BP ( BP), the oil giant, said fourth-quarter profit rose 38% to $7.69 billion on higher oil prices and it raised its quarterly dividend by 14%. Replacement cost profit jumped 65% to $7.6 billion as revenue rose 15% to $96.3 billion. BP goes to court at the end of the month in New Orleans for the beginning of lawsuits related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in April 2010. "As I have said before, we are prepared to settle if we can do so on fair and reasonable terms, but equally, if this is not possible, we are preparing vigorously for trial," CEO Bob Dudley said. BP shares were erasing 1.8% to $46.03 in premarket trading.
UBS ( UBS), the Swiss bank, posted a 76% decrease in fourth-quarter earnings. UBS said profit in the quarter was 393 million Swiss francs ($425 million). Analysts were expecting earnings of 658 million francs. UBS' investing bank division reported a second consecutive quarterly pretax loss of 256 million francs, which included a $2 billion rogue trader loss. UBS was dropping 2.3% to $14.04.
Emerson Electric ( EMR) reported Tuesday that profit slumped 23% in the fiscal first quarter as the company took a hit from supply chain disruptions caused by flooding in Thailand. The factory-automation equipment and software maker said flooding delayed about $300 million in sales, but that it expects to recover those delays later this year. The company reported earnings of 50 cents a share on revenue of $5.31 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected to see earnings of 51 cents. The Saint Louis-based company also lowered its 2012 guidance, saying it now sees net sales growth of 2% to 4%, down from 4% to 6% previously. Emerson shares were slipping 2.6% to $52.
Toyota ( TM), Japan's top automaker, lifted its annual earnings forecast after reporting a quarterly profit decline of 13.5% because of production shortages from last year's earthquake and tsunami. Toyota raised its annual profit forecast to 200 billion yen ($2.6 billion) from 180 billion yen a year earlier, but the new guidance is barely half of what Toyota earned -- 408 billion yen -- in the previous fiscal year. Cost cuts were behind the raised guidance, Toyota said. Toyota was climbing 1% to $78.50.
Yum! Brands ( YUM), the quick-service restaurant operator, beat analysts' fourth-quarter earnings expectations on strong sales growth in China. Yum!, whose restaurant brands include KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, also said it expects to meet or exceed its target for earnings per share growth of at least 10% in 2012. Yum! shares were advancing 2.2% to $64.60.
Coinstar ( CSTR) solidly topped analysts' views for fourth-quarter earnings and reached a deal to acquire NCR's ( NCR) entertainment business, which includes DVD kiosks and inventory, among other assets. Earlier Monday, Coinstar announced a streaming content joint venture with Verizon ( VZ). As Netflix ( NFLX) struggles to maintain subscribers after a pricing gaffe last fall, Coinstar is looking to eat into that business with its Redbox movie kiosk. Coinstar shares were soaring 18% to $59.87, while Netflix was dropping 0.9% to $128.10.
Walt Disney ( DIS), the media company, is expected to earn 71 cents a share in its fiscal first quarter, according to analysts, on revenue of $11.19 billion. In other news, the media giant may be in talks with Univision Communications about creating a 24-hour English language cable news channel aimed at a Latino audience, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with negotiations. However, a deal has not yet been reached, according to the report. Disney shares were 0.7% higher at $40.75 ahead of the earnings report.
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