US corporate results round up

PepsiCo serves up sweet results
PepsiCo yesterday reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by increased sales at its Frito-Lay snack business which makes Doritos and Walkers crisps, and said it would buy back up to $12bn in stock by 2018. The company also raised its annual dividend by 7.3 per cent to $2.81 per share and said it expected to return between $8.5bn and $9bn to shareholders through payouts and buybacks this year.

Aol fails to dial up revenue growth
Former internet giant Aol last night said it expects display advertising revenue in the US to decline in the first half of the year, after reporting a lower-than-expected quarterly revenue. The owner of the Huffington Post and the TechCrunch blog said total revenue rose 4.6 per cent to $710.3m, short of the average analyst estimate of $721.8m. Aol managed to earn 92 cents per share, above analysts’ estimates.

Cisco switches on higher profits
Network equipment maker Cisco Systems reported a seven per cent rise in quarterly revenue last night, helped by higher demand for switching equipment and routers. The company’s profit rose to $2.4bn, or 46 cents per share, in the second quarter ended 24 January, from $1.43bn, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier. Its revenue rose to $11.94bn from $11.16bn. Shares rose four per cent during after hours trading.

BGC finance chief to step down
US interdealer broker BGC Partners yesterday said its finance chief Graham Sadler would retire along with fourth quarter results in line with expectations. The group posted earnings of 18 cents per share, matching analysts estimates, and revenues of $515.5m, above estimates of $509.5m. The company said it would begin a search for a new chief executive immediately and Sadler would stay until a successor is found.

MarkIt counts more customers
London-headquartered financial information services group MarkIt yesterday posted an 11.3 per cent rise in fourth quarter revenue to $271.4m. “I am particularly pleased by our strong customer retention and our ability to attract new customers in significant numbers,” said chairman and chief executive Lance Uggla. Adjusted core earnings grew 15 per cent to $124.7m for the quarter to 31 December.

High end car chips boost Nvidia
Nvidia last night posted higher quarterly results that beat analyst expectations, sending shares in the graphics chipmaker higher. Nvidia is trying to expand its graphics technology beyond the sluggish PC industry with its line of chips for mobile and for cars. The firm reported fourth-quarter revenue of $1.25bn, up nine per cent from a year ago and above an expected $1.203bn. Earnings per share were 43 cents.