Japan stocks open lower, with earnings dragging
(7:18 PM ET) LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Japanese stocks moved lower in early Wednesday trading, with a weak finish on Wall Street and disappointing earnings at home weighing on the market. The Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -2.66% slipped 0.2% to 8,782.78, while the Topix was flat. Investors took a dim view of several key quarterly financial results released after the market close Tuesday. Among financials, broker Daiwa Securities Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201391978/delayed JP:8601 -3.73% /zigman2/quotes/206649614/composite DSECF -0.0098% fell 1.5% after reporting its fourth straight loss, while Shinsei Bank Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/210166295/delayed JP:8303 -2.63% /zigman2/quotes/209928917/composite SKLKF -0.73% dropped 3.5% after barely breaking even in the previous quarter. Honda Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 -5.01% /zigman2/quotes/207173990/composite HMC -1.80% , which suffered a more-than-40% profit drop due to strength in the Japanese yen and flooding in Thaliand, saw its stock lose 2.4%. Also taking hits after earnings announcements were shares of Toshiba Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205628942/delayed JP:6502 -0.50% /zigman2/quotes/204149068/composite TOSYY -1.41% , which fell 1.2%, Renesas Electronics Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203872935/delayed JP:6723 -4.75% /zigman2/quotes/201351352/composite RNECY -1.55% , which gave up 1.9%, and Fujitsu Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208459594/delayed JP:6702 -2.73% /zigman2/quotes/208783738/composite FJTSY -2.14% , which traded down 3%. Likewise, pharmaceutical major Daiichi Sankyo Co. /zigman2/quotes/207030186/delayed JP:4568 -1.24% /zigman2/quotes/208524651/composite DSKYF -2.38% fell 1.2% in early trading after posting a loss due to weakness in its Indian subsidiary Ranbaxy Laboratories.
C.H. Robinson posts 8% higher profit
(5:00 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203490767/composite CHRW -2.65% , citing higher truckload freight volume, reported late Tuesday fourth-quarter profit rose to $109 million, or 67 cents a share, from $103 million, or 62 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue for the period rose 10% to $2.57 billion from $2.33 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had expected the Minneapolis-based trucking and shipping company to earn 68 cents a share on $2.65 billion in revenue. C.H. Robinson shares fell 5.7% to $64.90 in after-hours trade.
Aflac profit up 25% on Japan growth
(4:48 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Insurer Aflac /zigman2/quotes/208944541/composite AFL -1.50% late Tuesday reported fourth-quarter net income rose 25% to $546 million, or $1.17 a share, from $437 million, or 92 cents a share, in the same 2010 period. Revenue rose nearly 13% to $6 billion, reflecting a stronger yen-to-dollar exchange rate. Aflac had sales of $4.9 billion in Japan during the quarter. CEO Daniel Amos said the insurer expects its Japan sales to slip 2% to 5% this year after growing at an 18.6% rate during 2011. Aflac said U.S. sales should increase 3% to 8% this year. They grew 3.8% in 2011. Aflac shares fell 1.5% to $47.50 in after-hours trade. The stock is up 11% since Jan. 1.
Seagate Technology earnings surge to $563 million
(4:17 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Seagate Technology /zigman2/quotes/201824240/composite STX -1.80% on Tuesday reported a fiscal second-quarter profit of $563 million, or $1.28 a share, on revenue of $3.2 billion. During the same period a year ago, the computer hard disk-drive maker earned $150 million, or 31 cents a share, on $2.7 billion in sales. Excluding one-time items, Seagate would have earned $581 million, or $1.32 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had forecast Seagate to earn $1.06 a share on $3.14 billion in revenue.
Broadcom shares jump on outlook
(4:14 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Broadcom Corp.on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter profit of $254 million, or 45 cents a share, compared with a profit of $266 million, or 47 cents a share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue was $1.82 billion, down from $1.95 billion. Adjusted income was 68 cents a share. Analysts had expected the chip company to report earnings of 64 cents a share, on revenue of $1.81 billion, according to a consensus survey by FactSet Research. For the current quarter, the company expects revenue of $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.73 billion, according to data from FactSet Research. Broadcom shares were up more than 2% in after-hours trading.
Amazon earnings fall; sales disappoint
(4:05 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Amazon.com reported a sharp drop in earnings for the fourth quarter despite a strong gain in revenue, though the final earnings results came in ahead of Wall Street's estimates. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -3.01% reported net income of $177 million, or 38 cents a share, compared to net income of $416 million, or 91 cents a share, for the same period the previous year. Revenue jumped to $17.4 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $18.3 billion, according to consensus estimates from FactSet Research. Amazon said it expects revenue to come in the range of $12 billion to $13.4 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $13.4 billion for the period.
