Archive for July, 2010

BP hopes to turn page with new CEO, leaner company (AP)

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 | Finance News

NEW ORLEANS – BP officials say they are beginning to reinvent a company that reported a record $17 billion quarterly loss and is navigating the politically fraught task of making the Gulf of Mexico new.

The company named its first American CEO on Tuesday during its quarterly earnings call, while its outgoing chief, who has been repeatedly criticized for other verbal miscues, miffed the White House anew on his way out.

Robert Dudley, who will replace Tony Hayward on Oct. 1, promised changes in light of the environmental disaster.

One certain change is that BP will become smaller. It announced it will sell $30 billion in assets and has set aside $32.2 billion to cover costs from the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

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LG Electronics’ 2Q net profit falls 33 percent (AP)

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 | Finance News

SEOUL, South Korea – LG Electronics, a top global manufacturer of flat screen televisions and mobile handsets, said second-quarter net profit fell by a third amid a decline in sales and weaker profitability for phones.

LG Electronics, the world's third-biggest maker of flat screen TVs, earned 856 billion won ($722.4 million) in the three months ended June 30, it said Wednesday in a regulatory filing. That was down 33 percent from a net profit of 1.28 trillion won a year earlier.

Sales in the second quarter fell a marginal 0.7 percent to 14.4 trillion won from 14.5 trillion won a year earlier.

Seoul-based LG Electronics Inc. said that sales of flat screen televisions rose 47 percent to 6.3 million sets from the year before.

Mobile phone handset sales rose 2 percent to 30.6 million units, while revenue fell 31 percent to 3.38 trillion won, the company said in the release and presentation materials for investors.

LG cited lower average selling prices in developed markets and money spent on research and development and marketing for lower profitability in its mobile communications business, which includes phones.

The company ranks No. 3 behind South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co and Japan's Sony Corp. in flat screen TVs. It is also the world's third-largest manufacturer of mobile phones behind Nokia Corp. of Finland and Samsung, which holds the No. 2 spot.

Sales in LG's home appliance, business solutions and air conditioning businesses all rose, the company said.

Looking ahead, LG Electronics said it expects overall "modest growth" in the third quarter in line with the ongoing world economic recovery. For its home entertainment business, which includes televisions, it said sales increases would be "steady."

Shares in LG Electronics, which released results during afternoon trading, fell 3.4 percent to 100,500 won with about 40 minutes remaining in the session. The shares rose 62 percent in 2009.

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Boston Properties 2Q FFO falls to $156.9M (AP)

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 | Finance News

BOSTON – Boston Properties Inc. said Tuesday its second-quarter funds from operations declined versus a year ago as the office real estate investment trust faced higher expenses and weaker rental revenue.

The company posted funds from operations, or FFO, of $156.9 million, or $1.12 a share, down from $166.7 million, or $1.32 a share, in the same period a year earlier.

FFO, which adds such items as amortization and depreciation back to net income, is considered a key measure of strength for real estate investment trusts because it provides a more accurate picture of cash performance.

Boston Properties' FFO for the latest quarter includes 8 cents a share related to non-cash deferred management fees from the termination of a property management and leasing agreement. The prior-year quarter included 10 cents a share related to lease termination income and a non-cash charge of 5 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who generally exclude one-time items, were expecting FFO of $1 a share.

The company reported net income of $61.4 million, or 44 cents a share, down from net income of $67.2 million, or 53 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue climbed 1.7 percent to about $396 million from $389.5 million.

Analysts were predicting revenue of $367.2 million.

Rental revenue slipped to $366.6 million from $373.1 million during the quarter.

As of June 30, the company's portfolio consisted of 144 properties, 139 of which were in service with 93 percent of their space being leased.

Boston Properties forecast third-quarter FFO of $1.01 to $1.03 a share. Analysts are expecting FFO of $1.02 a share.

The company forecast full-year FFO of $4.24 to $4.29 a share. Analysts are forecasting $4.12 a share.

Shares in Boston Properties were unchanged in aftermarket trading after falling 12 cents to $81.63 during the regular session.

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