Amazon, Pfizer and McGraw-Hill Analyzed by Traders Post Earnings

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the fourth quarter as profit dropped from a year earlier. Net income for Amazon.com Inc. fell to $177 million (38 cents per share) vs. $416 million (91 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 57.5% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 34.6% to $17.43 billion from the year earlier quarter. AMZN beat the mean analyst estimate of 16 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $18.2 billion.

“We are grateful to the millions of customers who purchased the Kindle Fire and Kindle e-reader devices this holiday season, making Kindle our bestselling product across both the U.S. and Europe,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Our millions of third-party sellers had a tremendous holiday season with 65% unit growth and now represent 36% of total units sold.”

Competitors to Watch: eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST), GSI Commerce, Inc. (NASDAQ:GSIC), Hot Topic, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOTT), PC Mall, Inc. (NASDAQ:MALL), and Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY).

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for the drug manufacturer fell to $1.44 billion (19 cents per share) vs. $2.89 billion (36 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 50.2% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 4.6% to $16.75 billion from the year earlier quarter. PFE reported adjusted net income of 50 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 47 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $16.61 billion.

Ian Read, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Overall, 2011 was a year of setting new direction and focus for Pfizer. I am pleased with our 2011 financial performance, which was achieved in the face of a challenging global market and product losses of exclusivity of approximately $5 billion. We also made significant progress regarding capital allocation for the benefit of our shareholders during 2011.”

Competitors to Watch: Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK), Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY), Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS), Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL), Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN), and Sanofi-Aventis SA (NYSE:SNY).

McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. (NYSE:MHP) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for the book publisher rose to $214 million (73 cents per share) vs. $153.8 million (50 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 39.1% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 1.6% to $1.52 billion from the year earlier quarter. MHP reported adjusted net income of 63 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 57 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.55 billion.

“In 2011, despite challenging market conditions, we recorded the second best year in our history from continuing operations for revenue, operating profit and earnings per share,” said Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The McGraw-Hill Companies. “A solid fourth quarter finish by S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts and a market-beating performance in U.S. higher education enabled us to overcome volatile global credit markets and historically low funding levels in the U.S. elementary-high school market.”

Competitors to Watch: Reed Elsevier plc (NYSE:RUK), Thomson Reuters Corp. (NYSE:TRI), Reed Elsevier NV (NYSE:ENL), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP), Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ:SCHL), Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), and The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT).

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