Markets & Finance

Profits Surge for ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch


ExxonMobil (XOM) reported third quarter EPS of 88 cents after a special charge, vs, 55 cents. Excluding the special charge, EPS were 96 cents -- representing the oil giant's highest quarter ever.

Royal Dutch (RD) posted $1.60, vs. 72 cents third-quarter earnings per share. The oil company kept its outlook for 2004 production, and 2004 to 2006 gross divestment proceeds. It cuts its 2004 capital investment expectation to around $14 billion. The boards of Royal Dutch and its sister company Shell (SC) propose a unification of the companies.

DaimlerChrysler (DCX) posted $1.17 third-quarter earnings per share, vs. a $2.02 loss on a 2.3% revenue rise. The automaker cites the absence of charges, an improved model mix and lower sales incentives. It continues to see significant improvement in operating profit for 2004 compared with 2003.

Verizon Communications (VZ) posted 64 cents, vs. 64 cents third-quarter earnings per share, as special items offset a 6.7% revenue rise. S&P reiterates buy.

DreamWorks Animation (DWA) was sharply higher after its initial 28 million shares were offered at $28 per share.

Coca-Cola (CCE) posted 44 cents, vs. 55 cents third-quarter earnings per share on a slight revenue drop. With less weather impact and expected growth in Europe, the company believes volume trends will improve in the fourth-quarter. It sees $1.26 to $1.30 2004 earnings per share (excluding 2005 second-quarter items).

Aetna (AET) posted $1.84, vs. $1.29 third-quarter operating earnings per share on a 13% revenue rise. The health insurer raised its $6.75 to $6.85 2004 operating earnings-per-share guidance to $7.00. It sets its preliminary 2005 operating earnings-per-share guidance at $8.40.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is seen higher on reports that Delta and the pilots union reached a tentative agreement including wage, benefit cuts in order to avoid bankruptcy filing. Bear Stearns ups its rating to peer perform from underperform. S&P keeps its avoid rating.

JDS Uniphase (JDSU) posted a 2 cents first-quarter loss, vs. a 2-cent loss, despite a 32% revenue rise. It sees second-quarter revenue down 8% to flat and a one-cent loss (non-GAAP). Roth Capital downgraded the shares to neutral from buy. S&P keeps its hold rating.

Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) posted 36 cents, vs. 39 cents third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations (excluding an impairment charge) on a 3.3% revenue drop. S&P upgrades its rating to hold.

ImClone Systems (IMCL) posted 45 cents third-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 22-cent loss on sharply higher revenues.

Martha Stewart Living (MSO) posted a 30-cent third-quarter loss, vs. an 8-cent loss on a 24% revenue drop. It sees a 20-cent fourth-quarter loss.

JetBlue (JBLU) posted 8 cents, vs. 26 cents third-quarter earnings per share, as a continued weak pricing environment, record fuel prices and impact of hurricanes offset an 18% higher operating revenue.

Viacom (VIA.B) posted 42 cents, vs. 37 cents third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations on a 4% revenue rise. The company raises its quarterly dividend 16.7% to 7 cents. S&P reiterates its hold rating.

Marvel Enterprises (MVL) posted 30 cents, vs. 57 cents third-quarter earnings per share despite a 60% revenue rise. It sees 13 cents to 15 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share and raises 92 cents to 97 cents 2004 earnings-per-share guidance to 96 cents to 98 cents. It sees $1.07 to $1.12 2005 earnings per share.

Ask Jeeves (ASKJ) posts 25 cents, vs. 9 cents third-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations (pro forma) on sharp revenue rise. Sees 32 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share (pro forma) on $86 million revenue and $1.30 to $1.45 2005 earnings per share on $365 million to $395 million in revenue. Piper Jaffray and Pacific Growth downgraded the stock.

E-business services provider Akamai Technologies (AKAM) posted 8 cents third-quarter earnings per share, vs. a 3-cent loss (GAAP basis) on 28% higher revenues.

St. Paul Travelers (STA) posted 54 cents, vs. $1.01 third-quarter operating earnings per share, as higher catastrope losses offset a 50% increase in net written premiums.

WellChoice (WC) posted 74 cents, vs. 62 cents third-quarter earnings per share on 8.4% higher revenues. The company raises $2.90 to $2.94 2004 earnings-per-share guidance to $2.93 to $2.96. It sees $3.35 to $3.41 2005 earnings per share.


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