Wall Street Watch: Greece Stalls, Groupon and PepsiCo Announce Earnings

After a marathon meeting, Greece’s political chiefs couldn’t reach agreement on reforms and austerity measures due to disagreements on pension cuts.Without the rescue plan and its funds, Greece will now likely default on its March bond repayment. Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos will now travel to a Brussels summit today with euro zone finance ministers and discuss the rescue plan.

China reported consumer prices increased 4.5 percent in January from the previous year. This is higher than the 4 percent expectation due to increased spending from a week-long holiday. The unexpected inflation acceleration will pressure officials to keep from making instant cuts in the banks’ reserve requirements, according to Bloomberg.

On Wednesday, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) reported a $9.8 million fourth quarter loss ($0.02 per share). The is down from its $185 million loss for the same quarter in the previous year. Disappointed investors reacted by driving down the company’s stock 13 percent in after-hours trading. But there was good news for Groupon: its fourth quarter revenue rose 194 percent to $506.5 million from the same quarter a year ago, beating analysts’ estimates.

PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) reported its fourth quarter profit increased 4 percent to $1.42 billion ($0.89 cents per share), up from $1.37 billion ($0.85 per share) from 2010’s final three months. The company announced plans to cut three percent of its global workforce (8,700 employees) to produce $1.5 billion in savings by 2014, according to MarketWatch. The company will also increase its annual dividend by 4 percent to $2.15 per share, buy back at least $3 billion in stock and increase marketing spending near $600 million in 2012.

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