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Stock futures, having braved the economic storm brewed earlier in the week, continued to post gains in Wednesday’s pre-market trading after closing Tuesday on a higher note. Investors are looking ahead to pending home sales data due to be released later in the morning, and for Ben Bernanke to testify before the House Financial Services Committee.
U.S. futures at 9:00 a.m.: DJIA: +0.06%, S&P 500: +0.04%, NASDAQ: +0.10%.
Target (NYSE:TGT) fell as much as 2.73 percent after reporting fourth-quarter and fiscal 2012 earnings before the opening bell. Total revenues for the quarter increased 6.8 percent, year over year, to $22.7 billion, but the growth was undermined by a 7.8 percent increase in cost of sales. Net earnings decreased 2.0 percent for earnings of $1.47 per diluted share. Total revenues for the year increased 5.1 percent based on a 5.7 percent increase in the cost of sales. Full-year earnings were $4.52 per diluted share, a 5.6 percent increase, but Target had 3.0 percent fewer diluted shares outstanding. Net earnings increased just 2.4 percent for the year.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results on Tuesday morning that sent the stock up only fractionally. For the year, AB InBev reported organic revenue growth of 7.2 percent and gross profit growth of 8.5 percent. Earnings grew 23.4 percent to $4.53 per share, while gross margin increased 71 basis points to 58.6 percent. For the fourth quarter, organic revenue grew 7.4 percent, year over year, while gross profit grew 8.8 percent. Earnings per share decreased 5.2 percent to $1.10.
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