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10 earnings season winners

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This earnings season has been dominated, as so many of them have been recently, by breathless expectations as to what Apple would report. But plenty of other companies that exceeded expectations and impressed Wall Street. Here are 10 of the biggest winners.


The big news for Netflix was that it added more than 3 million new streaming subscribers following the big promotional push and free trial accompanying its “House of Cards” series. Netflix claimed that fewer than 8,000 people signed up for the free trial then immediately canceled the service. Netflix’s new total of 29.2 million subscribers exceeded estimates, and earnings of 31 cents per share came in way above the 23 cents Netflix predicted back in January. The stock jumped by 22 percent on earnings day and has kept increasing.



Google saw a huge pop in its revenue, with the first quarter number coming in at $14 billion. That was in line with Wall Street’s estimates, but the reported income of $11.58 per share easily beat the consensus. The good news was that advertising revenues showed strong growth, but Google continues to be weighed down by its difficulties with mobile ads and its Motorola smartphone unit. Still, the stock rose 4.4 percent on earnings day.

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)



Coach, maker of those high-end handbags and other accessories, announced that its sales had jumped 7 percent from the year earlier, income rose 6 percent, and earnings per share were up 10 percent. On top of that, the company increased its dividend by 15 cents up to an annual rate of $1.35 a share, and chairman Lew Frankfort said that Coach was well on its way toward becoming a “global lifestyle brand.” With all that good news, the stock popped by 11 percent. 

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)


Microsoft announced a whopping profit of more than $6 billion, an increase of 18.5 percent from the year earlier. With concern about how well Windows would hold up in a declining PC market, and specifically how Windows 8 – released last November – would fare in this environment, Microsoft answered those questions well. Adjusting for the revenue from the offer to upgrade to Windows 8, revenue from Windows was flat on a year-to-year basis, but with Microsoft showing revenue growth in all of its business divisions, that was still good enough to push the stock up by 3.4 percent on the day.



Citigroup has been beaten up pretty badly ever since the financial sector melted down in 2008, but at its recent earnings call, it announced that its net income rose by 30 percent in the first quarter. Profits were an impressive $3.8 billion. Most of the growth came from corporate lending. In the United States, consumer lending rose by just 1 percent, and revenue from the global banking unit dropped by 1 percent. This was the second earnings report since the departure of the disastrous CEO Vikram Pandit, and the returns were solid enough to encourage investors, who drove Citigroup stock up 2 percent.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)



Burrito-maker Chipotle Mexican Grill reported earnings of $2.45 per share, well ahead of the consensus estimate of $2.14 per share and an increase of 24.4 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. Sales at Chipotles that had been open for a year increased 1 percent, but that wasn’t the best news: The chain opened 48 new stores in the first quarter alone, and bought back 164,000 shares worth $51 million. Wall Street liked the sound of that, and pushed the stock up 7 percent on earnings day.

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Check Point Software

Check Point Software makes security systems for computers, like the VPN systems that let workers log on remotely and that drove Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer crazy. It barely eked past the Wall Street consensus, reporting adjusted earnings of 79 cents per share as opposed to the estimate of 78 cents per share. But with year-over-year revenue up more than 3 percent, that was enough to impress investors, who drove the stock up 2.5 percent on earnings day.


Ford Motor

Ford Motor put up a record quarterly performance in North America – at least since the company began reporting North American results back in 2000 – with its $2.44 billion pretax profits here. Overall, first quarter profits were up 15 percent, and net income rose from 35 cents a share a year ago to 40 cents a share this time around, easily beating the Wall Street estimates. The one dark spot was in Europe, where Ford lost $462 million for the quarter and is projected to lose $2 billion this year. But the stock still jumped 1.7 percent.

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Verizon Communications announced that its net income increased a solid 15.8 percent. Its earnings per share of 68 cents just edged above the analysts’ estimates of 66 cents, but that was also an increase of 15.3 percent over earnings per share in the year-earlier period. Maybe the best news was that Verizon added a net of 677,000 new customers in the United States, up 35 percent from the year earlier.


The first quarter seemed to be nothing but bad news for Boeing, which struggled with inexplicable battery fires on its new 787 Dreamliner. Although its revenue fell 3 percent – it was able to deliver just one Dreamliner during the quarter – its net income rose 20 percent in the first quarter. Core earnings were $1.73 per share, well above the analysts’ estimates of $1.49 per share. Boeing’s stock jumped more than 3 percent on the news.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)


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