Toyota FQ3 net profit surges, raises outlook. Toyota's (NYSE:TM) FQ3 net profit jumped over fivefold to ¥525.4B ($5.2B) from ¥99.91B a year earlier as net revenues increased to ¥6.585T from ¥5.32T. Speaking about the nine-month period, in which net profit more than doubled to ¥1.52T, Toyota attributed the improved performance to the weaker yen, cost cuts and marketing activities. The Japanese car giant raised its fiscal-year outlook for the third time in three quarters, saying it now expects net income to almost double to a record ¥1.9T ($18.8B). Shares were -2.4% premarket after falling 5.7% in Tokyo amid sharp losses for the Nikkei (see below).
Yum's profit falls but China could be turning around for KFC. Yum Brands' (NYSE:YUM) Q4 profit dropped to $321M from $337M a year earlier, although the restauranter's shares climbed 4.2% in post-market trading after it said that it is "seeing upward momentum in the KFC China business" despite comparable sales in the country falling 4%. KFC sales have been hit by food-safety concerns for over a year. Yum's adjusted EPS was $0.86 and topped consensus, while revenue nudged up 0.5% to $4.18B but missed Street forecasts.
BP Q4 profit slumps 28% to $2.8B. BP's (NYSE:BP) Q4 underlying replacement cost profit - which strips out the effect of oil-price movements - dropped to $2.8B from $3.9B a year earlier but met analyst forecasts. The decline in earnings was mainly due to asset sales, weaker refining margins, and higher depreciation and exploration write-downs. Production excluding Russia fell 1.9% to 2.25M barrels of oil equivalent a day, although underlying output rose 3.7%. BP expects the latter metric to rise this year but overall output to fall. Shares were -1.1% premarket.
Top Stock News
European, Asian stocks hit by U.S. data. European and Asian shares were mostly lower at the time of writing following sharp losses on Wall Street yesterday after poor U.S. manufacturing numbers added to disappointing Chinese PMI data and the turmoil in emerging markets to further hurt sentiment. However, U.S. stock futures were enjoying a bit of a rebound. The Nikkei fell 4.2% for its biggest one-day drop since June, although it's worth remembering that the index soared 57% last year.
UBS jumps after swinging to Q4 net profit of $1B. UBS's (NYSE:UBS) shares were +5.5% premarket after the Swiss bank swung to a Q4 net profit of 917M Swiss francs ($1B) from a loss of 1.9B francs a year earlier and slayed consensus of 354M francs. The bank enjoyed a 470M franc benefit from deferring its taxes, while the Q4 2012 results were hit by massive fines. Switzerland's financial regulator Finma has cut the amount of capital that the bank has to hold against risk-weighted assets to 5B francs from 28B francs. The requirement is designed to protect UBS from "unknown" future litigation and other matters.
Liberty, Discovery eye Formula One stake. Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) have made a joint approach to CVC Capital about acquiring a 49% stake in Formula One in a deal that could value the motorsport franchise at over £6.5B, The Daily Telegraph reports. CVC owns 35% of Formula One, including all the voting rights, but it's not clear where the other 14% could come from. One possibility is the Lehman Brothers estate, which needs to sell its 12.3% holding by the end of June.
FCC's Wheeler skeptical about Sprint/T-Mobile deal - Reuters. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday expressed skepticism about the possibility of Sprint (NYSE:S) acquiring T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), Reuters reports. Wheeler made his feelings known during a meeting with Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son and CEO Dan Hesse. Wheeler echoed comments that antitrust chief William Baer made last week, although Wheeler also said he would keep an open mind about the prospective deal.
Reports: More layoffs coming at Disney Interactive. Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Interactive Media unit reportedly plans to cut several hundred jobs in the latest in a series of layoffs at the struggling business, which lost over $200M a year from 2008-2012. Disney is due to report earnings later this week, when management could outline more future plans for the video-game subsidiary.
Seattle Seahawks blowout most-watched U.S. TV show ever. Super Bowl XLVIII was the most watched TV show in U.S. history despite the lopsided nature of the Seattle Seahawks' victory over the Denver Broncos. The Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) broadcast drew 111.5M viewers, Nielsen estimates, while follow-up shows New Girl and Brooklyn Nine also saw stellar ratings, setting those series up nicely.
Top Economic & Other News
RBA leaves rates at 2.5%, signals end of easing cycle. As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia has held its key cash rate at 2.5% and it has indicated the end of a two-year easing cycle. "The most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates," RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement. The Australian dollar's decline "will assist in achieving balanced growth," Stevens also said. The S&P/ASX 200 closed -1.75%, although the Aussie was +1.5% at $0.888 at the time of writing.
Spanish unemployment rises but at low pace for January. The number of unemployed people in Spain unexpectedly rose by 113,100 in January to 4.81M after a fall of 107,600 in December. Consensus was for a drop of 21,300. However, seasonally adjusted unemployment fell by 3,907 people, while the non-SA increase was the smallest in January since 2007. Although many European stock indices were down at the time of writing, Spain's IBEX 35 was +0.1%.
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In Asia, Japan -4.2% to 14008. Hong Kong -2.9% to 21398. China closed. India flat at 20212.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.4%. Paris -0.4%. Frankfurt -1%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude +0.2% to $96.58. Gold -0.5% to $1253.60.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +3 bps to 2.61%.
Notable earnings before today's open: ABG, ACI, ACM, ADM, AGCO, AMG, ARMH, ARRY, AXE, BDX, BHE, BP, BSX, CHD, CLX, CME, CNC, DLPH, DWSN, EMR, ENTG, ETN, FIS, GCI, HCA, HW, IDXX, IP, KORS, LG, LIOX, LRN, LRY, MHFI, R, SE, SEP, SIRI, ST, TDG, TECH, UBS, UDR, VSH, WDR, XYL
Notable earnings after today's close: ACLS, AEC, AFL, AMP, ATO, ATW, AXS, BWLD, CBL, CENT, CERN, CHRW, CODE, CVD, DATA, DV, EQR, EXP, GAS, GHDX, GILD, GIMO, GNW, HAIN, HCSG, HI, JKHY, KEYW, MAC, MWA, MX, MYGN, NANO, OCLR, OMCL, PACB, PIKE, TDW, THOR, ULTI, UNM, USNA, VASC, VOCS, XOOM
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