J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP): Shares of J.C. Penney have calmed somewhat after a pre-market burst, and the retailer says that CIT is still supporting deliveries from vendors. An article published Wednesday claimed the contrary, which J.C. Penney says is untrue. The company says it expects to end the current quarter with $1.5 billion in cash. Separately, Citigroup has downgraded J.C. Penney to Sell from Neutral in response to questions about the retailer’s credit.
AstraZeneca Group (NYSE:AZN): AstraZeneca reported earnings per share of $1.20, in line with expectations. Revenue of $6.23 billion missed by $20 million as core pretax profit fell 12 percent to $1.94 billion. With observers’ eyes on Asia, CEO Pascal Soriot warned that investigations being initiated by China in the health care sector will “create turmoil” in the short term and could lead to “intense price revisions.” However, “in the mid- to long-term China is a growing market,” Soriot said in the earnings release, adding that his company had no plans to cut back investment in the country.
Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE): Sony has brought its net profit back to black, posting a figure of 3.48 billion yen ($35.38 million) following a loss of 24.64 billion yen last year. Sales jumped 13 percent to 1.71 trillion yen, beating the consensus of 1.64 trillion. The company also maintains its full-year forecast for a net profit of 50 billion yen and an operating profit of 230 billion yen, though it raised its sales projection by 5 percent to 7.9 trillion yen.
Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA): Shell’s adjusted net profit took a 20 percent slide to $4.6 billion, below forecasts for $5.9 billion, on revenue of $112.67 billion. The company suffered a $700 million snag for thefts in Nigeria and the tax impact of a weakening Australian dollar. Total oil and gas production dropped 1 percent to 3.062 million barrels of oil equivalent per day versus the consensus of 3.146 million.
Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY): Shares slid as Sanofi announced cuts to its earnings guidance for 2013 following a plunge in second-quarter net profit exacerbated by new generic competition to some of its blockbuster drugs. Net profit managed just 444 million euros, or $589.38 million, versus the 1.15 billion it made last year. However, the company is still anticipating a return to growth in the second half of the year, with new management appointed in Brazil and Latin America to help stem inventory charges.