Microsoft Profit Up; Goldman Slashes Jobs; Dow Reports 6% Jump in Profits; Sony Slashes Earnings Outlook; WaMu Debt Value Set; Crude Gains on OPEC Expectations
- Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) quarterly profit rose 2% from a year ago, the company said yesterday (Thursday) in a statement. The world's largest software maker earned $4.37 billion, or 48 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. Sales rose 9% to $15.1 billion.
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) is cutting 3,200 jobs, or 10% of its work force, as the firm struggles with the credit crisis and transitions into a holding company. The cuts add to more than 130,000 jobs eliminated in the financial industry since mid-2007, topping the 83,000 lost after the Internet bubble burst in 2001, Bloomberg reported.
- The Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) yesterday (Thursday) reported a 6% rise in third-quarter profit. The company reported earnings of $428 million, or 46 cents per share, up from $403 million, or 42 cents per share, a year ago. Sales rose 13% to $15.4 billion.
- Sony Corp. (ADR: SNE), the Japanese consumer electronics giant, announced (Thursday) that profits would be markedly weaker for fiscal year 2008. Sony predicted earnings of $1.5 billion (150 billion yen), down from an earlier July forecast of $2.4 billion (240 billion yen), The Washington Post reported.
- An auction to set the value of Washington Mutual Inc. (OTC: WAMUQ) debt was held yesterday (Thursday). Markit and Creditex, auction administrators, set the debt cost of failed bank Washington Mutual at 57 cents on the dollar. Sellers of credit default swap protection must pay 43 cents to counterparties, MarketWatch reported.
- Crude oil gained $1.09, or 1.6%, to settle at $67.84 yesterday (Thursday) in anticipation of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting today (Friday). “If OPEC makes a cut of 1 to 2 million barrels tomorrow, prices should firm up and move higher in the short term,” Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Conn., told Bloomberg News. “Unless there is something huge announced, the market will eventually start moving lower again because of the weak economy.”