After a series of revelations and allegations of possible breaches of the anti-foreign-bribery law by employees of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and other retailers yet to be named, the retail sector may be investigated by the SEC and Department of Justice, according to Reuters.
Total’s (NYSE:TOT) Q2 beats both on earnings and revenue, though production is down 2 percent to 2.26 million bpd due to disruptions, and the company takes a charge for 316 million euros related to controversial gas contracts with Iran dating back to the 199os. Adjusted net profit is 2.9 billion euros (+2 percent) compared to expectations of 2.86 billion euros, while revenues are 49.1 billion euros (+9 percent) compared to estimates of 47.88 billion euros. Dividend is hiked 3.5 percent to 0.59 euros a share.
Gross margin is on a tear at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) with Q2’s 26.1 percent (+210 bps) being a 9-year high, despite international growth falling from 31 percent to a still-respectable 22 percent on a y-on-y basis. Resource-hungry Amazon Web Services may be the reason for increased capex of $657 million (+70 percent) this quarter and likely to be $800-$900 million in the next. The CFO may be assuaging fears of physical retailers when he said “We don’t really see a way to do same-day delivery on a broad scale economically,” on the conference call.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launches a new ‘fiber-based’ broadband service in Kansas that provides monster download speeds and features a $70/month 1 Gbps tier and a free 5 Mbps tier. “We’ll be looking at ways to bring ultra high-speeds to other communities,” says the company.
President and COO Kristopher Matula is putting in his papers at Buckeye Technologies (NYSE:BKI) effective August 31 to focus on other interests, according to the company. He quits the board earlier, on August 7. A restructuring that may involve the sale or close of many of the company’s under-performing or non-core assets may also mean the company would be revamping its executive team.