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Sterling Financial Corp. Thursday reported that first-quarter earnings dropped 44 percent from the same period last year. Net income for the three-month period ended September 30 was $1.3 million, compared with $2.4 million a year ago.
Microsoft Corp., buoyed by strong sales of its Windows 95 software, Tuesday reported a 58 percent profit jump for its first fiscal quarter. The performance exceeded analysts' expectations and will likely improve investors' view of the technology sector, where stock prices had declined since the August rollout of Windows 95 because of fears that it would not live up to its hype.
Despite several flubs, IBM escaped the third quarter with a healthy jump in operating profit. But it lost money overall, as expected, because of extra charges for purchasing Lotus Development Corp. Company executives said Tuesday that mistakes from the third quarter had been fixed, raising the hopes of analysts for an even more prosperous fourth quarter. That view, along with strong earnings reports from Intel Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Compaq Computer Corp., spurred technology stocks upward. IBM's stock, which had traded down as much as $2.75 Tuesday morning, finished regular trading up $2.87-1/2 at $96.87-1/2 on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Student Loan Marketing Association said Thursday its profit fell 15.5 percent in the third quarter, in part because of falling interest rates. The company, known as Sallie Mae, is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned corporation and the nation's largest source of funding and servicing support for education loans. Sallie Mae, which operates a loan-processing center in Spokane, reported its profit fell to $81.3 million in the third quarter from $96.3 million in the same period a year earlier.
Fred Meyer Inc. reported Thursday that its second-quarter net income plunged to $10.7 million, down more than 44 percent from last year's $19.2 million. The company blamed weaker sales of seasonal items due to poor weather and increased competition. Net sales rose 5.23 percent to $775.8 million from $737.3 million a year ago, but gross margins were down because of the higher markdowns on seasonal goods and startup costs associated with the company's new food warehouse near Seattle.
Local mining companies historically linked to silver are looking more to gold to keep their bottom lines shining. Companies like Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. and Hecla Mining Co. have added gold mines and set records for gold production last quarter.
A third of Egghead Software's $3.2 million loss in the first quarter of its 1996 fiscal year is attributed to relocation of some operations from Issaquah and Kalispell, Mont., to Spokane. The software retailer said Thursday the costs of moving its direct response operation and customer service and credit operations to Spokane in May totaled $1.1 million.
Hecla Mining Co. Thursday reported a small gain for the second quarter. Hecla made $229,000, or 1 cent a share, compared with a loss of $1.3 million, or 3 cents a share, for the second quarter of 1994.
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. turned a profit for the second quarter after losing money for the same period last year. The gains reflected strong gold production and the sale of a non-mining-related company bought along with Callahan Mining Co. The gold and silver mining company reported a net income of $3.4 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.3 million, or nine cents a share, for the second quarter of 1994.
Financially beleaguered Morrison Knudsen Corp. reported another $51.3 million in red ink on Monday - a first quarter loss that pushed its losses over 12 months to more than $400 million. But President Robert Tinstman pointed out that the two thirds of the January-March loss was from the divestiture of the company's 65 percent interest in MK Rail Corp. as part of the its plan to shed socalled non-core businesses and refocus on construction and engineering. The first quarter loss compared to a $9.6 million profit a year earlier and translated into a loss of 60 cents per share of common stock. The per-share earnings during the first three months of 1994 were 22 cents.
Mesa Inc., the natural gas company facing pressure from dissident shareholders to find a buyer or merger partner, on Thursday reported a 45 percent narrower second-quarter loss. Still, the troubled company's stock price fell about 6 percent, or 25 cents per share, to $3.87-1/2 on the New York Stock Exchange. Mesa lost $13.9 million, or 22 cents per share, for the period ending June 30, compared with a loss of $25.3 million, or 43 cents per share, in the second quarter of 1994. Mesa's heavy debt - about $1.2 billion worth - has been undermining its finances. The company's net interest expense was $32 million in the quarter.
Spokane-based Pegasus Gold Inc. Wednesday reported a smaller loss for the second quarter of this year than during the same period last year. The gold mining company lost $1.2 million, compared with a net loss of $57.1 million during second quarter 1994. Last year's loss included a one-time $52.9 million write-down of ore reserves and environmental costs.
Boeing Co. received an order for 54 737-jetliners from International Lease Finance Corp. worth approximately $2.25 billion, the aircraft maker said Tuesday. Boeing announced the order shortly after it released its second-quarter earnings, which fell in comparison to last year, mostly due to a one-time charge for a special retirement program. Boeing lost $231 million, or 68 cents a share, for the quarter ended June 30, compared with profits of $222 million, or 65 cents a share, a year ago.
Despite lower sales of cars like this Cavalier Z24, GM reported higher earnings Thursday. Photo by Associated Press
A sell-off sparked by widespread profit-taking on Tuesday handed Wall Street its biggest setback since May. File/Associated Press
Boise Cascade Corp.'s rebound continues in a strong way. The company said Monday it earned a record profit for the second quarter of this year and the outlook remains good.
Southwest Airlines Co. said Monday its second-quarter profits will exceed analysts' expectations of 32 cents per share, but officials declined to name a figure. The company earned 40 cents per share in the second quarter of 1994.
The nation's 1,512 savings and loan institutions boosted their profits by 12.4 percent in the first three months of 1995, extending their recovery of the last five years. The Office of Thrift Supervision reported Thursday the industry earned $1.18 billion during the first quarter, up from $1.05 billion in the final three months of 1994. More than 90 percent of the thrifts were profitable.
Italian computer maker Ing. C. Olivetti SpA said higher financing costs and one-time restructuring costs widened its net loss in 1994, but said that it was getting closer to breaking even at the operating level. Olivetti said its net loss grew to $413 million in 1994, compared with $282.6 million in 1993. It was the fourth-straight year of losses, bringing the total losses for the period to more than $12.8 billion. The loss was worse than expected by analysts, who predicted a loss of as much as $331.5 million.
Egghead Software turned around its profit picture in fiscal 1995, earning $934,000 in the fourth quarter and $2.67 million for the year, compared with losses in the comparable year-earlier periods, the computer software retailer said Thursday. The earnings translated to 5 cents per share on sales of $220 million in the quarter ended April 1. In the fourth quarter of 1994, Egghead lost $407,000 on sales of $209.5 million.