JPMorgan Chase & Co. Reports Drop In 3Q Earnings

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is reporting a third quarter earnings drop of 4%. The bank was hurt by investment banking clients sitting on the sidelines observing the European debt crisis. Results for the firm were helped by an accounting gain the bank can take when financial markets are volatile. Shares of the second-biggest U.S. bank fell 1.5 percent to $32.70 in pre-market trading Thursday.

The results by JP Morgan are the first for the quarter from a major U.S. bank and underscore just how investment bank revenue has been hammered by the market turmoil. Although earnings are down, JPMorgan bought back $4.4 billion of stock during the quarter.

JPMorgan said earnings were $4.3 billion, or $1.02 per share, down from $4.4 billion, or $1.01 per share, in the same quarter last year. The bank’s outstanding share count fell 3 percent because the company bought back stock. “All things considered, we believe the firm’s returns were reasonable given the current environment,” JPMorgan’s Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said in a statement.

As a diversified bank, JPMorgan is seen as an indicator for the financial industry, and it was among the first banks to prompt analysts to start cutting earnings estimates when it warned of a sharp fall-off in its Wall Street businesses in early September.

Regarding JPMorgan’s balance sheet, Dimon commented: “We maintained our fortress balance sheet, ending the third quarter with a Basel I Tier 1 Common ratio of 9.9%. Our strong capital position allowed us to repurchase $4.4 billion of common stock2 during the third quarter. We estimate that our Basel III Tier 1 Common ratio was approximately 7.7% at the end of the third quarter. Our total firm-wide credit reserves remained relatively flat compared with the prior quarter at $29.0 billion, resulting in a firm-wide coverage ratio of 3.74% of total loans1. The Firm’s total deposits increased to $1.1 trillion, up 21% compared with the prior year.”

Share of JPMorgan are trading down 4.04% or 31.85 in early morning trading.

Chevron Expects Lower 3Q Earnings

Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) said on Tuesday that it expects to lower earnings for its oil exploration and production business for the third quarter. The reduction in earnings forecast is due to a sharp drop in oil production for the period. Chevron is scheduled to report its complete third quarter results on Oct. 28.

Chevron also said it expects that earnings from refining and marketing, also known as its downstream business, will increase, largely due to an asset sale gain. Earnings for both operating segments are expected to benefit from favorable foreign currency exchange, reflecting a stronger U.S. dollar, Chevron said.

The oil giant said it expects that third quarter results will be in line with those of the second quarter. Chevron reported a profit of $7.7 billion, or $3.85 a share, for the second quarter, the largest quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2008.

The Associated Press reported in the first two months of the third quarter, Chevron’s U.S. net oil-equivalent production shrank by 18,000 barrels per day, due to increased maintenance across several of its assets in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said. International net oil-equivalent production fell by 74,000 barrels per day in the same period, largely due to a pipeline incident in Thailand and planned turnaround activity in Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom, Chevron said.

Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources, including bio-fuels.

Shares of Chevron slipped 58 cents to $97.02 in aftermarket trading on Tuesday. The stock ended the regular trading session down 60 cents at $97.60.

Alcoa Come Up Short Of Wall Street Targets

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) kicked off earnings season on Tuesday disappointing Wall Street with reported earnings of 15 cents a share, well below the anticipated estimate of 22 cents a share.

Income from continuing operations came in at $172 million, up 182% from the third quarter a year ago, but down 47% from the second quarter. Revenue of $6.4 billion was 21% higher from the prior year and ahead of the consensus call for just over $6.2 billion, but 3% lower than the previous quarter.

“With the exception of Europe, we saw growth in our end markets, though at a slower rate than in the first half, as confidence in the global recovery faded,” Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said.

Kleinfeld also affirmed his forecast for a growth rate of 12% for 2011 as well as his outlook for doubling aluminum demand by 2020. “Alcoa is a confident company in a nervous world. We are well prepared for whatever lies ahead, with more cash on hand, lower debt and continued focus on profitable growth,” he said.

