US corporate results round up

Caterpillar yesterday cut its 2015 profit outlook and warned the plunge in oil prices would hurt its energy equipment business, sending shares tumbling as much as eight per cent. During the final three months of 2014, Caterpillar’s energy business helped offset falling construction equipment sales and weakness in mining equipment orders due to lower copper, coal and iron ore prices. Profit was lower-than-expected.

Pfizer reported stronger-than-expected quarterly sales due to cost cuts and demand for its vaccines and cancer drugs, but the company forecast 2015 earnings below Wall Street expectations, citing patent expirations and the stronger dollar. The largest US drug-maker said yesterday that it earned $1.23bn (£800m) in the final three months of 2014, compared with $2.57bn a year earlier.

Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s largest arms supplier, forecast 2015 earnings below analysts’ estimates due to lower pension income. Lockheed’s shares fell as much as 2.6 per cent after the company also forecast revenue to decline by as much as 4.6 per cent in 2015. The maker of the F-35 fighter jet, satellites and coastal warships has been hurt as the Pentagon tries to cut about $1 trillion (£658bn) in projected spending.

Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts, publisher of the FIFA and Madden NFL video games, posted better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, helped by growth in digital revenue and strong sales of its sports titles. The company’s shares rose three per cent to $49.92 in extended trading. The company has benefited by offering its popular PC and online games on mobile devices – a high-margin “freemium” model.

AT&T yesterday reported higher revenue in the final three months of 2014, slightly above Wall Street forecasts. The second-largest US wireless carrier posted a net loss of $4bn (£2.6bn), or 77 cents per share, compared with net income $6.9bn, or $1.31 per share in the same period a year ago. Revenue rose to $34.4bn in the last three months of 2014 from $33.16bn the year before.

Danaher yesterday reported rising sales in the final three months of 2014. Revenues increased to $5.42bn (£3.56bn) from $5.27bn in the period a year earlier. However, net earnings dropped to $661.7m from $789.3m in the same period last year. Earnings per share fell to $0.92 from $1.11. The company expects adjusted net earnings per share for the three months to March to be between $0.90 to $0.94.