Google’s profits increase 28 percent

Google’s second-quarter profit climbed 28 percent, falling below Wall Street’s high expectations for the Internet’s search leader.

The Mountain View-based company earned $925.1 million, or $2.93 per share, during the three months ended in June. That compared with net income of $721.1 million, or $2.33 per share, at the same time last year.

If not for costs associated with employee stock compensation, Google said it would have earned $3.56 per share. That figure missed the average analyst estimate of $3.59 per share among analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

Revenue for the period totaled $3.87 billion, a 58 percent increase from $2.46 billion at the same time last year.

After subtracting commissions paid to its advertising partners, Google’s revenue was $2.72 billion — about $40 million above analyst projections.


Publishing exec quits over Dow Jones sale

German publishing executive Dieter von Holtzbrinck has resigned as a director of Dow Jones & Co. to protest the board’s endorsement of a deal to sell the company, which publishes The Wall Street Journal, to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

In a letter included with a securities filing made by Dow Jones on Thursday, von Holtzbrinck said he was “very worried” that Dow Jones’ “unique journalistic values will long-term strongly suffer after the proposed sale.”

Dow Jones’ board endorsed the $5 billion buyout offer from News Corp. late Tuesday, and the proposal has now gone to the company’s controlling shareholders, the Bancroft family, for a decision. They are expected to meet Monday and take several days to consider the offer.


Sherwin-Williams reports profits up

Sherwin-Williams Co., the largest U.S. paint retailer, said second-quarter profit increased 9.8 percent on higher coatings prices. The company boosted its earnings forecast, and the shares rose the most in four years.

Net income climbed to $202.6 million, or $1.52 a share, from $184.6 million, or $1.33, a year earlier, Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams said Thursday in a statement. Per-share profit topped the $1.44 average estimate of six analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Sales gained 3.2 percent to $2.2 billion.

Chief Executive Officer Christopher Connor boosted the number of paint stores by 4.7 percent to 3,207, including 131 from last month’s acquisition of M.A. Bruder & Sons. Paint-store profit climbed 9.7 percent to $238.2 million because of cost controls and higher prices, Chief Financial Officer Sean Hennessy said.

“The gross margin was much higher than expected,” J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Jeffrey Zekauskas said in a report.

Gross profit in the second quarter climbed to 44.9 percent of sales from 44 percent a year earlier, the company said.

Shares of Sherwin-Williams jumped $5.98, or 8.9 percent, to a record close of $72.99 at 4:29 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.


Ford takes steps toward sale of units

Cash-strapped Ford Motor Co. took a step toward selling its Jaguar and Land Rover units on Thursday when it received an undisclosed number of opening bids for its British automaking businesses.

Thursday was a deadline to submit early bids.

Ford, which lost $12.7 billion last year and $282 million in the first quarter of this year, has cut thousands of jobs and closed factories in an effort to shrink itself to match lower demand for its products.


Weak sales send Motorola to loss

Cell-phone maker Motorola posted a $28 million second-quarter loss Thursday as continuing weak sales resulted in its first back-to-back losses in five years.

The company, which analysts believe slipped to third in the world handset market in the quarter behind Nokia Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., said it expects financial performance to improve in its cell-phone unit in the second half. But it avoided predictions of when a full-fledged recovery will take hold.

Chief Executive Ed Zander, whose job is in jeopardy because of the tailspin and Motorola’s inability to come up with a competitive successor to its Razr cell phone, acknowledged that “there weren’t many really new ‘wow’ products” in the company’s portfolio in the first half of 2007.


Treasury prices rise after Bernanke talk

U.S. Treasury bond prices edged up Thursday amid recovering stocks and as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke wrapped up his semiannual address to Congress.

At 5 p.m. EDT, the 10-year Treasury note was up 63 cents per $1,000 in face value, or 0.06 points, from its level at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction, fell to 5.02 percent from 5.03 percent.

The 30-year bond rose 0.22 points. Its yield fell to 5.11 percent from 5.12 percent.

The 2-year note rose 0.03 points. Its yield fell to 4.84 percent from 4.86 percent.

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