Earnings Roundup for July 23

Today was another major day for earnings. Here’s a rundown of some key reports:

Alexion 2Q profit jumps on Soliris sales

The company earned $16.8 million, or 19 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30 compared with profit of $2.4 million, or 3 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue, which all comes from Soliris sales, rose 55 percent to $92.3 million from $59.6 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 16 cents per share on revenue of $89.1 million.

Strong sales boost Bristol-Myers 2Q profit

The maker of blood thinner Plavix, the world’s second-bestselling medicine, and psychiatric drug Abilify said its net income was $983 million, or 49 cents per share. That compares with $764 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

New York-based Bristol-Myers, which turned in one of the industry’s best reports this quarter, said revenue rose 3.5 percent to $5.4 billion from $5.2 billion in the second quarter of 2008.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting, on average, earnings per share of 47 cents and revenue of $5.3 billion.

McDonald’s profit off 8%; hit by currency headwinds

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based fast-food behemoth earned $1.09 billion, or 98 cents a share, compared with $1.19 billion, or $1.04, in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue including results from franchised outlets fell to $5.65 billion from $6.08 billion. Revenue would have risen 4% but for the currency fluctuations.

Sales down in 2Q, Safeway lowers outlook for year

Budget-conscious shoppers and falling fuel and commodity prices took a toll on Safeway Inc. during its second quarter, and the grocery chain, which doesn’t expect the picture to improve soon, lowered its earnings forecast for the full year Thursday.

Safeway fell $1.51, more than 7.6 percent, on the news to $18.43 by mid-afternoon.

Safeway reported that it earned $238.6 million, or 57 cents per share, for the second quarter, up from $234.3 million, or 53 cents per share, last year. The slight profit improvement was largely due to a $57.8 million, or 14 cents per share, benefit from the resolution of a tax matter.

Total sales declined 6.5 percent to $9.5 billion, including the impact of lower fuel sales.

Hershey sees 72 pct profit jump, raises projection

Hershey said it earned $71.3 million, or 31 cents a share, in the three months ended July 5, up from $41.5 million in the year ago period.

Excluding charges to streamline its operations, Hershey says it would have earned $98 million, or 43 cents a share. That beat the 35 cents-per-share average estimate of analysts.

Revenue rose almost 6 percent to $1.17 billion.

Hershey began 2009 projecting sales to grow 2 percent to 3 percent and profits to fall short of its long-term objective of 6 percent to 8 percent in annual growth.

With two strong quarters under its belt, Hershey said Thursday that it now expects annual sales to grow 3 percent to 5 percent and profits to rise above the 6 percent to 8 percent range.

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