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Blue Chips Earnings Reports Offer Mixed Results

Several members of the 30 company club that makes up the Dow Jones reported earnings today or yesterday with largely mixed results. Microsoft (MSFT), Intel (INTC), General Electric (GE), and IBM

Several members of the 30 company club that makes up the Dow Jones reported earnings today or yesterday with largely mixed results. Microsoft (MSFT), Intel (INTC), General Electric (GE), and IBM (IBM) all reported earnings that both beat and missed street expectations.

General Electric Misses Estimates

General Electric reported a dip in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011, falling 7.9 percent year-over-year. Revenues for the quarter were $37.97 billion, off from last year’s $41.23 billion and below analyst expectations of $40.03 billion. The dip in revenue can be attributed to the after-effects of last year’s sale of NBC Universal to Comcast (CMCSA), without which revenue would have been up 4 percent. The quarter also saw an 18-percent year-over-year drop in profits, landing at $3.73 billion. However, the profit of $0.39 per share still beat analyst expectations of $0.38 per share, and share prices are off less than 0.1 percent in early trading.

Microsoft Up on Earnings Report

Microsoft saw shares leap almost 4.5 percent after its earnings report for the fiscal second quarter showed positive results.  While the software giant saw a 6-percent drop in sales of Windows as well as a 2 to 4 percent drop in PC unit sales, but the retracting markets there were more than made up for by the business division and sales of Xbox consoles. Microsoft ended up postings profits of $6.62 billion, or $0.78 per share, up from last year’s $0.77 per share. It also beat analyst expectations of $0.76 per share according to a FactSet Research poll.

Intel Shrugs Off Thai Floods for Record Revenues

Intel’s fourth quarter was a strong one, posting a 6 percent increase in profits to $3.4 billion, driven by a 21 percent year-over-year jump in revenue from $11.5 billion to $13.9 billion. “2011 was an exceptional year for Intel…With outstanding execution the company performed superbly, growing revenue by more than $10 billion and eclipsing all annual revenue and earnings records,” Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini said. “With a tremendous product and technology pipeline for 2012, we are excited about the global growth opportunities presented by Ultrabook systems, the data centre, security and the introduction of Intel-powered smartphones and tablets.”

Intel also announced a major shake-up in management, promoting 20-year company veteran Brian Kraznich to the role of COO. The company also announced that Dadi Perlmutter would become the new chief product officer and Kirk Skaugen would be the new PC Client Group chief.

IBM Sees Brighter Future Than Analysts

This may come as a real shocker, but Warren Buffett just made a bunch more money. The billionaire leader of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) revealed the purchase of a massive stake in the computer maker during last year’s third quarter, buying up $10.7 billion in shares. IBM reported a 4 percent increase in net income to $5.5 billion and an 11 percent jump in operating income for an EPS of $4.71. This beat analyst expectations of $4.62  from a Reuters poll by a long shot and helped drive share prices up over 4.5 percent. The jump in share price was also driven by IBM’s new 2012 guidance, which predicted earnings exceeding $14.85 per share, well above Wall Street consensus of $14.76 as found by FactSet Research.

In case you’re wondering, 4.6 percent of $10.7 billion is $492.2 million.

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