The whole point of the quarter is to give cash back to shareholders. The shale giant announced a $3 billion buyback program and a 38% increase in dividends. “Our operational success drove the financial achievements that enabled us to complete our $3.0 billion share repurchase program and deliver substantial balance sheet improvements,” said Occidental Petroleum’s President and CEO Vicki Hollub in the company’s earnings release.
In the fourth quarter, Occidental paid off $1.1 billion worth of debt.
OXY is down about 6% so far this year, but it went up 117% last year, which was much better than the rest of the market and even better than the S&P 500’s Energy Select Sector (XLE), which went up 57%. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) (BRK-B), which is run by Warren Buffett, owns about 21% of Occidental’s outstanding shares. This shows that Buffett likes the company.
Zoom Video Communicaitons (ZM)
The forecast for Zoom’s fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share was 80 cents, but the company actually reported $1.22. Moreover, revenue came in at $1.12 billion, which was significantly higher than anticipated. The free cash flow of $183.3 million was significantly higher than the forecasts of Wall Street, which were set at $150.1 million.
The number of clients that contributed more than $100,000 in sales over the previous 12 months increased by around 27% year over year for the video conferencing provider as the year came to a close. Zoom anticipates sales for the first quarter between $1.08 billion and $1.09 billion, which is lower than the predictions provided by Wall Street of $1.11 billion.
Immediately following the quarterly results, Citi analysts, who have a Sell rating on the stock wrote-
“While recent restructuring actions to protect profitability/EPS are encouraging, we think the business may indefinitely struggle to maintain positive y/y revenue growth as a declining online business and international headwinds are unlikely to be offset by new product momentum.”
Zoom said in February that it would cut 1,300 jobs, or about 15% of its staff. The CEO of the company also took a 98% pay cut. Zoom was an early favorite during the pandemic, and Yahoo Finance named it company of the year in 2020 because users flocked to the site when the internet was shut down.
Last year, the stock dropped a lot as economies around the world started up again, workers went back to work, and interest rates went up, which hurt tech stocks in general.
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Workday’s sales of $1.65 billion, which were up 20% from the year before, beat Wall Street’s predictions of $1.63 billion. Adjusted earnings per share of 99 cents beat expectations of 90 cents per share. The income from subscriptions went up 22% year over year.
Workday’s CEO, Barbara Larson, said, “Our strong results for the fourth quarter and all of fiscal year 2023 show that organizations of all sizes continue to put a high priority on modernizing their finance and HR.” The enterprise management cloud company said earlier this month that it would lay off about 3% of its staff, or about 525 people. Year-to-date Workday’s stock is up 10% this year, which is part of a general tech rally. In 2022, the stock lost 38% of its value.
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