Alcoa believes better demand from China, where it has increased its 2011 forecast to 17% growth, will counteract declines in Europe and elsewhere. Alcoa also said growing demand for beverage cans in China, Europe and the Middle East will drive packaging market growth to 2-3% for the year, overcoming a softer U.S. market. Building and construction markets are lagging in North America and Europe, but Alcoa is still forecasting growth in that space of 1-3% thanks chiefly to “continued strength in non-residential construction in China.” A hard landing for that economy, which some are anticipating, could hamper Alcoa’s results in coming quarters.

Shares of Alcoa, which gained more than 2% Tuesday, lost 4.6% in after hours trading shortly following the earnings report.

Ingersoll-Rand Falls On Adjusted Earnings Forecast

Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE:IR) announced an unexpected slowdown in its business that most likely will affect earnings in the company’s third quarter. IR lowered their forecast earnings from $.85-.90 per share to $.77-.80 per share. This decrease is a far cry from the $.91 per share some analyst were expecting when IR reports its earnings on October 21.

Ingersoll-Rand has seen a slowdown in consumer related business from areas including; residential heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC), and golf and residential security. The slow down in business has led IR to issue this most recent statement about them downgrading their expected earnings. In early hours trading Ingersoll-Rand is trading down nearly 8.5% to $29.26 per share. As expected this kind of announcement will bring share prices down.

Earlier this month, the market suggested that U.S. manufacturing multinationals may be poised to cut earnings estimates for next year, as slowing economies and uncertainty over Europe’s debt problems raise more questions about demand for high-value capital goods.

Ingersoll, which makes cooling systems, air compressors and security technology including Schlage locks, forecast full-year earnings from continuing operations of $2.70-$2.80 a share, on revenue of $14.85-$15 billion.

Darden Restaurants 1Q Profit Drops

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI.N) posted a 6% drop in quarterly earnings but the company has reaffirmed its full-year earnings outlook. The drop was mostly blames on hurricane Irene that hit the east coast of the United States and caused havoc in the northeast during the month of August. The company has been grappling with higher energy and commodities costs. The sluggish economy has prevented the company from raising its prices.

Darden Restaurants In. is the parent company of popular restaurants such as Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Longhorn Steakhouse, the Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52.
In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say our biggest brands have become icons themselves. Since opening their first Red Lobster restaurant in Lakeland, FL in 1968, Darden has grown to become the world’s largest full-service restaurant company. Through subsidiaries, Darden Inc. owns and operates 1,900 restaurants, employs approximately 180,000 people and serves more than 400 million meals a year.

The Orlando, FL based company earned $106.8 million for the first quarter. Sales were up 7.54% to $1.94 billion.

The Darden Restaurant franchise was listed as one of the “top 100” companies to work for on the popular Forbes list.

Darden is hoping to drive better performance at its Olive Garden restaurants by returning to proven promotion approaches with the annual never-ending pasta bowl deal launched at the end of August. Analysts say although visibility is low in the near-term, there is potential for the once leading chain to rebound as it shifts its marketing focus to a more value-oriented rather than culinary approach and as it faces easier year-over-year comparisons going forward.

Walgreens Sales Up 6.5%

Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG) said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit rose to $792 million, or $.87 a share, from $470 million, or $.49 a share, in the year-ago period. While excluding a one-time gain of $.30 a share, Walgreens earned $.57 a share in the latest period. Fourth-quarter sales rose 6.5% to $18 billion. Wall Street analysts expected Walgreen Co. to earn $.55 a share on revenue of $17.94 billion, according to a survey by FactSet Research. Walgreens said it continues its plan to move forward without a contract with pharmacy benefits firm Express Scripts after Dec. 31, 2011. “Walgreens is working with a number of partners to explore all options,” a spokesman for the drug store chain said.

