Business News - part 36

Report: PC Shipments Dropping Faster Than Expected

Report: PC Shipments Dropping Faster Than Expected

BUSINESS

  • PC shipments to fall 9.7% in 2013 compared to last year
  • Tablet shipments revised down by 1%
  • Sales in emerging markets, especially China, also dropping

After a recent downward revision, PC shipments are now forecast to fall 9.7% to total 315.4 million units this year compared to 2012, according to data from market research company IDC. In May, IDC had forecast a 7.8% drop.

PC shipments – including laptops, desktops and netbooks – are expected to drop until 2017, and it is predicted that PCs will never regain their 2011 shipment levels, IDC says.

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Chinese Oil Producer Sinopec Buys Stake In Apache Egyptian Oil Field

Chinese Oil Producer Sinopec Buys Stake In Apache Egyptian Oil Field

BUSINESS

  • Sinopec pays $3.1 billion to purchase US-based Apache Corporation's Egyptian oil and gas operations
  • Deal marks largest Middle Eastern acquisition for Sinopec
  • More Chinese oil firms tapping into global energy reserves to meet rising demand for energy resources

Sinopec, or China Petrochemical Corporation, has purchased a 33% stake in US-based Apache Corporation's oil and gas operations in Egypt for $3.1 billion.

This purchase should boost annual energy output by around 9% for Sinopec, which is China's second-largest oil producer and Asia's biggest oil refiner. It also signifies the company’s first steps toward a global partnership to carry out oil and gas projects. The deal with Apache is the most recent in a string of similar transactions by oil firms in China seeking to gather enough global energy reserves to satisfy increasing national demand.

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Luxury Jewelry Leader Tiffany Posts Profit Increase in Second Quarter

Luxury Jewelry Leader Tiffany Posts Profit Increase in Second Quarter

BUSINESS

  • Tiffany benefits from lower cost of commodities, price increases
  • Sales in Americas flat
  • Growth led by Chinese market

Tiffany & Co., the world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer, posted at 16% increase in profit during the second quarter thanks to price increases and strong Asian sales. Global sales increased 4.4% to $925.9 million, below analyst stimates, and net income grew to $106.8 million. If it were not for the strong U.S. dollar, sales growth would have been 8%.

During the second quarter, the price of commodities fell, widening the gross margin for the first time in two years.

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Biotech Giant Amgen Buys Onyx Pharmaceuticals To Expand In Cancer-Drug Market

Biotech Giant Amgen Buys Onyx Pharmaceuticals To Expand In Cancer-Drug Market

BUSINESS

  • Amgen pays $10.4 billion for Onyx Pharmaceuticals to target growing cancer-drug market
  • Amgen reports sales decline for its anemia drugs Aranesp, Epogen
  • Amgen to gain access to Onyx’s new drugs

The world’s largest biotechnology company Amgen Inc is purchasing Onyx Pharmaceuticals for $10.4 billion to get access to the growing cancer-drug market. The deal is Amgen's largest since 2001, and the third-largest biotechnology industry deal in the past three years.

The oncology market is growing rapidly, but the majority of Amgen’s current products are used to treat the effects of chemotherapy, such as anemia and lower white blood cells, while Onyx’s drugs treat cancer. Current cancer treatments have limited effectiveness, and pharmaceutical companies can charge high prices for new drugs.

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Revamped Infrastructure Projects In India Intended To Boost Economy

Revamped Infrastructure Projects In India Intended To Boost Economy

BUSINESS

  • India spending $28 billion to reinstate 36 stalled projects aimed at helping economy
  • Nearly $13 billion dedicated to power projects
  • Cost of cheap grain bill poses issues, continues to impact rupee

India's government has approved infrastructure projects worth over $28 billion to boost its economy and aid currency value.

According to Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, India will use the money to reinstate 36 stalled projects across a variety of sectors, including gas, road, oil, railways and power. The Indian Cabinet cleared as much as 18 power-related projects valued at $13 billion.

