ConocoPhillips Pumps Profit; Pepsi Sales Improve; Amazon Profit Doubles; Oil Continues to Slide; Northwest's Almost Profit; Beige Book's Got the Blues; China's Google Scores on Olympic Traffic; Chrysler Cuts Jobs
- ConocoPhillips' (COP) second-quarter profit climbed 13% on the back of record high oil prices. Net income rose to $5.44 billion, or $3.50 a share, for the April-June period, from $301 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue increased to $71.4 billion from $47.4 billion a year ago, when the company incurred a $4.5 billion charge related to its former assets in Venezuela.
- PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) reported strong second-quarter operating results yesterday (Wednesday), with 14% net revenue and 12% operating profit growth. The company delivered earnings per share of $1.05. PepsiCo expects full-year 2008 performance of 3%-5% volume growth, low-double-digit net revenue growth and earnings per share of at least $3.72 excluding the impact of any mark- to-market gains/losses.
- Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) says its second-quarter profit more than doubled to $158 million, or 37 cents per share, from $78 million, or 19 cents per share, last year. The company's revenue climbed 41 percent to $4.06 billion.
- Oil prices shed nearly $4 Wednesday, tumbling below $125 a barrel for the first time since early June on growing fears that high prices and the weak economy are draining demand. Light, sweet crude for September delivery dropped $3.98 to settle at $124.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude's lowest finish since June 4, the Associated Press reported.
- Northwest Airlines Corp. (NWA) reported a $377 million loss in the second-quarter based on a $547 million non-cash accounting charge. , Forbes reported. Northwest's loss of $1.43 per share was also helped by a $250 million fuel hedge gain.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve released its Beige Book yesterday (Wednesday). The report, which comes out roughly every seven weeks and is compiled from data submitted by the Fed's 12 regions, painted a glum picture of the U.S. economy. "Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve districts suggest that the pace of economic activity slowed somewhat since the last report," the beige book said, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- China's largest search engine, Baidu.com Inc. (ADR: BIDU), announced yesterday (Wednesday) that second-quarter profit increased 87% on high Internet traffic leading up to the Beijing Olympic Games. Beijing-based Baidu posted profit of $38.6 million (265 million yuan) for the three months ended June 30, compared with $20.8 million (141.9 million yuan) in the same period the year prior, Reuters reported.
- Privately held U.S. automaker Chrysler LLC announced yesterday (Wednesday) it would eliminate 1,000 office jobs in an effort to cut costs during a deep downturn in the domestic car industry. The job cuts will be achieved primarily through natural attrition, retirements and special programs, Reuters reported.