Market Overview

Afternoon Market Update (BF.B, VIA, TXN)


Brown-Forman (NYSE: BF.B) posted its fiscal Q4 earnings at $0.49 per share, as compared to $0.53 per share in the year ago quarter. BF’s sales for the quarter rose 7% to $683 million. Although the wine and spirits firm was able to push its volume higher, higher costs and tax expenses squeezed into its profit. Chief Executive Paul Varga mentioned, "In a challenging consumer and competitive environment, we delivered what we believe to be top-tier performance in underlying net sales and operating income."

Shares of Viacom Inc (NYSE: VIA) gained more than 3% after the entertainment company announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share. The company will be paying its first dividend in the current quarter, ending June 30. The parent of Paramount Pictures and MTV also announced that it plans to resume its share buyback program, which was suspended in early 2009 due to weak economic conditions. Viacom Chief Executive Phillipe Dauman said, “the day's announcements show the company's commitment to return value to our stockholders and our confidence in Viacom's ability to deliver long-term, sustainable growth."

Shares of Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) moved up 2% after the Dallas, Texas-based tech giant said it expects strong demand in 2010, with no impact from the Europe crisis. The company now expects to post earnings between $0.60 and $0.64 per share, as against the earlier forecast of $0.56-$0.64 per share. TI Vice President Ron Slaymaker said, "In general, we're seeing pretty broad-based strength."

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