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Goldman Raises $5 Billion to Repay TARP; Cost Cutting Will Save Royal Phillips $664 Million; Johnson & Johnson Earnings Saved By Cost Cuts; Singapore Forecasts 6%-9% 2009 Decline; Discover to Cut 500 Jobs; LIBOR Rate Dropping Fast; Coal Prices to Stay Low in 2009; Madoff Firm Files Bankruptcy
- A day after posting better-than-expected quarterly earnings, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) sold $5 billion in stock to repay federal bailout money. All totaled, Goldman sold 40.65 million in shares at $123 a piece, 5.5% below Monday's closing price, Reuters reported. Goldman received a total of $10 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
- Amsterdam-based Royal Phillips Electronics NV (PHG) said its cost-reduction program will save the company more than 500 million euros ($664 million) this year, Bloomberg reported. The announcement came with its quarterly earnings report, in which Europe's largest consumer-electronics maker reported its second-consecutive loss.
- First quarter earnings for pharmaceutical and health care retail giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) fell, but beat estimates by cutting costs, Reuters reported. The company $3.51 billion, or $1.26 a share, in the first quarter compared with $3.6 billion, or $1.26 a share, in the first quarter last year. Johnson & Johnson reaffirmed its 2009 profit forecast of $4.45 to $4.55 a share.
- Singapore's economy may shrink 6% to 9% this year, the government said in its third reduced forecast this year. To counter contraction, the government will adjust the trading range of the Singapore dollar. "The situation is really dire and the central bank's policy will improve sentiment and help the economy," Vishnu Varathan, an economist at Forecast Singapore Pte., told Bloomberg.
- Discover Financial Services (DFS), will cut 500 jobs in May, or 4% of its workforce, Reuters reported, citing company sources. Discover, the fourth-largest U.S. credit card network, last month posted a deeper-than-expected quarterly operating loss, cut its dividend and set aside more money to cover bad loans as defaults increase.
- In a sign bankers are gaining confidence that the worst of the financial crisis is over, the London inter-bank offered rate (LIBOR) for three-month dollar loans is dropping at the fastest pace since January, Bloomberg reported. Debt strategists at Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR: CS) Societe Generale SA (ADR: SCGLY) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY), three of the 16 banks that provide the data that sets Libor each day, say the declines will continue.
- Weak demand and a supply glut could cloud the coal industry's prospects for the rest of the year, even as U.S. coal miners are likely to show strong quarterly profits this month, Reuters reported. But big U.S. coal producers should weather the economic downturn because they sold much of this year's production at higher prices negotiated before the recession hit last September. Coal prices are expected to stay low throughout 2009 until production cuts by major miners begin to restrict the coal supply.
- Madoff Securities International Ltd., filed for bankruptcy protection in Florida under Chapter 15 of the federal bankruptcy code. The code is designed to block U.S. lawsuits against foreign companies reorganizing overseas that have U.S. operations, Bloomberg reported. Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty last month to 11 counts including fraud and money laundering for directing the largest Ponzi scheme ever.