Digest: Tribune mixed; Amazon high
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.
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.
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.