Business News - part 41

IBM Profits Fall Short of Analysts’ Predictions For First Time In 8 Years

IBM Profits Fall Short of Analysts’ Predictions For First Time In 8 Years

BUSINESS

  • 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. 

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Automaker Daimler Hit By Poor Performance In Europe, China

Automaker Daimler Hit By Poor Performance In Europe, China

BUSINESS

Daimler AG, the world’s third-largest maker of luxury vehicles and the world’s largest truck maker, has revised its forecast for 2013 after first-quarter earnings fell more than expected due to poor performance in Europe and China.

Two months ago, earnings were forecast to meet $10.6 billion, but earnings before interest and taxes fell 56% during first quarter, with net profit at $697 million and sales down 3%.

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Facebook To Build Data Center in Iowa for $1.5 Billion

Facebook To Build Data Center in Iowa for $1.5 Billion

BUSINESS

  • 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.

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FAA Approves Boeing Dreamliner To Resume Flights

FAA Approves Boeing Dreamliner To Resume Flights

BUSINESS

  • 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.

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American Airlines Parent Company Merging With US Airways

American Airlines Parent Company Merging With US Airways

BUSINESS

  • 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.

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Aerospace Giant EADS to Buy Back $634 Million in Stock From French Government

Aerospace Giant EADS to Buy Back $634 Million in Stock From French Government

BUSINESS

  • 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.

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Energy Company ConocoPhillips Suspends Offshore Arctic Operations

Energy Company ConocoPhillips Suspends Offshore Arctic Operations

BUSINESS

  • 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.”

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Military Vehicle Manufacturer Oshkosh Corp. Cuts Defense Unit Jobs

Military Vehicle Manufacturer Oshkosh Corp. Cuts Defense Unit Jobs

BUSINESS

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. 

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First Solar Purchases Solar-Cell Technology Company

First Solar Purchases Solar-Cell Technology Company

BUSINESS

  • 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.

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Strategic Defence Intelligence Report: Global Airport M&A Activity to Rise in 2013

Strategic Defence Intelligence Report: Global Airport M&A Activity to Rise in 2013

BUSINESS

  • Oil prices, market expansion, inflation, airport privatization to drive M&A activity upwards
  • China, India, Brazil, Russia, Middle East to see highest annual growth in emerging airport markets
  • Average airport supplier marketing budget to jump to $4.7 million in 2013

 

The global airport industry is likely to see an increase in mergers and acquisitions in 2013, according to results from a new ICD Research/Strategic Defence Intelligence report.

The Global Airports Survey 2013-2014 polled executives from the global airport sector, half of whom predicted consolidation was set to grow, stimulated by higher oil prices and expanding operations in overseas markets as well as rising inflationary pressure and airport privatization.

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