching expectations, on solid growth in sales of its wide array of products ranging from Post-It notes to films used in television screens.

The company said on Thursday that fourth-quarter profit increased to $991 million or $1.41 per share, from $954 million, or $1.35 per share, a year earlier.

Profit met analysts’ average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 4.2 percent to $7.39 billion from $7.09 billion. Wall Street had looked for $7.18 billion.

The company confirmed its 2013 profit forecast of $6.70 to $6.95 per share.

CEO Inge Thulin, coming to the end of his first year in the top job, has said one of his first priorities is to prune smaller, underperforming businesses and pursue fewer, but larger acquisitions.

Abbott 2013 earnings forecast tops Wall Street view

CHICAGO, Wed Jan 23, 2013 — Abbott Laboratories Inc., which spun off its branded prescription drugs business earlier this month, on Wednesday forecast 2013 earnings above Wall Street expectations.

Abbott said it expects earnings for the full year, excluding special items, of $1.98 to $2.04 per share. Analysts, on average, have forecast $1.95, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The suburban Chicago company issued the forecast as it reported fourth-quarter results.

Abbott, which sells medical devices, diagnostics, nutritional products and generic medicines, spun off its patent-protected drugs into a separate company, AbbVie Inc., which began trading at the beginning of the year.

Abbott said global sales of branded drugs that now belong to AbbVie rose 7.4 percent to $5.14 billion in the fourth quarter. The rise would have been 8.5 percent if not for the stronger dollar, which lowers the value of sales in overseas markets.

McDonald’s fourth-quarter profit rises instead of expected downturn

OAK BROOK, Ill., Wed Jan 23, 2013 — McDonald’s Corp. reported a rise in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, as sales at established U.S. restaurants edged higher instead of falling as expected.

Net income at the world’s biggest restaurant chain rose to $1.40 billion, or $1.38 per share, from $1.38 billion, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier.

Verizon sees ‘significant’ impact from Sandy on fourth-quarter results

NEW YORK, Fri Nov 2, 2012 – Verizon Communications Inc. said it expected fourth-quarter results to be hurt significantly due to superstorm Sandy and that it could not estimate the impact at this time.

The provider of telephone, Internet and television services said it was directing its resources to restore communications services to affected customers, “which may take some time.”

Verizon may take up to two weeks to restore telecommunication services for some of its customers, a top executive told Reuters on Thursday.

AES fourth quarter beats analyst’s expectations

ARLINGTON, Va. – AES Corp’s. fourth-quarter profit inched past analysts’ expectations, helped by its new businesses and higher volumes in Brazil, but the power provider lowered the midpoint of its 2012 adjusted profit forecast.

Arlington, Virginia-based AES now expects full-year adjusted profit of $1.22 to $1.30 a share down from its prior view of $1.27 to $1.37 per share.

Analysts, on average, expected the company to earn $1.30 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company is on track to initiate its previously announced $120 million annual dividend in the third quarter, with the first payment expected in the fourth quarter, AES said in a statement.

For the October-December quarter, earnings from continuing operations were 12 cents a share compared with 16 cents a share, a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, AES earned 23 cents per share.

Consolidated revenue rose slightly to $4.3 billion.

Analysts, on average, had pegged the company’s earnings at 22 cents a share on revenue of $3.46 billion.

Separately, the company sold interest in some of its units for a total of $463 million.

AES sold its interest in the 832 megawatts (MW) plant AES Red Oak LLC to Energy Capital Partners and an 80 percent interest in 705 MW plant AES Ironwood Inc to a unit of PPL Corp.

State Grid Corp of China is eyeing a controlling stake in AES Corps’ U.S. wind power business as China’s cash-flush state-owned power companies go on an overseas buying spree, sources said on Monday.

Goldman fourth-quarter profit falls but beats estimates

NEW YORK ― Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s. fourth-quarter profit fell 56 percent as trading and investment banking revenue plunged, but the bank managed to beat analysts’ expectations, which had dropped considerably in recent weeks.

Wall Street’s biggest bank by assets earned $978 million, or $1.84 per share, down from $2.2 billion, or $3.79 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.24 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Goldman shares were up 1.4 percent at $99 in premarket trading after it released the earnings report.

“Despite seasonal weakness and a difficult operating environment, Goldman is able to at least hold its head up,” said Gary Townsend, president of Hill-Townsend Capital.

During the quarter, stock and bond markets were hit by volatility stemming from the European debt crisis, leading clients to pull back on risk and delay acquisitions and stock and bond offerings. As a result, Goldman and rivals including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc experienced sharp declines in profitability from capital markets operations.

While Goldman’s revenue dropped 30 percent to $6 billion from $8.6 billion a year earlier, the bank took steps to reduce expenses and reported lower taxes than in the year-earlier period. Operating expenses declined 7 percent to $4.8 billion, while Goldman’s tax provision of $234 million was down 78 percent.

The expense reductions allowed Goldman to report a better profit than dour estimates released by analysts in the weeks leading up to its report.

In mid-December Barclays analyst Roger Freeman lowered his fourth-quarter profit estimate for Goldman to 75 cents per share, calling 2011 “another year to forget” for Wall Street.