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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Potlatch earns $8.2 million in second quarter

From staff and wire reports

Higher prices for logs and tissue products helped Potlatch Corp. post second-quarter earnings of $8.2 million, or 28 cents per share.

The results, released Tuesday, compared to 2004 second-quarter earnings of nearly $50 million. That figure, however, included profits from three oriented strand board plants in Minnesota, which have since been sold. Without the OSB plants, Potlatch would have posted earnings of $7.1 million, or 24 cents per share, during the second quarter of 2004.

The Spokane-based forest products company reported income of $12 million during the first six months of the year, on sales of nearly $368 million.

Higher prices for logs and tissue products were bright spots during the second quarter, said Penn Siegel, Potlatch chairman and chief executive officer.

Income from the company’s resource segment more than doubled, due to higher timber harvests in Idaho and Arkansas, and higher log prices. Potlatch also benefited from higher prices for its tissue products, which include toilet paper, paper towels, and paper napkins.

Yahoo Inc.’s second-quarter profit increased more than sixfold as the owner of the Internet’s most popular Web site cashed in on a hefty investment gain and continued to parlay its expanding audience into an advertising bonanza.

The Sunnyvale, Ca.-based company said it earned $754.7 million, or 51 cents per share per share, during the three months ended in June. That compared with a profit of $112.5 million, or 8 cents per share, at the same time last year.

Revenue totaled $1.25 billion, a 51 percent increase from $832.3 million last year. After subtracting the commissions Yahoo paid to other Web sites in its advertising network, the company’s revenue stood at $875 million, up 44 percent from last year.

Wells Fargo & Co. said Tuesday its profits climbed 11 percent in the second quarter, but they missed Wall Street projections by a penny.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, the nation’s fifth largest bank, said its second-quarter earnings were boosted by increased customer borrowing, continued deposit growth and investment gains.

Profits totaled $1.91 billion, or $1.12 per share, in the second quarter, up from $1.71 billion, or $1 per share, a year earlier. Revenue was $7.87 billion, up 6 percent a year ago.

Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. managed to avoid the earnings troubles of its competitors and peers in the second quarter, posting a 6 percent profit gain despite a sluggish bond market that sabotaged results at other Wall Street firms.

Merrill Lynch said Tuesday it earned $1.14 billion, or $1.14 per share, compared with $1.07 billion, or $1.05 per share, in the second quarter of 2004. Revenues rose 20.3 percent to $6.32 billion from $5.25 billion last year.

U.S. Bancorp said second-quarter earnings rose 8.1 percent, driven by strong growth in fee-based businesses, reduced credit costs and lower tax expenses. Net income totaled $1.12 billion, or 60 cents per share, in the April-June period, up from $1.04 billion, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier. Total net revenue rose 9.3 percent to $3.30 billion.

The results topped Wall Street expectations for earnings of 59 cents per share on revenue of $3.24 billion, according to a Thomson Financial survey.

Ford Motor Co.’s profits fell 19 percent in the second quarter, hurt by lower production and harsh competition in North America, where it lost more than $900 million. And the company’s overall automotive outlook isn’t much rosier for the rest of the year.

The nation’s second-largest automaker said Tuesday it earned $946 million, or 47 cents a share, in the April-June period versus a profit of $1.2 billion, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier.

“Intel Corp.’s second-quarter earnings grew 16 percent and sales jumped to a record $9.23 billion Tuesday as the world’s largest chip maker profited from the growing popularity of notebook computers.

For the three months ended July 2, Intel earned $2.04 billion, or 33 cents per share, compared with $1.76 billion, or 27 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue rose 15 percent from the $8.05 billion reported in the second quarter of 2004.

“Health care giant Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that second-quarter profit rose 9 percent on strong sales of medical devices and consumer products, as well as on double-digit sales growth overseas in all three of its divisions.

J&J’s quarterly income grew to $2.68 billion, or 89 cents per share, from $2.46 billion, or 82 cents per share, a year ago.

“Kraft Foods Inc., the nation’s largest food manufacturer, reported a 32 percent drop in second-quarter profit on higher costs for coffee, nuts and other commodities.

The maker of Velveeta cheese, Kool-Aid and Oreo cookies said Tuesday that net earnings for the April-June period were $472 million, or 28 cents a share, down from $698 million, or 41 cents a share from a year earlier.

Motorola Inc., the world’s No. 2 maker of mobile phones, bettered Wall Street’s expectations Tuesday by reporting second-quarter profit of $933 million, reflecting continuing strong sales of its Razr and other new products.

It was the seventh consecutive solid quarterly performance by once-struggling Motorola, whose results early in the earnings reporting season are considered a bellwether for the tech sector.

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