Noble doubles profit on improved drilling revenue
(5:31 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Offshore oil driller Noble Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207690683/composite NE -6.38% , citing stronger contract drilling services revenue, reported late Wednesday its first-quarter profit rose to $120.2 million, or 47 cents a share, from $54.5 million, or 21 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue for the three months ended March 31 rose nearly 38% to $797.7 million from $578.9 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had predicted the company would earn 41 cents a share on $803 million in revenue. The company's share price is down 13% over the past 12 months, compared with an 18% decline by its peers in the Philadelphia Oil Sector Service Index /zigman2/quotes/210598360/realtime OSX -1.68% . Noble is incorporated in Zug, Switzerland.
Stanley Black & Decker posts 23% lower profit
(5:13 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Tool maker Stanley Black & Decker Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206369278/composite SWK -1.21% reported late Wednesday its first-quarter profit fell 23% to $121.8 million, or 72 cents a share, from $158.7 million, or 92 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted to exclude $82.7 million in one-time merger and acquisition charges, the company earned $1.09 a share. Revenue for the quarter rose 12% to $2.65 billion from $2.36 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet, who cite adjusted earnings, expected the New Britain, Conn.-based company to earn $1.12 a share on $2.63 billion in revenue. Stanley Black & Decker shares fell 3.9% to $75.46 in after-hours trade. The stock was up 16% year-to-date ahead of the report.
American Express profit up as card spending rises
(4:54 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- American Express /zigman2/quotes/203805826/composite AXP -0.42% on Wednesday reported first-quarter profit grew 7% to $1.3 billion, or $1.07 a share, up from $1.2 billion, or 97 cents a share, in the same 2011 period. Revenue rose 8% to $7.6 billion on higher cardmember spending. The report topped Wall Street's view. "Spending on the American Express network rose 12%, remaining strong throughout the quarter, both in the U.S. and internationally. Credit quality continues to be among the best we have ever experienced," CEO Kenneth Chenault said in a statement. On March 26, American Express hiked its quarterly dividend 11% to 20 cents a share. The stock is up 23% since Jan. 1, making it the fourth-best among the 30 stocks on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.0033% . Shares traded up 19 cents to $58.23 in after-hours action.
Lam Research profit falls 75%
(4:30 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Lam Research Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208077897/composite LRCX -2.93% on Wednesday reported a profit of $45.6 million, or 38 cents a share for the quarter ended March 25, compared with a profit of $182.2 million, or $1.45 a share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue was $659 million, down from $809 million. Adjusted profit was 50 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 45 cents a share, on revenue of $642.4 million, according to a consensus survey by FactSet Research.
Yum Brands posts sharply higher profit
(4:28 PM ET) CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Continued strong growth in China and solid results in the U.S helped Yum Brands propel its first quarter sharply higher, the fast-food company said Wednesday. Yum earned $458 million, or 96 cents a share, on the period, up from $264 million, or 54 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding items, the company would have earned 76 cents a share. Revenue hit $2.74 billion, a 13% gain. The average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet Research had been for Yum /zigman2/quotes/209029767/composite YUM -0.36% to earn 73 cents a share on revenue of $2.71 billion. The company also hiked its 2012 full-year profit growth forecast to 12%.
F5 Networks Q2 profit, revenue top estimates
(4:23 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- F5 Networks Inc. reported late Wednesday a 22% rise in revenue and better-than-expected earnings for its second quarter. The network equipment maker /zigman2/quotes/209237881/composite FFIV +0.74% reported net income of $68.6 million, or 86 cents a share, compared with net income of $55.6 million, or 68 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. Adjusted profit was $1.09 a share. Revenue was $339.6 million, up from $277.6 million. Analysts expected earnings of $1.07 a share and revenue of $335.3 million, according to consensus forecast from FactSet Research. For the third quarter, the company expects to see adjusted earnings of $1.12 to $1.14 a share and revenue of $350 million to $355 million. Analysts expect earnings of $1.14 on revenue of $353.2, according to a FactSet survey. Shares of F5 Networks fell 2.7% in after hours dealings.
EBay reports 20% earnings increase
(4:23 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- EBay Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204653455/composite EBAY -2.58% on Wednesday reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $570 million, or 44 cents a share, on $3.3 billion in revenue. During the same period a year ago, the online retailer earned $476 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $2.55 billion. Excluding one-time items, eBay would have earned $725 million, or 55 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had forecast eBay to earn 52 cents a share on $3.15 billion in revenue.
VMware profit rises 52%
(4:14 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- VMware Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209864107/composite VMW -1.41% on Wednesday reported first-quarter profit of $191.4 million, or 44 cents a share, compared with a profit of $125.8 million, or 29 cents a share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue was $1.06 billion, up from $843.7 million. Adjusted profit was 66 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 59 cents a share, on revenue of $1.02 billion, according to a consensus survey by FactSet Research.
U.S. stocks drop on IBM, Intel missteps