USA (calendar Q4)

  • DirecTV
    America's largest satellite broadcaster controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, reported narrowed losses as it won new subscribers. The deficit shrank to $283 million (€217.14m; £150.13m) compared with $310m in the same quarter last year. Revenues rose 22% to $3.4bn from $2.75bn a year ago.
        Boasted ceo Chase Carey: "While we considered 2004 a transition year, DirecTV US added more new customers in 2004 than any other pay television service in the country. "We have generated sustained growth at DirecTV, having added more than 400,000 net new customers for the fourth consecutive quarter."
        DirecTV ended the year with 13.94m subscribers, while net churn (subscriber turnover) rose to 1.6% from 1.51%. The cost of adding subscribers rose to $669 per customer from $638 a year ago.

    Global (fiscal Q2)
  • Microsoft
    The technology titan reported total global quarterly revenues of $10.82 billion (€8.3bn; £5.74bn), a year-on-year increase of nearly 7%, while net income jumped to $3.46bn.
        The home and entertainment division enjoyed its first-ever profit, with earnings of $84m, compared to a loss of $397m the year before. However, the division, based largely on the Xbox console, is not projected to reach sustained profitability until 2007.
        The mobile and embedded devices division cut its losses from $110m to $4m during the quarter, while revenues jumped by 44%. Overall, the company's new businesses, which also include business applications software and the MSN internet service, reported a profit of $181m, compared to a loss of $741m the year before.
        The bedrock of Microsoft's growth remains PC shipments. These increased by 12%, compared with the company's expectation of an increase of 7-9%. Server shipments rose by 15% compared with a forecast of 13.5%.
        This trend is expected to continue over the next six months, prompting Microsoft to lift its revenue projections for the current fiscal to $39.8-to $40bn, an increase of 8%-9%.

    Global (calendar Q4)
  • Procter & Gamble
    The world's largest household products maker reported sales and earnings growth ahead of its long-term targets. The results also benefited from the weak dollar and cost-cutting.
        Net earnings rose to $2 billion (€1.53bn; £1.06bn), slightly ahead of analysts' estimates.
        Sales volume, excluding acquisitions and divestitures, rose by 8% with all geographic regions posting volume growth of mid-single digits or greater. Developing markets grew at rates "in the high teens". Overall net sales rose 9% to $14.45bn, including a 3% benefit from foreign exchange.
        Says ceo Alan G Laffley: "The steps we've been taking to offset the impact of higher material costs and the continued strength of our innovation pipeline give us confidence to raise our earnings outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year."

    Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff