The Washington Post Sunday - - TAKING STOCK -

Mi­crosoft posted sec­ond-quar­ter rev­enue of $19.95 bil­lion, beat­ing ex­pec­ta­tions. Re­sults buoyed by the Kinect add-on for Xbox con­soles. Ama­zon fourth-quar­ter rev­enue rose 36 per­cent, to $12.95 bil­lion but fell short of an­a­lyst ex­pec­ta­tions. Ya­hoo more than dou­bled its profit to $312 mil­lion, mostly through cost­cut­ting, but rev­enue fell 12 per­cent to $1.53 bil­lion as the com­pany fights to gain mo­men­tum against ri­val Google. In­tel boosted its div­i­dend by the biggest gain in five years and added $10 bil­lion to its stock buy-back plans. DuPont re­ported a 15 per­cent drop in fourth-quar­ter earn­ings, down to $376 mil­lion, but raised 2011’s fore­cast. Ford Mo­tor re­ported an un­ex­pected slide in fourth-quar­ter earn­ings, down 79 per­cent to $190 mil­lion, ow­ing to ris­ing costs in North Amer­ica and com­modi­ties prices. Last year, how­ever, was among its best ever, with $6.6 bil­lion in rev­enue. Amer­i­can Ex­press said in­creased spend­ing by its cus­tomers drove up its profit 48 per­cent, to $1.06 bil­lion. Rev­enue grew 13 per­cent to $7.32 bil­lion. Hal­libur­ton more than dou­bled its earn­ings with a fourth-quar­ter profit of $605 mil­lion on im­proved global re­sults and record U.S. rev­enue for its ef­forts to ex­ploit shale for­ma­tions in North Amer­ica.

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