Retailers 3Q Earnings Dismal; Cisco Sees Small Biz Sales Growth; Blackstone Posts $502 million 3Q Loss; IEA Sees $100 Oil Average; Mattel Toying with Job Cuts; Direct TV Earnings Up; Fidelity Cuts 1,300 jobs; Jobless Claims Fall
- October sales dropped for big-name retailers Macy’s Inc. (M), Target Corp. (TGT) and Gap Inc. (GPS) a result of continuing job losses and widespread credit drought that took the spirit out of consumer spending. Same-store sales climbed 2.4% at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), as tight-budget shoppers searched for cheaper prices, Bloomberg reported.
- A day after forecasting a 5% to 10% annual revenue drop, Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) said it will invest $100 million sales to small businesses, Reuters reported. Despite a weaker global economy, Cisco said it sees a window to expand sales of routers, switches and other equipment.
- Blackstone Group LP (BX) posted its biggest quarterly loss, shedding $502.5 million in the third quarter, or 44 cents a share, Bloomberg reported. Blackstone is the world’s largest private-equity firm who went public 18 months ago, right before the credit crisis depleted the value of its holdings and made acquiring financing more difficult.
- The International Energy Agency said that import prices for crude oil will “likely” average $100 a barrel from 2008 to 2015, MarketWatch reported. The opposite happened Thursday, as December crude futures fell $3.51 to $61.77 a barrel. The official IEA 2008 Energy Outlook will be released on Nov. 12.
- Mattel Inc. (MAT) said yesterday (Thursday) it is cutting about 1,000 jobs worldwide. The maker of Barbie and Fisher Price products said the positions equate to 3% of its global work force and will reduce its professional and management staff by 8%. Mattel last month reported fiscal third-quarter profit rose less than 1% to $238.1 million.
- DirecTV Group Inc. (DTV), the nation's largest satellite TV operator, yesterday (Thursday) announced third-quarter earnings rose 14%. The company reported net income of $363 million, or 33 cents per share, up from $319 million, or 27 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 15% to $4.98 billion. Revenue in Latin America jumped 49% to $658 million.
- Fidelity Investments said yesterday (Thursday) it is cutting nearly 1,300 jobs this month, with more layoffs coming early next year. The layoff notices, set to go out later this month, amount to about 2.9% of Fidelity's total work force of 44,400. A second round of cuts is planned for the first three months of 2009.
- The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell by 4,000 last week to 481,000, the Labor Department reported yesterday (Thursday). The department revised up its estimate for jobless claims the week prior to 485,000. The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure, was unchanged at 477,000 last week.