S&P places AMD rating on upgrade watch
(1:45 PM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Standard & Poor's Rating Services on Tuesday said it has placed Advanced Micro Devices's /zigman2/quotes/208144392/composite AMD -2.22% B+ corporate credit rating on credit watch with positive implications. S&P said the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chip company has "demonstrated higher and more stable levels of profitability over the past two years than in prior periods." Shares of AMD edged up 0.5% to $6.77 in afternoon trades.
Parexel soars 16% on financial forecast
(11:30 AM ET) BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- Shares of Parexel International Corp.soared 16% to $23.82 Friday morning, the day after it tightened its fiscal 2012 financial outlook. The research-services provider said that it now sees service revenue coming in between $1.36 billion and $1.38 billion, down slightly from its previous forecast of $1.36 billion and $1.39 billion. Earnings are expected between $1.01 to $1.09 a share versus its earlier view of 99 cents to $1.14 a share. Adjusted earnings should come in between $1.09 and $1.17 a share, up from its prior view of $1.07 to $1.22. In related news, analysts at BB&T Capital Markets raised their rating of the stock on Tuesday to buy from hold.
Avery Dennison's shares tumble on weak Q4 results
(11:13 AM ET) NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - Shares of Avery Dennison Corp /zigman2/quotes/200970384/composite AVY -1.95% , the global manufacturer of paper and office products, dropped 6.5%, or $1.85, to $27 on Tuesday as the company's fourth-quarter profits and its 2012 forecast fell short of analyst estimates. Net income was $22.2 million, or 21 cents per share, down 81% from the $114.2 million, or $1.06 per share, posted a year earlier. Adjusted income was 39 cents a shares, but that was below the 46 cents expected from analysts polled by FactSet Research. The company said it expected adjusted earnings per share in 2012 from continuing operations between $1.80 and $2.15, but the FactSet estimate was for earnings of $2.54. The company was the worst performing stock in the S&P 500 Tuesday.
McKesson shares up on earnings, buyback
(10:57 AM ET) LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Shares of McKesson Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206975466/composite MCK -1.06% climbed more than 4% Tuesday, making it the third-best performing stock in the S&P 500, after the drug distributor reported third-quarter earnings that beat estimates and announced it would repurchase another $650 million in stock. McKesson said net income for the quarter was $300 million, or $1.20 a share, on sales of $30.8 billion. Last year, the company earned $155 million, or 60 cents a share, on sales of $28.2 billion. McKesson said adjusted income was $1.40 a share, 2 cents ahead of estimates from analysts polled by FactSet Research. The share buyback is part of a $1.5 billion repurchase effort.
Paccar shares gain on profit beat
(10:37 AM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Paccar /zigman2/quotes/207923670/composite PCAR -1.28% shares rose 3% to $45.70 early Tuesday, making the stock one of the leading percentage gainers on the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.72% . The maker of Kenworth heavy-duty commercial trucks outran Wall Street's fourth-quarter profit view, earning 91 cents a share compared to the 79 cents analysts had forecast. Paccar said the truck market in the U.S. and Canada will improve further this year although it does expect weaker orders from Europe. Paccar is expanding operations in Brazil, Russia, China and India. And its shares continue to rebound after scraping a 52-week low of $31.57 last fall. The stock is up 22% since the start of the year.
RadioShack shares drop 30% after forecast
(10:34 AM ET) NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - Shares of RadioShack Corpplunged 30%, or $3.03, to $7.20 on Tuesday, a day after the electronics retailer said its fourth-quarter quarter earnings per share would be 11 cents to 13 cents, versus the expected 36 cents by analysts surveyed by FactSet. Janney Capital Markets downgraded the shares to neutral from buy and gave a fair value estimate at $7. Analysts at Janney said it was unclear when gross margin will bottom out and cited concerns over the firm's weak performance around post-paid business with Sprint /zigman2/quotes/208685669/composite S -0.40% , its biggest carrier partner. In the fourth quarter, RadioShack's gross margin narrowed to 35% from 41% a year ago.
Mattel lifts dividend 35%; shares gain 6%
(10:08 AM ET) SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Mattel /zigman2/quotes/209819189/composite MAT -1.24% shares rose almost 6% to $31.20 early Tuesday after the world's No. 1 toymaker raised its annual dividend 35% to $1.24 a share from 92 cents a share. A quarterly dividend of 31 cents will be paid March 9 to stockholders of record on Feb. 23. The Barbie and Hot Wheels maker also said fourth-quarter net income rose 14% to $370.6 million from the same 2010 period, beating analyst expectations. Sales inched up 1% to $2.15 million. Mattel appears to have fared better than rivals Hasbro /zigman2/quotes/201249319/composite HAS -2.81% and Jakks Pacific /zigman2/quotes/209633806/composite JAKK -5.46% during the 2011 holiday season. Citing NPD data, Mattel said it had four of the top five selling toy properties. Mattel shares, trading at five-year and 52-week highs, are up 32% over the last 12 months.