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Markets are called to open higher this morning. This is what's happening today:
European Companies Reporting Results Today: – EARNINGS All times CET, estimates where available:
Samsung Electronics posted a record quarterly profit that topped analyst estimates as surging sales of Galaxy handsets helped Asia’s biggest technology company overcome sluggish demand for TVs. Net income climbed to 7.15 trillion won ($6.4 billion) in the three months ended March 31 from 5.05 trillion won a year earlier, the Suwon, South Korea-based company said in a statement today. That compares with the 6.73 trillion-won average of 36 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose to 52.9 trillion won from 45.3 trillion won. Demand for Samsung’s smartphones, including the flagship Galaxy S4 set for release today, and cheaper mobile phones targeted at emerging markets are stoking sales in the $358 billion market for handsets. Shipments that may be double those of Apple Inc.’s iPhone are pushing growth in telecommunications, Samsung’s biggest profit driver, as the Korean company warns of stiffer competition this year.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, reported operating profit that beat analysts’ estimates as investments in digital content and warehouses attracted more shoppers. First-quarter operating income was $181 million, the Seattle-based company said in a statement yesterday. Analysts on average had projected $96.8 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 22 percent to $16.1 billion, in line with analysts’ predictions. Margins are holding up even as Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos continues to pour money into expansion. While new warehouses and digital content are costly, they’re also drawing in new customers and outside sellers who in turn generate extra income. That’s helping Amazon’s profitability, according to Daniel Kurnos, an analyst at New York-based Benchmark Co.
BASF SE, the world’s biggest chemical company, posted first-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates on higher demand for fungicides and insecticides and as it reigned in costs at its construction chemicals unit. Earnings before interest, tax and one-time items increased 10 percent to 2.21 billion euros ($2.88 billion), the Ludwigshafen, Germany-based company said today in a statement. Analysts had predicted 2.09 billion euros, according to a Bloomberg survey. Chief Executive Officer Kurt Bock is enlarging the company’s agricultural arm, buying seed-treatment supplier Becker Underwood Inc. last year for $1.02 billion. BASF’s results echo those of U.S. rival DuPont Co., whose first-quarter earnings beat analyst estimates as profit from crop seeds and pesticides hit a record.
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