Business news briefs
Bank of America
earns $2.25 billion
Bank of America earned $2.25 billion for shareholders in the first quarter, or 20 cents per share, the bank reported Wednesday higher than the same period a year ago but below analysts' expectations. The consensus estimate was 23 cents per share. The Charlotte, N.C., bank's revenue, however, increased to $23.7 billion. The bank cut more than 4,000 jobs in the first quarter.
IMF warns of
Euro-zone companies face a massive "debt overhang" that could prolong the region's downturn and risk a return to a more acute crisis, the International Monetary Fund warned Wednesday. The IMF estimated that as much as a fifth of the corporate bonds and loans issued by major European companies are "unsustainable and will force the firms to either default or scale back operations, cutting capital expenditures, eliminating shareholder dividends or taking other steps to conserve cash to make debt payments."
CSX says earnings
to rise next year
CSX railroad officials expect strong profit growth in 2014 and 2015, once coal shipments stabilize at a lower level this year. CSX chairman, president and CEO Michael Ward said Wednesday that the railroad has dealt with the current decline in coal shipments, driven by relatively low natural gas prices. Company officials are telling investors to expect 10 to 15 percent earnings growth in 2014 and 2015, after flat results this year. Ward says economic growth will boost the railroad's profits, once coal stabilizes.
American Express Co.'s quarterly revenue came in below analysts' expectations as cardmember spending growth remained muted. Cardmember spending in the first quarter increased 7 percent, adjusted for foreign currency translations. This was the fourth successive quarter of single-digit growth after nine quarters of double-digit growth..
European car sales fall, even in Germany
Europe's auto market is in freefall. Once the motor for Europe's economy, the car industry has fallen victim to the region's widening recession and soaring unemployment. Carmakers have suffered 18 straight months of declining sales as people worried that they might soon be out of a job put off making big purchases. New car sales across Europe slid 10 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to 2.9 million, down from 3.3 million in 2012.
New York grocer
IPO shares climb
Shares of Fairway climbed on their first day of trading after the New York grocery store chain priced its initial public offering above expectations. The company's shares closed up $4.35, or 33 percent, at $17.35 in afternoon trading. Fairway is well-known among New York shoppers for offering relatively low prices and cramming its shelves with a wide assortment of groceries.