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In the news: Earnings, mergers and a management change

In the news this morning, Costco and Joy Global report earnings, Molycorp's CEO steps down, Thomson Reuters and Chesapeake Energy sell some assets and Facebook joins the Nasdaq 100.

The warehouse retailer reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of 95 cents per share, compared to a mean analyst estimate for 93 cents per share. Revenue was $23.72 billion, again topping estimates, which were for $23.54 billion. Costco (COST) reported a 7% increase in same-store sales, but that figure drops to 6% when adjusted for higher gas prices and foreign currency exchange rates.

Joy Global
The mining-equipment maker reported earning $1.99 per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, or $1.94 per share when adjusted to remove one-time charges. Analysts had expected $1.87 per share. Revenue was $1.59 billion, compared to mean estimates for $1.42 billion. Joy Global (JOY) said it expects continued weak demand due to its customers being cautious about starting new projects. For fiscal 2013, the company said it expects to earn between $5.90 and $6.50 per share on revenue of $4.9 billion to $5.2 billion. Analysts had been expecting the company to earn $6.66 per share on revenue of $5.18 billion.

Rare-earth miner Molycorp (MCP) said Wednesday that its CEO, Mark Smith, was leaving the company. Smith will be replaced by Constantine Karayannopoulos while the company searches for a permanent replacement. Karayannopoulos was the president and CEO of Neo Material Technologies, which was acquired by Molycorp about six months ago. Joe Sims, the company's spokesman said the company needs a different style of management as it transitions to an operational company from a development-stage company. Sims said Smith's departure was not related into an SEC investigation into the company's financial disclosures.

Facebook (FB) will replace Infosys (INFY) on the Nasdaq 100 before trading opens on Wednesday.

Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters (TRI) will sell its investor relations, public relations and multimedia solutions units to Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ) for $390 million in cash. The deal allows Nasdaq to expand its business away from trading, while removing some potential conflicts of interests from the news-focused businesses that Reuters will retain.

Chesapeake Energy
Chesapeake (CHK) agreed to sell the bulk of its remaining natural gas processing and gathering assets for $2.16 billion. Chesapeake is divesting the midstream operations as it tries to raise cash to pay down some of its debt.  Access Midstream Partners (ACMP) is buying the assets, in conjunction with a deal where Williams (WMB) will buy a $2.4 billion stake in Access from Global Infrastructure Partners. Chesapeake has said it plans to sell $19 billion in assets this year and in 2013 to lower its debt load and bridge a funding gap.

Bobby Raines

Bobby Raines is the Managing Editor of the Market Intelligence Center. He has degrees in Mass Communications and History from Emory & Henry College. Bobby worked at a mid-sized daily newspaper before making a switch to covering the financial industry full time in the years leading up to the financial crisis. He has been a member of the Fresh Brewed Media team since 2011 and has served as a writer and analyst. You can write to him at braines@marketintelligencecenter.com or follow him on Twitter: @BRatMICenter.