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In the news: Settlement talks for Nasdaq, plus a prison investigation, deal making and earnings reports

News this morning includes earnings from CVS Caremark, Arcelor Mittal and Time Warner, as well as settlement talks for Nasdaq stemming from the Facebook IPO, an investigation into a prison run by Corrections Corporation of America and some deal making in the pharmaceutical and cable TV spaces.

CVS Caremark
Drug-store chain CVS Caremark (CVS) reported fourth-quarter earnings of 90 cents per share, or $1.14 per share on an adjusted basis. Revenue was $31.39 during the quarter. Analysts had been expecting EPs of $1.10 on $31.14 billion in revenue. The company said it expects adjusted earnings of $3.86 to $4.00 per share for 2013. The mean analysts estimate is for $3.92. Revenue at the company's pharmacy benefit management business rose 17% on a 6.5% increase in processed claims. Same-store sales rose by 4%.

Nasdaq OMX Group
Exchange operator Nasdaq OMX group (NDAQ) is reportedly in talks with regulators about a settlement stemming from the botched Facebook (FB) IPO.  The Wall Street Journal reports that a monetary penalty of about $5 million plus $62 million in repayments to customers is being discussed. Estimates of losses from the trading issues that disrupted the offering are as high as $500 million.

Corrections Corporation of America
An Idaho prison operated by private prison operator Corrections Corporation of America (CXW) is being investigated by the Idaho State Police after discrepancies in the prison's monthly reports were uncovered by state officials. The company's contract with the state dictates minimum staffing levels, but records show such anomalies as having guards work shifts that lasted 36 to 48 hours, while contract monitors have reported guards being assigned to multiple posts at the same time.

European steel concern ArcelorMittal (MT) reported a loss of $3.99 billion for the fourth quarter, including $4.8 billion in charges and write-downs connected to the company's European operations. Lakshmi Mittal, the company's founder and CEO, said he expects steel shipments to grow by 2 to 3 percent in 2013. The company issues a separate press release detailing the separate outlooks for steel demand in Europe and the rest of the world.

Liberty Global
Cable TV operator Liberty Global (LBTYA) will buy Virgin Media (VMED) for about $16 billion. The combined company will present a stronger competitor to U.K. satellite TV provider BSkyB.

Biogen Idec
Biogen Idec (BIIB) will take full control over multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri from Elan Corp. (ELN) in exchange for $3.25 billion in cash and future royalties. The companies split earnings from the drug under the previous agreement. Biogen expects the deal to add 20 cents to 30 cents per share to 2013 earnings.

Time Warner (TWX) reported earnings of $1.21 per share, or $1.17 on an adjusted basis for the fourth quarter. Revenue was $8.16 billion. Analysts had expected $1.10 per share on revenue of $8.22 billion. The company also announced an increase in its quarterly dividend to 28.75 cents per share, an 11 percent increase.



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.