Business News - part 36

US Electricity Provider NRG Energy Adopting Solar

US Electricity Provider NRG Energy Adopting Solar

BUSINESS

  • NRG to install residential and commercial solar panels
  • 83,000 US homes powered by solar in 2012, producing 488 megawatts of power
  • Solar panels to allow NRG to compete with high electricity prices

NRG Energy Inc, the largest power provider to US utilities, plans to provide electricity to customers, using residential and commercial rooftop solar panels.

Because solar panels cannot provide constant power, NRG will also offer customers fuel cells and microturbines that generate electricity from the natural gas lines running under their homes.

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AstraZeneca Axes 2,300 Jobs, Narrows Research Focus

AstraZeneca Axes 2,300 Jobs, Narrows Research Focus

BUSINESS

  • AstraZeneca to cut 10% of workforce by 2016
  • AstraZeneca to focus efforts on research for cancer, cardiovascular and metabolism conditions
  • Job cuts, R&D overhaul to cost $2.3 billion

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is to cut 2,300 sales and administration jobs as well as narrow its research and development projects in an attempt to spur growth.

By 2016, AstraZeneca will have cut 10% of its workforce, or some 5,050 jobs, as patents for its top-selling drugs expire, driving sales down. AstraZeneca’s two biggest sellers – the stomach acid treatment Nexium and the cholesterol drug Crestor – will lose their US patent protection in the next three years.

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Apple Data Centers Running On Renewable Energy Power Supply

Apple Data Centers Running On Renewable Energy Power Supply

BUSINESS

  • Apple data centers now using geothermal, wind and solar power
  • Apple’s biggest data center adopts full renewable energy supply, produces 167 million kilowatts of power/year
  • Apple’s current all-company power supply made up of 75% renewable energy

Smartphone and electronics leader Apple Inc. says all of its data centers - which host server computers for their iCloud, iMessage and iTunes services - are now powered by renewable energy resources such as geothermal, wind and solar power.

Apple has previously been criticized by the environmental group Greenpeace International, which staged a protest outside Apple’s Cupertino office, for relying heavily on coal as well as having a high level of energy consumption.

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Drugstore Giant Walgreens Buys Stake in Pharma Leader AmerisourceBergen For Access to Specialty Drugs

Drugstore Giant Walgreens Buys Stake in Pharma Leader AmerisourceBergen For Access to Specialty Drugs

BUSINESS

  • Walgreens pays $28 billion for stake in AmerisourceBergen to gain better distribution, access to drugs
  • Deal expected to generate $28 billion in revenue in 2014
  • Walgreens reported second quarter net income worth $756 million, up from $683 million a year ago

Walgreens Co., the largest drugstore chain in the US, and its partner Alliance Boots GmbH have signed a deal with AmerisourceBergen, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical services companies, allowing Walgreens greater drug distribution and access to pricier prescription drugs.

In the 10-year contract, Walgreens and Alliance Boots have the right to buy up to 23% of AmerisourceBergen, starting with 7% on the open market. The initial stake is worth $800 million.

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Washington Post To Launch Paywall For Online News Readers

Washington Post To Launch Paywall For Online News Readers

BUSINESS

  • Washington Post readers to pay to access over 20 online articles or multimedia products/month; print subscribers and selected users exempt
  • Washington Post to release a new iPad app to attract more online subscribers
  • Digital advertising makes up 20% of newspaper's total advertising revenue

Daily US newspaper The Washington Post will begin charging frequent users to read its content online, starting this summer.

Referred to what is known as a paywall, anyone who views over 20 articles or multimedia products within one month will be required to pay a fee; however, the newspaper has not yet indicated what the fee for frequent users will be.

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Airbus Signs Record Deal Worth $24 billion From Indonesian Lion Air Airline

Airbus Signs Record Deal Worth $24 billion From Indonesian Lion Air Airline

BUSINESS

  • Airbus to build 234 A320 medium-haul jets for Lion Air
  • Deal makes Lion Air airline world top-five A320 operator
  • Air travel in Indonesia expected to grow 6.4% per year through 2031

European aerospace giant Airbus SAS signed a contract with Indonesia's largest privately run airline Lion Air to provide 234 A320 medium-haul jets worth $24 billion. The purchase is the largest in Airbus’s history, giving the company inroads into the fast-growing Asian market dominated by rival Boeing.

The order, announced at a ceremony in Paris by high-level executives of Airbus and Lion Air, includes 109 A320neos, 65 A321neos and 60 current-generation A320s. Each jet retails for $91.5 million.

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Chinese Energy Company ENN to Build LNG Refueling Network in US

Chinese Energy Company ENN to Build LNG Refueling Network in US

BUSINESS

  • China’s ENN Group to build 50 public LNG stations before end 2013; targeting network of 500 stations across US
  • 50% of garbage trucks sold last year across US powered by natural gas
  • 28 public LNG refueling points exist today in US

ENN Group Co, one of China's largest privately owned energy companies is moving forward with plans to create a network of liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling stations for trucks along highways in the United States.

ENN Group, a clean energy company, intends to set up 50 stations before the end of the year.

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Italian Oil Producer ENI Sells Stake in African Gas Field to Chinese for $4.2 billion

Italian Oil Producer ENI Sells Stake in African Gas Field to Chinese for $4.2 billion

BUSINESS

  • ENI sells 20% stake in gas rich Mozambique field to China’s largest state-owned oil producer PetroChina
  • Chinese government promoting gas exploration to reduce nation’s reliance on coal and energy imports
  • China's state-owned energy companies spent $7 billion on acquisitions already in 2013

Italian oil producer ENI has sold a 20% stake in Mozambique’s Area 4 gas field to China National Petroleum Corp unit PetroChina Ltd., China’s largest state-owned oil producer, for $4.2 billion.

ENI will retain a 50% stake in Area 4, with three other companies each maintaining a 10% stake.

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US Retail Sales May Indicate Economy Improving

US Retail Sales May Indicate Economy Improving

BUSINESS

  • US retail sales up 1.1% in February, more than double analyst expectations
  • Sales related to home, car, building and garden supplies see biggest increase
  • Discretionary purchases continue to lag; restaurant and drinking-establishment sales drop 0.7% 

According to the US Census Bureau, February retail sales in the US reached over $421 billion, marking an increase of 1.1% since January and nearly 5% above numbers from the same time last year.

This news more than doubled the anticipated 0.5% estimate from cautious market analysts.

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Asia Airline Cathay Pacific Reports 83% Loss

Asia Airline Cathay Pacific Reports 83% Loss

BUSINESS

  • Cathay sees largest drop in profit since 2003 due to high fuel prices, increased competition and weak demand; Cathay air cargo business revenue down 5.5%
  • Cathay has 84 aircraft on order for delivery before 2020
  • IATA forecasts airline industry profit will rise in 2013

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific reports profit fell 83% in 2012 to $118 million due to a number of economic factors, marking Cathay’s largest drop in profit since 2003.

Christopher Pratt, chairman of Cathay Pacific, says the airline’s drop in profit can be attributed to high fuel costs, increased competition in Asia-Pacific, a decline in consumer and corporate travel, and weak cargo demand.

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