US corporate results round-up

Harley beats in spite of sales dip
Harley-Davidson reported lower quarterly earnings yesterday as it revamped production at its largest factory, but the motorcycle maker kept its full-year forecast for shipments unchanged.

Net earnings fell to $134m (£84m), from $183.6m a year ago, and revenues dropped to $1.25bn. Both figures were slightly ahead of Wall Street forecasts. Harley also said it was attracting more female customers to its iconic hogs.

UPS profit falls in third quarter
UNITED Parcel Service (UPS) reported lower quarterly profit yesterday, citing slowing global trade, and said there was “some uncertainty” about the strength of the coming holiday season. Earnings per share at UPS, the world’s largest package delivery group, matched estimates, but quarterly revenue fell from a year ago. UPS earnings declined to $469m in the third quarter, from $1.07bn a year earlier.

Whirlpool ups earnings outlook
WHIRLPOOL reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit yesterday as it benefited from price increases and improved productivity, prompting the world’s largest appliance maker to raise its earnings outlook for the year. Whirlpool’s third-quarter net earnings fell to $74m, from $177m a year earlier. The firm’s sales fell to $4.5bn from $4.63bn, ahead of forecasts following a price hike over the summer.

Printer maker Lexmark impresses
Printer maker Lexmark yesterday reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings due to lower restructuring charges and said margins were rising as it switches its focus to software and imaging.

Sales fell 11 per cent in the quarter to $919.2m (£576m), but the firm managed to break even, beating forecasts. Lexmark also reported a jump in gross profit margins to 40 per cent from 37.4 per cent a year ago.

Currency woes hit 3M forecasts
DIVERSIFIED manufacturer 3M yesterday reported a 6.7 per cent rise in third-quarter profit but cut its earnings forecast for the full year as acquisition costs and a strengthening dollar hurt margins. The maker of products including Post-It notes said net income was $1.16bn, or $1.65 per share, compared with $1.09bn, or $1.52 per share, a year earlier. 3M now expects to earn $6.27 to $6.35 per share for all of 2012.

Weak margins at Radioshack
US CONSUMER electronics chain RadioShack reported a much wider-than-expected quarterly loss yesterday, hurt by weak margins in its smartphone business. The net loss was $47m in the third quarter, compared with year-earlier net income of $300,000. Excluding impairment charges and other one-time items, the loss was 33 cents a share, while analysts on average were expecting a loss of 17 cents.