Friday's Early Headlines
- GDP Final Revision in Q4 Lower Than Expected -- The second and final revision to fourth quarter gross domestic product showed that the U.S. economy grew by 5.6% in the last three months of 2009, down from the first revision of 5.9%. Economists had expected no change from the prior revision.
- New Government Plan Aimed at Shrinking Home Loans -- Bloomberg reports that the Obama administration will unveil a plan Friday that would expand Treasury Department and Federal Housing Administration programs and use funds from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The report, citing two administration officials, said the plan includes subsidies for borrowers who owe more than their home is worth in order to help homeowners stave off foreclosure.
- Eurozone Leaders Agree to Greece Plan -- On Thursday, the 16 leaders of the eurozone agreed to lend up to 22 billion euros ($29 billion), along with help from the International Monetary Fund, to Greece. The joint bailout will not make money immediately available to Greece, but instead act more as a safety net, the Associated Press reports.
- RadioShack Exploring Sale: Report -- RadioShack (RSH) is exploring strategic alternatives including a possible sale of the company for more than $3 billion, sources told The New York Post. Investment bankers already have begun pitching their private-equity clients about a leveraged buyout of RadioShack, notifying them of the electronics retailer's willingness to sell, according to people close to the situation, the Post reports.
- Lions Gate Reportedly Out of MGM Auction -- Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) hinted it would drop out of the auction for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, leaving only two bidders for the debt-ridden film studio, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The move comes after MGM indicated that it found Lions Gate's $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion offer insufficient and was preparing to ask for a higher bid, the report said, citing people close to the company. Lions Gate decided not to submit another offer, these people told the newspaper.
Friday's Earnings Roundup
- Oracle (ORCL) matched analyst estimates with a third-quarter profit of 38 cents on revenue of $6.4 billion. Oracle also guided fourth-quarter earnings in-line with estimates.
- Accenture (ACN) posted a second-quarter profit of 60 cents a share on revenue of $5.18 billion, compared to estimates for a profit of 61 cents on revenue of $5.21 billion. Accenture also lowered its earnings guidance range for 2010 below the consensus target of $2.70 a share.