In the news this morning, Hewlett-Packard shareholders voted to keep the company's board in place, Oracle turned in a disappointing earnings report, AstraZeneca announces more job cuts, Movado beat earnings estimates, a health-care REIT holds a successful IPO and McDonald's adds new wraps which put cucumbers in a core product for the first time.
Struggling technology firm Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) beleaguered shareholders took ownership of the company's problems Wednesday when they rejected attempts to oust two members of the company's board. John Hammergren and Kennedy Thompson were both re-elected despite a number of recent problems at the company ranging from disastrous acquisitions to a revolving door on the CEO's office. While Hammergren, who has been on the board since 2005, and Thompson, who has been on the board since 2006, both held on to their seats, the margins were slimmer in this year's voting. Hammergren got 54 percent of the votes while Thompson got 55 percent. Both received 81 percent of the votes at last year's meeting.
Oracle reported earnings of 52 cents per share for the quarter that ended in February, or 65 cents on a non-GAAP basis. Revenue was $8.96 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 66 cents per share on sales of $9.38 billion. For the current quarter the company said it expects earnings of 85 cents to 91 cents per share and revenue to range from a decline of 1 percent from the year-ago period to a four percent increase from the year-ago period. Analysts expect adjusted earnings of 88 cents per share on $11.5 billion in revenue, which would be a five-percent increase.
Drug-maker AstraZeneca (AZN) plans to cut 2,300 jobs as part of a restructuring plan. The cuts are in addition to 1,600 cuts to the company's research and development operations announced March 18 and to a separate 1,150 cuts announced in 2012. AstraZeneca will take a one-time $2.3 billion charge related to the cuts. Cost savings are expected to reach $800 million by 2016.
Watch-maker Movado (MOV) earned 31 cents per share for the quarter that ended Jan. 31. Adjusted for a charge related to Coach, the company earned 41 cents per share on sales of $123.6 million. Analysts expected earnings of 26 cents on $128.3 million. The company said it expects to earn $1.80 per share in fiscal 2014 on sales of $570 million to $575 million. Analysts expect earnings of $1.83 per share on $540.3 million in sales.
Aviv REIT raised $264 million after offering 13.2 million shares in its initial public offering. The IPO priced at $20 per share, the high-end of its expected range. Proceeds will be used to repay debt and for general corporate purposes. The company is focused on the ownership and leasing of post-acute and long-term care skilled nursing facilities.
Fast-food chain McDonald's (MCD) is adding new Chicken McWraps to its permanent menu. The new wraps will come in three flavors, Chicken and Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken and Chicken and Ranch. The wraps will use the same flour tortillas already found in the company's snack wraps, but two of the flavors will use cucumbers, the first time the company has used that vegetable in an unpickled form in its core menu.