US corporate results round-up

Slowing economy hurts McDonald’s

FAST-FOOD chain McDonald's reported lower than expected quarterly profit yesterday, hurt by a slowing global economy and the impact of a stronger dollar.

The company said that net income fell 4.5 per cent to $1.35bn (£870m), and the impact of the stronger dollar ate into earnings in the latest quarter, while higher taxes also weighed on profits.

Same-restaurant sales rose 3.6 per cent in the United States and 3.8 per cent in Europe in the second quarter, helped by advertising promotions.

Analysts expected gains of 3.5 per cent in the US and 2.4 per cent for Europe – though the firm warned this pace of growth was unlikely to continue for the rest of the year.

Halliburton beats Wall Street forecasts

OIL and gas services company Halliburton topped Wall Street’s second quarter profit forecasts yesterday, despite the fall in oil prices.

Profits reached $737m (£474.8m) – just shy of last year’s $739m – following warnings by chief executive David Lesar that severe shortages of a crucial hydraulic fracturing fluid guar would depress profits.

Revenue rose 22 per cent to $7.2bn, well above the $6.96bn analysts had predicted.

On Halliburtons's strategic hoarding of guar, Lesar said that shifting the stockpile is like moving a “pig through a python” and that: “I supported the decision and I will take the heat for it”.

The firm kept steady its plans for the year, predicting between $3.6bn and $3.8bn capital expenditure.

Coca-Cola bottler hit by dollar’s strength

COCA-COLA Enterprises posted disappointing lower quarterly earnings yesterday as it revealed a full-year earnings forecast mostly below Wall Street estimates.

Hurt by cool weather in Europe, a French excise tax increase and a stronger US dollar, net income fell to $205m (£132m) in the second quarter from $246m a year earlier.

Net sales fell more than eight per cent to $2.21bn, with flat underlying turnover wiped out by the currency fluctuations.

The company does all its business in Europe, so the strengthening of the American dollar reduces the value of its revenue and profit.

The company said it expects to repurchase at least $600m of its shares by the end of the year.