Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

November 06, 2008

FTI reports 20 percent increase in earnings

Baltimore-based FTI Consulting Inc., a business advisory firm best known for helping struggling companies reorganize, said yesterday that its third-quarter earnings increased 20 percent, but it was delaying a public offering of its technology division because of market conditions. Net income was $27.5 million, or 51 cents per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30. That compared with $23 million, or 50 cents per share, in the corresponding period a year ago. Revenue increased 29 percent to $325.5 million. The company said it will delay filing for the IPO of its technology business until next year, depending on market conditions. It had expected to file by the end of this year. The company said revenue for the year will be between $1.28 billion and $1.3 billion and earnings per share will be between $2.30 and $2.35. That's down from guidance the company provided in August, saying then that revenue would be in the range of $1.3 billion to $1.38 billion and earnings per share of $2.50 to $2.63.

Andrea K. Walker

Comcast to lay off most employees of CN8

Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp. said it is laying off most of the 300 employees - out of a work force of 100,000 nationwide - at CN8. CN8, a local TV network that serves more than 8 million households in the Northeast, airs public affairs and community programming focusing primarily on city and regional interests. Comcast said the network has had lower-than-expected broadcast ratings, which made attracting advertising revenue especially difficult in the current downturn. CN8 will stop broadcasting in New England, but subscribers in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and the Washington-Baltimore regions still will be able to watch the channel. Comcast said CN8 will retain offices in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The company said it hasn't determined the final tally of job cuts, which will take place in January. Last month, Comcast disclosed as many as 300 job cuts in its eastern division as the company restructured into four geographical regions from six. Comcast is the nation's largest cable operator.

Associated Press

Automakers looking to Obama for help

DETROIT: Detroit automakers and their allies in Congress said yesterday that Barack Obama's victory could help U.S. automakers line up federal funding needed for them to survive the current economic slump. Obama made it clear during his campaign that he understood the automakers' problems and would work to preserve the industry, Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said yesterday. "I'm very optimistic that we're going to have a fighter in the White House for manufacturers, and that's what we need," Levin said. He said he was told yesterday by Jason Furman, Obama's senior economic adviser, that government aid is atop Obama's agenda. Levin said Furman did not commit to a specific funding path for the industry but was supportive. Obama has said he would meet with industry leaders and the United Auto Workers immediately to talk about helping automakers, but a meeting has not been scheduled.

Associated Press

Wells Fargo plans $10 billion offering

SAN FRANCISCO : Wells Fargo says it will sell $10 billion worth of common stock in a public offering. The San Francisco-based bank has said it plans to raise $20 billion to finance its acquisition of Wachovia Corp., which was on the brink of failure before the deal was struck. J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. will coordinate the offering with joint bookrunning managers Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wachovia Securities. Wells Fargo & Co. shares fell nearly 9 percent to close at $31.68 yesterday and spiked 5 percent in aftermarket electronic trading.

Associated Press

Goldman Sachs begins to cut 10% of staff

NEW YORK : Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has begun notifying about 3,200 employees globally that they have lost their jobs, as the world's biggest investment bank slashes expenses to ride out the financial crisis, a person familiar with the situation said yesterday. The job cuts, first reported last month, are a reflection of the continuing downturn in the credit and lending markets that triggered huge losses for banks around the world. Goldman Sachs had been considered the strongest investment bank on Wall Street; earlier this year it had expected its payroll of about 37,000 to expand. Positions will be cut across Goldman's offices globally and among various business lines, to bring the company's staffing to 2006 and 2007 levels, the person said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the company hasn't publicly disclosed details of the plan. There also have been reports that Goldman's army of bankers might see their bonuses cut in half this year.

Associated Press

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