Sep 18th

SEC Proposes New CEO Compensation Disclosure Rule

By Betty
SEC Proposes New CEO Compensation Disclosure Rule

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission voted on Wednesday to propose a long-anticipated new regulation that would require public companies to disclose how their CEO's pay compares with that of other employees.  Under the plan, currently in a public comment phase after passing through the Commission by a 2 to 2 vote, companies would have to reveal the median annual compensation of their employees along with the ratio of how that median compares to their CEO's annual pay.  The two commissioners that opposed the rule, Republicans Michael Piwowar and Daniel Gallagher, said the rule was just a special interest provision that would not benefit investors in any way.
Sep 17th

22 Firms Settle SEC Charges over Illegal Short Sales

By Dave Simmons
22 Firms Settle SEC Charges over Illegal Short Sales

22 of the 23 investment firms charged in connection with a federal crackdown on illegal short-selling have agreed to settle the charges with the SEC, paying a combined $14.4 million in fines to avoid further prosecution.  As is customary in such agreements with the US equity trading watchdog, the firms will be able to pay the fines without admitting to any wrongdoing.  The 23rd firm involved in the probe, G-2 Trading LLC, has vowed to fight the allegations that it violated an SEC rule that prohibits firms from shorting a stock within five days of a public offering and then buying the stock in the offering.  Known as Rule 105 of Regulation M, the rule is in place to prevent traders from manipulating the market, and applies to any stock that goes through a public offering, whether initial or secondary, and applies regardless of a trader's intent.
Aug 20th

Home Depot Enjoys Biggest Quarterly Transaction Count Ever

By Frank Galvano
Home Depot Enjoys Biggest Quarterly Transaction Count Ever

Home Depot issued its second-quarter results Tuesday, surpassing analyst expectations for earnings and revenue as the US housing market continues to recover and boost demand for home improvement products and services.  The company also posted its first double digit increase in same store sales since 1999 in the May through July quarter, and enjoyed the biggest transaction count in its history.  The solid performance also prompted the nation's largest home improvement retailer to update its guidance for full year earnings and revenue.
Aug 20th

Best Buy Shares Surge as Online Sales Improve

By Ronnie
Best Buy Shares Surge as Online Sales Improve

Shares of Best Buy surged Tuesday after the nation's largest electronics retailer posted substantial improvement in earnings and revenue thanks to a series of successful cost-cutting moves.  The stock jumped more than 10 percent at the opening bell, reaching levels it hasn't seen since the middle of 2011, as the company surpassed Wall Street estimates on revenue and shattered projections for earnings.  The performance was even more impressive given that the retailer has yet to unveil its all-new website, due early next year.
Aug 14th

Disappointing 2Q Results Prompt Macy's to Lower Guidance

By Kelly Curtis
Disappointing 2Q Results Prompt Macy's to Lower Guidance

Macy's Inc issued its second-quarter results Wednesday, posting a disappointing net income for the period which it blamed on consumers' reluctance to spend as the economy continues along the path of recovery.  The operator of both its namesake chain of department stores as well as Bloomingdales, Cincinnati-based Macy's is considered a barometer of sorts for the willingness to spend among the middle and upper classes.  But the retail sector has been struggling for several years now with uncertainty brought on the recession and magnified by the gradual pace at which the world's largest economy is recovering.
Aug 7th

Time Warner Results Shine on Ad Revenue, Box Office Success

By Frank Galvano
Time Warner Results Shine on Ad Revenue, Box Office Success

Time Warner Inc. issued its second-quarter earnings Tuesday, posting a staggering 87 percent gain in profits thanks to surging ad sales and solid performance by the company's Warner Bros. Film studio, which benefited from solid returns on films such as Man of Steel, The Great Gatsby and The Hangover Part III.  For the quarter, the media giant earned $771 million, or 81 cents a share, nearly doubling its 2Q 2012 profit of $412 million.  Excluding certain one-time items, earnings came in at 83 cents a share, outpacing the consensus estimate of 76 cents offered by economists in a recent Reuters survey.  Overall revenue at Time Warner, meanwhile, rose more than 10 percent to $7.44 billion, easily ahead of the $7.11 billion guess from the Reuters poll.
Aug 1st

House Passes Bill that Lowers Student Loan Interest Rates

By Mike Goldman
House Passes Bill that Lowers Student Loan Interest Rates

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a measure that would lower interest rates for student loans in the short term, though critics assert the bill would bring annual increases as the economy improves.  The proposed law, expected to be signed by President Obama in the coming days, would base student loan interest on financial markets, lowering the rate from the current 6.8 percent to 4.6 percent.  Opponents maintain, however, that the law would bring unfairly high rates as the economy recovers, despite caps set in place by a previously passed compromise bill composed in the Senate.  That bill caps student loan interest rates at 8.25 percent for undergraduates, 9.5 percent for undergraduates and 10.5 percent for parents. 
Jul 24th

European Manufacturing Survey Signals Possible End to Recession

By Dave Simmons
European Manufacturing Survey Signals Possible End to Recession

The long beleaguered European economy may finally be nearing a point where it can begin to recover from a now five-year long recession that saw record unemployment in several major eurozone economies.  According to a report from Markit, manufacturers in Germany and France have started ramping up production, and a survey of banks conducted by the European Central Bank showed that consumer access to credit is finally easing for the first time since the recession began in 2008.  Credit for businesses remains somewhat tight, the report showed, but that segment could be just months away from opening up.
Jul 16th

Coca-Cola Earnings Disappoint Despite Surging Sales in Emerging Markets

By Mike Goldman
Coca-Cola Earnings Disappoint Despite Surging Sales in Emerging Markets

The world's largest drink maker issued its second-quarter results Tuesday posting declines in earnings and revenue caused by shrinking demand for its soft drinks in some key markets.  In the three months ended June 30th, Coca-Cola's net income totaled $2.68 billion, or 59 cents share, down slightly from the year ago period's profit of $2.79 billion, or 61 cents a share.  Excluding certain one-time charges, earnings were 63 cents a share, on par with the consensus estimate from a group of economists in a recent Thomson Reuters poll, but that was about all the good news from the report.  Overall revenue for the period came in at $12.75 billion, down 3 percent from a year ago and short of the $12.95 billion projected in the Reuters survey.
Jul 16th

Goldman Sachs Tops Estimates for Earnings and Revenue

By Kelly Curtis
Goldman Sachs Tops Estimates for Earnings and Revenue

Goldman Sachs issued its second-quarter results Tuesday, shattering Wall Street estimates in both earnings and revenue thanks to solid improvement in the bank's investment division.  For the three months ended June 30th, the firm's earnings totaled $1.93 billion, or $3.70 a share, well ahead of the consensus estimate of $2.87 a share projected by a group of economists in a recent FactSet survey.  The earnings figure also nearly doubled Goldman's results from a year earlier, when it posted a profit of just $1.78 a share.  Revenue, meanwhile, surged from $6.6 billion in 2012's second quarter to $8.6 billion.

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