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Halliburton’s Slight Loss; “The Force” Boosts Hasbro; Better-Than-Expected Economic Outlook; Indian Airline Labor Reversal; NetFlix Earnings Pop; Home Prices to Fall Another 10%; Citi Wins Settlement; Merrill Cuts Jobs
- Halliburton Co. (HAL) yesterday (Monday) announced a third quarter loss of $21 million, or 2 cents per share, compared to a gain of $727 million, or 79 cents a share, for the same period in the prior year. The Houston, Tex.-based oil and energy services firm attributed the loss to financing expenses including $693 million in costs related to the redemption of convertible bonds, Bloomberg News reported.
- Toymaker Hasbro Inc. (HAS) posted a gain of $138.2 million, or 89 cents a share, for its fiscal third quarter, compared with a profit of $161.6 million, or 95 cents per share, which included a tax benefit of 17 cents per share for the same period in 2007. Due to its popular Star Wars action figures and Playskool line of toys for preschoolers, , despite the tough retail environment, Reuters reported.
- The Conference Board yesterday (Monday) announced its U.S. index of leading economic indicators gained 0.3% in September, after dropping 0.9% in August. “The extreme volatility in the financial market, and the near freeze-up of credit, will no doubt weaken the economy further,” said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at the private research group, MarketWatch reported. “But latest data suggest that conditions in the non-financial economy are not falling apart.”
- Jet Airways Ltd., India’s largest private airline, decided to cancel plans for a layoff of 1,900 workers after the plan received harsh criticism from the Indian government and local labor unions. The airline said it would reinstate the 800 flight attendants already let go, The Financial Times reported, and discontinue plans to fire an additional 1,100 workers. Praful Patel, India’s aviation minister, called for a reduction in jet fuel taxes to help the struggling carrier.
- Netflix Inc.'s (NFLX) third-quarter profit surged 30% the company said yesterday (Monday) in a statement. Netflix earned $20.4 million, or 33 cents per share, for the three months ending in September, compared with $15.7 million, or 23 cents per share, in 2007. Revenue rose 16% to $341 million, from $294 million last year.
- U.S. home prices will fall 8%-10% further before they show signs of stabilizing, Fitch Ratings Inc. said yesterday (Monday). National home prices have declined a full 22% from the peak hit in 2006, the agency said in a note. Fitch has a peak to trough forecast for prices to decline 30% according to Reuters.
- A U.S. jury yesterday (Monday) found Parmalat SpA guilty of defrauding Citigroup Inc. (C) in a case stemming from the Italian dairy company's 2003 collapse, Reuters reported. Citi was subsequently awarded $364.2 million in damages.
- Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. (MER), the biggest U.S. brokerage, plans to cut about 500 jobs in its trading division, people with knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg News. The cuts equate to about 1% of the company's 60,900 employees, and include traders and institutional salespeople in the firm's fixed-income and stock departments.