October 23, 2013

Briefcase

From staff and news services

Idexx exceeds estimates despite revenue shortfall

Idexx Laboratories’ third-quarter earnings per share beat analyst estimates, but its revenues fell slightly short of expectations, according to documents filed Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Westbrook-based supplier of diagnostic testing products for veterinarians reported third-quarter revenue of $338.3 million, up 7.2 percent from $315.5 million, during the same period a year earlier. Still, according to investment website Seeking Alpha, stock analysts were expecting an additional $1.4 million in revenue based on company projections.

Despite the revenue shortfall, Idexx managed to be more profitable than expected for the quarter due to price increases and higher profit margins, the company said in a news release. Idexx reported earnings per share of $0.86, up 13 percent from $0.76 during the same quarter a year earlier and $0.04 higher than analyst projections.

Net income for the quarter was $45.7 million, compared with $42.9 million during the third quarter of 2012.

Amazon raises minimum to $35 for free shipping

Amazon.com customers will need to spend more money on the site in order to qualify for free shipping.

The online retailer raised the minimum order size needed for free shipping to $35 from $25. The change, made Monday, comes ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. It also comes after Walmart.com made a similar change earlier this month.

Amazon.com Inc. is pushing customers to sign up for its Amazon Prime service, which costs $79 a year. Members receive free two-day shipping on millions of items on the site and access to its TV and movie streaming service.

In a post on its website, Amazon.com Inc. said that it’s the first time it has increased its free shipping minimum in more than a decade.

At Walmart.com, customers now need to spend $50 to qualify for free shipping, up from $45. It also increased the amount of items that are eligible for free shipping. Now, nearly 99 percent of Walmart.com’s items qualify, up from 15 percent before, said spokesman Bao Nguyen.

Major stock indexes rise as oil and gas prices drop

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10.01 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 1,754.67. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 75.46 points, or 0.5 percent, to 15,467.66. The Nasdaq composite was up 9.52 points, or 0.2 percent, at 3,929.57.

Benchmark U.S. crude for November delivery dropped $1.42 to close at $97.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Wholesale gasoline slipped 4 cents to $2.62 a gallon. Natural gas dropped 9 cents to $3.58 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil fell 1 cent to $3 a gallon.

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