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CORPORATE EARNINGS

Ingram Micro Inc., the world's largest distributor of computers, software and electronics, said first-quarter profit rose 13 percent because sales in Asia increased. Based in Santa Ana, Calif., Ingram Micro has its U.S. sales center in Amherst. Net income rose to $42.5 million, or 26 cents a share, in the quarter ended April 2 from $37.6 million, or 24 cents, a year earlier, the company said. Sales rose 12 percent to $7.05 billion from $6.28 billion. Gains from stronger European currencies contributed to the increase. Increased diversification across global regions and technology markets is contributing to profits, the company said. North American sales rose 6 percent to $2.94 billion. Sales to the Asia-Pacific region jumped 89 percent, reflecting the acquisition of Tech Pacific last November. The quarterly profits were affected by $9.8 million in special costs related to acquisitions and restructuring, or $6.8 million after taxes. Second-quarter profit will be $41 million to $46 million, or 25 cents to 28 cents a share, on sales of $6.7 billion to $6.9 billion, the company said.

Microsoft Corp. said its fiscal third-quarter earnings nearly doubled from last year, driven by growth in the software company's server and tools business and lower legal costs. For the three months that ended March 31, the software maker earned $2.56 billion, or 23 cents per share, up from $1.32 billion, or 12 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 5 percent, to $9.62 billion from $9.18 billion.

DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group said its first-quarter profit fell roughly 11 percent from a year ago, hurt in part by a weaker dollar. Chrysler reported an operating profit of $327 million in this year's first quarter, down from $366 million a year ago. Revenue in the quarter fell about 6 percent to $13.9 billion from $14.8 billion a year ago.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., which has a plant in Buffalo, said Thursday its first-quarter income plunged 36 percent because of patent expirations and increasing pressure on its cholesterol-lowering drug. Net income fell to $621 million, or 32 cents a share, in the January-March quarter, down from $964 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. Earnings from continuing operations totaled 34 cents a share. Sales fell 2 percent to $4.5 billion.

Brush Engineered Materials, a global supplier of beryllium products and alloys, on said its first-quarter profit rose 14 percent over last year, driven by strength in the magnetic media, semiconductor and industrial component markets. Brush, which has a plant in Buffalo, reported earnings of $4.3 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with $3.8 million, or 22 cents per share a year ago. Sales rose 4 percent to $130.4 million from $125.9 million a year ago.

CB Richard Ellis Group, the commercial real estate services firm, said it swung to a first-quarter profit on strong revenue boosts across its businesses. The Los Angeles-based company reported net income of $14.6 million, or 19 cents a share, from a loss of $16.6 million, or 26 cents a share, last year. Excluding charges, earnings rose to $19 million, or 25 cents a share, from a loss of $2.6 million, or 3 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 22 percent to $538.3 million from $441 million.

CSX Corp., the third-largest U.S. railroad, said first-quarter net income rose to $579 million or $2.56 a share, including an extraordinary gain of $425 million, or $1.88 a share, from the sale of a terminal. Excluding the gain, profit was $154 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with $30 million, or 14 cents a share, in last year's first quarter. CSX boosted rates an average 8.6 percent as shipments rose 1.1 percent, so sales rose 9.8 percent to $2.11 billion.

Norfolk Southern Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. railroad, said first-quarter profit rose 23 percent as the company carried more shipments and increased prices. Net income climbed to $194 million, or 47 cents a share, from $158 million, or 40 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose 16 percent, and rates per shipment increased 9.2 percent.

Starbucks Corp. reported a 27 percent increase in profit for its fiscal second quarter to $100.5 million, or 24 cents per share, from $78.9 million, or 19 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 22 percent to $1.52 billion from $1.24 billion.

Wendy's International, the No. 3 U.S. hamburger chain, said first-quarter earnings fell 2.8 percent because of rising costs and sales lost after a woman claimed she discovered a fingertip in Wendy's chili. Net income dropped to $51.3 million, or 45 cents a share, from $52.8 million, or 45 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose 7.1 percent to $894.2 million, the smallest gain in more than three years.

Applebee's International, the largest casual-dining chain, said first-quarter earnings rose 6.7 percent from last year due to strong sales growth at company restaurants. Net income grew to $31.7 million, or 38 cents per share, from $29.7 million, or 35 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue increased 9.5 percent to $304.5 million from $277.4 million last year.

Aetna Inc., the third-largest U.S. health insurer, said quarterly profit increased 16 percent, boosted by premium revenue from new customers. First-quarter net income rose to $424 million, or $1.39 a share, from $365.8 million, or $1.14, a year earlier. Revenue climbed 13 percent to $5.43 billion.

Gateway Inc. posted a sharply narrower first-quarter loss, a sign that massive job cuts and store closures are sparking a turnaround. The personal computer company lost $5.2 million, or 1 cent a share, compared to a loss of $171.5 million, or 51 cents a share, the same period last year. The latest period included a restructuring charge of $8 million; the 2004 period included a restructuring charge of $104 million and a tax benefit of $13 million. Excluding the restructuring charge, Gateway posted a profit of 1 cent a share. Revenue fell 3.5 percent to $837.8 million from $868.4 million.

Anheuser-Busch Cos. said first-quarter earnings dropped 6.7 percent due to higher costs and lower beer sales in the United States. Net income dipped to $513 million, or 65 cents per share, from $550 million, or 67 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding a gain on the sale of a Spanish theme park, the company earned 63 cents per share in the latest quarter. Sales for the producer of Budweiser and Michelob brands rose 2.5 percent to $3.56 billion from $3.48 billion a year earlier, driven primarily by a 29 percent increase in international beer net sales.