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Superstorm Sandy takes a toll on fourth-quarter earnings

January 22, 2013|By David Colker
  • Delta Air Lines was among the companies reporting Tuesday that its fourth-quarter earnings were hurt by Superstorm Sandy.
Delta Air Lines was among the companies reporting Tuesday that its fourth-quarter… (AFP/Getty Images )

On a busy day for earnings reports, several major companies released results before the start of the trading day. Some were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy that struck the East Coast in the fourth quarter.

On the plus side, at least in comparison to analysts' forecasts, was chemical maker DuPont Co., whose profit for the last three months of the year was $111 million, or 12 cents a share, down from $373 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had forecast only 7 cents a share for the latest period.

Johnson & Johnson said higher sales boosted its fourth-quarter earnings to $2.57 billion, or 91 cents a share -- more than 10 times its year-earlier net income of $218 million, or 8 cents a share.

But the maker of consumer health products and drugs said it expected its 2013 earnings to come in at $5.35 to $5.45 a share, less than analysts had been projecting.

Verizon Communications posted a fourth-quarter loss of $4.23 billion, or $1.48 a share -- much worse than analysts had estimated. And it was a far worse than the wireless company's loss of $2.02 billion, or 71 cents a share, a year earlier.

Verizon blamed the widened loss in part on Superstorm Sandy and restructuring costs.

Insurance firm Travelers Cos. was also hurt by the storm. It reported a profit of $304 million, or 78 cents a share. That was down from $618 million, or $1.51 a share, a year earlier. Some analysts, however, thought the company would be hurt even more by Sandy.

Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines said its fourth quarter profit took a major hit from the storm. It had net income of $7 million for the quarter or 1 cent per share, way down from $425 million profit or 51 cents per share in the quarter a year ago.

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Superstorm Sandy pushed air travel down in October, report says

The Associated Press and Bloomberg were used in compiling this report. 

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