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Quartet of Tough Corporate Earnings This Morning

Four big companies released first-quarter earnings today, and they were tough across the board. However, in the tone of the times, some were not as bad as expected:

-- Chemical giant Dow reported that first-quarter profits were down 97 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008, although that decline easily beat Wall Street estimates. The company has announced it is cutting 9,500 jobs and shutting 20 plants to cut costs, but incurred $19 million in charges related to those cuts.

The Michigan company also reported a $48 million charge related to its buyout of Rohm & Haas.

-- Eastman Kodak said this morning that it is ending its dividend, slashing executive pay and asking employees to take a one-week unpaid furlough after its first-quarter loss ballooned to $353 million, three times that of the first quarter in 2008.

-- Consumer-product giant Procter & Gamble said its first-quarter profits dropped 4 percent compared to last year -- which counts for good news in today's economy -- as cash-strapped consumers bought lower-end P&G products, reducing revenues.

-- ExxonMobil -- the world's largest publicly traded company -- said its first-quarter profits dropped 53 percent as oil hovering in the $40-something-per-barrel range dampened earnings. The company still made $4.55 billion in the first quarter, compared to $10.89 billion in the first quarter of last year.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  April 30, 2009; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, eastman kodak, procter & gamble  
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