Orange profit soars and 2020 goals confirmed

Euro/swiss franc hits lowest since Aug 2015 on safe-haven bids

TOKYO, Feb 13 (Reuters) – The euro hit its lowest level against the Swiss franc since August 2015 on Thursday as investors sought safe havens after China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak, reported a sharp jump in the number of new cases.

The euro briefly fell to 1.0622 franc, below its 2016 trough of 1.0623, and last stood at to as low as 1.06235.

IEA cuts world oil demand growth view to lowest since 2011

The International Energy Agency on Thursday lowered its view on world oil demand growth to the lowest level since 2011 due to the coronavirus outbreak that has paralyzed China. The IEA cut growth in 2020 by 365,000 barrels a day to 825,000 barrel a day. Crude-oil futures fell 41 cents to $50.76 a barrel.

HeidelbergCement earnings and sales rise in 2019

HeidelbergCement AG said late Wednesday its earnings rose last year, while revenue and sales volumes were slightly below the German cement company’s expectations.

Earnings from current operations before depreciation and amortization rose 15.5% to 3.58 billion euros ($3.90 billion) in 2019, or 2.5% on a like-for-like basis. Earnings from current operations rose 8.8% to EUR2.19 billion, or 4.7% on a like-for-like basis, it said.

Revenue grew 4.3% to EUR18.85 billion. On a like-for-like basis, the increase was 2.1%. Sales were slightly below the company’s expectations because of lower revenue in the trading segment, it said, and overall 2019 sales volumes were also slightly below expectations.

"The development of sales volumes resulted mainly from our strategy of focusing more on necessary price increases than on sales volumes, which led to a decline in sales volumes in the fourth quarter, in particular," HeidelbergCement said.

By the end of 2019, net debt declined to EUR7.1 billion before applying IFRS16 accounting, below the November forecast of EUR7.4 billion, it said.

HeidelbergCement will release a trading statement with preliminary fourth-quarter results on Feb. 18. Complete results and an outlook are due Mar. 19.

Write to Sarah Sloat at [email protected]

Stock Alert: Qualys Inc. (QLYS) Shares Up On Better-Than-Expected Q4 Earnings

Shares of Qualys Inc. (QLYS) rose 1.61% on Feb. 12, and closed Wednesday’s trading session at $91.05. The stock has been trading in a range of $72.76 – $95.99 in the past one year. Trading volume increased to 346K versus an average volume of 238K shares.

On Feb. 12, company reported better-than-expected Q4 earnings, and issued strong guidance for the Q1 and FY 2020.

The company’s Q4 GAAP net income was $20.7 million or $0.50 per share compared to $14.4 million or $0.35 per share last year. Non-GAAP net income rose to $26.0 million or $0.64 per share from the prior year’s $21.3 million or $0.51 per share. Revenues increased by 14% to $84.7 million from $74.2 million generated a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.59 per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude certain special items.

Q1, FY 2020 Outlook

The company expects Q1 revenues in the range of $85.7 million – $86.4 million, representing 14% – 15% growth over the same quarter in 2019. GAAP EPS is expected to be in the range of $0.35 – $0.37, and non-GAAP EPS of $0.60 – $0.62. Wall Street analysts are looking for earnings of $0.57 per share and revenue of $86.19 million for the quarter.

For fiscal 2020, the company sees GAAP EPS in the range of $1.60 – $1.65, non-GAAP EPS of $2.57 – $2.62, and revenues between $364 million and $369 million. Analysts estimate earnings of $2.49 per share and revenue of $366.74 million for 2020.

Nissan Motor 9-month Profit Dips

Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NSANF.PK,NSANY.PK) reported Thursday a significant decline in its net income for nine months, with a double-digit decrease in revenues.

The Group’s net income attributable to owners of the parent fell 87.6 percent to 39.3 billion yen from 316.7 billion yen last year. Operating profit slid 82.7 percent to 54.3 billion yen.

For the nine-month period, Nissan’s revenues decreased by 12.5 percent to 7.507 trillion yen. The Group’s global unit sales decreased 8.1 percent to 3.70 million units during the period.

Looking ahead to the full fiscal year, the Group now forecast attributable net income of 65 billion yen, operating profit of 85 billion yen, and revenues of 10.2 trillion yen, compared to earlier projections of 110 billion yen, 150 billion yen and 10.6 trillion yen respectively.

In a separate communique on February 12, Nissan Motor said it filed a civil lawsuit against its former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, seeking 10 billion yen in damages over his misconduct and fraudulent activities over the years. Nissan revealed that the claim for damages has been calculated on the basis of costs incurred by the company due to Ghosn and his corrupt practices over many years.

However, the Japanese car maker noted, the size of the damages claim might increase in future as it seeks to recover fines to be paid to the Japanese Financial Services Agency and likely penalties imposed on the company in criminal proceedings related to Ghosn’s misconduct.

Orange profit soars and 2020 goals confirmed

Orange said Thursday that 2019 net profit soared, while it confirmed its objectives for 2020.

Net profit in 2019 rose more than 50% to 3.01 billion euros ($3.28 billion), the French telecommunication company said.

Revenue came in at EUR42.24 billion from EUR41.99 billion a year earlier on a comparable basis, Orange said. Revenue in the fourth quarter was EUR11.09 billion.

Orange said that its performance was driven by a strong momentum in its Africa and Middle East unit, which grew 6.2%, and solid results in Europe.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization after leases, or EBITDAaL, came at EUR12.86 billion in 2019.

The company confirmed it will propose a dividend of EUR0.70 per share for 2020 at its general meeting and that it still expects EBITDAaL to be "flat positive" in 2020

Write to Olivia Bugault at [email protected]