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Higher spending by cardholders helps lift American Express' 1Q revenue and profit

NEW YORK, N.Y. - American Express said Wednesday its net income climbed in the first quarter, helped by higher spending by its cardholders even as cold winter weather gripped much of the country. The New York-based company said its cardholders spent 6 per cent more in the first three months of the year, driving up revenue for both its U.S. and international card businesses. "While consumers remain cautious about taking on additional debt, we continued to see a modest increase in card member loan balances," AmEx CEO Kenneth Chenault said.

Lender Capital One Financial says its quarterly profit edged up even as income declined

MCLEAN, Va. - Capital One Financial Corp. says its first-quarter profit edged up, even as income it receives from lending slipped. After the market closed Wednesday, McLean, Va.-based Capital One reported net income of $1.14 billion, or $1.96 per share, for the three months ending March 31. That compares with net income of $1.04 billion, or $1.77 per share, in the same period of 2013. Revenue dipped 3 per cent to $5.37 billion from $5.55 billion. On average, analysts expected earnings of $1.69 per share on $5.45 billion in revenue, according to the data provider FactSet.

TSX slightly higher on China growth worries, escalating Russia/Ukraine tensions

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market closed with a small gain Tuesday amid concerns about China's growth and worsening tensions between Ukraine and Russia. The S The Canadian dollar was down 0.2 of a cent to 91.1 cents US a day ahead of the Bank of Canada's latest interest rate announcement. It is universally expected that the bank won't hike its key rate from one per cent, where it has been since September, 2010.

Family Dollar to cut jobs, close about 370 stores as it tries to improve financial performance

MATTHEWS, N.C. - Family Dollar plans to cut some jobs and close about 370 underperforming stores as it tries to reverse sagging sales and earnings. The discount store operator will also lower prices on about 1,000 basic items. Family Dollar did not provide details on how many jobs were expected to be eliminated. The chain said the store closings and job cuts should reduce annual operating expenses by $40 million to $45 million, starting with the fiscal third quarter. Family Dollar Stores Inc. currently has more than 8,100 stores in 46 states.

Tiffany sales sparkle in key holiday season, but hefty charges leads to 4Q loss, glum outlook

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Tiffany Even without the charge, its adjusted earnings missed Wall Street expectations. Its forecast for this year also was short of expectations. Tiffany's shares fell more than 3 per cent in Friday premarket trading. For the three months ended Jan. 31, the luxury jewelry company — known for its little blue boxes — lost $103.6 million, or 81 cents per share. A year earlier it earned $179.6 million, or $1.40 per share.

Strong demand worldwide, higher prices helps Nike 3rd-quarter results beat Wall St. estimates

BEAVERTON, Ore. - Nike said strong global demand for its athletic goods helped third-quarter net income beat Wall Street expectations as it readies for the World Cup in June. The soccer tournament, held in Brazil this year, has revved up shoppers' appetite for Nike's clothing and gear. The company has introduced new products, including a soccer shoe and 10 national team uniforms. Orders set to be delivered between March and July rose 12 per cent to $10.9 billion. That includes a 33 per cent jump in Western Europe, where the World Cup is popular.

FedEx profit and revenue rise but not enough to meet Wall Street forecasts

DALLAS - FedEx Corp. says its latest quarterly profit rose 5 per cent from a year ago despite storms that raised the company's costs, but the results were below analysts' expectations. The company's ground-shipping segment is doing better, but the express-delivery business is flat and customers continue to shift to slower, cheaper services for international shipments.

FedEx profit and revenue rise but not enough to meet Wall Street forecasts

DALLAS - FedEx Corp. says its latest quarterly profit rose 5 per cent from a year ago despite storms that raised the company's costs, but the results were below analysts' expectations. The company's ground-shipping segment is doing better, but the express-delivery business is flat and customers continue to shift to slower, cheaper services for international shipments.

Oracle posts 2 pct increase in fiscal 3rd-qtr net income, but falls short of predictions

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Oracle's fiscal third-quarter net income rose 2 per cent, helped by higher cloud software subscription revenue, but the results fell slightly short of Wall Street predictions. In the three months through Feb. 28, the business software maker earned $2.57 billion, or 56 cents per share, up from $2.5 billion, or 52 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before. Excluding one-time items, the company posted an adjusted profit of 68 cents per share.

Hertz spinning off equipment rental business into a separate publicly traded company

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Hertz plans to spin off its equipment rental business into a separate publicly traded company. The car rental company said Tuesday that it will receive about $2.5 billion in net proceeds as part of the transaction and plans to use it to pay down debt and to support a new $1 billion stock buyback. Hertz also reported adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter that missed analysts' expectations. Its forecast for 2014 adjusted earnings was also below Street expectations. Its shares edged up in afternoon trading Tuesday.
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