Oracle's earnings miss estimates for quarter
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Oracle's quarterly earnings missed analyst estimates as the business software maker struggled to close deals, signaling possible trouble ahead for the technology sector.
The performance announced Tuesday covered a period of economic turbulence that has raised concerns that major companies and government agencies may curtail technology spending.
Oracle's results for the three months ending in November suggested the cutbacks have already started. The showing alarmed investors, causing Oracle Corp. shares to slide 8 percent.
In a telling sign of weakening demand, Oracle's sales of new software licenses edged up just 2 percent from the same time last year. Analysts had expected a double-digit gain in new software licenses. Wall Street focuses on this part of the business because selling new software products generates a stream of future revenue from maintenance and upgrades.
The company earned $2.2 billion, or 43 cents per share, in its fiscal second quarter. That was a 17 percent increase from net income of $1.9 billion, or 37 cents per share at the same time last year.
Prestige makes big buy
NEW YORK (AP) -- Prestige Brands Holdings Inc. will pay British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC $660 million cash for a group of over-the-counter pharmaceutical brands including Beano and Tagamet, its largest acquisition ever.
The Irvington, N.Y., company is also buying pain relievers BC, Goody's, and Ecotrin, gastrointestinal brands Beano, Gaviscon, Phazyme, Tagamet, and Fiber Choice, and Sominex sleep aids. With those brands and several other recent acquisitions, Prestige says its annual revenue will amount to about $600 million.
GM to help Saab owners
DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors says it will honor warranties of Saab cars that were sold in the U.S. and Canada while the Swedish automaker was part of GM.
Cash-strapped Saab filed for bankruptcy in Sweden on Monday. The company has suspended warranty coverage for all vehicles in North America.
GM said Tuesday it will cover the warranties if Saab doesn't.
GM will pay warranty costs for about 48,000 Saabs in the U.S. and 9,000 in Canada. The cars are from the 2009 model year or older, except for a few 2010s in Canada. GM had been paying Saab for the warranty costs. Now it will pay dealers directly.
GM says Saab owners should still contact their dealers for warranty work.
Business subsidies opposed
A group seeking reform of state business subsidies called for the end of a Rochester company's tax abatements Tuesday because it plans to close a Tonawanda warehouse and move the jobs.
Representatives from the Getting Our Money's Worth coalition attended the County of Monroe Industrial Development board meeting, demanding it revoke the tax subsidy given to VWR Education/Ward's Natural Sciences because it says the company is consolidating and downsizing, not expanding. The group said VWR is engaging job shifting within a region instead of fulfilling the subsidy's purpose of new job creation.
Neither VWR nor the IDA returned calls seeking comments Tuesday.
VWR owns Science Kit and Borreal Laboratories, a Town of Tonawanda manufacturer of demonstration kits and games for science teachers, and it announced in October its plans to consolidate its local warehouse operations in Henrietta, laying off 40 people. The coalition claims only 7 people will be hired during the expansion of the Henrietta location.
The coalition, which includes the Buffalo-based Coalition for Economic Justice and the Teamsters Union, claims the IDA did not properly scrutinize VWR's application.
The Tonawanda operation, which is located on East Park Drive, employs about 110, including 70 office workers. VWR's office will remain open.