Walgreen Co., based in Deerfield, Ill., said when it reported fiscal third-quarter results that it was ending its relationship worth $5.3 billion per year with Express Scripts. Walgreen said that the St. Louis company was not paying it enough money to fill prescriptions. It also complained that Express Scripts was trying to dictate terms of the partnership.The conflict intensified this month. Walgreen said it plans to stop filling prescriptions managed by Express Scripts Inc. on Jan. 1, 2012 saying contract renewal negotiations between the companies are stalled.

Walgreens is the largest drugstore chain in the United States and is the largest provider of flu shots behind the federal government.

Walgreen Co. together with its subsidiaries, operates a drugstore chain in the United States. The Company provides its customers with multichannel access to consumer goods and services, and pharmacy, health and wellness services in communities across America. Walgreen offers its products and services through drugstores, as well as through mail, by telephone, and via the Internet. It sells prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as general merchandise, including household products, convenience foods, personal care, beauty care, candy, photofinishing and seasonal items. Its pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility, long- term care and mail service, along with pharmacy benefit solutions and respiratory services.

Nike Shares Rise In After Hour Trading

Nike (NYSE:NKE) has seen its share of ups and downs this year, however Nike is starting out the new fiscal year with a bang. Nike reported that its first quarter profit rose nearly 15%. Nike stated that the increase was due to a global increase in demand for its footwear and apparel.

Nike posted an 18% increase in overall revenue equal to $6.08 billion. That increase bested analyst forecast estimates of $5.75 billion. Nike also noted that increased cost will continue to be a challenge going forward. This marks a strong change from the previous fiscal year where Nike had reported decreases in revenue.

To begin this fiscal year Nike has benefited from some very favorable public relations moves that helped the company’s image. One such move was the creation of the the Nike MAG. Nike created this shoe for Michael J Fox’s character in the 1989 Movie Back to the Future II. So in 2011 Nike teamed with the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and created 7,000 pairs of the Nike MAG. NIke auctioned them off with all the proceeds going to Mr. Fox’s foundation. Nike raised $5.6 million with the fundraiser.

With the company basking in the positive light from the Nike MAG fundraiser, reporting strong numbers in its first quarter, and raising its forecast revenue guidance for the year; Nike could become a very attractive investment.

FedEx Reduces Earnings Forecast

FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) a market bellwether cut its full year profit forecast as demand for its services dropped in the United States and Asia.

According to a Bloomberg survey, FedEx is reporting the per share earnings will be $6.25 to $6.75, or $.10 lower than the previous range. Analysts had projected $6.35.

FedEx is the world’s largest cargo airline by traffic. According to a company statement, U.S. shipments fell for the second quarter in a row as the economy continued a painfully slow crawl. The “rapid decline in demand” for FedEx Express services, particularly from Asia, outpaced FedEx’s ability to reduce operating costs, Chief Financial Officer Alan Graf said in the statement.

U.S. shipments declined 3% at FedEx last quarter, as the global economy “grew at a slower rate than we anticipated,” Graf said. Volumes for packages sent between countries fell 4%, FedEx said.

FedEx has said it was cutting costs and capacity to match a weaker demand environment that the International Air Transport Association warned could last until mid 2012.

The company also spent more on jet fuel, which cost 40% more in the period. FedEx usually has a two month delay in recovering fuel costs through surcharges.

FedEx has invested heavily in new aircraft to expand its Asian network, and the company’s key role in shipping everything from industrial components to consumer electronics make it a closely-watched bellwether of economic sentiment.

FedEx Corporation (FedEx), is a holding company. It provides a portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services under the FedEx brand. The Company operates in four segments: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Services.

General Mills Profit Slips In 1Q

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) released on Wednesday its quarterly profit statement. The maker of Cheerios and Haagen-Daz ice cream reported a net income of $405.6 million, or $.61 a share for the first quarter ending on August 28. Earnings reported a year earlier came in at $472.1 million, or $.70 a share. The company says it was hit by high ingredient and fuel costs.

