Headlines this morning include disclosure of possible law-breaking at Las Vegas Sands, News Corp. selling New Zealand's Sky, a judge reducing damages that Samsung owes to Apple, Elan instituting a new dividend and weak earnings from Tech Data.
Las Vegas Sands
Casino operator Las Vegas Sands (LVS) disclosed in its most-recent Form 10-K that its audit committee reached preliminary findings that the company “likely” violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The company said in a later press release that the violations are not of the law's anti-bribery provisions, but instead the “likely violations” are of the record-keeping and internal control provisions. The company said the violations are not material and will not result in a financial restatement.
News Corp. (NWSA) plans to sell its 44 percent stake in New Zealand's Sky Network Television. Based on the share price of Sky's shares in New Zealand, News Corp.'s stake in the company is worth about $725 million. Michael Miller, a regional director of a News Corp. unit will resign from Sky's board after the sale. The sale is part of company's plan to split into two parts, one containing its Australian and newspaper assets and the other holding the company's film and television assets.
A judge ruled that jurors miscalculated damages in a patent infringement suit that Apple (AAPL) brought against Samsung. The judge eliminated $450 million from the verdict and a new trial will take up the issue of damages related to 14 products that jurors at the earlier trial found were using Apple patents without permission.
Drugmaker Elan Corp. (ELN) will start offering a cash dividend tied to the performance to Tysabri. The company receives royalty payments for the multiple sclerosis drug from partner Biogen Idec (BIIB). It plans to pay shareholders 20 percent of that royalty beginning in the fourth quarter and continuing twice a year thereafter.
Information Technology company Tech Data (TECD) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.17 per share, or $1.48 per share on an adjusted basis, which was well short of the $1.75 per share analysts expected. Robert Dutkowsky, the company's CEO, said Tech Data is dealing with a shift away from servers and other high-margin products toward low-margin items like tablets, cellular phones and software.