Time Warner ( TWX) reported better-than-expected quarterly results Wednesday as the final installment of its Harry Potter movie franchise boosted sales. The media giant reported earnings of 94 cents a share, beating forecasts of 87 cents by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue grew by 5% to $8.2 billion. Analysts expected sales of $8.07 billion. The company also boosted its quarterly dividend by 11% to 26 cents a share. Time Warner shares were jumping 4.7% to $39.90 in premarket trading.
Dow component Walt Disney ( DIS) posted below-consensus revenue in its fiscal first quarter Tuesday afternoon. The media and entertainment giant earned 80 cents a share on revenue of $10.78 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast earnings of 71 cents a share on revenue of $11.18 billion. Disney's studio entertainment unit saw a year-over-year revenue decline of 16% to $1.62 billion in the latest quarter from $1.93 billion a year earlier. Shares were sliding 0.9% to $40.60.
McDonald's ( MCD) reported better-than-expected same-store sales globally and in each regional segment in January. The world's largest restaurant chain said Wednesday global comparable sales grew 6.7% last month, while U.S. sales jumped 7.8%. Analysts had expected global sales to rise 5.9% for the month, with a 6.8% gain in the U.S. The fast-food chain also said European sales rose 4% last month as sales in Asia, the Middle East and Africa surged 7.3%. McDonald's shares were advancing 0.6% to $101.50.
Cisco ( CSCO), the networking-equipment maker, is expected by analysts to earn 43 cents a share on revenue of $11.23 billion in its fiscal second quarter. An in-line performance would be up from revenue of $10.4 billion and earnings of 37 cents a share a year earlier. J.P. Morgan noted that the weakness Cisco suffered in 2011 is unlikely to be repeated in 2012, and predicted more robust federal spending. Shares were rising 0.3% to $20.25 ahead of the results after the closing bell Wednesday.
Nokia ( NOK), the world's biggest handset maker, said Wednesday it would slash 4,000 jobs in Finland, Mexico and Hungary as it struggles in a tough smartphone market. The layoffs are expected to be completed by the end of the year. Nokia said it would move cellphone assembly to Asia from Europe where the majority of its component suppliers are based, a move designed to speed its products to the market. Nokia shares were rising 1.2% to $5.19.
Yahoo! ( YHOO) shares were gaining after news of an impending board of directors shake-up. Chairman Roy Bostock, along with three other directors, will step down from the board, the company announced Tuesday. In an open letter to shareholders, Bostock explained that he will not be standing for re-election at the firm's next shareholders meeting. Fellow directors Vyomesh Joshi, Arthur Kern and Gary Wilson will also be stepping down, he added. The latest departures follow the resignation on Jan. 17 of Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!. Yahoo shares were climbing 0.8% to $15.96.
Groupon ( GRPN), the daily deals Web site, is expected by analysts to post a fiscal-year loss of 29 cents a share on revenue of $1.59 billion after the close of trading Wednesday. Groupon shares were rising 0.9% to $24.40 ahead of its earnings report. The report will be the company's first report since its initial public offering in November.
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