Stock futures are under modest pressure this morning. Their weakness comes amid renewed selling in Europe, where Greece’s officials continue to grapple with creditors and austerity demands. The euro has been imbued by the selling, such that it trails the greenback by about 0.4%.
No major U.S. economic data are scheduled for release on Monday, and investors are likely to focus instead on the situation in Greece.
European stocks and the euro fell on Monday after news that the leaders of Greece’s main political parties were still trying to reach agreement on some measures demanded by the troika of international lenders in exchange for a second bailout package. Party leaders agreed on some demands, but there was still disagreement on other issues, such as private-sector wage cuts.
Greece is suffering through a severe recession and another dose of austerity is likely to be met with a popular backlash. However, the nation desperately needs a second bailout in order to avoid defaulting on debt payments in late March. Further complicating matters, the Greek government is negotiating a debt write-down deal with private-sector creditors.
Loews profit hit by lower investment gains
(8:22 AM ET) LONDON (MarketWatch) — Loews Corp. L +1.61% on Monday reported a fourth-quarter profit of $268 million, or 67 cents a share, down from $466 million, or $1.12 a share, a year ago. Revenue slipped to $3.48 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet Research were looking for a profit, on average, of 90 cents a share. The company blamed lower investment income from limited partnership results as well as a weaker quarter for Diamond Offshore Drilling.
HCA profit jumps on big HealthONE gain
(8:15 AM ET) NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — HCA Holdings Inc. HCA +8.28% said on Monday that it earned $1.94 billion, or $4.25 a share in the fourth quarter, compared to $283 million, or 65 cents a share a year ago. The latest results include a pretax gain of $3.13 a share from HCA’s recent acquisition of a controlling interest in HealthONE. Revenue at the health care firm was $7.77 billion in the latest quarter, versus $7.16 billion a year ago. The firm also approved a special, $2 a share cash dividend to be paid February 29, with a February 16 record date. And, HCA said it expects to earn $3.35 to $3.55 a share for all of 2012, compared to the $2.85 a share it earned in all of 2011.
Hasbro profit slips to $139.1 mln, revenues up 4%
(6:56 AM ET) FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) — Toymaker Hasbro Inc. HAS -3.10% on Monday reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $139.1 million, or $1.06 a share, versus $140 million, or 99 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had produced a consensus forecast of $1.06 a share. The Pawtucket, R.I.-based company said it repurchased 10.5 million shares of common stock during 2011 at a total cost of $423 million, including 1 million shares in the fourth quarter. Fourth-quarter net revenues rose 4% to $1.33 billion. “Despite the challenges we encountered in 2011, we grew our business, effectively managed our capital structure and maintained a healthy balance sheet. For the full-year 2012, absent the impact of foreign exchange, we expect to again grow revenues and earnings per share,” said Deborah Thomas, Hasbro chief financial officer.
CNA Financial profit falls 37%, declares dividend
(6:39 AM ET) FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) — CNA Financial Corp. CNA +2.88% on Monday reported fourth-quarter net income of $190 million, or 70 cents a share, down from $302 million, or $1.09 a share, in the same period a year earlier. The company reported net operating income of 71 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had produced a consensus forecast of 69 cents. The Chicago-based multi-line insurance provider also announced a quarterly dividend of 15 cents a share.
Humana posts higher profit, raises outlook
(6:18 AM ET) LONDON (MarketWatch) — Humana Inc. HUM -3.19% on Monday reported a fourth-quarter profit of $313 million, or $1.20 a share, up from $174 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue came in at $9.06 billion, up from $8.28 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by FactSet Research were looking for a profit, on average, of $1.20 a share with sales of $9.26 billion. For 2012, Humana raised its earnings outlook to a range of $7.50 to $7.70 a share. “Humana’s ongoing operating discipline and attractive Medicare value proposition bode well for a future of favorable senior demographics and the growing need to rein in national health-care spending — especially in Medicare,” Chairman and CEO Michael McCallister said.
Randgold profit quadruples to $115.5 million
(2:29 AM ET) MADRID (MarketWatch) — Miner Randgold Resources PLCon Monday reported fourth-quarter net profit of $115.5 million, more than four times higher than profit of $26.8 million in the year-ago period, driven by increased production across the company. Revenue more than doubled to $311.47 million against $148.4 million in the year-ago period. Randgold said production for the year rose 58% to 696.023 ounces. The company is forecasting production growth in each of the next five yeras, with group production for 2012 estimated to be 825,000 to 865,000 ounces, a 19% rise over 2011 at the lower end of the range.
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