Strong earnings for PPL, TE Connectivity

It's hard to ignore the Greek debt crisis and the flurry of meetings occurring at the Group of 20 meeting going on in Cannes. But given that Europe has "solved" its sovereign debt problems 8 or 9 times before, I'm going to back-burner it for now.

Thursday brings more earnings and economic reports that will either allay or alarm investors and others. First up: Initial claims for unemployment insurance dipped below 400,000. Figures released by the Department of Labor Thursday morning show there were 397,000 claims, down 9,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average was 404,500.

In earnings, TE Connectivity (remember Tyco Electronics?) reported Q4 revenue up 25 percent to $3.91B, thanks to strong demand for its electronic connectors used in automobiles and aircraft. For the year, sales rose 19 percent to $14.3B.

Still, the Berwyn-based company isn't expecting such robust sales growth for its 2012 fiscal year. Its outlook assumes just 2 to 6 percent organic sales growth.

Net income for TE for 4th qtr. was $327M, or 75 cents per share, up from $297M, or 66 cents per share.

And Allentown-based PPL cranked up a profitable Q3. The electricity generator reported net income of $449M, or 76 cents per share, compared with $248M, or 51 cents per share. Total operating revenues spiked to $3.12B from $2.18B, thanks in part to its acquisitions of operations in Kentucy and the United Kingdom.

Finally, GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. said it has agreed on a $3 billion settlement with the U.S. government over investigations into its sales and marketing practices. Check out David Sell's PhillyPharma post on the deal here.