Feb. 8 - Summary of business headlines: Groupon sells-off after surprise quarterly loss; Cisco Systems beats, News Corp hits revenue forecasts; Details of Greek talks start to leak; Caesar hits small jackpot with IPO; Greece keeps Wall Street in holding pattern. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL. Groupon's first earnings as a publicly traded company are putting the stock on sale. The deals website lost money last quarter due to higher international taxes. Wall Street was looking for a miniscule profit. Revenues at close to $507 million dollars topped forecasts. Profits and sales for tech bellwether Cisco Systems beat expectations. Cisco is in the midst of a three-year plan to cut costs, but re-invest in new technologies. Earnings at News Corp came in ahead of forecasts but revenues were pretty much in line with consensus. Sales were only up two percent. Speculation about terms of a Greek debt deal was fast and furious, but no official word on job cuts and other reports circulating the trading floor. A deal will get done, but it will be painful for Greece, warns Michael Shaoul of Marketfield Asset Management. SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL SHAOUL, CHAIRMAN, MARKETFIELD ASSET MANAGEMENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They are going to do it at the last possible moment. Every elected politician wants to be able to turn around to its population when they do something unpleasant, and say I had no choice. You're witnessing the messy end stages of a Greek compromise hammered out." Shares of Caesars Entertainment nearly doubled on their first trading day. But the small initial public offering could soon run out of luck because of high debt. As for the rest of Wall Street, investors were not willing to gamble much, leaving stocks close to where they began the session. European investors were not willing to press their luck either as Greek debt talks wore on for another day. Conway Gittens, Reuters