Thursday, August 27, 2009

U. S. Thrifts Post First Profit Since '07

. Thursday, August 27, 2009

By stockOzone team

U.S. thrifts posted a $4-million profit in the second quarter, but the number of troubled institutions continued to rise, the government said.

The Office of Thrift Supervision said the small profit in the April-to-June period marked the industry's first positive earnings since the third quarter of 2007. It compared with losses of $5.4 billion in the year-earlier period and $1.62 billion in the first quarter of this year.

"Problem thrifts" on the agency's confidential list rose to 40, up from 31 in the first quarter and 17 a year earlier.

EARNINGS

Guess posts 11% profit increase

Guess Inc. said its second-quarter profit rose 11% as revenue climbed, especially in Europe, and expenses fell. Net income was $59.6 million, or 64 cents a share, compared with $53.8 million, or 56 cents, a year earlier. Revenue was $522.4 million, up from $515.2 million.

Williams-Sonoma raises its forecast

Shares of Williams-Sonoma Inc. rose to the highest level in 11 months after the gourmet-cookware retailer reported second-quarter earnings and sales that beat analysts' estimates and raised its full-year forecast.

Williams-Sonoma advanced $1.74, or 11%, to $17.21, the highest closing price since Sept. 25.

Net income fell to $399,000, or break-even on a per-share basis, from $18.4 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier, the San Francisco retailer said. Revenue fell 18% to $672.1 million.

TiVo posts loss as viewers cancel

TiVo Inc., the pioneer in digital video recording services, reported a loss of $2.9 million for the second quarter as subscribers canceled the service.

The loss of 3 cents a share compared with a profit of $2.9 million, or 3 cents, a year earlier, the Alviso, Calif., company said. Sales fell 12% to $57.4 million.

MEDIA

Creditors seek to probe Zell deal

Bondholders of Tribune Co. are asking a bankruptcy judge to let them scrutinize the company's 2007 takeover led by real estate mogul Sam Zell. They say the deal loaded Tribune with "unsustainable" debt.

In a court filing, bondholders say the banks that arranged Zell's leveraged buyout "now concede that the transaction was a 'mistake.' "

The bondholders aim to halt Tribune's exit from Chapter 11 under a plan they say will give "all but a sliver" of the company to the very banks they claim caused its demise.

Chicago-based Tribune owns the Los Angeles Times.

AUTOS

Toyota recalls 95,700 vehicles

Toyota Motor Corp. voluntarily recalled about 95,700 Corolla, Corolla Matrix and Scion xD vehicles sold in the U.S. to fix brakes that may not work properly in cold weather.

The move with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration affects 2009 and 2010 model-year Corollas and the 2008 and 2009 Scions, all with 1.8-liter engines, Toyota said.

AIRLINES

US Airways raises bag-checking fees

US Airways Group Inc. increased by $5 each the charge to check bags on domestic flights and added a $50 one-way fee for a second checked bag on transatlantic routes.

The new fees are $20 each way for the first bag and $30 for the second if paid online; if paid at the airport, they are $25 and $35. The change took effect Wednesday and applies to tickets for travel Oct. 7 or later, the Tempe, Ariz., airline said.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.





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