Global Investing Roundups

Verizon Helped by Wireless Sales; Kraft Produces Profit; Raytheon Teams with NASA; Ryanair Crashes and Burns; Dow Dives 240 points; Oil Rallies on Political Tension; White House Lowers Growth Estimate; Amgen Profit Slides

  • Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) reported strong quarterly profit boosted by wireless sales. Second-quarter profit was $1.88 billion, or 66 cents a share, up from $1.68 billion, or 58 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items such as merger integration costs, earnings per share were 67 cents, beating the average analyst forecast for 64 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

  • Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT), the nation's largest food and beverage maker, reported a 4% jump in second-quarter profit yesterday (Monday), as higher prices helped offset rising commodity costs. The company said its profit rose to $732 million, or 48 cents per share in the April-June period, up from $707 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • Raytheon Co. said yesterday (Monday) that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded it an $83 million subcontract for data and systems work the group’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Raytheon will work on information technology, Web development and systems engineering and design for the NASA lab, according to the Associated Press.

  • Ryanair Holdings PLC (ADR: RYAAY) yesterday (Monday) recorded its first quarterly net loss since becoming a publicly listed company in 1997. The company reported a net loss of $142.5 million. Excluding exceptional charges, Ryanair landed an after-tax profit of $33 million, an 85% drop from the same period last year, the Associated Press reported.

  • Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose $1.47 to settle at $124.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday (Monday) after militants sabotaged two oil pipelines in Nigeria and Iran claimed that it had doubled the size of its nuclear program. Prices were expected to rise some after crude's steep nosedive over the past two weeks.

  • The White House yesterday (Monday) lowered its forecast for economic growth in 2008 and 2009, and said unemployment is likely to rise as housing and financial crises take their toll. Gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to grow by only 1.6% this year. That's down from a 2.7% growth projection made in February.

  • Amgen Inc.'s (AMGN) second-quarter profit slipped 7.6% due to restructuring charges and declining product sales. The company earned $941 million, or 87 cents per share, compared with $1.02 billion, or 90 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose by less than 1% to $3.76 billion.