Shares of McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) edged slightly higher in late afternoon hours. The company declared a quarterly cash dividend of 81 cents per share, up 5 percent from the previous quarter. “Our philosophy on the use of capital remains unchanged with our first priority being to reinvest in our business to drive sales and cash flow, while generating strong returns,” said McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson. “After these investment opportunities, we expect to return all of our free cash flow to shareholders over the long-term through dividends and share repurchases. Today’s dividend increase demonstrates the continued strength and sustainability of our cash flow and our commitment to enhancing shareholder value.”
Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) shares surged 9 percent on Wednesday. Late Tuesday, the computer software company reported weaker-than-expected earnings of 32 cents per share, but posted a 47 percent jump in subscribers. “We exceeded one million subscriptions during Q3, demonstrating that the transition to Creative Cloud is happening sooner than expected,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer, Adobe. “We successfully completed the acquisition of Neolane, adding a critical cross-channel campaign management solution to the Adobe Marketing Cloud, which will further extend our leadership position in digital marketing.”
BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) shares climbed higher in late afternoon trading, as people familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal that it is preparing for large layoffs. BlackBerry had nearly 13,000 employees as of this March, but sources say it could cut up to 40 percent of those jobs.
Shares of Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) jumped almost 1 percent in late afternoon hours. The company reported earnings of 59 cents per share, beating estimates calling for 56 cents per share. “Non-GAAP earnings per share increased 12 percent to 59 cents, the best ever result for the first quarter of our fiscal year,” said Oracle President and CFO, Safra Catz. “Those record level earnings were enabled by an operating margin of 45 percent for the quarter. We also set a free cash flow record of over $6 billion in Q1, and then we returned half of that to our stockholders by repurchasing $3 billion of our shares in the quarter.”
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares closed 2 percent higher on Wednesday and continued to edge higher in late afternoon trading. Reviews on the new iPhone 5S are mostly positive, and new research from Morgan Stanley predicts that sales of Apple’s iPhone devices will increase 28 percent this quarter to 34.5 million units, a figure much higher than previous expectations.
Follow Eric on Twitter @Mr_Eric_WSCS