Wall Street Brief: Microsoft and Google Fall Short, General Electric’s EPS Soars

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After a rough earnings report, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) pulled it together for its earnings call on Thursday and said its mobile business run rate, which includes ads and Google Play, climbed to $8 billion a year, up from the previous year’s $2.5 billion. Shares fell 8 percent in trading yesterday after its Q3 earnings report was accidentally released early. It had greatly missed expectations.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reported its FQ1 net profit fell 22 percent to $4.47 billion as sales dropped 8 percent to $16.01 billion. This missed estimates along with the $0.53 EPS. Earnings had been hit by a 33% sales drop at Microsoft’s Windows division thanks to deferred revenue prior to its Windows 8 launch and declining PC market.

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General Electric’s (NYSE:GE) Q3 earnings missed estimates even with operating EPS soaring 50 percent to $0.36 and revenue inching up 3 percent to $36.3 billion. GE Capital’s profits increased 11 percent as revenues fell 5 percent; commercial lending and leasing was a weak area. GE’s infrastructure orders dropped 5 percent to $21.5 billion on a fall in wind turbine bookings.

Sony (NYSE:SNE) will slash its workforce by 3,800 in Japan by March 2013 as announcing previous restructuring plans to cut employees by 10,000. Sony will shut down a Japanese camera-lens and mobile-phone factory, leading to savings of YEN 30 billion ($378.6 million) annually. Approximately 2,000 jobs will be cut in Europe with half of them coming at Sony’s previous mobile joint venture with Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC).

Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) has purchased a 10 percent stake in Australia’s GrainCorp (NYSE:GNC) and wants to go even further by starting discussions to buy the whole company. Analysts think ADM may get involved in a bidding war. ADM bought shares for A$11.75 ($12.17) each in the market, representing a 33 percent premium to Thursday’s close. This gave GrainCorp an A$2.7 billion  valuation.

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