Google clings to cash
Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette said the company plans to hang on to its steadily growing stash of cash to pay for potential acquisitions and other investments that could boost the Internet search leader’s profits.
Pichette, in response to a question Thursday at a Morgan Stanley technology conference, said Google is holding its now $48 billion stash so it will have plenty of cash to “pounce” on acquisition opportunities.
He didn’t identify potential targets.
The White House said President Barack Obama intends to designate Edith Ramirez to be chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, the watchdog agency charged with protecting consumers from anti-competitive or deceptive business practices. Ramirez has been an FTC commissioner since 2010.
She will replace Jon Leibowitz, a Democrat who announced his resignation in February after four years at the helm of the commission.
Ramirez will be one of two Democrats on the commission until Obama names a replacement for Leibowitz on the five-member panel.
• The digital business is weighing on Barnes & Noble, the largest traditional U.S. bookseller. The company posted a loss in the third quarter, hurt by weak sales during the important holiday quarter for its Nook e-book readers as well as at its bookstores. Nook revenue fell 26 percent, and the company has begun cutting costs at the unit because of the sharp decline. In the quarter ending Jan. 26, the company posted a loss of $6.1 million, or 18 cents a share. In the same period the year before, the company posted a profit of $52 million, or 71 cents a share. Revenue fell 9 percent to $2.22 billion.
• Gap reported a 61 percent increase in profits for the fourth quarter. The company earned $351 million, or 73 cents a share, in the quarter ending Feb. 2. Revenue rose 10 percent to $4.73 billion.
• Sears posted a smaller loss in the fourth quarter as it reduced its inventory and expenses while sales at its namesake stores rose slightly. The company, which also owns the Kmart store chain, lost $489 million, or $4.61 a share, for the period ending Feb. 2. That compares with a loss of $2.4 billion, or $22.63 a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 2 percent to $12.26 billion. A good part of the drag on revenue was softness in consumer electronics.
• Wendy’s said its fourth-quarter net income grew more than sixfold partly because of a larger tax benefit. For the period ending Dec. 30, Wendy’s earned $26.4 million, or 7 cents a share, up sharply from $4 million, or 1 cent a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 2 percent to $629.9 million.
| Star news services