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 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, PetroChina, ExxonMobil Corp., Citigroup and Wells Fargo
CreateTime:2011-08-30     Source:prnewswire Editor:lile
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CHICAGO, Aug. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (NYSE: KKD), PetroChina Co. Ltd. (NYSE: PTR), ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Krispy Kreme Matches Estimates

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (NYSE: KKD) posted second quarter 2012 adjusted earnings of 6 cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, on a GAAP basis, earnings in the quarter came in at 12 cents per share compared with 3 cents per share in the prior-year quarter. GAAP earnings included a gain on the sale of the company's equity interest in its Mexican franchisee.

Total revenue climbed 11.4% year over year to $87.9 million in the quarter. The company witnessed revenue growth across all its segments. Within segments, company stores revenues jumped 10.0% year over year to $66.0 million, Domestic franchise revenues increased 13.3% to $2.3 million, International franchise revenues escalated 33.5% to $5.4 million while KK Supply Chain revenues (excluding sales to Company stores) surged 12.1% to $50.3 million largely driven by price increases across all major product categories.

Same-store sales at Company stores rose 2.5%, reflecting the eleventh consecutive quarter of comps growth. Domestic franchise same-store sales grew 6.3%, but International franchise same-store sales plunged 11.7% mainly due to cannibalization from over 300 stores that were opened internationally over the past 3 years. Additionally, the after-effects of tsunami in Japan also hurt international comps by 4-5 percentage points in the quarter.

PetroChina Earnings Up Slightly

Chinese energy giant PetroChina Co. Ltd. (NYSE: PTR) announced its first half 2011 earnings of RMB 66.0 billion or RMB 0.361 per diluted share, compared with RMB 65.3 billion or RMB 0.357 per diluted share in the year-earlier period. Earnings per ADR came in at $5.59 (exchange rate: US$1.00 = RMB 6.46, 1 ADR = 100 shares).

The slight improvement can be primarily attributable to higher oil prices and stronger volumes, which were almost offset by refining losses. PetroChina's total revenue for the six months totaled RMB 952.2 billion, an increase of 39.1% from the year-earlier period.

Segmental Performance

Upstream: PetroChina, the world's most valuable oil and gas producer after ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), posted strong upstream output growth during the six months ended June 30, 2011. Crude oil output rose 5.0% from the year-ago period to 445.8 million barrels (MMBbl), while marketable natural gas output was up 5.3% to 1,185.9 billion cubic feet (Bcf).

Average realized crude oil price during the first six months of 2011 was $101.62 per barrel, representing an increase of 40.3% from $72.42 per barrel in the corresponding period of the previous year. This pushed up the upstream (or exploration & production) segment profit by 41.3% to RMB 103.7 billion.

Downstream: PetroChina's refinery division processed 491.4 MMBbl during the six-month period, up from 439.1 MMBbl in 2010. The company produced 2.966 million tons of synthetic resin in the period (a rise of 7.4% year over year), besides manufacturing 1.819 million tons of ethylene (up 0.6% from the first half of 2010). It also produced 43.393 million tons of gasoline, diesel and kerosene during the period, as against 38.382 million tons a year earlier.

The company's Refining & Chemicals business experienced an operating loss of RMB 20.9 billion as against a profit of RMB 5.5 billion in the previous year period. This was due to PetroChina's inability to shift the burden of rising oil costs to its consumers, as mandated by the state policy of keeping a lid on domestic refined product prices.

In marketing operations, the group sold 66.79 million tons of gasoline, diesel and kerosene during January - June 2011, an increase of 12.2% year over year.

Citi Boosts Consumer Banking Arm

As part of its effort to overhaul the U.S. Consumer Banking arm, Citibank, the banking unit of Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) has appointed two Regional Heads for this division.

Jerome Byers has been appointed as Regional President of Consumer Banking for its Central Region overseeing branches from Illinois to Texas, while Kathryn Dinkin has been hired as Regional President of Consumer Banking for its East Region, which comprises of branches from Boston to Miami. In total, the East Region is comprised of Boston, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, and Washington D.C. – inclusive of both Maryland and Virginia.

Prior to joining Citi, both of them have served as Regional Presidents in Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC). As Atlanta Regional President for Wells Fargo, Byers was in charge of overseeing 200 banking locations and 5,000 team members while Dinkin served as Regional President of Southeast Florida at Wells Fargo.

The strategic hires are to support Citi's revamp initiative. It is segregating its U.S. Consumer Banking into three key regions -- East, Central and West -- and each of these regions will be headed by a regional president.

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