Financial Roundup: Major Marketers

16 August 2004

Global (fiscal Q3)

  • Hewlett Packard
        The computer giant achieved a revenue rise of 9% to $18.9 billion (€15.5bn; £10.4bn) for the quarter ending July 31. Despite almost doubling its earnings at $581m (excluding special items), the results are far worse than analysts had expected.
       Ceo Carly Fiorina blamed the disappointing quarter on 'unacceptable execution' in the server and storage unit that dampened otherwise reasonable results in the company's PC, printer and software businesses.
       As HP shares fell 13%, rival Dell Computer boasted fiscal Q2 earnings that matched its recently improved forecast. Its optimism was extended to a forecast of continued corporate sales growth following the 20% sales increase and 29% rise in earnings of the second quarter.

    Global (calendar Q2)
  • Lufthansa
        The German airline recorded a net loss of €23 million ($28m; £15.4m) for the second quarter as it felt the effect of losses at travel and tourism group Thomas Cook, in which it owns a 50% stake. A larger than expected tax bill also added to Lufthansa's woes.
       The Frankfurt-based company nevertheless remains confident of a full-year profit following last year's deficit of €1bn, although rising oil prices have subdued the optimism somewhat. The company has accordingly reworded its full-year operating profits forecast from 'at least' to 'around' €300m.

    Global (calendar Q2)
  • Wal-Mart
        The globe's biggest retailer, and for three years running the largest company in the USA, posted net profits to match its size.
       Its net income of $2.65 billion (€2.2bn; £1.5bn) represents a year-on-year rise of 8.5%. Total revenue also climbed 11% to $470.47bn, while international operating profits soared by 33% to $748m.
       Cheaper buying costs from overseas sourcing and tighter inventories both contributed to strong company earnings, despite rising fuel costs and a tightening of consumers' belts.

    Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online and Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff