Fourth quarter GDP of 3.2 percent, below consensus of 3.5 percent, but personal consumption was better than expected, and real final sales rose 7.1 percent, a solid number. Still, not much employment growth at 3.2 percent. ?
Ford down 11 percent; as of this writing, it is the highest volume stock at the NYSE, very unusual given Citi's usual dominance. Operating profit was a notable disappointment at $0.30 (consensus $0.48), even though revenues of $32.5 billion was above consensus of $30.57 billion. The problem appears to be weak margins in the North American auto business due to higher costs and other factors. There was also a charge for completion of debt-conversion offers. For 2011 they expect each of its Auto operations to be profitable and expects solid profiability for Ford Credit. ?
1) BankUnited priced its IPO well above expectations: 29 million shares at $27.00, well above the talk of 26.5 million shares at $24-$25. The company is ringing the opening bell at the NYSE.
2) Sara Lee (SLE) spinning off into two separate companies and paying a special $3 dividend. The North American retail and food service business will keep the Sara Lee name, while the North American beverage and bakery division and the international beverage division will be spun off.
3) Honeywell reported earnings in line with expectations, while sales were a bit ahead of expectations. The company raised its FY 2011 EPS guidance by 10 cents to $3.60-$3.80. They also announced the sale of its Consumer Products Group (CPG) for roughly $950 million in cash.
4) Amazon down 8 percent pre-open...the problems is shrinking margins...EBITDA grew only 11 percent, even though net revenues of $13 billion were about in-line with expectations.
5) Chevron earnings surged 72 percent and easily beat estimates ($2.64 vs. $1.54 consensus) thanks to the continued rise in oil prices (up 13 percent from the prior year). Worldwide production in its upstream operations was essentially flat from a year ago, weighed down by a 7 percent decline in U.S. production. Downstream profits were helped by the stake sale of a pipeline and higher margins on refined products.
6) Verizon acquired data storage firm Terremark Worldwide for $1.4 billion in cash. Shareholders will get $19 per share, and that's sending Terremark's 36 percent higher. One thing is clear: interest in cloud computing remains high, since the deal will give Verizon immediate presence in the cloud computing market.
7) Men's Wearhouse announced that founder George Zimmer will step down as CEO in the middle of the year, but will remain executive chairman. Replacing him as CEO will be current COO Douglas Ewert.
8) JM Smucker raised its quarterly dividend by 10% to $0.44 cents and announced it will increase its current stock buyback program by another 5 million shares (about 4 percent of the company's s
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