Tuesday, 14 December 2004

Oracle earnings, retail sales beat forecasts

News flow from the US yesterday was good.

Oracle's earnings top forecasts
Oracle Corp., posted a gain in fiscal second-quarter earnings Monday that beat Wall Street forecasts. The report was released three days earlier than originally scheduled because the company also announced it had finally reached an agreement to buy rival PeopleSoft...

Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $815 million, or 16 cents per share, up from $617 million, or 12 cents a share, a year earlier. The results topped the 14-cent-a-share consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call...

Nov Retail Sales Edge Up as Car Sales Dip
The U.S. growth outlook got a boost on Monday with the release of stronger-than-expected retail sales data that helped cement views the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again this week. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.1 percent in November, compared with a Wall Street forecast for a 0.1 percent decline. In addition, October was revised up sharply, to plus 0.8 percent versus the more modest 0.2 percent gain initially reported.

October business inventories data from the Commerce Department reinforced the impression of consumer spending gathering momentum in the fourth quarter, with retail stocks advancing less than expected as sales grew...

Stripping out autos, retail sales were up 0.5 percent, compared with forecasts of a 0.3 percent advance and an upwardly revised 1.1 percent increase in October, signaling a solid start to the holiday shopping season. On a 12-month basis, retail sales excluding autos have grown 8.6 percent...

The US consumer continues to perform wonders. But it does leave one wondering: How long more can it last?

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