L'Oreal Q4 revenues rise
French cosmetics giant L'Oreal SA said on Thursday that its fourth-quarter revenues rose 6.6 percent amid strong growth in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Revenues for the fourth quarter were 4.42 billion euros (US$6.48 billion). L'Oreal did not provide last year's figure in its revenue statement, but previous releases show it was 4.15 billion euros. The latest revenue figure met analyst expectations of 4.4 billion euros, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll of five analysts. For all of last year, revenues rose 8 percent to 17.1 billion euros, the company said.
Broadcom founders probed
Federal prosecutors identified Broadcom Corp co-founders Henry Nicholas and Henry Samueli as "unindicted potential co-conspirators" in an investigation into the illegal backdating of stock options. The revelation came as former human resources executive Nancy Tullos pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice as part of the probe. Tullos struck a deal with prosecutors late last year and agreed to the plea in exchange for her cooperation in the case. Nicholas and Samueli were identified as "Executive A" and "Executive B" in the plea agreement, but US District Judge Cormac Carney told prosecutors not identifying them would undermine the factual basis of the plea deal and violate the principles of open court hearings.
Porsche sales up 14.2%
German luxury sports car maker Porsche said yesterday that sales in the first half of its 2007-2008 fiscal year grew by 14.2 percent to 3.5 billion euros (US$5.2 billion). Unit sales gained 18.7 percent to 46,600 between Aug. 1 and Jan. 31, the company said in a statement which cited provisional figures. For the full year, Porsche was confident of continuing on its growth path, company chief Wendelin Wiedeking was quoted as saying. The group did not release an estimation of net profit, and would wait until March and the release of fourth-quarter results of Volkswagen, in which it has a 31 percent stake.
Sun's profit nearly doubles
Sun Microsystems Inc's fiscal second-quarter profit nearly doubled to edge past Wall Street's estimates on Thursday, reflecting the server and software maker's cost-cutting efforts and maneuvers to shore up demand amid fierce competition. Sun's net profit leaped 95 percent to US$260 million, or US$0.31 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 30. That was a penny higher than the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, and nearly twice as high as Sun's profit during the same period a year earlier.
IBM acquisition approved
IBM Corp on Thursday won EU approval for its largest acquisition ever, the US$5 billion cash purchase of business intelligence specialist Cognos Inc. EU antitrust officials said the deal would not cause competition problems in Europe because the combined market share for business analytics would be moderate with several strong rivals that could offer alternatives to customers. Business-intelligence software helps large organizations gather data that can be used to model such things as the financial impact of staffing changes or marketing moves.