Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Exxon squeezes out bigger profit on lower sales * ExxonMobil Corp., the biggest U.S. oil company, posted a surprise increase in profit on Friday thanks to a 38 percent increase in profit from turning oil and gas into fuels and chemicals. The company earned $8.07 billion on revenue of $107.49 billion in the third quarter. Last year during the same period, Exxon earned $7.87 billion on revenue of $112.37 billion. On a per share basis, the company earned $1.89, up from $1.79 last year and far above the $1.71 per share analysts polled by FactSet had predicted on average.

SEC probes Caterpillar * Caterpillar Inc. says the SEC is looking into accounting measures taken in its $7.6 billion acquisition of mining equipment maker Bucyrus International Inc. in 2011. The construction equipment company said in a regulatory document that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a subpoena in September seeking information about the company's accounting for the goodwill relating to the deal. Goodwill is considered the intangible assets associated with a company, such as the value of its brand name. It often is used to account for how much over the book value, or below, a buyer pays in an acquisition. Caterpillar said it was cooperating with the SEC and believes the matter will not have a material adverse effect on its financial results or position. The Peoria, Ill.-based company also said in a statement that it believed its accounting treatment was appropriate.

Omega buys Aviv * Omega Healthcare will buy rival real estate investment trust Aviv in a $3 billion all-stock deal combining two companies that each run hundreds of nursing homes. Aviv shareholders will receive a portion of Omega stock valued at $34.97 for each Aviv share in a deal designed to be tax-free to shareholders, the companies said Friday. That represents a premium of more than 16 percent to Omega's closing price Thursday. Omega shareholders will own about 70 percent of the combined company. The deal is expected to close in next year's first quarter. …

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