DivX 4Q results better than expected; shares rise

Video technology company DivX Inc. reported an adjusted profit well above Wall Street expectations on Wednesday and issued guidance that was also better than expected. Its shares jumped in late trading. The adjusted profit was 7 cents per share, well ahead of the 2 cents per share expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Without adjusting for one-time items, DivX lost $34,000, or less than 1 cent per share, during the quarter that ended Dec. 31, down from a profit of $2.6 million, or 8 cents per share, during the fourth quarter of 2008.

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The company said it expects first-quarter revenue of $20.5 million to $21.5 million, with per-share results ranging between a loss of 2 cents and break-even. Excluding one-time items, that would be a profit of 4 cents to 6 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 3 cents per share. [Read the full article]

An index that tracks signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes is expected to have inched upward in January, indicating that demand for housing remains stable.

The National Association of Realtors’ index of pending sales of previously occupied homes is expected to come in at 97.6, according to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters. That’s up 1 percent from December.

The index, to be released at 10 a.m. EST, tracks signed contracts to purchase previously occupied homes. A reading of 100 is equal to the average level of sales activity in 2001, when the index started.

It is considered a barometer for future completed sales because typically there is a one- to two- month lag between a sales contract and a completed deal.

However, the index, which rose 1 percent in December from a month earlier, did not predict January’s 7.2 percent drop in completed sales. Those results were the weakest since June. [Read the full article]

Economists believe that productivity rose at an even faster pace in the final three months of last year than first estimated and that, at some point, companies will have to resume hiring because they will no longer be able to meet rising demand with their pared-back work forces.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect that the government will find that productivity grew at an annual rate of 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, up from an initial estimate of a 6.2 percent increase.

The economists believe that labor costs fell at an annual rate of 4.4 percent in the October-December period, which would be unchanged from the initial estimate. The Labor Department will release its new report on productivity and unit labor costs at 8:30 a.m. EST Thursday. [Read the full article]

Factory orders likely showed a moderate gain in January, reflecting a big jump in demand for commercial aircraft.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect orders rose 1.8 percent in January, a stronger showing than the 1 percent gain in December. The Commerce Department will release the report at 10 a.m. EST Thursday.

The expectation for a stronger rise in factory orders is based on a preliminary report last week that orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, jumped 3 percent in January. That was the biggest increase for durable goods since a 5.8 percent rise last July.

However, the strength was centered in a surge in demand for commercial aircraft as orders more than doubled. That spike, which reflected increased demand at airplane giant Boeing Co., offset a 2.2 percent drop in orders for motor vehicles.

Boeing had surprised investors with a bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit in late January. [Read the full article]

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