Thursday, February 1, 2007

Another Record for the Dow; Exxon, WebEx in the news

Industrial Average Closes at New High of 12,672.96

The US economy seems to be running on high octane. And most of it is coming from Exxon-Mobil. As the Dow Jones Industrials closed at yet another record high, oil giant Exxon-Mobil reported annual profits of $39.5 billion for 2006, the most ever for a US corporation.

For the 4th quarter, the company said it earned $10.2 billion, or $1.76 per share, a slight decrease from year-earlier figures of $10.7 billion and $1.71 a share. Even so, 2006 was a very, very good year to have oil anywhere - in your car, in a portfolio, on your hands, in your blood. Exxon's massive profits translate into more than $75,000 per minute over the course of 2006. They have a good thing going there.

The price of crude, meanwhile, has been dropping and eased off a bit today after a couple days of gains. Futures contracts for March delivery closed at $57.30/bbl. (down .84) on the NY Mercantile Exchange.

Elsewhere, the big tech story was WebEx Communications, the multi-layered internet collaboration service company which returned profits of 42 cents per share - 4 cents beyond estimates - reported after the close on Wednesday.

Additionally, WebEx (WEBX, company home page) laid out guidance for the 1st quarter and the full year in excess of analyst predictions. Shares gapped more than 3 points higher at the open, at 40.55, from a previous close of 37.08 and continued to climb throughout the day. At the close, the stock posted a gain of more than 21%, at 45.03. The company's main product line includes solutions for collaboration, web meetings and teleconferencing via the internet.

The other major indices took their cues from the Dow. The NASDAQ added 4.45, while the S&P 500 ticked another 7.68 points higher. Following a favorable January, February is off to a refreshingly solid start.

No comments: