Stocks Extend Gains for Third Day on Earnings

U.S. stocks ended higher Thursday, extending gains into a third day, as a rash of earnings reports and outlooks stoked enthusiasm for share purchases. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 113.90 points, or 0.87%, to 13,204.62. The S&P 500 rose 9.29 points, or 0.67%, to 1,399.98. The Nasdaq Composite added 20.98 points, or 0.69%, to 3,050.61.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) on Thursday lifted its fiscal 2012 profit outlook and plans to open more stores worldwide than it had previously forecast. Profit for Starbucks’ fiscal second quarter ended April 1 rose 18% to $309.9 million, or 40 cents a share, from $261.6 million, or 34 cents a share, in the same 2011 period. Revenue climbed 15% to $3.2 billion. Same-store sales grew 7%.

Amazon.com said Thursday afternoon that earnings slid by 35% in the first quarter, though the final number came in far above Wall Street’s estimates. For the quarter ended March 31, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported net income of $130 million, or 28 cents a share, compared to net income of $201 million, or 44 cents a share, for the same period last year.

Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) on Thursday reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $36.9 million, or 26 cents a share, on revenue of $816.5 million, compared with earnings of $22.8 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $727.8 million in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, the online travel-booking company would have earned 15 cents a share.

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) said Thursday that it will buy back up to $2.5 billion of its shares. The manufacturer of hard disk drives expects to fund the repurchase through a combination of cash on hand, future cash flow from operations and potential alternative sources of financing. Including this latest authorization.

Zynga Inc. reported a net loss for the first quarter on Thursday afternoon, though adjusted earnings and bookings came in ahead of Wall Street’s estimates for the period. For the quarter ended March 31, Zynga reported a net loss of $85.4 million, or 12 cents a share, compared to net income of $16.8 million, or break even on a per-share basis, for the same period last year. Adjusted earnings came in at $47 million, or 6 cents a share. Bookings for the quarter rose 15% to $329.2 million.

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