Procter & Gamble Co. reported second-quarter earnings that were little changed from a year earlier but that beat Wall Street expectations. P&G said its earnings totaled $1.13 billion, or 78 cents per share, compared with $1.14 billion, or 78 cents per share, a year ago. When costs of P&G's ongoing corporate restructuring are excluded, earnings were $1.3 billion, or 88 cents per share, matching the prediction of securities analysts.
Xerox Corp. said its fourth-quarter earnings fell 52 percent due to a Year 2000-related slowdown in sales, restructuring charges and a weak Brazilian economy. The copier giant said it earned $294 million, or 41 cents per share, down from $615 million, or 84 cents per share, a year ago. Sales fell 6.1 percent to $5.4 billion.
AT&T Corp. said its fourth-quarter operating profit fell 16 percent, as a rise in wireless revenues failed to offset slower growth in its long-distance business. AT&T said it earned $1.84 billion, or 57 cents per share, on an operating basis, down from $1.80 billion, or 68 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 5.9 percent to $16.34 billion. The results beat the average Wall Street forecast of 55 cents per share.
Musicland Stores Corp., which owns Media Play stores in the Buffalo area, said fourth-quarter profits rose 9.5 percent as it sold more DVDs and held down payroll costs. Profits rose to $54.8 million, or $1.53 a share, from $50 million, or $1.36, a year earlier. Sales rose 3.2 percent to $722.6 million from $699.9 million.
Exxon Mobil Corp. said fourth-quarter profit rose 34 percent as oil prices climbed to an eight-year high. The company's profit from operations rose to $2.71 billion, or 77 cents a share, from $2.03 billion, or 58 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose 30 percent to $56 billion from $43 billion.