Markets & Finance

GM Slashes Dividend, Benefits, Exec Salaries


General Motors (GM) cuts its dividend 50%, revises its healthcare plan (which is expected to reduce the company's liability by about $4.8 billion), restructures its US pension plan, and reduces senior management's salaries. It also names Jerome York to the board.

Walt Disney (DIS) posts 37 cents vs. 33 cents first quarter earnings per share (EPS) on a 2% revenue rise. It agrees to merge its ABC Radio with Citadel Broadcasting (CDL) in a deal valued at about $2.7 billion. Disney holders will own 52% of the new company.

Activision (ATVI) posts 23 cents vs. 35 cents third quarter EPS despite a 20% revenue rise. It cuts fourth quarter guidance to 7 cents to 9 cents loss on revenue of between $125 million to $135 million, and sees a "modest" increase in fiscal year 2007 EPS on revenues that were "slightly" over $1 billion.

Coca-Cola (KO) posts 36 cents vs. 50 cents fourth quarter EPS. Increases in the cost of goods sold, higher Selling General & Administration costs, and 10 cents in tax-related charges offset a 7% revenue rise. Coke says its fourth quarter unit case volume rose 4%.

Mentor (MNT) posts 33 cents vs. 34 cents third quarter EPS (excluding items) on flat sales. It withdraws fiscal year 2006 financial guidance and cites lack of visibility.

Chiron (CHIR) The Securities and Exchange Commission terminates its investigation of whether Chiron violated any federal securities laws in connection with the previous suspension by UK MHRA of its license to make Fluvirin. The agency ends its inquiry into the company's restatements.

Pioneer Drilling (PDC) The land drilling services company agrees to issue and sell 3 million shares of stock, while the oil and natural gas company Chesapeake Energy (CHK) has agreed to sell 7.7 million Pioneer Drilling shares to Lehman Brothers. The shares will be resold by Lehman to the public under a shelf registration statement.

Emerson Electric (EMR) posts 97 cents vs. 70 cents first quarter EPS on a 15% sales rise.

Performance Food (PFGC) posts 35 cents vs. 8 cents fourth quarter EPS from continuing operations on a 6.8% sales rise. It sees $1.20 to $1.30 2006 EPS, including about $5 million to $5.5 million stock compensation expense.

Yum Brands (YUM) posts 81 cents vs. 73 cents fourth quarter EPS before items on 2% higher worldwide system same-store sales. It raises its 2006 EPS outlook to $2.79, or growth of at least 10% prior to special items.

Pericom Semiconductor (PSEM) posts 5 cents second quarter EPS vs. a penny loss (GAAP) on a 37% revenue rise. It sees a 2% to 6% third quarter revenue rise.

Power-One (PWER) posts 4 cents fourth quarter EPS vs. 11 cents loss despite an 11% revenue decline. It expects 2006 sales growth of 10% to 15%. It is to separate the roles of chairman and CEO, and names COO Bill Yeates as CEO, while Brad Godfrey takes the COO role.

Sohu.com (SOHU) posts 23 cents vs. 17 cents fourth quarter EPS (non-GAAP) on a 27% revenue rise. It sees first quarter GAAP EPS of 14 cents to 16 cents on revenue of $28 million to $30 million.

Boston Scientific (BSX) posts 40 cents (including special charge) vs. 35 cents fourth quarter EPS as lower Selling General & Administrative costs offset a 3.8% sales drop.


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