US corporate results cheer

Marion Dakers
A BEVY of American corporations posted forecast-beating results yesterday, benefiting from a resurgence in advertising budgets and consumer spending over the Christmas period.

Media giant News Corp said its quarterly net income had jumped from $254m (£157m) to $642m on the strength of its TV businesses, though a $500m settlement charge last year depressed comparable profits. News Corp also revealed a $275m charge for the quarter, mostly due to its restructuring of the loss-making social network MySpace.

Time Warner’s fourth-quarter profit and revenue beat Wall Street expectations, thanks to a 21 per cent jump in cable advertising sales across its networks including CNN.

The group raised its dividend by 11 per cent and increased its stock buyback plan to $5bn, forecasting “low teens” percentage growth for 2011.

And Visa posted a 16 per cent rise in quarterly profit to $884m yesterday, slightly ahead of expectations, with the amount spent on Visa cards up 15 per cent to $897bn for the last three months of 2010. However, Visa shares fell slightly in after-hours trading after the firm failed to address concerns about how the Dodd-Frank financial reforms will limit its sales processing business.