Hain Celestial fiscal 3Q revenue and profit up

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. (AP) — The Hain Celestial Group Inc. reported major profit gains in its fiscal third quarter on stronger sales, but the company issued a weak full-year forecast.

Shares fell in after-hours trading Thursday.

Hain Celestial earned $ 40.7 million, or 85 cents per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That compares with $ 24.1 million, or 52 cents per share, earned last year. It made 72 cents per share on an adjusted basis, excluding one-time items.

Total revenue increased 21 percent to $ 456.1 million.

Analysts expected 72 cents per share on revenue of $ 480.2 million, according to FactSet.

Hain Celestial benefited from recent acquisitions in the United Kingdom but also saw revenue gains around the world.

The Lake Success, N.Y.-based company expects to earn $ 2.43 to $ 2.47 per share for the year on revenue around $ 1.73 billion. Analysts forecast $ 2.46 per share on revenue of $ 1.74 billion.

The company also announced that it is buying organic baby food maker Ella’s Kitchen Group Ltd. for an undisclosed amount and creating a global infant, toddler and kids division in the U.S. Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen, will be CEO of the division.

Ella’s Kitchen, which sells baby food in flexible pouches, generated approximately $ 70 million revenue last year. The deal is expected to add 5 to 8 cents per share to the company’s earnings in 2014.

Hain Celestial shares fell $ 2, about 3 percent, to $ 63.50 in after-hours trading.

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Chevron profit pinched by cheaper oil, but beats estimates

By Braden Reddall

(Reuters) – Lower oil prices bit into Chevron Corp’s (CVX.N) quarterly profit as did refinery downtime and higher operating costs in its home market, but the oil company’s shares rose as the earnings topped expectations.

Analysts cited foreign currency gains that gave the company a particular boost in the quarter.

Chevron also announced this week an 11 percent increase in its dividend, making use of some of the $ 19 billion in cash accumulated to shoulder a near-$ 37 billion annual capital spending program, which has been inflated by natural gas projects in Australia.

“Chevron has significant financial flexibility to increase shareholders distribution, despite higher spending levels,” Oppenhemier analyst Fadel Gheit said in a note.

First-quarter net income fell 4.5 percent to $ 6.18 billion, or $ 3.18 per share, from $ 6.47 billion, or $ 3.27 per share, a year earlier. Analysts, on average, expected $ 3.08 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company produced 2.65 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 2.63 million bpd a year earlier, though down from a particularly strong 2.67 million in the fourth quarter.

Achieving increased production from oil wells has been a struggle for Chevron and larger rival Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), which reported a drop in first-quarter production on Thursday.

Chevron is targeting 25 percent growth in output by 2017, and its much-delayed liquefied natural gas plant in Angola is a key new project this year. Chief Financial Officer Pat Yarrington said it would start up this quarter, and reach full capacity by year-end – contributing about 20,000 bpd for 2013.

“Obviously, that would just be a partial year contribution for us,” she told analysts on a call. “It is worth about 60,000 barrels a day net to us when fully operational.”

At the Frade field off the coast of Brazil, where Chevron had faced sanctions due to an oil leak, the company has approval to restart production at four wells. Ramp-up would be slow, however, and it would contribute only about 5,000 bpd this year, Yarrington said.

In the first quarter, Chevron’s U.S. E&P earnings fell by about a quarter to $ 1.13 billion, with operating expenses higher and the average sale price for U.S. liquids down to $ 94 per barrel from $ 102 a year before.

Analysts at Simmons & Co said most of the outperformance for Chevron in the quarter was from its international operations.

U.S. downstream earnings, from refining and marketing, declined more than 70 percent, with refinery crude input falling by 350,000 barrels per day to 576,000 bpd due to planned work at a few of its refineries.

Chevron is trying to get its plant in Richmond, California, back to normal after a fire last August damaged its crude unit. The company said it reintroduced feedstock to the crude unit this week, and would bring it to full capacity in the coming days.

