Top Headlines February 2012
BUSINESS February 29, 2012 | 5:07 PM
- Sears loses $2.4 billion, to close 120 stores
- Target records profit margin down 28.4%
- Gap sees profit drop 40%, will close 189 stores
Major American retailers Sears Holding Corp., Target Corp. and Gap Inc. reported losses as high as 40% in the fourth quarter as they attempted to attract price-conscious shoppers.
Sears lost $2.4 billion, marking its largest quarterly loss in nine years. Heavily dependent on malls stores, Sears announced in December it was closing up to 120 under-performing locations.Read more »
BUSINESS February 24, 2012 | 10:11 AM
- Car makers would share manufacturing and parts
- Alliance aimed at cutting European revenue losses
- Automobile industry has poor history of alliances
The world’s largest automaker General Motors Co. and PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-biggest automaker after Volkswagen AG, are in talks to form what the French Labor Ministry calls a strategic partnership.
The goal of the alliance is to cut losses both Peugeot and GM’s Opel division are facing due to a decrease in demand. This year is expected to be the fifth consecutive year where deliveries have dropped. After the alliance is completed, both automakers would share manufacturing and engine development.Read more »
BUSINESS February 23, 2012 | 4:47 PM
- Walmart increases ownership in Yihaodian to almost 51%
- Yihaodian hopes to better meet customer needs with Walmart’s expertise
- Walmart sees fourth-quarter profit margins fall due to its lower retail pricing strategies
Walmart Stores Inc has increased its shares in Yihaodian, a fast-growing B2C e-commerce website in China, to bring Walmart's total ownership stake to almost 51% – nearly one year after it purchased a minority share in the same e-retailer.
Yihaodian offers over 180,000 products and runs logistics centers in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu, along with delivery stations in 34 cities across China.Read more »
BUSINESS February 22, 2012 | 4:25 PM
- Deal marks first steps for Fortis into regulated US gas and electricity market
- Fortis to gain control of distribution in 8 New York counties
- Fortis expected to buy more US utilities
Canada’s largest investor-owned distribution utility Fortis Inc plans to purchase New York-based energy distributor CH Energy Group for around $1 billion.
In the all-cash deal, Fortis will offer shareholders $65 a share; it will also take on $500 million in debt from CH Energy.Read more »
BUSINESS February 21, 2012 | 3:00 PM
- 18 hotel transactions worth $3.5 billion traded in 2011 for 150% increase over 2010
- Manhattan most liquid city for hotel transactions globally in 2011
- REITs own approximately 20% of room stock in New York
- NYC expected to continue 2012 as most active hotel transaction market in US
Driven by Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), the volume of hotel transactions in New York City reached an all-time record high last year, according to preliminary results from Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in its report called Hotel Intelligence New York.
Eighteen transactions making up nearly $3.5 billion in assets were traded in 2011, which represented a 150% increase over 2010 volume. About 50% of the city’s acquisition volume was driven by REITS last year, says Jones Lang.Read more »
ECONOMY February 21, 2012 | 2:07 PM
- Prices up 0.2% last month, lower than predicted
- Core inflation expected to rise 1.6% but remain below 2%
- Prices likely to stabilize as employment increases
Consumer prices in the US increased by 0.2% last month, a figure slightly lower than expected.
The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is the broadest of three price gauges by the US Labor Department and includes both goods and services. The current rise in consumer prices is due to higher gas, food, rent and clothing prices.Read more »
BUSINESS February 20, 2012 | 2:52 PM
- Mitsubishi to pay for $2.9 billion for stake in Canadian natural gas fields
- Sale helps alleviate Encana’s $251 million fourth-quarter loss
- Encana joint venture deal with PetroChina fell through last June
Calgary-based Encana Corp. is selling part of its stake in Canada’s natural gas fields to Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. for $2.9 billion.
The sale will help Encana shore up its balance sheet in the wake of fourth-quarter losses.Read more »
FINANCE February 17, 2012 | 4:08 PM
- Pringles buy puts Kellogg in number two global position for savory snacks
- Pringles expected to bring Kellogg annual sales of $1.5 billion
- Diamond Foods offer to Pringles was terminated earlier this month
Kellogg will buy Pringles-brand snack chips from Procter & Gamble for $2.7 billion after a previous deal with Diamond Foods fell through.
Kellogg will pay nearly $2.70 billion in cash and take on $2 billion in debt, which adds to the $5 billion it already has in long-term debt. The food giant is known globally for its cereal products, but is also known for its snack products.Read more »
BUSINESS February 16, 2012 | 1:58 PM
- Regulators in US, EU approve Google’s $12.5 billion bid for Motorola
- Motorola purchase largest in Google history, first real experience in hardware market
- Google to be closely monitored in its use of patents licenses
The US Department of Justice and the European Commission have approved a bid from Google Inc. to purchase Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for $12.5 billion. Regulators concluded the purchase would not lessen competition in the market.
Google will purchase Motorola for $40 a share, which represents a 63% premium. Motorola will be operated as a separate business unit.Read more »
WORLD February 15, 2012 | 6:08 PM
- TEPCO forecasts loss from reactor meltdowns, compensation claims to near $9 billion
- TEPCO may seek $25 billion in funding to recoup costs
- Japanese authorities approve restart of two idled nuclear reactors
Despite receiving over $11 billion in aid from Japanese government just a few months ago, TEPCO was approved for yet another near $9 billion as it struggles to clean up from reactor meltdowns and meet compensation claims following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
By month end March 2012, TEPCO anticipates its losses will be at nearly $9 billion, which is up from its November estimate of almost $8 billion. The company, which has 29 million customers in the general Tokyo area, reported a loss of approximately $16 billion last fiscal year.Read more »