BUSINESS May 16, 2013 | 6:05 PM
- 2012 fees highest on record, up 5% from 2011
- $3.5 billion charged for checked luggage; $2.6 billion for reservation changes
- Fees expected to jump again this summer
The ten largest US airlines brought in $6.1 billion in baggage and reservation change fees in 2012, marking the highest amount on record says the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The figure is more than a 5% increase from 2011.Read more »
BUSINESS May 15, 2013 | 6:20 PM
- Consumer confidence growing in US
- Spending influenced by drop in gasoline prices, low interest rates and rise in both stock/property value
- Consumer spending accounts for 30% of economy; household spending accounts for 70%
Economists had expected the US economy to fall 0.3% in April, but instead it grew 0.1%, after falling 0.5% in March, suggesting consumer confidence is growing, the Commerce Department said.
This marks the second time in three months the American economy has grown.Read more »
BUSINESS April 26, 2013 | 5:30 PM
- Sales “execution problem” cited as major contributing factor
- First quarter 2013 marks IBM’s first significant drop in revenue growth, a decline of 5%
- Analysts speculate IBM’s troubles indicate a general trend toward cloud computing
International Business Machines Corp.’s (IBM’s) earnings failed to meet analyst estimates for the first time since 2005. IBM previously seemed recession proof, regularly superseding Wall Street forecasts, thanks to saving measures (e.g., selling off unprofitable business, buying its own shares) and progression toward offerings yielding higher profits.
Analysts are uncertain of whether or not IBM’s challenges are temporary or indefinite. IBM’s chief financial officer Mark Loughridge stated that some software and mainframe deals had not closed as expected, but cited a sales “execution problem” as the major factor in the quarter’s weak finish.Read more »
BUSINESS April 25, 2013 | 4:41 PM
- New 1.4 million-square-foot data center said to be "the most technologically advanced data center in the world"
- Facility to be completed in phases and will cost Facebook $1.5 billion to complete
- Facebook to seek tax credits for wind energy production used for data center
Social media network giant Facebook has gotten approval from Altoona (Iowa) city council to build a 1.4 million-square-foot data center that officials are calling "the most technologically advanced data center in the world."
The data center will store data and digital information such as Facebook status updates and photos; Facebook operates approximately 180,000 servers at the moment.Read more »
BUSINESS April 24, 2013 | 4:18 PM
- FAA to monitor repairs made to Dreamliners owned by United Airlines
- Boeing to send teams worldwide to replace battery systems
- Production flights resume in Australia
The US Federal Aviation Administration has approved Boeing’s plan to replace onboard batteries on its 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Dreamliners worldwide were grounded Jan. 16 after one battery caught fire and another one melted. The grounding has cost Boeing approximately $600 million.Read more »
BUSINESS April 22, 2013 | 4:25 PM
- AMR won court approval for merger plan
- New company to be world’s largest airline
- Severance pay for AMR CEO rejected
American Airlines’ parent company AMR Corp. has filed a plan to merge with US Airways Group Inc. after it exits bankruptcy protection, creating the world’s largest airline.
In late March, AMR won court approval to proceed with its plan, which will be complete once AMR ends court protection.Read more »
BUSINESS April 19, 2013 | 4:46 PM
- Government currently owns 15% share in EADS
- Purchase part of a larger share buyback program
- First time France has considered selling shares
European aerospace giant EADS, parent company of European jet maker Airbus, is in talks to buy back $634 million of its own stock from the French government.
The French government’s currently holds a 14.83% stake in the company, and EADS would be purchasing 1.56% of its shares. The deal involves shares already agreed to be placed by the French government beyond its voting control.Read more »
BUSINESS April 16, 2013 | 3:48 PM
- ConocoPhillips stops plans to drill in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf
- US Department of the Interior mandates a more concrete Arctic-specific plan for drilling
- Alaskan governor feels federal government stringency causing a reduction in Alaskan jobs, economic opportunities
ConocoPhillips is halting plans to drill in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea in 2014. According to the oil giant, they are hesitant due to the uncertainties of continuously evolving federal regulatory requirements and operational permitting standards.
In a statement to the press, ConocoPhillips’ Alaska President Trond-Erik Johansen said that while the company is confident in its expertise and ability to safely conduct offshore Arctic operations, “ConocoPhillips believes it needs more time to ensure that all regulatory stakeholders are aligned.”Read more »
BUSINESS April 15, 2013 | 4:02 PM
- Oshkosh to eliminate 700 hourly and 200 salaried jobs
- 30% decline expected for military vehicle production this summer
- Company’s nondefense business shows signs of recovery post-recession
Oshkosh Corp., producer of military vehicles and trucks, will cut 900 jobs in its defense department, with roughly 700 hourly positions eliminated in mid-June and 200 full-time roles cut in July. Overall, 25% of personnel in the Fox Valley-based defense unit will be let go, leaving a total of 2,800 employees.
Just two years ago, thanks to a $3 billion US defense contract, there was considerable job growth at Oshkosh, with 2,500 jobseekers clamoring to fill around 750 openings during a two-day job fair. In contrast, other US companies and Oshkosh departments were hit by the recession, leading to increased pay cuts, layoffs and furloughs.Read more »
BUSINESS April 12, 2013 | 5:51 PM
- First Solar plans to move into silicon solar-cell market
- $12 billion in revenue forecast for next three years
- First Solar plans to sell solar cells in Japan
Solar manufacturer First Solar Inc. has agreed to purchase TetraSun, a startup company that develops rooftop photovoltaic technology, to gain access to the crystalline silicon market.
Silicon solar cells have a 21% efficiency rating, and can be manufactured at low cost. First Solar currently produces panels manufactured from cadmium telluride and using silver electrodes, while TetraSun’s panels use copper electrodes.Read more »