3 Stocks in Investing Spotlight After Earnings

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE:NLSN) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for Nielsen Holdings N.V. rose to $95 million (26 cents per share) vs. $3 million (one cent per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a substantial increase from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 3.6% to $1.42 billion from the year earlier quarter. Nielsen Holdings N.V. reported adjusted net income of 51 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 48 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $1.46 billion.

“Nielsen delivered solid fourth quarter results, with double-digit growth in developing markets and steady gains in all other regions,” said David Calhoun, Chief Executive Officer of Nielsen. “We feel great about our first year as a public company and look forward to achieving continued progress in 2012.”

Competitors to Watch: Arbitron Inc. (NYSE:ARB), COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR), WPP PLC (NASDAQ:WPPGY), Forrester Research, Inc. (NASDAQ:FORR), Weborama SA (ALWEB), Ipsos SA (NYSE:IPS), UBM Plc (NYSE:UBM) and Arteria SA (AMEX:ARR).

Wausau Paper Corp. (NYSE:WPP) reported a drop to a loss in the fourth quarter driven by higher costs. Reported a loss of $28.7 million (58 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. The paper company had net income of $15.2 million or 31 cents per share in the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 2.9% to $252.7 million from the year earlier quarter. Wausau Paper Corp. reported adjusted net income of 4 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of 5 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $249.3 million.

Henry C. Newell, president and CEO, commented, “Fourth-quarter earnings were consistent with our expectations with Tissue returning to double-digit margins and Paper segment profits pressured by print sector performance and reduced technical volumes. The sale of our remaining timberlands and ongoing exit of our participation in print & color markets narrow our focus to growth in profitable tissue and technical paper markets, significantly reduces execution risk and provides for a strong and flexible balance sheet to support our ongoing strategic investments.”

Competitors to Watch: Neenah Paper, Inc. (NYSE:NP), International Paper Co. (NYSE:IP), Domtar Corp. (NYSE:UFS), P.H. Glatfelter Company (NYSE:GLT), Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE:VRS), Boise Inc. (NYSE:BZ), Clearwater Paper Corp (NYSE:CLW), Schweitzer-Mauduit Intl., Inc. (NYSE:SWM), and Sappi Limited (NYSE:SPP).

SYSCO Corporation (NYSE:SYY) reported its results for the second quarter. Net income for the food wholesaler fell to $250.1 million (43 cents per share) vs. $258.2 million (44 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 3.1% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 9.2% to $10.24 billion from the year earlier quarter. SYSCO Corporation reported adjusted net income of 46 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 44 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $10.05 billion.

“Our case growth trends improved in the latter part of the quarter as we were well positioned to benefit from the favorable market conditions our customers experienced during the holiday season,” said Bill DeLaney, Sysco’s president and chief executive officer. “Adjusted operating earnings growth in our core business was modest however, as product cost inflation continued at historically high levels and pricing pressure remained acute.”

Competitors to Watch: Nash-Finch Company (NASDAQ:NAFC), Spartan Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPTN), United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI), Synergy Brands, Inc. (SYBR), Core-Mark Holding Co., Inc. (NASDAQ:CORE), AMCON Distributing Co. (AMEX:DIT), G. Willi-Food Intl. Ltd. (NASDAQ:WILC), ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), Kraft (NYSE:KFT), Kellogg (NYSE:K) and SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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