State Street tops analysts’ estimates
Financial services provider State Street Corp. posted a higher fourth-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations, largely as it recovered from hefty charges a year ago.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, the Boston company earned $498 million, or $1 per share, compared with $234 million, or 54 cents per share a year ago.
The improved performance came despite a drop in revenue, and reflected a $756 million charge the company took in the fourth quarter of 2008. That charge included $450 million related to its stable value fund and $306 million in restructuring costs, which was in part associated with layoffs.
Revenue in the latest quarter was $2.28 billion, down 15 percent from $2.67 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008. Fee revenue fell 19 percent to $1.53 billion, while interest revenue fell 17 percent to $697 million.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected a profit of 97 cents per share on revenue of $2.17 billion.
EBay Inc. said its fourth-quarter earnings climbed, bolstered by growth in its PayPal payments business and a holiday shopping season that was healthier than the year before. The company also logged a large gain from the November sale of its Skype telecommunications business.
EBay, which runs online auctions and e-commerce sites, has been working to improve the shopping experience on its main site. During the holiday season, it tried to attract customers by focusing on deals from sellers who included free shipping and guaranteed returns on new items. It also promoted products that were new but not the latest model, emphasizing another way shoppers could get name-brand products at steep savings.
In the fourth quarter, eBay’s earnings, excluding one-time items such as a $1.4 billion gain from the Skype sale, totaled 44 cents per share - 4 cents more than what analysts polled by Thomson expected.
Including those one-time items, eBay earned $1.36 billion, or $1.02 per share, compared with $367 million, or 29 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
EBay, based in San Jose, Calif., said revenue rose 16 percent to $2.37 billion, slightly above the $2.29 billion that analysts were expecting.
In eBay’s biggest segment - which includes eBay.com, Shopping.com, and other e-commerce sites - revenue rose 15 percent to $1.5 billion, helped by more sales of fixed-price items and an increase in international sales.
Chipmaker Skyworks Solutions Inc. said its fiscal first-quarter profit and sales rose, boosted in part by the “exploding’’ demand for mobile Internet applications.
For the three months ended Jan. 1, the Woburn company earned $28 million, or 16 cents per share, up 19 percent from $23.6 million, or 14 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Excluding tax adjustments, share-based compensation expense and other special items, the company earned 27 cents per share in the latest quarter.
Revenue rose 17 percent to $245.1 million from $210.2 million.
Analysts, on average, expected profit of 25 cents per share on sales of $240.9 million, according to a poll by Thomson. Analysts typically exclude one-time items from their estimates.
Caffeine lovers visited Starbucks Corp. more often - and spent more money when they did - during its fiscal first quarter, the world’s largest coffee chain said, more than tripling its profit.
The Seattle company that made grande and venti household words earned $241.5 million, or 32 cents per share, for the three months that ended in late December. During the same period last year, when the recession was in full force and Starbucks was closing stores and laying off workers to cut costs, its profit was $64.3 million, or 9 cents per share.
Starbucks’ revenue rose 4 percent to $2.72 billion, up from $2.62 billion.
“It was really excellent,’’ chief financial officer Troy Alstead said in an interview. “You hear us always say we’re never done. But we’re extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made.’’
Analysts surveyed by Thomson expected Starbucks to earn 28 cents per share on revenue of $2.65 billion.
Meanwhile, during its most recent quarter, Starbucks said its sales in stores open at least a year rose 4 percent for the quarter after two years of steady declines.