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Internet Portal Yahoo Attracts More Unique Visitors In July Than Google

Internet Portal Yahoo Attracts More Unique Visitors In July Than Google

BUSINESS

  • Yahoo attracted over 196 million unique visitors in July, up 21%
  • Google dominates 67% of search engine market, while Yahoo holds 12%
  • Increased traffic symbolic victory for Yahoo CEO

According to digital analytics firm ComScore, leading internet portal Yahoo! Inc. attracted more traffic in July than Google, recording a total of over 196 million unique visitors – a 21% increase from the same period in 2012.

The numbers do not include Yahoo’s purchase of Tumblr, which ranks number 28 for traffic.

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Beer Maker Heineken Reports Profit Loss In Key Markets

Beer Maker Heineken Reports Profit Loss In Key Markets

BUSINESS

  • Heineken profit down close to 17% for the first half of 2013 due to bad weather, economic uncertainty
  • Heineken adding new products in Europe to boost profit
  • Heineken cost-cutting measures aim to save $834 million by 2014

Profit for Dutch brewer Heineken is down close to 17% to $858 million for the first half of 2013 due to bad weather and economic uncertainty in Europe and the United States.

Heineken, the world's number-three brewer by sales, also saw its group beer volume decline 3% as drinkers are increasingly turning to spirits and wine. The biggest drop was marked by 8% in western Europe, mostly due to cool weather and French beer taxes.

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Tesla Model S Sets New Safety Record For Vehicles Sold In US

Tesla Model S Sets New Safety Record For Vehicles Sold In US

BUSINESS

  • Tesla’s Model S receives highest NHTSA safety rating, sets new record
  • Model S sedan ranks higher than all SUVs and minivans in US
  • Model S safety features include longer crumple zone, reinforced side bars and near non-crushable roof

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors has been awarded a 5-star safety rating for its Tesla Model S, which received the highest rating overall and in every subcategory from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a US government agency.

With this ranking, Tesla’s Model S sedan sets a new safety record for “the lowest likelihood of injury to passengers”, beating out major car brands as well as SUV and minivan models for sale in the US.

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Austrian Oil and Gas Giant OMV Buys Stakes in Norway's Statoil Fields

Austrian Oil and Gas Giant OMV Buys Stakes in Norway's Statoil Fields

BUSINESS

  • Largest deal in OMV history; intended to help offset oil and gas disruptions in Yemen and Libya
  • North Sea fields to increase OMV’s reserves to close to 320 million barrels
  • Deal expected to be complete before year end 

Austrian oil and gas leader OMV AG has paid $2.65 billion for stakes in oil and gas fields that belong to Norway’s biggest energy company Statoil ASA. The deal is the largest in OMV history, and is intended to help OMV offset oil and gas disruptions experienced in Yemen and Libya.

The deal gives OMV a 30% stake in the Rosebank oil field development; a close to 6% stake in the Schiehallion UK oil field redevelopment project; a 24% stake in the Gudrun Norwegian Continental Shelf oil and gas development project; and a 19% stake in the Gullfaks oil and gas field.

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Facebook Buys Voice Recognition Tool Maker Mobile Technologies

Facebook Buys Voice Recognition Tool Maker Mobile Technologies

BUSINESS

  • Facebook buys Mobile Technologies to benefit from its speech-to-speech translator tools
  • Merger to help Facebook compete against rivals Apple and Google, which already offer speech recognition products
  • Facebook working on social search engine, streamlined app for developing markets

Giant social network Facebook has purchased speech-recognition and machine translation startup Mobile Technologies for an undisclosed amount to give users a new tool to better connect with others on the web.

Mobile Technologies makes an automatic interpretation service for lectures, and it developed a speech-to-speech translator application for mobile phones called Jibbigo. The merger is set to help Facebook compete against rivals Apple and Google, which already offer speech recognition and search products; Apple’s smartphones use a voice recognition technology program called Siri, while Google offers Google Translate, a language translation app.

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