GE posts first profit increase since 2007 after cutting costs

Cost cutting and an improved financial business helped General Electric Co. post its first increase in quarterly profit since 2007 on Friday, but sales remained sluggish for the industrial and financial giant.

The Fairfield, Conn.-based company, which makes everything from refrigerators to jet engines, sees profits continuing to grow next year.

GE’s quarterly net income rose 16 percent to $3.0 billion, or 28 cents per share, up from $2.6 billion, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier.


‘Toy Story 3’ helps Mattel double its quarterly income

Parents snapped up toys tied to the box-office smash “Toy Story 3” in spring and early summer, helping Mattel’s second-quarter net income more than double. But the toymaker sounded a cautious note for the holiday season and shares fell.

The maker of Barbie and Hot Wheels said Friday its net income rose to $51.6 million, or 14 cents per share, from $21.5 million, or 6 cents per share last year. That just missed analyst expectations for net income of 15 cents per share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

It was the first time Mattel hasn’t beat or matched expectations in five quarters.


Charles Scwab earnings hold steady compared with 2009

Retail brokerage Charles Schwab Corp. says its second-quarter earnings were steady compared with a year ago on almost flat revenue.

But Chairman Charles Schwab says second-quarter revenue rose 10 percent from the first quarter and expense controls helped boost pre-tax profit margin.

The San Francisco brokerage says net income amounted to $205 million, or 17 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30 on steady revenue of about $1.08 billion.


Broadcast revenue boosts Gannett’ Co.’s net income

Gannett Co., the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, said Friday that its second-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by a rebound in broadcast revenue, a one-time tax gain and a less severe drop in print advertising.

Gannett reported net income of $195.5 million, or 81 cents per share, for the three months ended June 27, up from $70.5 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier.


FDIC takes over S.C. bank, bringing 2010 failures to 91

Regulators on Friday shut down a South Carolina bank, bringing to 91 the number of U.S. banks failures this year amid the recession and mounting loan defaults.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over Woodlands Bank, based in Bluffton, S.C., with $376.2 million in assets. Bank of the Ozarks, based in Little Rock, Ark., agreed to assume the assets and deposits of the failed bank.


Former H&R Block CEO leaving board of directors

Former H&R Block Inc. CEO Thomas Bloch said Friday he is leaving the tax preparer’s board of directors and sharply criticized the company’s priorities, prices, and its failure to keep up with do-it-yourself online tax programs.

Bloch, who was president and CEO of the Kansas City, Mo., company for 15 years, said he will not stand for re-election to the board on Sept. 30. He has been on the board since 2000.


McDonald’s halts its plans for free smoothies samples

McDonald’s Corp. is scrapping plans to offer free samples of its new smoothies because it’s worried it would run out of the fruit drinks.

In a statement late Thursday, the fast-food chain’s chief marketing officer called the fruit-flavored yogurt drinks “an absolute hit,” with “unprecedented demand.”

Sales of the drinks officially began this week, and the company, based in suburban Chicago, had planned to offer free samples July 22-24. McDonald’s is debating whether to reschedule the event.