Dollars and Sense 12-5-12

Updated: Wednesday, December 5 2012, 09:47 PM EST
Dollars and Sense 12-5-12 story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - New jobs reports show that hiring lagged in November.

Josh Roe has that story and more in tonight's Dollars and Sense.
Dollars and Sense 12-5-12
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Last Update on April 20, 2015 17:06 GMT

VOLCKER-FINANCIAL OVERHAUL

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker is calling for a reshaping of the U.S. financial oversight regime, which he says is splintered and ineffective.

A public policy group led by Volcker has issued a report on regulation of banks and Wall Street. It says the array of government agencies that oversee the financial system has changed little since the Depression-era 1930s and can't keep up with a fast-moving industry. It calls for a simpler setup.

Under the Volcker Alliance's recommendations, the Federal Reserve would keep primary responsibility for financial stability. A new Prudential Supervisory Authority, an independent agency, would assume the oversight functions now exercised by the Fed and several other agencies.

Volcker served as Fed chairman from 1979 to 1987 and advised President Barack Obama during the financial crisis.

SUPREME COURT-INSIDER TRADING

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of a former Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble board member convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud.

The justices had no comment today on their order rejecting Rajat Gupta's appeal of his 2012 conviction for feeding lucrative inside tips about Goldman to a billionaire hedge fund owner.

Gupta argued that the trial court failed to admit evidence of his good character and other testimony that he lacked any motive to commit the offense.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Gupta's appeal and the justices decided not to review that decision.

Gupta was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $5 million.

EARNS-MORGAN STANLEY

NEW YORK (AP) -- Morgan Stanley says its quarterly profit surged 60 percent as revenue from trading stocks and bonds lifted the investment bank's results.

First-quarter net income rose to $2.3 billion from $1.4 billion a year earlier, the New York bank said early Monday.

Revenue for the quarter rose to $9.9 billion from $9 billion the year before. That's much better than the $9.2 billion analysts had expected, according to the data provider FactSet.

On a per-share basis, Morgan Stanley's quarterly earnings were $1.18, beating analysts' average forecast of 78 cents.

Morgan Stanley's stock jumped 79 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $37.22 in off-hours trading. The bank's stock has surged 19 percent over the past year, outperforming the broader market. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 12 percent over the same stretch.

EARNS-HALLIBURTON

HOUSTON (AP) -- Halliburton Co. (HAL) reports a first-quarter loss of $643 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier.

On a per-share basis, the Houston-based company says it had a loss of 76 cents. Earnings, adjusted for asset impairment costs and nonrecurring costs, came to 49 cents per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 41 cents per share.

The provider of drilling services to oil and gas operators posted revenue of $7.05 billion in the period, also beating Street forecasts. Twelve analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $7.03 billion.

Halliburton shares have increased 19 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has increased 1 percent. The stock has dropped 25 percent in the last 12 months.

EARNS-ROYAL CARIBBEAN

MIAMI (AP) -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. shares dropped more than 6 percent today after the cruise ship operator lowered its full-year earnings guidance, stung by a stronger dollar and rising fuel prices.

The Miami-based company's first-quarter profit climbed from weak results a year ago that were weighed down by one-time items. Its revenue narrowly missed Wall Street estimates.

Royal Caribbean earned $45.2 million, or 20 cents per share, for the period ended March 31. That compares with $26.5 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier. The prior-year period was hurt by some charges and costs tied to the sale of its Pullmantur cruise line's non-core businesses.

The earnings beat Wall Street expectations.

EARNS-HASBRO

Hasbro plays nicely in 1Q; toys for boys transform quarter

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hasbro has turned in very strong quarter led by Transformers sales and other toys for boys.

The toymaker, weighed down by the strong U.S. currency and battling a shift toward video games and other non-traditional toys, topped Wall Street expectations and shares jumped almost 8 percent before the opening bell today.

If early gains hold, shares will hit another all-time high.

Hasbro reported a 17 percent drop in profit to $26.7 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with $32.1 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier. But that included an income tax expense of almost $8.5 million. The company recorded a benefit in excess of $5.5 million last year.

Operating profit actually increased 25 percent and analysts were expecting per-share profits of only 9 cents, according to a poll by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $713.5 million, also topping Wall Street projections for $668.3 million.

CEO Brian Goldner says, "We grew revenue, improved profitability and delivered growth in adjusted net earnings despite significant foreign exchange headwinds."

CANADA-CIRQUE DE SOLEIL

MONTREAL (AP) -- The Cirque de Soleil has signed a deal to sell a majority stake to U.S. private equity firm TPG for an undisclosed price.

Billionaire Cirque founder Guy Laliberte will maintain a stake in the business and continue to provide strategic and creative input to the company.

Chinese investment firm Fosun and Quebec pension fund management firm Caisse de depot will hold minority stakes, while Quebec businessman Mitch Garber will become Cirque chairman.

TPG is the world's largest casino owner with a stake in Caesar's Entertainment, while Fosun owns Club Med resorts. TPG says its experience building brands like J. Crew and Neiman Marcus, along with its strong media and entertainment relationships, will provide Cirque with new revenue opportunities.

WAL-MART-LABOR

NEW YORK (AP) -- A group representing Wal-Mart workers is asking labor regulators to go to court to force the discounter to rehire all 2,200 employees affected by the abrupt temporary closing of five stores in four states a week ago.

The group called OUR Walmart, which filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board today, argues the closings were a "retaliatory" measure against employees. One affected store was in Pico Rivera, California, and was a hotbed for worker action.

Wal-Mart has argued it closed the stores because of major plumbing issues. Wal-Mart had said the stores would remain closed for up to six months.

The group wants the board to pursue a court injunction, which the group says can be quicker than typical NLRB proceedings.

KRAFT-MAC AND CHEESE

Kraft Mac & Cheese shedding the dyes

NEW YORK (AP) -- Kraft Mac & Cheese sold in the U.S. will be less artificial.

Kraft says starting January, its original version of Mac & Cheese in the U.S. will no longer contain artificial preservatives or synthetic colors, but instead will be colored with paprika, annatto and turmeric.

Already Kraft's Mac & Cheese Boxed Shapes has no artificial flavors, preservatives or synthetic colors.

VERIZON-ESPN

NEW YORK (AP) -- ESPN is expressing concern that new television packages being offered by Verizon do not comply with its existing agreements.

Verizon launched FiOS Custom TV on Sunday. The base package, which costs about $55, has more than 35 channels -- such as AMC, CNN and Food Network -- plus two additional themed channel packs. The offer does not include internet service.

But the channels included in the base package do not include ESPN or ESPN2. Those channels are available through a sports themed channel pack.

ESPN says in a statement that Verizon's new packages "would not be authorized by our existing agreements."

It says "our contracts clearly provide that neither ESPN nor ESPN2 may be distributed in a separate sports package."

Verizon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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