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 $1.2 billion under federal anti-trust statutes.
In early December, Marathon Oil (NYSE:$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 $36.7 billion will go towards upstream crude oil and natural gas exploration and production while 7% will go towards downstream operations.
General Electric (NYSE:$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 $4.01 billion year-over-year Q4-2012.
Amazon (NASDAQ:$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.
Pfizer 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.
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)
The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns
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