Investment News Briefs

iPhones Carry Apple Past Wall Street Estimates; Coca-Cola Beats Estimates of Overseas Sales; CIT May Still Face Bankruptcy; TARP Czar Calls for Transparency; Caterpillar Stock Jumps on Brighter Outlook; BlackRock Beats Estimates, State Street Falls Short; Merck Considering Partner For Schering-Plough Consumer Health Operations; Yahoo Sales Down, Profit Up

  • The introduction of the new iPhone 3GS and a price cut for the 8-gigabyte iPhone 3G propelled Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to easily exceed Wall Street expectations for its third quarter ended June 30. The company reported a net income of $1.23 billion, or $1.35 a share, on revenue of $8.34 billion, compared to a net income of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 a share, on revenue of $7.46 billion in the same quarter last year. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.17 a share on revenue of $8.20 billion. Apple, which could lead a second-half tech sector rebound, sold 5.2 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to a mere 717,000 in the same quarter in 2008. The company's computer business edged up 4% year-on-year, with sales totaling 2.6 million Macintosh computers in the quarter. Apple sold 10.2 million units of its ubiquitous iPod, down 7% from the previous year's quarter.
  • The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) yesterday (Tuesday) reported better-than-expected second-quarter profit, as growth in emerging markets such as India and China helped offset the impact of the stronger U.S. dollar. Second-quarter profit rose 43% from the same period last year to $2.04 billion, or 88 cents per share. Sales fell 9% from last year, to $8.27 billion, something the company attributed to a rise in the value of the dollar. But international sales volume gained 5% in the second quarter, even as U.S. sales fell 1%.
  • The $3 billion bridge loan CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) may not be enough to keep the lender out of bankruptcy, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC. With $1.7 billion in debt payments due by year's end, and another $8 billion coming due in 2010, analysts at CreditSights have said the company may need about $6 billion to avoid bankruptcy protection, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), said yesterday (Tuesday) that Treasury officials have not done enough to ensure American tax dollars are being used appropriately, CNNMoney reported. The TARP Czar said the Treasury should require banks to report exactly how they're using their bailout dollars. Barofsky also wants Treasury to report the actual worth of the assets it has purchased via the bailout. The inspector general's office has launched 35 criminal and civil investigations into a range of allegations from accounting and securities fraud to insider trading and public corruption.
  • Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) stock jumped more than 7.5% yesterday (Tuesday) after the company boosted its 2009 profit forecast. Second-quarter profit tumbled 66% to $371 million, or 60 cents per share, but the company said it saw evidence that government stimulus plans, particularly in China, are beginning to have an effect. Caterpillar stock surged $2.83 a share, or 7.72%, to close at $39.48.
  • Investment management firms BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) and State Street Corp. (NYSE: STT) beat and missed Wall Street expectations in the second quarter. BlackRock reported a net income of $218 million on revenues of $1.03 billion, or $1.59 a share for the quarter ended June 30, down from last year's net income of $274 million, or $2 a share. Analysts at FactSet Research were expecting BlackRock's earnings to be $1.58 a share on revenues of $1.01 billion. Meanwhile, State Street posted a net loss of $3.18 billion, or $7.12 a share on revenues of $2.12 billion. That compares to a net income of $548 million, or $1.35 a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 97 cents on revenues of $2.16 billion.
  • Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) may consider partnering with another company to invest in the consumer-health operations it will inherit with its planned purchase of Schering-Plough Corp. (NYSE: SGP) Chief Executive Officer Richard Clark said in an analyst conference call yesterday (Tuesday). "Certainly there will have to be an investment in the consumer business," Clark said, adding that the drug maker is now considering whether "we do it alone or can we do it with a partner?" Clark later said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that is was too early to say which direction Merck was leaning.
  • A tough advertising market led to a decline in sales for Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), but the search giant still managed to beat Wall Street estimates. For the quarter ended June 30, Yahoo reported a net income of $141 million, or 10 cents a share on revenues of $1.57 billion, compared to a net income of $131 million, or 9 cents a share on revenues of $1.79 billion. Wall Street estimates called for average earnings per share of 8 cents and revenues of $1.14 billion.