Chevron shares were up 1 percent at $ 119.51 in midday trading on Friday. The stock has gained about 10 percent so far this year, compared with a 2 percent rise for Exxon.

(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco, with additional reporting by Anna Driver in Houston; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick nand Steve Orlofsky)

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Chevron profit down 5 pct. on lower oil prices

Chevron says its net income fell 5 percent in the first quarter as oil prices slipped.

Chevron Corp., based in San Ramon, Calif., reported that net income fell to $ 6.2 billion, or $ 3.18 per share, on revenue of $ 56.8 billion. Last year the company earned $ 6.5 billion, or $ 3.27 per share, on revenue of $ 60.7 billion.

Analysts expected Chevron to earn $ 3.09 per share.

Production of oil and gas rose slightly in the quarter, but revenue and profit fell because of lower oil prices. Chevron’s average sale price for a barrel of oil slipped to $ 94 from $ 102 last year in the U.S., and to $ 102 from $ 110 abroad.

Performance at Chevron’s refining operations also slipped because of maintenance and upgrades at two U.S. refineries.

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Nasdaq 1Q profit drops on Facebook bungle charges

NEW YORK (AP) — The Nasdaq OMX Group’s profit fell by half in the first quarter, as the company set aside $ 62 million to reimburse investors who lost money due to technical glitches during Facebook’s IPO last May.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating what happened during Facebook’s debut, and Nasdaq said Wednesday that it may have to pay $ 10 million to resolve the matter with regulators. The SEC hasn’t yet decided what to do, Nasdaq said.

Facebook went public May 18 amid great fanfare, but computer glitches at the Nasdaq delayed the start of trading and threw the debut into chaos. Technical problems kept many investors from buying shares that morning, selling them later in the day or even from knowing whether their orders went through. Some said they were left holding shares they didn’t want.

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., which runs its namesake stock market along with a series of other platforms and clearinghouses in the U.S. and overseas, has had to deal with subdued trading volumes. It has cut costs to offset lower market activity. Exchange revenue fell 4 percent from a year ago to $ 182 million.

The company has made several acquisitions recently to help lessen its dependence on stock markets. It said this month it would buy eSpeed, an electronic service for trading U.S Treasury notes and bonds, for $ 1.23 billion, and in March made a deal to partner with private stock exchange SharesPost to develop a new market for unlisted companies. Last year, it reached a deal buy the corporate services division of Thomson Reuters Corp. for $ 390 million.

For the January-to-March period, the company said net income fell to $ 42 million, or 25 cents per share, from $ 85 million, or 48 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2012.

Stripping out the effect of the Facebook reimbursement fund, restructuring and acquisition charges and other one-time items, earnings ticked up to 64 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected adjusted earnings of 62 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue minus transaction rebates and brokerage and clearance fees rose 1 percent, to $ 418 million from $ 414 million. That was roughly in line with analysts’ expectation of $ 416.2 million. While market revenue fell, revenue from information services and technology products rose. Listing services revenue was nearly unchanged.

Nasdaq stock was inactive in premarket trading Wednesday. Shares closed Tuesday at $ 28.47, up nearly 14 percent since the start of the year.

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Ford first quarter profit rises 15 pct to $1.6b

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford says net income rose 15 percent in the first quarter to $ 1.6 billion as record North American profits overcame weakness in Europe and South America.

Ford beat Wall Street’s forecast with earnings of 40 cents per share, up from 35 cents in the first quarter of 2012. Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast earnings of 37 cents per share.

Without one-time charges, including restructuring costs in Europe, Ford would have earned 41 cents.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $ 35.8 billion, beating Wall Street’s forecast of $ 33.5 billion.

Ford Motor Co. earned $ 2.4 billion in North America, where sales of its F-Series trucks and Fusion sedan and Escape SUV have been strong. That offset a $ 462 million loss in Europe, where Ford’s sales fell 20 percent during the quarter.

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