IMF confident on Greece
The IMF estimated on Friday that Greece faced a financing gap of between 5.5 billion and 9.5 billion euros (US$7.3 billion and US$12.7 billion) for 2015 and 2016 and said it had assurances from Europe it would deliver the aid in the final years of the bailout. It was the first time the IMF had estimated a range of possible financing needs for Greece’s international bailout program beyond 2014. The European Commission said in December last year that the money needed for Greece over the two-year period encompassing 2015 and 2016 would amount to 5.6 billion euros. IMF mission chief for Greece Poul Thomsen said the Greek program was fully financed “well into 2014,” although it was too early to say whether more funds would be needed at the start of 2015 or toward the end of 2014.
Morgan Stanley revenue up
Morgan Stanley, the top global equity underwriter last year, reported earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts as revenue from the retail brokerage climbed. Fourth-quarter profit was US$507 million, or US$0.25 a share, compared with a loss of US$250 million, or US$0.15, a year earlier, the New York-based company said on Friday in a statement. Excluding accounting charges tied to the firm’s own debt, profit was US$0.45 a share, beating the US$0.27 average estimate of 24 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Chief executive officer James Gorman, 54, is grappling with higher capital requirements and the firm’s failure to post revenue growth in the first nine months of last year. His plan to reduce costs through job cuts and pay deferrals helped fuel a 28 percent jump in the stock price.
GE’s revenue rises 4%
General Electric Co (GE) reported an operating profit per share of US$0.44, US$0.01 higher than analysts polled by FactSet expected. The firm’s revenue rose 4 percent to US$39.3 billion and beat Wall Street expectations. Chief executive officer Jeff Immelt said the outlook for developed markets remained uncertain. However, China and other emerging markets, along with regions that are exploiting natural resources, are growing. GE also improved its cash flow and in turn gave some cash back to shareholders. It repurchased US$2.1 billion in stock in the quarter and US$5.2 billion for the year, while boosting the quarterly dividend 12 percent to US$0.19 per share.
Disney CEO’s pay up 18%
Walt Disney Co chief executive officer Bob Iger’s pay package got an 18 percent boost last year to US$37.1 million as the company posted record revenue, net income and earnings per share. Disney also cited Iger’s leadership in the US$4.06 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm, along with the launch of theme park additions, cruise ships and the expansion of the Disney Channel overseas. Iger saw the biggest jump in pay from the value of new stock option awards, which hit US$7.8 million last year, up from US$4.8 million in 2011, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. Stock award grants valued at US$9.5 million were above the US$8.1 million he received a year earlier. He also received incentive pay of US$16.5 million, up from US$15.5 million, while his salary rose to US$2.5 million from US$2 million. Compensation for security and personal air travel was US$800,700.