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Piracy Robs Microsoft; BlackRock Profits Rise 23%; Nokia Beats Expectations; Venezuela Lights Up U.S.; BOE’s Sentance "Struck"; Coke’s Earnings Hiccup; JPMorgan Earnings Surprise; Investor Outrage in Pakistan
- Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) profit growth may be stunted this year by a resurgence of software piracy in China, the second-biggest personal-computer market after the U.S., Bloomberg News reported. An unexpected jump in piracy caused Windows sales to miss estimates by $300 million in the third quarter, UBS AG (UBS) analyst Heather Bellini said in April.
- Investment manager BlackRock Inc. (BLK) said yesterday (Thursday) that its second-quarter profits rose 23% on a sharp increase in assets under management, including deals to liquidate troubled investment portfolios for others. The company posted net income of $274.1 million, or $2.05 a share, up from $222.2 million, or $1.69 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 26% to $1.39 billion.
- Nokia Corp. (ADR: NOK), the world's top cell phone maker, and upgraded its forecast for the global handset market, the Associated Press reported. Nokia's profit was $1.75 billion, or 46 cents per share, down from $4.49 billion, or $1.14 per share, a year earlier. "With half a year visibility, we're able to say growth will be 10 percent or more," Nokia's Chief Financial Officer Rick Simonson told the AP.
- Venezuela's CITGO Petroleum Corp. , despite political tensions between the two nations, the Associated Press reported. Together with nonprofit Citizen's Energy Corp., the company will distribute nearly 500,000 small fluorescent bulbs in 11 cities.
- The Bank of England’s Andrew Sentance told Bloomberg News he almost voted for a rate increase at the last BOE policy meeting due to high U.K. inflation. "I have been particularly struck by the speed with which inflation has moved to somewhere that is significantly above target," said Sentance in an interview in his office in London yesterday (Thursday). "There are clear risks to inflation expectations in this environment."
- The Coca-Cola Co. (KO) yesterday (Thursday) announced that second-quarter profit declined 23% due to a write-down related to the firm’s 40% ownership of Atlanta-based bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE). Coca-Cola earned $1.42 billion or 61 cents per share. The one-time charge lopped 40 cents off EPS for the largest global beverage firm, BusinessWeek reported.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) second-quarter earnings dropped by over 50%, but still managed to beat analyst expectations pushing the stock 10% higher yesterday (Thursday). JPMorgan earned $2 billion or 54 cents per share compared to $4.23 billion or $1.20 per share for the same period the year prior, Reuters reported.
- Investors in Pakistan demonstrated outside the Karachi Stock Exchange yesterday (Thursday), Bloomberg News reported. Some of the protestors threw rocks and smashed windows in outrage over the benchmark index, which has lost $30 billion in market value over the past three months, causing some investors to lose their life savings.