Edited by Vani Rao
Verizon rides on mobile growth
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) reported faster subscriber growth and stronger profits than expected at its Verizon Wireless venture with Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD). Verizon Wireless added 1.6 million subscribers during the fourth quarter. Its profit margin was 47% based on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. The company said it earned $5.07 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $4.23 billion, or $1.48 per share, in the year-ago period, including pension-related charges in both quarters. Excluding unusual items, its earnings per share of 66 cents beat Wall Street expectations by a penny. Revenue increased to $31.1 billion from $30.05 billion in the year-ago period.
IBM continues the drop
International Business Machines Corp.(NYSE:IBM) reported its seventh straight quarterly decline in revenue that also fell short of estimates, hurt by lower demand for its services and hardware. Revenue fell 5% to $27.7 billion in the fourth quarter, missing analysts’ expectation of $28.25 billion. Revenue from its system and technology unit fell 26.1% to $4.26 billion. Revenue from global technology services, its largest business, fell 3.6% to $9.92 billion during the quarter. Software revenue was the only bright spot, growing 2.8% to $8.14 billion. Net income for the fourth quarter rose to $6.2 billion, or $5.73 a share, from $5.8 billion, or $5.13 per share a year earlier.
J&J beats estimates, cautious outlook for 2014
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) cautioned that prescription-drug sales would likely lose some steam this year and forecast 2014 earnings at the lower end of Wall Street expectations, sending its shares down. The company earned $3.52 billion, or $1.23 per share, in the fourth quarter. Excluding special items, J&J earned $1.24 per share. Global sales rose 4.5% to $18.36 billion, topping Wall Street expectations of $17.95 billion. The company’s other big business, medical devices and diagnostics, posted a 1% decline in sales to $7.3 billion, against a 2% decline in the prior quarter. The shares of the company ended down 1.08%.
Delta Air profit rises on revenue gains, lower fuel costs
Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit aided by lower fuel costs and higher fares. Fourth-quarter net income totalled $8.5 billion, or $9.89 a share, including a non-cash gain of $8 billion from a tax benefit. A year earlier, the company reported a profit of $7 million, or 1 cent a share. Excluding items such as the tax benefit, profit was $558 million, or 65 cents a share, in the latest quarter, compared with the average analyst estimate of 63 cents. Quarterly revenue rose 6% to $9.08 billion, while analysts targeted $9.04 billion. Yield rose 4% to 17.05 cents. Operating expenses were up 2%, while costs for aircraft fuel and related taxes fell 7%.
Texas Instruments beats Wall Street expectations
Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) posted fourth-quarter revenue above expectations even as a recovery in demand for its chips remained muted. The company said its fourth-quarter revenue was $3.03 billion, compared to $2.98 billion in the same quarter last year. Analysts on average had expected $2.98 billion.
Coming up in next 24 hours
Diversified manufacturer United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) reports fourth-quarter results. Its profit in 2013 was weighed down by its military business, which has been weak because of uncertainty from cuts under the US government’s sequestration program.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), one of 2013’s fastest-rising stocks, will reveal how many new customers it signed up in the fourth quarter when it reports earnings after markets close. Analysts expect a gain of about two million US subscribers. Wall Street forecasts Netflix’s net income will rise five times from a year earlier when it was paying for an expansion into Scandinavia.
Fourth-quarter results from eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), the world’s second largest internet retailer, should give a glimpse at how both online and traditional retailers fared during one of the most cut-throat holiday-season battles in history, when product purveyors went after increasingly cautious and recession-weary American consumers.
Textron (NYSE:TXT), the world’s largest maker of business aircraft, will report fourth-quarter results. Its outlook for 2014 will be the first indication of an improvement in the health of the business jet market after two years of lower spending by small businesses — the main customers for its Cessna aircraft. While analysts say deliveries of its jets are likely to fall during the quarter, they expect spending to pick up in 2014 as confidence in the US economy returns.
Motorola Solutions’ (NYSE:MSI) fourth-quarter results are likely to beat estimates, helped by demand from its largest customer, the US government, for two-way radios, barcode scanners, and wireless broadband products.
Western Digital(NASDAQ:WDC), the world’s No.1 hard disk maker, is expected to report second-quarter profit above Wall Street estimates, due to higher sales of gaming consoles and to cloud services and enterprise customers.
SanDisk(NASDAQ:SNDK) reports fourth-quarter results after market close. The memory chipmaker and supplier to global smart phone manufacturers is expected to ride a continued, if gradual rebound in long moribund prices, and the growing adoption of everything from tablet computers to wearable gadgets in 2014 and beyond.