U.S. markets moved higher Wednesday afternoon, as earnings from a number of corporate heavyweights came in ahead of estimates and lawmakers voted in favour of raising the US debt ceiling.
Apple’s stock has fallen sharply since September mostly on fears over slowed growth in its iPhone business – which was spurred further earlier this month when reports surfaced that that the tech giant had slashed its orders for iPhone 5 components due to weaker-than-expected demand.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares rose nearly 6% after the Internet search firm posted a higher profit on strong ad sales in the fourth quarter. Solid gains were seen in the core business, with advertising revenue jumping more than 20% to $12.91 billion in the quarter. It reported a 24% rise in paid clicks.
Semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) saw its shares rise 11.84% after the company topped views late Tuesday. It reported a wider fourth quarter loss as revenues fell 32%, but excluding one-time items, it would have lost 14 cents a share. Analysts expected AMD to lose 21 cents per share.
McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) advanced a more modest 0.60% after it said its fourth quarter profit rose 1%, with earnings per share of $1.38 topping analyst expectations. Sales at the world's biggest burger chain rose 2% to $6.95 billion, compared to estimates for sales of $6.9 billion. The company said it expects negative comparable store sales growth in January, and expects both top and bottom line growth to remain pressured in the near term.
Others reporting earnings today included Coach (NYSE:COH), which saw its shares tank over 15% Wednesday, after the luxury shoe and handbag retailer posted second quarter results that missed expectations, citing a "challenging" holiday season.
United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) reported a drop in profit on restructuring costs and other one-time expenses. Sales at the industrial conglomerate rose 14% to $16.4 billion. Looking ahead, the company said it expects a 2013 profit of $5.85 to $6.15 a share, compared to the Wall Street estimate of $6.05 a share.
Shares of Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) rose late Wednesday after it said its fourth-quarter operating earnings rose 53%, with its adjusted profit of $1.10 a share beating expectations for a profit of $1.02 per share. Sales rose 6% to $2.44 billion. The company said it expects an adjusted profit of 62 to 67 cents for its first quarter, compared to the analyst forecast for 67 cents a share.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) said its fourth quarter profit fell 35%, but sales rose 4.4% to $10.84 billion. Adjusted profit was $1.51 per share. Wall Street analysts were looking for Abbott to earn 70 cents a share on sales of $10.61 billion. It said it expects adjusted profit of $1.98 to $2.04 per share for 2013, versus calls for $1.96 per share.
Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) reported Wednesday that fourth quarter profit declined as revenue fell 1%, with North American activity falling sharply at the end of the year. Shares in the oilfield services provider still rose however, as the company reported record full year revenues on strong international operations.
On the OTC, Sunridge Gold Corp. (CVE:SGC) (OTCQX:SGCNF) says it has started a reverse-circulation drill program at its Kodadu target on its Asmara project in Eritrea, East Africa, where the company is also focused on completing a feasibility study on the already four established deposits.
The aim of its work at Kodadu is to quickly define a resource that could potentially be mined as feed to a gold plant at Emba Derho - one of the four established deposits. Kodadu is located around 25 kilometres south of Emba.