Concur falls on weak fiscal 2Q, 2010 outlooks

Shares of Concur Technologies Inc. fell Thursday after the provider of corporate expense management software and services predicted second-quarter and fiscal 2010 earnings below analyst estimates.

Concur late Wednesday said it expects to earn 17 cents per share in the quarter, excluding one-time items. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast profit of 20 cents per share on average.

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Concur expects to earn 80 cents per share this fiscal year, below analysts’ estimate of 82 cents per share.

Concur also said for its fiscal first quarter ended in December it earned $6.5 million, or 12 cents per share, versus $5.8 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same period a year before. Excluding one-time items, it earned 19 cents per share, exceeding analysts’ average estimate by 2 cents per share.

Lazard analyst Joel Fishbein Jr. [Read the full article]

(Berkshire Hathaway article updated with news of Berkshire’s loss of its AAA credit rating.) Berkshire revealed that it has cut approximately 3,000 jobs since December, and on Thursday, lost its last-remaining AAA rating, a point of pride for Warren Buffett. In an SEC filing on Thursday related to the issuance of $8 billion in senior notes to help finance the Berkshire Hathaway acquisition of Burlington Northern(BNI Quote), Berkshire noted that it and its subsidiaries employ about 222,000 people. The 222,000 employee level is 1.3% less than the figure that Berkshire Hathaway reported six weeks ago , and almost 10% below the 246,083 disclosed in the company’s 2008 annual report, according to Bloomberg. Many of the Berkshire operating subsidiaries, such as housing company Clayton Homes and carpet maker Shaw Industries, are intricately linked in performance to a cyclical rebound in housing and a sustained recovery in the U.S. economy. [Read the full article]

Good day and welcome to the Equifax fourth quarter earnings release conference call. Today’s conference is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Jeff Dodge. Please go ahead, sir. Good morning and welcome to today’s conference call. I’m Jeff Dodge, Investor Relations. And with me today are Rick Smith, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Lee Adrean, Chief Financial Officer. Today’s call is being recorded. An archive of the recording will be available later today in the Investor Relations section of the About Equifax tab of our website at www.equifax.com. During this call, we’ll be making certain forward-looking statements to help you understand Equifax and its business environment. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations. [Read the full article]

Standard & Poor’s dropped its ratings on Berkshire and its core subsidiaries from the top-level AAA to AA+.

In a statement posted on its web site, S&P says “We believe that the railroad acquisition will reduce what historically has been extremely strong capital adequacy and liquidity,” as Berkshire uses cash and borrowing to help finance the $26 billion deal.

S&P adds: “Investment risk remains very high in our view, compounding the need for extremely strong capital and liquidity given potential investment volatility. A key concern is that BRK’s risk tolerances appear to have increased, yet we believe they remain ill defined while the organization increases in complexity.”

Another concern, says S&P, is “uncertainty” surrounding who will be running Berkshire Hathaway after “the eventual transition of the company’s leadership” from Warren Buffett. [Read the full article]

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