Wall Street takes local companies for a ride

Two local publicly-held companies came close to double-digit declines when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 519 points Wednesday.

DineEquaity, owner of Applebee's and IHOP, saw its stock drop by 9.9% after it lost $3.93 to close at $35.60 per share. Disney's stock fell 9.1% after shedding $3.16 to end at $31.54 per share.

Publicly-held companies based in Glendale and Burbank  have been on a roller coaster ride the last several days as the volatile stock market plummeted twice -- 512 points on Friday and 643 points on Monday -- followed by a rally of 430 points on Tuesday. The market sank again by closing on Wednesday.

The only local company to stay in positive territory Wednesday was Glendale-based DreamWorks Animation, whose stock edged up 37 cents to close at $18.77 for a 2% gain.

U.S. operations for Nestle, based in Glendale, reported 7.5% sales growth Wednesday for the first half of the year, excluding its sale of eyecare company Alcon.

But it wasn't enough to prop up net earnings for the Swiss company, which fell in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year to $6.48 billion. The company blamed the strengthening franc, noting that earnings fell by 24% when measured in francs, but  increased by almost 30 percent in U.S. dollars.

Rising costs for ingredients such as sugar, cocoa and coffee also played a role in the earnings decline. The company has passed some of the higher costs on to customers, increasing prices on a variety of products.

The company projected strong earning for the rest of the year.

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