Dow Drops After China Data and Earnings Reports
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.2% lower in early afternoon trading after earnings releases and disappointing Chinese manufacturing data hit the news feeds. According to the HSBC/Markit Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers' index, China's manufacturing sector contracted slightly from 50.5 in December to 49.6 this month -- below analyst expectations of 50.3. In other news, weekly initial unemployment claims rose 1,000 to 326,000, which checked in below expectations of 330,000. Here are two companies reporting quarterly results today.
Johnson Controls is trading 3.7% lower today despite posting a surge in profits. The company reported earnings per share of $0.69 in its first fiscal quarter of 2014 -- a 33% increase over the previous year's quarter.
Part of the company's surge is from its automotive experience business, which is thriving as the automotive industry continues its rebound. The quarter saw net sales for the segment rise 10% to $5.8 billion, while income was up 130% to $232 million.
During the quarter the company also returned value to shareholders by increasing its dividend by 16% and repurchasing $1.2 billion worth of shares as part of a three-year, $3.6 billion share repurchase program.
Going forward, the company expects second-quarter earnings per share to come in between $0.64 and $0.66, roughly a 45% increase. Segment income is also expected to rise 15% for the rest of the fiscal year.
Lockheed Martin , down 3.4%, is feeling the pinch from the government defense budget cuts and reported a sales decline in the fourth quarter. Net sales dropped from $12.1 billion in the year-ago quarter to $11.5 billion. Net earnings also declined from $569 million, or $1.73 per diluted share, to $488 million, or $1.50 per diluted share.
"Our employees delivered exceptional performance for our customers in 2013 resulting in record backlog, earnings, and profit margin as well as strong cash generation," Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson said in a press release. "Looking ahead to 2014, we will continue our focus on improving operational efficiency, reducing our cost structure, investing in innovations to address our customers' future challenges and returning value to our shareholders."
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