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Freddie Mac's Grim Quarter; Sprint Swings to 2Q Loss; Time Warner Could Dump AOL; Lonmin Rejects Xstrata Offer; Ambac Posts Record Net Profit; Playboy Stripped of Earnings; Oil Prices Continue Slide
- Freddie Mac (FRE) yesterday (Wednesday) , The Associated Press reported. Freddie lost $821 million, or $1.63 a share, for the quarter that ended June 30, compared with a profit of $729 million, or 96 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell to $1.69 billion from $2.34 billion. Stock analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected a loss of just 53 cents a share.
- Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) reported a $344 million loss yesterday (Wednesday), compared with a profit of $19 million a year ago. Revenue fell 11% to $9.06 billion. Sprint ended the quarter with just under 52 million customers, down from 54 million customers a year ago.
- Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX) second-quarter earnings fell 26% , The Associated Press reported. Time Warner said net income fell to $792 million, or 22 cents per share, from $1.07 billion, or 28 cents per share, a year ago. The media conglomerate also took legal and tax steps that make it possible to split its AOL online business and sell it in parts.
- Mining giant Xstrata PLC (PINK: XSRAF) launched a $10 billion takeover bid for the world's third-biggest platinum producer Lonmin PLC (OTC: LNMIY) yesterday (Wednesday), though Lonmin swiftly rejected the bid. "This is an opportunistic and entirely unwelcome attempt to acquire Lonmin at a price which undervalues its unique assets," the company said.
- Bond insurer Ambac Financial Group Inc. (ABK) said yesterday (Wednesday) that net income rose to a record $823.1 million, or $2.80 a share, from $173 million, or $1.67 a share, a year earlier.
- Playboy Enterprises Inc. (PLA) yesterday (Wednesday) reported a second-quarter loss of $2.1 million, or 6 cents per share, compared to a profit of $1.9 million, or 6 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2007. Revenue dropped 14% to $73.4 million from $85.7 million in the year-ago period, The Associated Press reported.
- Oil prices fell below $118 a barrel yesterday (Wednesday) – $30 below their July 11 high. Light, sweet crude for September delivery settled 59 cents lower at $118.58 a barrel, after earlier falling as low as $117.11.