WALL STREET JOURNAL: H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) is today expected to increase its sales and profit projections for the next two years, as it reports results of its fiscal year ended April 30. The Wall Street Journal reported that sales are to grow 6% or higher from 4%, while earnings per share growth for the next two years is projected to grow between 8% and 11% from the earlier projection of 7% to 9%…It appears that Vistaprint (VPRT), a graphic design services and printed products company, counts on referral fees from pop up rewards programs on it website for a certain amount of its revenue and profit and also relies on the referral of its customers to outside firms offering rewards programs, which turns out to be a monthly fee for services such as discounts on movies and amusement parks, according to the Wall Street Journal's "Heard on the Street". Some believe the stock, whose shares have plummeted over concerns of slowing revenue and slimmer gross margins, may be trading too high for its own good…FINANCIAL TIMES: According to people familiar with their plans, the Financial Times reported that the CEOs of UAL Corp's (UAUA) United Airlines and US Airways (LCC) will today meet to discuss the carriers' potential merger agreement…INDEPENDENT: The Independent reported that for the second time this month, Barclays (BCS) revised lower its calculation of analysts' consensus for its full-year profit, cutting its 2008 figure by nearly 8% to GBP5.876B pre-tax; Barclays cut the calculation 15% two weeks ago…
Microsoft and Yahoo CEOs talk-WSJ
Talks between Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo (YHOO), and Google (GOOG) and Yahoo are continuing with no clear resolution as to whether Microsoft is interested in a search ad deal with Yahoo, or if it's again interested in the entire company, reports the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang golfed together over the weekend. Unclear is where Yahoo's potential search ad deal with Google stands. Meanwhile, investor Carl Icahn wants Yahoo to go with the Google deal if Microsoft won't buy the whole company.
UBS suffers "mass defection" from wealth management staff-UK Times
The UK Times reports that about two thirds of front office and support staff at UBS AG's (UBS) wealth management business have left for rival companies. Sources say Vestra Wealth, a start-up partly financed by Goldman Sachs (GS), has taken 52 staff members, while other senior executives have moved to Credit Suisse (CS), Rothschild and Merrill Lynch (MER) over the past few days. UBS wealth management CEO John Pottage maintains that "only 20 client advisers" have left.
Oil exporters can't meet demand, trend expected to continue-WSJ
Oil producers worldwide can't meet demand no matter what the price, and that is expected to continue, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Department of Energy figures show that petroleum shipments declined by 2.5% in 20076 as prices jumped 57%. Among the reasons for the decline are increased demand for oil in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East, meaning less is exported. Also, older fields and a lack of investment have hurt exports from Mexico, Norway and Russia. And OPEC cut production early in 2007 and didn't restore supply until the fall. Says Lehman Brothers oil analyst Adam Robinson: "The sense in the market is that peak oil is here and that things will only get worse. But the verdict is still out on that."
Apple watchers expect new, improved iPhone to be launched soon-NY Times
Apple (AAPL) sold just 1.7M iPhones in Q1, meaning it has to sell more than 8M phones during the rest of this year in order to meet its goal of selling 10M iPhones in 2008. Apple watchers believe the company will try to meet the challenge by introducing a new version of the iPhone on June 9, the opening day of its Worldwide Developers Conference. The company has promised that its new iPhone would run on a high-speed wireless data network, and there have been rumors that the phone will also include a higher-resolution camera and a GPS system that would allow new Web services tied to a person's location.
Offshore driller Atwood Oceanics operates premium rigs-IBD
Offshore oil and gas drilling is a $38B market. Hardly the biggest of the drillers, Houston's Atwood Oceanics (ATW) is known for premium rigs available to the highest bidder and for long term contracts. These days they get rates that are at historic highs to drill internationally, according to Investor's Business Daily's "The New America".