Ferro writes to shareholders
Ferro Corp., waging a proxy battle and trying to fight off a hostile takeover bid from Fairlawn’s A. Schulman Inc., is urging its shareholders to vote for its slate of three board candidates.
The Mayfield Heights specialty chemicals company on Thursday sent a letter to shareholders urging them to support its board members. A shareholders group that includes FrontFour Capital Group and Quinpario Partners is running a slate of three candidates as well.
“Reject the FrontFour Group’s short term agenda: To sell Ferro on the cheap,” Ferro’s letter says in part.
The letter also says that polymer company A. Schulman’s offer earlier this year of $6.50 a share in cash and stock for Ferro “was wholly inadequate and not in the best interests of Ferro shareholders.” It described Schulman’s offer as “low ball” and said it appeared Schulman is not in a position to significantly raise the cash component of its proposal. Ferro also said that Schulman’s stock price has dropped 24 percent since making its unsolicited offer.
Ferro’s annual shareholders meeting is May 15.
Microsoft net income surges
Microsoft’s revenue and net income surged in the latest quarter, but much of the gains were due to the recognition of sales that occurred before the launch of the latest versions of Windows and Office, the company said.
Net income was $6.1 billion, or 72 cents per share, in its fiscal third quarter, which ended in March. That was up from $5.1 billion, or 60 cents per share, a year ago, and beat the forecast of analysts polled by research firm FactSet, at 68 cents. Revenue was $20.5 billion, up 18 percent from a year ago and matching analyst forecasts. Adjusted for deferred revenue, it rose 8 percent.
Google reports higher profit
Google Inc. earned $3.3 billion, or $9.94 per share, during the opening three months of the year. That was a 16 percent increase from $2.9 billion, or $8.75 per share, last year.
If not for certain expenses, Google said it would have earned $11.58 per share. That figure exceeded the average earnings estimate of $10.65 per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet. Revenue climbed 31 percent from last year to $14 billion.
Sherwin-Williams earnings up
Cleveland paint company Sherwin-Williams said it earned $116.2 million, or $1.11 per share, up 16 percent from $100.2 million, or 95 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.
Revenue rose just over 1 percent to $2.17 billion from $2.14 billion, helped by contributions from a recent acquisition and higher sales volumes at the paint store business.
Pepsi beats analysts’ estimates
PepsiCo said first-quarter net income fell 4.6 percent to $1.08 billion, or 69 cents a share, from $1.13 billion, or 71 cents, a year earlier. Profit excluding some items was 77 cents a share, beating the 71-cent average of 14 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Total sales rose 1.2 percent to $12.6 billion, beating the $12.5 billion average of analysts’ estimates.
Twitter offers music service
Twitter has launched a service that lets people find music they like and tweet songs from iTunes, Spotify and Rdio. Twitter made the app available for download from Apple’s online store and also launched a Web version on Thursday. Twitter said the service will eventually be available on Android devices as well. The service uses information from Twitter chatter to detect popular tracks as well as new artists.
Compiled from staff and wire reports