It’s still earnings season. While most companies seem to be meeting expectations, they are prognosticating an ugly future. Here’s a quick wrap of the major reports:
WSJ: Philip Morris International Inc. posted a 20% rise in third-quarter profit on strong global demand for its cigarettes, while Reynolds American Inc. reported a decline due to restructuring charges.
Bloomberg: Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, foresees an “extremely difficult” worldwide automotive market in 2009 as there is “no end in sight” to a contraction in U.S. sales during the credit-market crisis. (Not earnings, but still interesting.)
WSJ: Merck & Co. posted a 28% drop in third-quarter net income amid broad sales weakness, as the drug maker announced plans to cut another 7,200 jobs and lowered a long-term forecast that it withdrew in July.
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