Global Investing Roundups

Comcast Pledges Cash Dividend; Liz Claiborne Shares Plunge; New York Times Cuts 100 Newsroom Jobs; Goodyear Tire Posts Good Quarter; Jobless Claims Fall Second Straight Week; Bernanke: Tough Year Ahead, Fed Will Act; UBS Lost $4 Billion in 2007

  • Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) announced yesterday (Thursday) that it would buyback $6.9 billion in stock over the next two years, Bloomberg News reported. The cable giant also announced its first cash dividend in the past ten years that sent the NASDAQ-listed shares soaring over 7% the day of the announcement. Fourth-quarter net income rose 54% to $602 million, or 20 cents per share, from $390 million, or 13 cents, the year prior. Earnings per share beat analyst expectations of 17 cents per share.

  • Shares of clothing maker Liz Claiborne Inc. (LIZ) tumbled over 15% after the company announced yesterday (Thursday) that it expected to post a full-year 2007 a loss of 25 cents to 35 cents per share.  The retailer was hurt by high price markdowns as stores took aggressive action to move excess inventories. The one bright spot in the report came from same-store Juicy Couture sales, which increased 25%. Designer Isaac Mizrahi has been hired to reinvigorate the retailer's namesake women's line.

  • The New York Times Co. (NYT) announced it will cut 100 newsroom jobs at its flagship newspaper as advertising revenue continues to decline, Bloomberg reported. The cuts come a day after rival Tribune Co. announced it would cut 150 jobs at the Los Angeles Times and another 100 at the Chicago Tribune.

  • Shares for Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) jumped almost 6% yesterday (Thursday) after the company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The company reported net income of $52 million compared with a net loss of $358 million a year earlier, Reuters reported. Revenue rose 11.3% to $5.16 billion.

  • The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell for a second straight week, the Labor Department said yesterday (Thursday). Initial jobless claims decreased by 9,000 to 348,000 in the week ended Feb. 9, from 357,000 a week earlier. However, the four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure, rose to its highest level since October 2005.

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke indicated that the Federal Open Market Committee is ready to lower rates further if current market conditions persist. The Fed "will act in a timely manner as needed to support growth and to provide adequate insurance against downside risks," Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee in Washington yesterday (Thursday).  "More-expensive and less-available credit seems likely to continue to be a source of restraint on economic growth," he added. "The outlook for the economy has worsened in recent months, and the downside risks to growth have increased."

  • UBS AG (UBS) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $11.28 billion yesterday (Thursday), as well as a net loss of $3.97 billion for the full year. "Last year was one of the most difficult in our history," said Chief Executive Marcel Rohner. "While most of our businesses continued to be very profitable, the sudden and serious deterioration in the U.S. housing market, in combination with our large exposure in subprime mortgage-related securities and derivatives, has driven us into [a] loss for the year."