Digest: Tribune mixed; Amazon high

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Tribune mixed

Tribune Co., parent of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Cubs, said Wednesday that its second-quarter earnings sank 59% on a deepening slump in advertising revenue and hefty charges and nonoperating losses, but the stock rose on confidence that the company will be sold for $8.2 billion. "Our going-private transaction is on track and the financing for it is fully committed," CEO Dennis FitzSimons said. Tribune's net earnings after paying preferred dividends were $36.3 million, compared with $85.7 million a year ago. Revenue was down 7% to $1.31 billion, while revenue from the broadcasting and entertainment were flat at $393 million. Shares rose 3.8% to $28.20.

Amazon high

Shares of Amazon.com Inc. hit a 52-week high Wednesday soaring 24.5% to $86.18 after going as high as $88.80. The online retailer said Tuesday that its second-quarter earnings more than tripled, and several analysts upgraded the company's shares. Amazon earned $78 million during the quarter on $2.88 billion, thanks in part to robust music, electronics and book sales. In the year-ago period, the company earned just $22 million on $2.14 billion in sales.

Facebook hires

Social network site Facebook has named former YouTube CFO Gideon Yu as its new CFO, replacing previous finance chief Michael Sheridan, in the latest step toward a potential initial public offering. Yu became CFO of YouTube in September, shortly before the company was acquired by Google Inc. in a $1.65 billion deal. He remains a Google employee with his start date at Facebook still to be finalized. Facebook, which has rebuffed potential acquirers in favor of remaining an independent company, did not disclose why Sheridan, a veteran Silicon Valley executive, was leaving.
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