Here are the highlights of results reported by major companies today.
Comcast Gets Earnings Lift From Internet
Comcast Corp. posted a 15 percent gain in second-quarter profit, helped by higher revenue from web-connected customers. Comcast said profit hit $1.99 billion, or 76 cents a share, up from $1.73 billion, or 63 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue was up 3.5 percent to $16.84 billion.
Analysts had predicted 72 cents a share and $16.95 billion in revenue.
Comcast is seeking approval for its $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, a deal that has worried some in the industry for potentially concentrating too much power into one company.
The company said it added a net 203,000 Internet customers in the quarter, putting its total at 21.3 million, some 8 percent more than it added in the year-ago quarter.
The film division, which includes the Universal studio, recorded $1.18 billion in sales, down 15 percent from a year earlier, when the studio released the sixth film in the “Fast and Furious” series. The company blamed the weakness on fewer movie releases in the quarter.
Credit Suisse Posts Loss, Hit by Legal Settlement With U.S.
Credit Suisse Group AG posted a net loss of nearly $780 million, hit by the impact of a legal settlement with U.S. authorities. Revenue fell 6 percent. The Swiss bank had a net profit of $1.16 billion a year earlier.
Credit Suisse reached a settlement with U.S. authorities in May over charges that it helped U.S. citizens evade taxes. That deal included an agreement for the bank to pay $2.6 billion. Credit Suisse said at the time that it expected the settlement to shave about $1.8 billion from its second-quarter profit.
Chief Executive Brady Dougan said it is impossible to estimate how much of an effect the legal case with the U.S. would hurt business. “There may be clients that didn’t do business with us, that would have,” he told reporters.
McDonald’s Profit Slides 1%
McDonald’s Corp. posted a 1 percent slide in second-quarter profits, giving backing to comments earlier by CEO Don Thompson that the fast-food company needs to strengthen its menu offerings.
Second-quarter profit came to $1.39 billion, or $1.40 a share, compared with $1.4 billion, or $1.38 a share, a year earlier. The per-share figure was higher because of a lower number of outstanding shares. Revenue rose 1 percent to $7.18 billion.
In April, CEO Thompson said McDonald’s planned a marketing push in the face of increased competition from Taco Bell and others. The Wall Street Journal quoted the CEO as saying that McDonald’s has dominated the fast-food breakfast business for 35 years, and “we don’t plan on giving that up.” He said the company planned a push to emphasize its fresh-cooked breakfasts. “We crack fresh eggs, grill sausage and bacon,” Thompson said. “This is not a microwave deal.”
“To reignite momentum over the next 18 months, we’re focused on fortifying the foundational elements of our business by concentrating our efforts on compelling value, marketing and operations excellence to become a more relevant and trusted brand,” he said today.
Netflix Inc. reported that second-quarter earnings more than doubled, helped by the addition of 1.7 million subscribers, but the company said that third-quarter results would be hurt by higher expenses related to European expansion. Second-quarter net profit hit $71 million, or $1.15 a share, up from $29 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. But the streaming video company said the “contribution loss” from international streaming would rise to $42 million in the third quarter from $15 million in the second quarter.
Coca-Cola Co. said second-quarter profit and revenue fell on higher commodity and marketing costs. The company cited its sponsorship of the World Cup soccer tournament, along with its intensified marketing efforts, with a gain in overall volumes. The company reported profits of $2.6 billion, or 58 cents a share, down from $2.68 billion, or 59 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 1.4 percent to $12.57 billion.
Travelers Cos. reported an 18 percent drop in operating profit, as wind and hail-storm claims drove costs higher. The property-casualty insurer said operating profit, which excludes realized capital gains or losses in its investment portfolio, fell to $673 million, or $1.93 a share, down from $816 million, or $2.13 a share, a year earlier. The pretax impact of catastrophes increased to $436, from $340 million in the same period a year earlier. The costs were mostly related to wind and hail storms in the U.S.
The Money and Markets Team