WORLD January 31, 2012 | 2:23 PM
A US district court judge has ruled that BP Plc cannot collect funds from Swiss-based offshore drilling contractor Transocean Ltd. as reimbursement for billions used to clean up the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP filed a lawsuit in April 2011 alleging Transocean was responsible for paying part of the $40 billion needed for clean up and economic losses.
Judge Carl Barbier wrote in his 30-page decision: “BP is required to indemnify Transocean for compensatory damages asserted by third parties against Transocean related to pollution that did not originate on or above the surface of the water, even if the claim is the result of Transocean’s strict liability.”Read more »
BUSINESS January 30, 2012 | 9:59 AM
Considering the current state of the economy, travel and tourism industry analysts say airfares will go up in 2012, though it is hard to pin point just how much they will rise.
Looking at the past, airline prices are always going up. “After all, the airlines attempted to raise prices 22 times in 2011 (and nine of those attempts were successful),” says Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare. “The one thing everyone wants to know is whether fares will keep going up. We have seen plenty of increases in 2011, but will that continue?"Read more »
FINANCE January 27, 2012 | 12:37 PM
Swiss-owned pharmaceutical giant Roche has plans to take over San Diego-based Illumina Inc, which focuses on gene-sequencing. The announcement comes after Illumina rejected previous offers from Roche to negotiate a buyout.
Roche proposes to purchase all Illumina common stock at a price of $44.30 per share, which places Illumina’s value at $5.7 billion. According to Bloomberg, this is 32 times greater than the $1.39 per share predicted by analysts this year.Read more »
BUSINESS January 26, 2012 | 2:01 PM
In a recent earnings report, Verizon Communications stated a loss of slightly over $2 billion in fourth quarter 2011. According to the cellular giant, the loss was primarily due to both one-time charges of $3.4 billion for severance, pension and benefits, and increased subsidy costs for iPhone sales.
However, Verizon's wireless division reported a revenue surge, with more than half of its smartphone sales being iPhones.Read more »
BUSINESS January 25, 2012 | 2:52 PM
Although it is mostly on the decline, there is a glimmer of hope for the music industry: according to a report released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) globally sales fell by about 3% in 2011, but digital download sales are up by 8%.
Globally, digital download sales totaled $5.2 billion and accounted for 32% of total music sales. In the US, downloads are 52% of total revenue.Read more »
BUSINESS January 24, 2012 | 2:07 PM
Less than three years after filing for public bankruptcy, automobile giant General Motors (GM) has regained it's 2007 title as the world’s top selling automaker – taking it back from Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp.
Up nearly 8% from 2010, GM sold over 9 million vehicles in 2011, which is 1 million more than Toyota sold. Toyota seized the top selling title from GM in 2008; however, in light of recent natural disasters in Japan and Thailand, Toyota remains in a rebuilding stage as their sales fell an estimated 6% in 2011.Read more »
BUSINESS January 24, 2012 | 1:27 PM
The new-found freedom and democratic governments brought to millions of people in North Africa and the Middle East has cost a heavy price in another currency: visitors.
It is particularly the case in long-time, traditionally tourist-dependent Egypt. "Tourism in Egypt has historically been one of the top foreign income sources in the country, but as a result of the tensions and violence in 2011, visitors went elsewhere, leading to a backlash on the Egyptian economy, where some 20% of the country work in the tourism sector,” says Bikya Masr, a state-owned Egyptian newspaper.Read more »
ECONOMY January 23, 2012 | 9:26 AM
American factory output of vehicles, computers and construction material grew last month, resulting in a 0.9% increase in output, according to data released by the Federal Reserve.
Total industrial production, including mines, utilities and factories, grew 0.4% last month. Fourth quarter industrial output was up 3.1% annually for a tenth quarter of consecutive growth.Read more »
BUSINESS January 20, 2012 | 3:10 PM
The 30th US President during the “Great Depression” would feel right at home with today’s pro-business lobby; Calvin Coolidge tried to cut back the federal government and was famous for saying “The chief business of the American people is business.” However, that does not explain why forecasters today still rely on business spending trends to predict overall economic outlooks in many areas of the economy. Particularly, travel.
But msnbc.com is among sites predicting that travelers and others who want to know where the economy is headed this new year should take notice of predicted airline prices and the projected cost of checking into a hotel.Read more »
BUSINESS January 19, 2012 | 9:58 AM
Swiss-based pharmaceutical leader Novartis will reduce its US workforce in the second quarter 2012 in response to the expiration of the patent for Diovan, its top-selling hypertension drug, as well as the subpar results of other drugs still in development.
Novartis employs over 120,000 people globally, and according to Bloomberg data cuts will equal over 1.5% of its current workforce. The plan is to eliminate 1,630 sales positions, and another 330 medical sales management positions in the US.Read more »
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