General Mills net sales rose to $3.85 billion helped along by the recently acquired Yoplait yogurt business. General Mills announced in May that it paid $1.15 billion for a controlling interest in Yoplait, from a French investment firm and dairy group. General Mills addition of Yoplait added 3% to its revenues.

Cereal sales edged up 1%, helped by brands such as Chex and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. New products included Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch and Fiber One 80 calorie cereal also added to boost the results.

General Mills’ overseas performance was strong, with revenue up 30 percent to $856 million. The results were propelled by strength in Europe, which reported a 36 percent gains. This was followed by a 15 percent gain for the Asia/Pacific region and a 12 percent increase for Latin America. Canada posted an 8 percent increase.

General Mills Chairman and CEO Ken Powell says he is predicting his companies earnings will rise over the next nine months. Powell predicts the companies 2012 adjusted earnings will come in at $2.59-$2.61 per share. Most analysts agree with that assessment.

Oracle Corporation Shows Strong Q1 results

Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) shares were trading higher early Wednesday morning. Shares were up 6% to $29.95 per share in the pre-dawn trading hours. Volume should be fairly heavy as today as news of ORCL strong Q1 has peaked investors interest.

New Software sales were up 17% besting analyst estimates of 15% for the Q1 ending on August 31. With the increase in Q1 sales, Oracle is now forecasting sales growth in the current quarter somewhere between 6-16%. This is a significant increase over the flat 10% increase forecasted by some analyst.

Some of the growth Oracle has seen is due to its growing market share in Europe. Oracle’s main competitor in Europe SAP(NYSE:SAP) has seen its market share slip while ORCL has been waiting in the wings to step in and fill a need that its competitor cannot. On the heels of the strong European showing ORCL’s President Mark Hurd stated that the company is currently hiring for position within the European market.

Polypore International Shares Jump on 1Q Results

Polypore international, Inc (NYSE:PPO) shares rose this morning $10.30 to $65.61 per share. Volume is on the rise as well as nearly 2.5 million shares have exchanged hands on today’s increase of nearly 19%. The average daily traded volume is 736,000 shares.

Polypore 1Q results are in and they are a very positive sign. Polypore reported a net income of $25.7 million or $.55 per share. That is a sharp increase from the $17.5 million or $.38 per share in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the 1Q also grew up to $185.7 million from $145.3 million a year ago.  The results bested analyst forecast of earnings of $.39 per share and a revenue of $165.2 million.

Polypore saw rises throughout the companies segments. The most notable increases include a 35% rise in the energy storage segment while the separations media segment rose 12%

About Polypore Inc.
Polypore International, Inc., a technology filtration company, develops, manufactures, and markets microporous membranes used in separation and filtration processes. It operates in two segments, Energy Storage and Separations Media.

Green Mountain Coffee Shares Soar on 2Q Results

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) shares climbed skyward this morning rising $12.38 to $76.45 per share.  The near 20% increase has led to heavier than normal volume as 6.5 million shares have been moved already this morning, Compared to average daily volume of 4.1 million shares.

Green Mountain Coffee’s revenue more than doubled in the 2Q to help the coffee seller to post better than expected earnings. With earnings of $65.4 million or $.44 per share Green Mountain bested 2Q results from a year ago. Revenue surged to $647.7 million up from $322 million.

“We believe healthy post-holiday in-store brewer inventory levels and positive word of mouth from enthusiastic Keurig owners combined to help drive a very strong fiscal second quarter for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters,” said Lawrence J. Blanford, president and CEO.

Green Mountain coffee Made headlines earlier this year as it came to an agreement with Starbucks to begin selling its brand of specialty coffees in single serving sizes that would fit the Keurig Brewing system.

About Green Mountain Coffee roasters
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. operates in the specialty coffee industry in the United States and internationally. It sells approximately 200 whole bean and ground coffee selections, cocoa, teas, and coffees.

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