MEMC Electronic Materials ( WFR) said it will reduce its total work force by more 1,300 people, or about 20% of its employees, in 2012 and beyond as part of a global restructuring plan. Shares were tumbling 3.1% to $4.08.
Unionized Boeing ( BA) machinists voted to approve a four-year contract extension. "This contract will help secure a better future for our employees, our customers, our communities and our company," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "It reflects an effort on the part of the company and the union to find a better way to work together and achieve common ground." Boeing promised that if workers approved the pact, the company would build the new version of the 737 in the Puget Sound region, while the machinists said they would drop their allegations that Boeing opened a nonunion assembly plant in South Carolina in retaliation for a previous strike. Machinists went on strike in 2005 and 2008. The strike in 2008 led to delivery delays for Boeing's first 787. Separately, Bloomberg reported that FedEx ( FDX) plans to order about 30 Boeing wide-body freighters to replace older, less fuel- efficient jets. The report cited people familiar with the situation. The planes would be valued at about $5.26 billion at list prices, the report said. Boeing shares were up 0.6% at $71.
Costco ( COST), the warehouse retailer, earned $320 million, or 73 cents a share, in the fiscal first quarter, up from $312 million, or 71 cents, a year earlier. The latest quarter includes charges of 7 cents a share. Net sales rose 13% to $21.18 billion from $18.82 billion. Including membership fees, revenue rose 12% to $21.63 billion. Comparable-store sales in the quarter rose 10%. Analysts were expecting profit of 80 cents a share on sales of $21.29 billion. Costco said membership fee revenue rose 7.5% in the first quarter to $447 million. Shares were falling 0.5% to $87.05 in premarket trading Thursday.
Smithfield Foods ( SFD), the pork producer, reported second-quarter profit 76 cents a share on revenue of $3.3 billion, beating the average analyst earnings estimate of 71 cents a share on revenue of $3.2 billion. Shares were trading sideways at $24.93.
Brown-Forman ( BF.A), the maker of Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort, is expected by analysts Thursday to earn $1.09 a share in the fiscal second quarter on revenue of $957 million.
THQ ( THQI), the entertainment software maker, lowered its revenue outlook for the third quarter because of weak sales of its uDraw game tablet on the XBox 360 and Sony Playstation 3 gaming systems. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel and Andrea Tse >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.