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Check out this week’s earnings news from across the globe.

Metro Inc.

Metro Inc. is reporting a slight decline in profit and flat revenue compared with a year ago.

The Montreal-based grocery retailer says it had $138.1 million of net income in its fiscal first quarter, down 1.2% from $139.8 million a year earlier.

Sales were $2.97 billion for the 12 weeks ended Dec. 17, up 0.3% from $2.96 billion in the first quarter of Metro’s 2016 financial year, which ended Sept. 24.

Metro’s earnings amounted to 58 cents per share, up from 56 cents per share a year earlier, when there were more shares outstanding.

Its dividend payable March 13 will be 16.25 cents per common share, up 2.25 cents from the dividend paid in November and up 16.1% from last year’s first-quarter dividend.

Metro’s chief executive, Eric La Fleche, said in a statement before the company’s annual meeting that Metro has experienced a challenging environment because of a decline in food prices and intense competition.

Statistics Canada has reported that overall food prices fell compared with the same months of 2015 in October, November and December–the first declines since January 2000.

3M Co.

3M Co. (MMM) on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter profit, all in U.S. dollars, of $1.16 billion.

On a per-share basis, the St Paul, Minnesota-based company said it had profit of $1.88.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.87 per share.

The maker of Post-it notes, industrial coatings and ceramics posted revenue of $7.33 billion in the period, missing Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $7.37 billion.

3M expects full-year earnings to be $8.45 to $8.80 per share.

3M shares have decreased slightly since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased 1%. The stock has climbed 30% in the last 12 months.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson edged out Wall Street profit expectations for the fourth quarter, but announced a lower-than-expected 2017 forecast and said it would start shopping its diabetes care businesses.

Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that it would start seeking a possible sale, joint venture or operating partnerships for LifeScan Inc., Animas Corp. and Calibra Medical Inc. to spark future growth and maximize shareholder value.

All in U.S. dollars, the conglomerate said it expected full-year adjusted earnings of $6.93 to $7.08 per share on $74.1 billion to $74.8 billion in sales.

Analysts expect, on average, earnings of $7.11 per share on $75.07 billion in revenue, according to FactSet. Shares of the world’s biggest maker of health care products slipped in early morning trading.

For the final quarter of 2016, J&J earned $3.81 billion, with adjusted earnings coming to $1.58 per share.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of $1.56 per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

The maker of Band-Aids, medical devices and prescription drugs posted revenue of $18.11 billion in the period, matching Street forecasts.

Shares of the New Brunswick, New Jersey, company fell $1.88 to $112.03 in premarket trading Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson shares had fallen 1% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased 1%. The stock has risen 19% in the last 12 months.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications Inc. on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter profit, all in U.S. dollars, of $4.5 billion.

The New York-based company said it had profit of $1.10 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 86 cents per share.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 89 cents per share.

The largest U.S. cellphone carrier posted revenue of $32.34 billion in the period, beating Street forecasts. Sixteen analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $32.16 billion.

For the year, the company reported profit of $13.13 billion, or $3.21 per share. Revenue was reported as $125.98 billion.

Verizon shares have fallen almost 2% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed 1%. The stock has risen 14% in the last 12 months.

DuPont Co.

DuPont Co. on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter net income, all in U.S. dollars, of $265 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.

On a per-share basis, the Wilmington, Delaware-based company said it had net income of 30 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 51 cents per share.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 42 cents per share.

The chemical company posted revenue of $5.21 billion in the period.

DuPont shares have fallen nearly 1% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen 1%.

Philips

Dutch electronics giant Philips says its fourth quarter sales rose 3% to 7.2 billion euros ($7.7 billion) from the same period a year ago, driven by a strong performance in its health technology operations.

The company announced Tuesday that its net profit soared to 640 million euros ($687 million), compared with a net loss of 39 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2015, when it paid off pension risks and had higher tax and other expenses.

CEO Frans van Houten says, “Our HealthTech portfolio’s performance in the fourth quarter of 2016 demonstrates our strategic focus is delivering results.”

Van Houten called 2016 a defining year for Philips, in which the company spun off its lighting division and focused its business on health technology.

Samsung

Samsung Electronics said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled over a year earlier thanks to record-high earnings from its brisk memory chip business and strong smartphone sales despite costly Galaxy Note 7 recalls.

The South Korean company said Tuesday it posted 7.1 trillion won (US$6.1 billion) in net income during the October-December period, compared with 3.2 trillion won a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet, a financial data provider, expected 6.52 trillion won.

Sales stayed flat at 53.3 trillion won (US$45.6 billion), the company said in a regulatory filing. Operating profit surged 50% over a year earlier to 9.2 trillion won (US$7.9 billion), in line with Samsung’s guidance earlier this month.

The company, the world’s largest maker of smartphones, television sets and memory chips, said its earnings during the current quarter will likely decline because of weaker TV sales and an increase in marketing expenses for the mobile business.

Samsung’s earnings beat the forecasts even as it reels from troubles from a political scandal and the discontinuation of its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7, which has cost it at least US$5 billion since the third quarter. On Monday, the company said battery design flaws and manufacturing errors by suppliers made some of the phones prone to overheat or to burst into fire.

The biggest force behind Samsung’s forecast-beating earnings was its semiconductor businesses, which contributed more than half of the company’s quarterly operating profit. Samsung made 5 trillion won (US$4.3 billion) in operating profit from its semiconductor division alone, thanks to higher demand for memory chips from mobile device makers and server operators.

Despite the challenge it faces in restoring consumer trust, in the absence of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, consumers snapped up Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, released in spring 2016, and other cheaper Galaxy smartphones. That helped Samsung’s mobile business rebound from the previous quarter when the Note 7 debacle wiped out its mobile profit. The division generated 2.5 trillion won (US$2.1 billion) in operating income during the final three months of 2016.

Demand for mobile devices pushed up demand for Samsung’s advanced displays, called OLED, used by growing numbers of smartphone makers. Samsung said its display business generated 1.3 trillion won (US$1.1 billion) in operating income.

After disclosing the earnings, Samsung said that it will buy back US$8 billion worth of its shares in a way to increase shareholder values.

In a conference call, Samsung gave a preview of its mobile business plan for the year. It said its smartphones will feature artificial intelligence services and that it will introduce a “differentiated design,” possibly hinting at a new, long-awaited foldable phone.

So far, the company’s operations appear not to have suffered significant damage from the entanglement of its de facto head and Samsung heir apparent Lee Jae-yong, in an influence peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye.

Lee, a Samsung vice chairman, got a break when a court rejected a request by prosecutors for an arrest warrant for bribery and other charges last week.

That was a setback but not the end to the investigation into Samsung’s donations to non-profit foundations controlled by Choi Soon-sil, a confidante of Park’s who is on trial for meddling in state affairs.

Originally published on Advisor.ca
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