Credit Suisse Misses Profit Forecast (WSJ)
Even as it generally seeks to shed assets, Credit Suisse disclosed 6.9 billion francs ($7.6 billion) in additional, operational risk-related assets newly tacked onto its balance sheet as a buffer against possible future litigation costs and other matters. The bank said the add-on resulted from discussions throughout 2013 with Finma, Switzerland’s financial regulator, and it follows a larger 28 billion franc add-on at rival UBS. In the quarter ended Dec. 31, Credit Suisse said net profit rose slightly to 267 million francs from 263 million francs in the same period a year earlier. Analysts had forecast net profit of 429 million francs. Net new assets for its private banking and wealth management business fell to 4.4 billion francs from 6.8 billion francs.
Jobless Claims in U.S. Decreased 20,000 Last Week (Bloomberg)
Jobless claims dropped by 20,000 to 331,000 in the period ended Feb. 1, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a decrease to 335,000.
Hedge Funds Preparing for $1 Trillion Property Bill (Bloomberg)
Axonic Capital LLC, LibreMax Capital LLC and Saba Capital Management LP are among firms positioning to provide loans as more than $1 trillion in commercial real-estate debt originated before the property crash comes due over the next three years, aiming to bridge the gap for borrowers needing more cash than banks are willing to lend. “New participants are capitalizing on that void,” said Richard Hill, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, who said he’s surprised by the range of investors entering the market. “The wave of loans coming due is going to create a bottleneck. The image I get is a snake trying to swallow an elephant.”
Latest Jurors’ Note Could Bode Well For Martoma (NYP)
It was around 2:30 p.m. when the jury, in its second day of deliberations, asked to see the testimony of NYU radiologist Thomas Wisniewski, an expert witness for the defense. Just a day earlier, Martoma’s defense team was more dour after the jury seemed to be leaning toward a conviction. On Tuesday, jurors appeared to already have determined that the government had convinced them that Martoma had “nonpublic material information” as they sent a note looking to see if Martoma knew that the doctors who gave him the information were benefiting from it.
The note on Wednesday, many in the courtroom agreed, seems to indicate the jurors were still uncertain whether the information was “nonpublic” after all, even if it was material. Wisniewski had testified that the final presentation on the Alzbeimer’s drug results for Elan and Wyeth on July 29 was “similar in substance” to the June 17 press release that gave the top-line results.
Man To Jump Off Everest On Live TV (NYP)
“Everest Jump Live” will take place in May (no final date, yet). During the two-hour event, Joby Ogwyn will leap off the mountain’s peak — 29,000 feet above sea level — wearing a custom-made “wing suit” manned with cameras to capture his 10,000-foot vertical plummet reaching speeds of over 150 mph.
Draghi Signals ECB Ready to Wait Until March for Action (Bloomberg)
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled officials will wait until next month before deciding whether to cut interest rates further as money markets stabilize and the economy shows some signs of recovery. “The reason for today’s decision not to act has really to do with the complexity of the situation that I described and the need to get more information,” Draghi said in Frankfurt today after the ECB left interest rates on hold. “We are willing, and we are ready to act.”
KKR Profit Soars (WSJ)
The New York company reported a fourth-quarter profit of $277.9 million, or 89 cents a share, up from $96.7 million, or 36 cents, a year earlier. The buyout firm reported a full-year profit of $691.2 million, or $2.30 a share, up 23% from $560.8 million, or $2.21 a share, in 2012. KKR said economic net income in the fourth quarter more than doubled to $789.6 million, or $1.08 a share, adjusted after taxes, compared with $347.7 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier, soundly beating Wall Street expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected 89 cents.
GM reports lower-than-expected 4Q earnings (CNBC)
GM Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens told CNBC on Thursday that higher tax rates contributed to about a third of the earnings miss, while restructuring costs made up the rest. In a “Squawk Box” interview, he still described the quarter as “very, very solid results.” GM’s North American earnings were $913 million, or 57 cents per share. That compares with $892 million, or 54 cents per share, in the period a year earlier. Revenue rose 3 percent to $40.5 billion. Excluding one-time items, GM made 67 cents per share. But analysts polled by FactSet expected 88 cents on revenue of $40.8 billion. Those items included $200 million in restructuring costs, in large part, related to the exit of the Chevrolet brand from Europe. For the year, GM’s earnings fell 22 percent to $3.8 billion or $2.38 per share. Without one-time items it earned $3.18 per share.
N.H. man charged with arson says fires were accident (SO)
A man charged with setting three fires in Laconia says they were accidental. Jason Clairmont of Gilmanton was arraigned Wednesday on charges that he set a fire in September that damaged a parked car, and two fires on Jan. 25 on Highland and Academy streets. Police said Clairmont was seen on several surveillance cameras in the area. A police affidavit says the 37-year-old Clairmont admitted to smoking a cigar when it fell on top of a convertible in September. He said he may have been trying to smoke a cigarette too close to a house in January, but didn’t remember.