Disney's net profit surges 24% to hit record. Walt Disney's (DIS) FQ3 net profit jumped 24% to a record $1.83B, boosted by strong earnings from its parks & resorts division, its cable TV channels, and its blockbuster movie "The Avengers." EPS of $1.01 beat forecasts, although revenue growth of 4.4% to $11.1B missed expectations. Shares fell 0.8% after hours.
NY blindsided other regulators with StanChart allegations. Standard Chartered (OTC:SCBFF) wasn't the only one surprised by New York's publication of the Iran allegations - the Fed, Department of Justice and the Treasury were too. They're also probing the bank and some reportedly aren't happy with New York, which grew impatient with the inaction of the others. Standard Chartered might have to pay up to $700M to settle the accusations.
Top Stock News
Express Scripts rises after it ups outlook. Express Scripts' (ESRX) net profit slumped 49% to $170.9M in Q2, the pharmacy benefits manager said in its first quarterly report since closing its mega-merger with Medco. However, revenue more than doubled to $27.69B, including Medco, and beat forecasts, as did EPS of $0.88. Express Scripts increased its FY guidance to above Street consensus, due to the strong Q2, savings from the Medco deal, and the greater use of more lucrative generic drugs. Shares rose 7% after hours.
Knight Capital received rival $500M loan offer. Knight Capital (KCG) is set to resume its full market-making activities on the NYSE on Monday after yesterday gaining much of its market share back. Knight reportedly spoke to around 90 potential suitors about rescuing the firm, with rival Citadel offering a $500M loan in return for a 10-20% stake and control of Knight's Hotspot FX trading platform. That compares with the offer that Knight accepted: a $400M loan in exchange for 73%.
Warner Chilcott ends its attempts to find buyer. Warner Chilcott (WCRX), which has a market cap of $4.45B, has ended its attempts to find a buyer, four months after saying it was considering a sale. The disclosure came yesterday as the drugmaker announced a special dividend of $4 a share and said it would renew a $250M buyback program.
Priceline outlook drags online travel sector down. Priceline's (PCLN) shares slumped 14.8% in post-market trading after the online travel company provided guidance that was below estimates, citing an assumption that economic conditions in Europe will deteriorate again. The outlook also took shares in rivals Expedia (EXPE) and TripAdvisor (TRIP) lower. Still, Priceline's Q2 net profit jumped 37% to $352.3M and revenue 27% to $1.36B, while EPS of $7.85 topped consensus.
Rio Tinto profit sinks 34%. Rio Tinto's (RIO) H1 underlying profit tumbled 34% to $5.15B but beat forecasts, while revenue fell 12.8% to $25.34B. Earnings were hurt by a decline in iron ore and other commodity prices. Rio warned about short-term uncertainty but is confident demand will be strong in the long run. The miner has attracted interest for the aluminum and diamond assets it's looking to sell, both for individual operations and collectively. Shares rose 3% premarket.
Rivals great and small gun for Amazon. Amazon (AMZN) faces increased competition from clothing start-ups at one end and eBay (EBAY) at the other. The start-ups cut out lots of middle men and make items to order to avoid needing warehouses, and so can undercut even Amazon. eBay tells retailers it can help them compete by putting store fronts on its site, with RadioShack (RSH), Barnes & Noble (BKS), and GNC (GNC) taking up eBay's offer.
Top Economic & Other News
Japan's PM ready to call election to pass tax hike. Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda is prepared to dissolve the lower house of parliament "in the near future" and hold an election in order to receive support from opposition parties to double the country's consumption tax to 10% by 2015, Kyodo reports. The tax has passed the lower chamber but still needs approval in the upper house, where the opposition holds sway.
Japan current-account surplus doubles. Japan's current-account surplus surged to ¥433.3B ($5.5B) in June from ¥215.1B in May and topped consensus of ¥415.4B, helped by falling oil prices. The trade portion swung to a surplus of ¥112B from a deficit of ¥848.2B. The figures could ease worries that Japan will need foreign financing to service its massive debt.
S&P lowers its outlook on Greece to negative. S&P has revised its outlook on Greece's long-term rating to negative, reflecting the potential for a downgrade if the country fails to secure the next disbursement from the EU/IMF financing program. S&P also affirmed its CCC foreign and C local-currency credit ratings for the country, and projected that its GDP will contract by a cumulative 10%-11% during 2012-13.
In Asia, Japan +0.9%. Hong Kong flat. China +0.2%. India flat.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.6%. Paris -0.7%. Frankfurt -0.6%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.25%. Nasdaq -0.1%. Crude -0.6% to $93.07. Gold -0.2% to $1609.60.
Today's economic calendar:
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:30 Productivity and Costs
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
1:00 PM Results of $24B, 10-Year Note Auction
Notable earnings after today's close: ATPG, AUY, AVNR, CJES, CLR, CPE, CPNO, CTL, EGLE, EXXI, FTK, GMXR, GSS, GXP, HNSN, HOGS, KGC, MBI, MDRX, MM, MNST, NQ, NWSA, ONTY, PANL, SATC, SCLN, SGEN, SPWR, TEG, ZGNX
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