Afternoon Buzzers: Apple Releases iPhone 5 Around the Globe, Oracle Climbs Higher

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) climbed 0.8 percent higher this afternoon to reach another new all-time high near $704. The iPhone 5 reaches stores today across the globe. Cities including Hong Kong, Sydney and Tokyo were among the first to get the new smartphone. Large crowds are seen across the globe and the iPhone 5 will launch in 22 more countries next week.

Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) shares jumped 0.7 percent today. The company reported that first quarter earnings rose to $2.03 billion (41 cents per share), compared to $1.84 billion (36 cents per share) a year earlier. “On a non-GAAP basis, new software licenses and cloud software subscriptions sales grew 11 percent in constant currency and operating margin increased to 44 percent in Q1,” said Oracle President and CFO, Safra Catz. “Q1 operating cash flow increased to a record high of $5.7 billion. We’re off to a good start in the new year.”

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Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) shares surged 4.4 percent after reporting financial results for the first quarter. Net income increased 3.9 percent to $110.8 million (85 cents per share), compared to $106.6 million (78 cents per share) a year earlier. “We’re pleased with our very solid start to the fiscal year,” said Clarence Otis, chairman and chief executive officer of Darden. “Red Lobster’s sales held up well given the exceptional same-restaurant sales results in last year’s first quarter and its margins expanded, Olive Garden had meaningful sales and margin improvement and LongHorn Steakhouse and the Specialty Restaurant Group continued to have good sales momentum.”

Shares of KB Home (NYSE:KBH) gained 12.7 percent this morning. The homebuilder reported a profit of $3.3 million (4 cents per share) for the third quarter, compared to a new loss of $9.6 million a year earlier. Revenue also jumped 15.6 percent to $424.5 million. KB Home beat the mean analyst estimate of a loss of 15 cents per share and the average revenue estimate of $301.3 million. PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) shares also increased on the news.

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