Headlines this morning include: earnings from Anheuser-Busch, Target, Dreamworks and Questcor, Accretive Health pulling its scheduled earnings release, thousands of job cuts at JPMorgan, Tesla planning to repay a big loan early and criticism for two defense contractors from a Pentagon official.
Beer-giant Anhueser-Busch InBev (BUD) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.76 billion, down from $1.85 billion in the year-ago quarter. The company pinned the decline on exchange rates and a derivative gain it booked in the fourth quarter of 2011. Revenue was $10.3 billion, an 8.8 percent increase from the year-ago quarter. Price hikes helped the revenue increase and cost-cutting helped the company record a 10.7 percent increase in operating profit during the quarter.
The CEO of electric-car market Tesla (TSLA) , Elon Musk, said the company plans to pay off a $465 million loan from the federal government in five years instead of the 10-year term of the loan. Musk said that in light of the criticism of the Obama administration over the failure of Solyndra, which received a $528 million loan, the president's critics should recognize the success of clean energy programs, such as Tesla. Musk said Tesla is on track to earn a profit in the current quarter.
Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, who is the Pentagon chief for the F-35 was again critical of contractors Lockheed Martin (LMT) and United Technologies (UTX) unit Pratt & Whitney. Bogdan accused the companies of trying to “squeeze every nickel” out of the government, saying they were acting as if they were trying to sell the government the last of the planes rather than being near the beginning of a 40-year program. He said he would like to see the two companies take on some of the risk from the project and invest in cost reductions.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) said Tuesday that it plans to cut 17,000 jobs by the end of 2014, a 6.6 percent decrease in the company's workforce. The banking giant also plans to add 4,000 workers in its commercial and investment banking and credit card businesses to help it expand in those areas. The cuts will come in mortgage servicing and retail banking. The company hopes the customers currently served by the 6,000 tellers and other retail bank employees it is planning to cut will be served by automatic teller machines, allowing remaining bank employees to focus on higher-margin activities such as selling wealth-management services.
Big-box retailer Target (TGT) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.65 per share on revenue of $22.73 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.48 per share on sales of $22.69 billion. The company said it expects to earn $485 to $5.05 per share for fiscal 2013, compared to a mean estimate for $4.83 per share. For the current quarter, the company expexts to earn $1.10 to $1.20 per share, compared to a mean analyst estimate for $1.05 per share.
Movie studio Dreamworks (DWA) reported a net loss of 98 cents per share on revenue of $264.7 million. Analysts had expected an adjusted loss of 9 cents per share on $216 million in revenue. The company's $82.7 million loss included an $87 million write-down for “Guardians” and a $54 million charge related to sending “Me & My Shadow” back into development. The quarter's results also included a $20 million charge for other development projects and $4.6 million in restructuring expenses.
Accretive Health (AH) said it will delay its fourth-quarter results due to a review of the way it records revenue. The company said it is reviewing the way it handles revenue cycle management agreements and the review could result in the company having to restate results for previous periods. The review will not result in changes to the total revenue recognized over the life of a contract. The company also withdrew its annual guidance.
Questcor (QCOR) reported earnings of $1.03 per share on revenue of $160.5 million. Analysts had expected 93 cents per share on sales of $142.2 million. The company said it saw increase prescriptions for H.H. Acthar Gel during the quarter, which helped boost results.