Amazon beats forecasts
Amazon.com Inc’s quarterly earnings beat Wall Street’s most bullish expectations as the world’s largest Internet retailer brought costs under control and saw early success selling more digital products through its new Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon reported net income fell to US$130 million or US$0.28 per diluted share in the first quarter, versus US$201 million or US$0.44 a year ago, but that was far above the average Wall Street forecast for US$0.07 a share. First-quarter revenue of US$13.18 billion, up 34 percent from a year earlier, was ahead of Wall Street estimates for US$12.9 billion. Operating income was US$192 million, compared with US$322 million a year earlier.
Daimler Q1 profit rose 20%
Record sales of its luxury Mercedes brand and a boost from its financial services arm helped automaker Daimler AG increase net profit by 20 percent to 1.42 billion euros (US$1.88 billion) in the first quarter. The increase came despite a slip in profitability at Mercedes, where the company spent more on new models, which should drive future profits, and on increased production capacity. Global revenues rose 9 percent to 27.01 billion euros and the company sold 9 percent more vehicles worldwide, at 502,086.
Honda earnings jump 61%
Honda Motor Co’s January-March profit jumped 61 percent as the Japanese automaker sold more cars and motorcycles in a turnaround from last year’s disasters. It forecast record global sales of 4.3 million vehicles for this fiscal year. Honda reported net profit of ￥71.5 billion (US$882.7 million) for the fiscal fourth quarter, up from ￥44.5 billion a year earlier. Quarterly sales improved 8.7 percent to ￥2.41 trillion, mainly because of rising sales in Japan and North America.
Sharp expects more losses
Sharp Corp forecast a wider-than-estimated full-year net loss as falling TV prices prompted the company to turn to Foxconn Technology Group (富士康) for investment. The maker of Aquos televisions will probably post a ￥30 billion net loss for the year ending March 31, compared with a ￥376 billion loss a year earlier, Sharp said in a statement yesterday. Sharp’s LCD and solar-panel businesses will each lose about ￥10 billion in the current fiscal year, while the audio-visual and communication equipment unit may lose about ￥5 billion, it said.
Starbucks net profit up 18%
Starbucks Corp perked up its net income by 18 percent in its fiscal second quarter, as more customers visited its cafes around the world. The Seattle-based coffee chain said it earned US$309.9 million, or US$0.40 per share, for the three months ended April 1. That’s compared with a profit of US$261.6 million, or US$0.34 per share, a year ago. Revenue for the latest quarter rose to US$3.2 billion, from US$2.79 billion a year ago.
WPP upbeat on Q1
The global advertising giant WPP yesterday said first-quarter profits were ahead of the same period one year ago, thanks to a strong performance in Asia Pacific and Latin America. Revenue increased 7.6 percent to ￡2.39 billion (US$3.9 billion) in the quarter, compared with ￡2.22 billion a year earlier, WPP said in a trading update. Like-for-like revenues — stripping out the impact of acquisitions, disposals and currency movements — rose 4 percent from a year earlier.