Wednesday headlines include: Federal Express beating earnings estimates and planning a rate increase, Dupont facing pressure to further split itself up, Mondelez International planning to expand its coffee operations in Europe, Embraer booking a big order, and Berkshire Hathaway getting warned to be ready for a big corn and soybean harvest.
Shipper FedEx (FDX) said Wednesday that it earned $2.10 per share in its first fiscal quarter on $11.7 billion in revenue. Analysts had expected the company to earn $1.96 billion on $11.48 billion in revenue. The company said the 5.3 million shares of its own stock that it purchased during the quarter helped to raise earnings by 15 cents per share. The company has also announced plans to raise shipping rates for some items starting on Jan. 5, 2015.
Chemical company DuPont (DD) is being pressured by Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management to split its high-growth businesses, which include agricultural and other chemicals, from its more stable, cash-generating operations. Dupont is already working toward separating its performance chemicals unit, which makes chemicals for non-stick cookware and a white pigment used in a wide variety of operations.
Mondelez International (MDLZ) is merging its European coffee business with D.E. Master Blenders 1753. The combined company is going to invest in single-serve coffee products as it tries to better compete with Nestle.
Aircraft-maker Embraer (ERJ) booked an order for 50 E-175 planes for Republic Airways Holdings. The company said the deal with worth $2.1 billion and will be on the company's order book for the third quarter.
Warren Buffett reportedly met with Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture, last week and was advised to expect a record corn and soy harvest this year. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) owns the BNSF railroad, which carries a lot of agricultural products, is ready for a bumper harvest.