Addressing the Billions Underserved

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No Organic Growth for Chemical Giants

A federal jury in the U.S has ordered Dow Chemical (NYSE:$DOW) to pay $400 million in fines over price fixing of urethane. Several companies were named in the $1 billion class action law suit filed by urethane buyers but Dow was the only one that had not settled. Other defendants in the case included Bayer AG, Huntsman Corp’s (NYSE:$HUN) Huntsman International and BASF SE. Dow will try to have the lawsuit dismissed in a post-trial motion.  However, if the verdict is sustained by the judge, then the $400 million could potentially become $1.2 billion under federal anti-trust statutes.

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Chevron Trapped by Gorgon and the Aussie Dollar

In early December, Marathon Oil (NYSE:$MRO) announced a $5.2 billion capital budget for 2013 and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:$COP) plans to invest $15.8 billion in the next year. But the biggest announcement came from Chevron (NYSE:$CVX) which will make investments of $36.7 billion in 2013, which is 12% more than its planned budget for 2012–$3.3 billion of which is allocated for its affiliates. About 90% of $36.7 billion will go towards upstream crude oil and natural gas exploration and production while 7% will go towards downstream operations.619196-gorgon-project

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A Slimmer GE Brings New Profits to Life

General Electric (NYSE:$GE) delivered strong results for the final quarter of its fiscal year 2012. Analysts had estimated an EPS of $0.42 from revenues of $38.74 billion. The company delivered an EPS of $0.38 cents and revenues of $39.33 billion. Excluding extraordinary items, the quarterly revenues increased 3.6%. Quarterly profits increased from $3.73 to $4.01 billion year-over-year Q4-2012.ge.manufacturing.sensorx519

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Amazon Continues to Confound Critics

a.com_logo_RGBAmazon (NASDAQ:$AMZN) recently released its quarterly results in which its sales increased by 22% to $21.3 billion – approximately $12 billion in North America and $9 billion overseas – but it missed analysts’ estimate by $900 million and the market’s reaction was brutal; causing its shares to drop by 6% in the trading day. The company’s net income dropped by 45.2% to $97 million, an EPS of $0.21 which was 7 cents below analysts’ estimates. But the numbers are nearly meaningless because Amazon’s business model continues to confound valuation metrics.

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Pfizer Fights Patent Losses With Divestments

110Pfizer Inc (PFE), the world’s biggest pharmaceutical company, posted an enormous increase in quarterly profits from $1.4 billion in Q4-2011 to $6.3 billion in Q4-2012 because of the $11.85 billion cash sale of its infant nutrition unit to Nestle. Pfizer completed the sale in November and booked the whole gain of $4.83 billion. The company was also able to lower its costs and expenses and as a result performed better than analysts’ estimates. Excluding one-off items, Pfizer’s adjusted quarterly earnings were $3.52 billion or $0.47 per share which off 6.9% year over year. The company is still recuperating from the loss of patent of some of its best drugs such as Geodon, Xalatan and, of course, Lipitor.

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Peter Pham is an author, international fund manager, and a registered financial director by the Cayman Monetary Authority (CIMA). In 2013 he published his first book entitled, The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns. He currently manages the portfolio of a global hedge fund and runs an asset management company, Phoenix Capital.  (read more)

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