Shell's net income falls 71% in 4Q

WorldCom profit is off 48%, while earnings rise 33% at Coors

February 08, 2002

Lower crude prices undercut profits at Royal Dutch Shell Group, dragging down the company's net income by 71 percent in the fourth quarter, the company reported yesterday, saying it plans to cut as much as 15 percent of the work force -- or 1,800 jobs -- at its U.S. gas station network.

Shell said its net income plunged to $900 million from $3.11 billion in 2000, even though Shell produced an exceptional volume of natural gas during the three months that ended Dec. 31. The decline in profits exceeded analysts' expectations.

Quarterly sales fell by 21 percent to $40.4 billion from $50.8 billion.

WorldCom Inc.

Net income in the three months that ended Dec. 31 was $305 million, or 10 cents per share, a 48 percent decline from the year-earlier quarter, when the company earned $585 million, or 20 cents per share.

Difficult market conditions caused reported a significant drop in profit in the fourth quarter, falling short of Wall Street's expectations.

The telecommunications giant also significantly reduced its 2002 revenue-growth and profit expectations.

Excluding one-time charges and its investment in Brazilian telephone company Embratel, WorldCom earned $384 million, or 13 cents per share, in the fourth quarter.

Revenue for the quarter fell about 10 percent to $5.3 billion from $5.9 billion last year.

Adolph Coors Co.

The third-largest U.S. brewer said its fourth-quarter profit rose 33 percent as costs dropped, while sales fell because of sluggish beer demand.

Net income rose to $15.9 million, or 44 cents a share, from $12 million, or 32 cents, in the year-earlier period, the company said.

Sales fell 4.1 percent to $558.4 million from $582.1 million.

Adolph Coors said it would have earned $17.9 million, or 49 cents a share, excluding a gain for the sale of a distributorship in San Bernardino, Calif., and costs for restructuring. On that basis, the company topped the 33-cent average analyst estimate.

Providian Financial Corp.

The No. 6 Visa and MasterCard issuer reported a fourth-quarter loss of $481.2 million, saying more of its customers' credit-card bills went unpaid.

The loss of $1.70 cents a share compares to net income of $214 million, or 73 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

The annualized loss rate was 12.7 percent in the quarter, more than double the average rate for the other top 10 U.S. credit card issuers.

Providian's bank subsidiaries have committed to achieving at least an 8 percent total risk-based capital ratio by March 31, and at least a 10 percent ratio by June 30, 2003. The company ended the year with total capital of $2 billion and loan loss reserves of $2.4 billion.

Providian postponed releasing results hours before they were due on Jan. 31, saying it was working out the final components of the plan.

It includes the sale of proceeds from $8.2 billion in credit card loans to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., announced Jan. 16 and completed Feb. 5.

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