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Aetna (NYSE:AET) released third quarter 2012 earnings per share of $1.55, beating estimates by $0.21. Shares closed up 1.09 percent Thursday, as CEO Mark Bertolini says “Our emerging business strategy continues to see positive results from collaboration with providers, including lower costs, higher care quality and added membership for our core businesses.” Revenue was up 6 percent for the quarter compared to 2011, at $8.89 billion.
Proctor & Gamble (NYSE:PG) released first quarter fiscal 2012 earnings that came mostly in line with estimates. Earnings per share were $0.96, with revenue falling 4 percent year over year to $20.74 billion, missing estimates by just $40 million. The good news is that organic sales are up 2 percent for the quarter, reflected in four out of five business segments, while costs were down about 0.9 percent. Shares closed up 2.92 percent Thursday.
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ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) released third quarter 2012 earnings per share that beat by $0.31, coming in at $1.44. Quarterly production was down slightly to 1.525 BOE per day, but the company is expecting fourth quarter growth from developing projects in North America, particularly at Eagle Ford and the Bakken formation. For the year-to-date, earnings were $7 billion, compared to $9 billion for the period in 2011. The stock price closed up nearly 2.16 percent Thursday.
Meanwhile, Ford (NYSE:F) closed up over 2 percent in Thursday’s trading as it pursues plant closures in Europe to cut mounting costs in the region. Analysts and investors both seem to favor the quick action after months of losses.
To rain on the parade, Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) released a third quarter 2012 preview after the bell on Wednesday, and the stock closed down over 10 percent Thursday as a result. The company announced some executive shuffling, and will be losing executive vice president of U.S. operations Tim Sheehan at the end of the month, and U.S. business president Mike Vitelli at the end of the year. In its third quarter update, the company expects comparable store sales to decline between 3.2 and 5.3 percent, and gross profit to decline over 1 percent. The company will release its results on November 20 before the bell.
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