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In the news: Earnings from Costco and Urban Outfitters, Research in Motion sets a date and IBM's CEO gets paid

In the news thsi morning, Costco and Urban Outfitters reported earnings, Research in Motion set a launch date for the Blackberry Z10, IRobot boosted its guidance, IBM's CEO got paid, Yum Brands reported a smaller-than-expected drop in same-store sales in China.

Warehouse-retailer Costco (COST) reported earnings of $1.24 per share for its second fiscal quarter, which ended Feb. 17. Net sales were $24.34 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $1.05 on sales of $24.34 billion. The company said net income was boosted by a tax benefit related to the portion of its Dec. 2012 special dividend that went to participants in 401k plans.

Research in Motion
Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (BBRY) will begin selling its new touch-screen Blackberry Z10 in the U.S. on March 22 through AT&T's (T) network. T-Mobile expects to be able to deliver the new phone to some corporate customers by the end of this week. AT&T customers will be able to pick up the new phone for $199.99 with a two-year contract.

Robotics-company IRobot (IRBT) raised its first-quarter guidance to a range from 16 cents to 20 cents per share on revenue of $102 to $104 million. The company's prior forecast was for earnings of up to 7 cents on revenue from $98 million to $102 million. Analysts had been anticipating 2 cetns per share on sales of $100.8 million. The company said it has seen strong sales across its home and defense and security lines of business. John Leahy, the company's CFO, is leaving the company. He will be replaced by Alison Dean effective April 5. Leahy is taking a position with a late-stage private company.

International Business Machines' (IBM) Chairman and CEO Virginia Rometty received a pay package of $15.4 million for 2012, up from $7.5 million she received in 2011 when she was a senior vice president in charge of global sales and marketing. Rometty's replaced Sam Palmisano whose compensation package totaled about $22.3 million in 2012.

Urban Outfitters
Retailer Urban Outfitters (URBN) reported earnings of 56 cents per share on sales of $856.8 million in its fourth fiscal quarter. Analysts had expected EPS of 57 cents per share on $859.5 million in revenue. Direct-to-consumer sales rose by 44 percent in the quarter, while total retail store revenue was up by 9 percent on a year-over-year basis. Same-store sales were flat compared to the year-ago period.

Yum Brands
Fast-food chain Yum Brands (YUM) reported a 20 percent drop in same-store sales in China for February, which was better than the 25% decline analysts expected. The Chinese New Year had a positive impact on the month's results, but had a negative impact in January, making the net impact of the holiday neutral. The company has been hit by issues with its chicken suppliers in China.


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.