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Foreclosures Fall From 2011
Foreclosures Fall From 2011

According to CoreLogic Tuesday, there were nearly 60,000 completed foreclosures during June, down from nearly 80,000 in the same month 2011. Since the financial crisis began in 2008 there were roughly 3.7 million homes lost to foreclosures. Foreclosure inventory is the share of all mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process. "The decline in the flow of completed foreclosures to pre-financial crisis levels is more welcome news pointing to an emerging housing market recovery," said CoreLogic CEO Anand Nallathambi.

The Labor Department reported Tuesday, the employment cost index - which is composed of two elements: wages and benefits - rose 0.5% - in line with expectations of Wall Street economists - for all civilian workers in Q2, slightly more than the 0.4% increase in Q1. Employment costs were up 1.7% in the past year for the slowest increase since the second quarter of 2010. For Q2, wages - which account for 70% of employment costs - increased 0.4%, while benefits increased 0.6%. Wages were up 1.7% year-on-year, compared with a 1.6% gain in the same period of 2011. Benefits slowed to a 2.1% year-on-year increase from a 3.6% gain in the same period 2011. Since Q4 of 2009, this is the slowest annual increase in benefits.

In June, consumer spending in the U.S. fell slightly and marked the second straight decline even though wages rose sharply, according to the Commerce Department said Tuesday. On a seasonally adjusted basis, consumer spending fell less than 0.1% in June while spending for May was revised slightly lower with a 0.1% decrease. Personal income climbed higher by 0.5% in June. The personal savings rate rose to 4.4% from 4.0% since incomes rose faster than spending, striking highest level in a year. Inflation, gauged by the core PCE price index increased 0.2% in June, but was unchanged on a year-over-year basis at 1.8%.

Conference Board reported Tuesday that U.S. consumer confidence increased in July to 65.9 striking the highest level seen, since April on improved expectations after declining for four months. A prior estimate for June had pegged the level at 62 and was revised to 62.7. "While consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term business and employment prospects, they have grown more pessimistic about their earnings," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.

The online-social gaming stock Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) was lower by 2% on Tuesday, to close at a new all time low of $2.95 per share. Since Zynga reported disappointing quarterly results last week that included weakness in its mobile and social-gaming platforms, shares of the company have been in a freefall. Since opening day of its IPO at $11 a share in December 2011, shares of the stock are down by nearly 75%. Investors appear to be scrambling away from the publicly trading of 'social' network affiliated companies, sending such stocks into a spiraling tailspin, with no signs of slowing down until they hit rock bottom.

Specialty biopharmaceutical company, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AUXL), posted its first profitable period in Q2, showing double-digit revenue growth. For the year, the company raised its revenue estimate to $310 million to $332 million from $293 million to $315 million. Two main drugs of Auxilium - Xiaflex - which is currently allowed in the U.S. and Europe to treat some adults suffering from Dupuytren's contracture in a person's fingers that aren't able to fully extend from the palm, and testosterone replacement therapy Testim. The company plans to file with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking approval for the potential use of Xiaflex in the treatment of certain penile dysfunction by the end of 2012. To promote Testim, the company has a deal with GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK). "For the remainder of 2012 and beyond, we will continue to focus on delivering excellence in commercial execution and we anticipate a positive additional impact from GlaxoSmithKline's efforts on Testim's growth," Chief Executive Adrian Adams said. "We also look forward to filing the SBLA [supplemental biologics license application] for Xiaflex for the treatment of Peyronie's disease by the end of the year as we seek to obtain FDA approval for this indication." Auxilium posted a profit of $7.7 million for period ended June 30, compared with a loss of $5.1 million, of 11 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The latest quarter results includes stock-based compensation expense of $3.9 million, compared with a $4 million expense last year. Primarily due to increases in U.S. sales where Xiaflex revenue climbed 21% and Testim revenue rose 26%, revenue rose 19% to $78.2 million. Gross margin narrowed to 77% from 78% due to the high margin catch-up amortization that was recognized last year from Xiaflex. Auxilium is raising its full-year guidance for global Testim revenue to $245 million to $255 million from $225 million to $235 million. The Pharmaceutical firm cut its outlook for global Xiaflex revenue to $65 million to $77 million from $68 million to $80 million.

Fiscal first-quarter profit for CommVault Systems Inc. (CVLT) surged 44% as the data-management software company saw double-digit revenue growth from its services and software segments. Shares ended the trading session on Tuesday, up 7% and shares are higher by nearly 30% over the past 12 months. Buoyed by demand for its data-management software services from companies like PC maker Dell Inc. (DELL), the company has seen its top line grow since the summer of 2009. CommVault reported a profit of $10.1 million or 21 cents a share, versus $7 million or 15 cents a share, a year ago for quarter ending June 30. Stripping out one-time items, the company reported a net of 30 cents a share versus 21 cents a year ago, revenues jumped 22% to $111.3 million and gross margins narrowed to 86.3% from 86.8% on higher costs. Software revenue was $54.2 million showing an increase of 24% year-over-year and a decrease of 8% sequentially while services revenue was $57 million, increases of 19% year-over-year and 3% sequentially.

A day after the company reported Q2 earnings and cut its profit outlook for the year, shares of Humana Inc. (HUM) got the smack-down today, down 13% into the closing bell on Wall Street. Humana reported that they now expect earnings to fall within a range of $6.90 to $7.10 a share, down from $7.38 to $7.58 a share. Daily trading range easily blew by previous 52 week low.
 

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July 31, 2012


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