It’s a busy day in the market after a morning loaded with earnings announcements.
Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), UPS (NYSE: UPS) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) were among the high-profile companies that announced their quarterly earnings results this morning. Many of them beat analysts’ expectations, though some earnings declined from a year ago.
Here’s how some of the bigger companies fared:
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM): The largest company in the U.S. by market capitalization reported a 1.6% year-over-year improvement in its fourth quarter earnings, thanks largely to climbing crude oil prices. The $9.4 billion in profits the big oil company produced last quarter translates to $1.97 a share – a penny more than the $1.96 a share most analysts expected. But the stock was down 1.9% as of 1:40 p.m. due to a steep decline in Exxon’s refining and marketing profits. Production also dropped off, as quarterly output fell 9%.
- UPS (NYSE: UPS): Traditionally viewed as a bellwether for the global economy, the United Parcel Service struggled last quarter amid worldwide economic uncertainty, particularly in Europe. UPS’ earnings fell 29% from the same quarter in 2010, though a large chunk of that drop-off is due to $600,000 in charges tied to a recent change in its pension-accounting method. Without that, the company’s earnings would have outpaced the same quarter a year ago. Still, the earnings decline has sent the stock falling 1% today.
- Pfizer (NYSE: PFE): It wasn’t a surprise that the world’s leading drug maker’s earnings stumbled last quarter. Pfizer’s patent on the top-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor expired in the U.S. in late November, sparking a 50% year-year-year decline in the company’s quarterly earnings. As generic cholesterol drugs entered the market, Lipitor sales fell 24% to $2 billion, including a 42% drop in U.S. sales. Still, Pfizer’s overall results beat analyst expectations, softening the blow the stock is feeling in the market today. Shares of Pfizer were down just one percent in mid-day trading.
- Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY): Different company, same song. Recent patent expirations contributed to Lilly’s 27% earnings fall. The pharmaceutical company’s top seller, Zyprexa, lost patent exclusivity in October. That ate into profits: Lilly’s $858.2 million in fourth-quarter earnings trailed the $1.17 billion the company made last year. But the company’s $6 billion in revenue narrowly beat analyst’s expectations of $5.9 billion, sending the stock up 1.4% in mid-day trading.