Morning Earnings Roundup: BP, UBS Stumble

After a relatively quiet Monday, this morning brought a fresh batch of big-name second-quarter earnings reports.

Here’s how some of the more noteworthy companies fared in the April through June earnings period:

  • BP (NYSE: BP): Lower oil prices clearly took their toll on this infamous big-oil company. BP’s earnings fell an astonishing 96% last quarter. The company suffered a net loss of $1.39 billion a year after posting a net profit of $5.72 billion during the second quarter of 2011. Write-downs accounted for a large chunk of the charges – about $1.5 billion worth. The company cut ties to its liberty oil project in offshore Alaska and wrote down the value of its shale gas assets. BP’s second-quarter losses have pushed the stock down close to 5% in early trading. BP shares have now fallen more than 9% in 2012.
  • UBS (NYSE: UBS): Add this Swiss bank to the growing list of companies negatively impacted by Facebook’s (Nasdaq: FB) disastrous initial public offering in May. The company reported today that it lost $356 million as a result of its involvement in the Facebook IPO deal. The trading loss played a large role in UBS’s 58% year-to-year drop-off in second-quarter earnings. UBS said it will try to recoup some of the losses it suffered as a result of the Facebook deal, which the Nasdaq exchange delayed due to numerous technical glitches. Nasdaq officials have vowed to compensate firms such as UBS for their Facebook losses, setting aside $62 billion. That doesn’t help UBS investors much at the moment. Shares were down as much as 5% this morning.
  • Pfizer (NYSE: PFE): Now that this pharmaceutical giant’s Lipitor patents have expired, sales for its popular anti-cholesterol drug fell 52%. But lower costs saved the day. Cuts to its research and development spending boosted profits to 43 cents a share, up from 33 cents a share a year ago. The improved earnings have pushed Pfizer shares up 3% in early trading. The company also announced that it plans to sell its nutrition unit to Nestle for just under $12 billion. Pfizer also has designs on spinning off its animal-health business into a separate stock, which it plans to call Zoetis. The company said it hopes to file IPO papers on Zoetis sometime in mid-August.
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