Lukoil Counts on Artic Find; Gourmet-Cookware Seller Burned by 2Q Results; FGIC Prolongs the Inevitable; Diageo’s Strong Sales; Lehman Bros. Plans Layoffs; Toyota’s 10 Million Goal Just Out of Reach
- Lukoil (OTC ADR: LUKOY), Russia’s second-largest oil producer said its new Artic oilfield would allow it to match last year’s production, Reuters reported. Oil output from Russia fell in the first six months of the year for the first time in a decade, due to aging infrastructure, maturing fields and heavy taxes.
- Williams-Sonoma Inc. (WSM), America’s biggest gourmet-cookware retailer, yesterday (Thursday) announced second quarter net income fell to $18.4 million or 16 cents per share, from $26 million or 23 cents per share in the same period the year prior. Sales worsened through the quarter as the “macro-economic environment deteriorated,” Chief Executive Officer Howard Lester said, Bloomberg News reported.
- Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. (FGIC) avoided regulatory intervention by having MBIA Inc. (MBI) reinsure a portion of its municipal bond debt, but still faces solvency issues according to CreditSights. "While the deal will boost capital supporting the remaining FGIC policy-holders, it does little to solve the company's longer-term solvency issues," CreditSights analyst Rob Haines said in a report issued yesterday (Thursday), Reuters reported.
- Diageo PLC (ADR: DEO), London-based maker of Smirnoff vodka, Captain Morgan rum and others, yesterday (Thursday) said it earned $2.8 billion (1.52 pounds), an increase of 2.7% over the prior year. Diageo shares traded in London closed up 2% on the day of the announcement, the Associated Press reported.
- Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) plans to layoff 1,500 employees. The battered investment bank will cut 6% of total employees prior to its announcement of third-quarter fiscal earnings on Sept. 15, The New York Times reported on its website yesterday (Thursday).
- Toyota Motor Corp. (ADR: TM) lowered its 2009 sales forecast to 9.7 million vehicles from a previous estimate of 10.4 million based on slower global demand. "The business environment is rapidly becoming more difficult. Things remain very uncertain, not just in the United States but in emerging countries and resource-rich nations as well," Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe told a press conference, AFP reported.
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