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Business News - part 41

Delta Air Lines Fights High Gas Prices By Buying Refinery For $150 Million

Delta Air Lines Fights High Gas Prices By Buying Refinery For $150 Million

BUSINESS

  • Delta expects refinery purchase to save $300 million, provide 80% of US fuel needs
  • Questions around if Delta can successfully manage refinery venture
  • Airlines cope by raising ticket prices, cutting jobs, reducing destinations

With rising fuel prices a major factor in rising airfares, airlines need to be get creative to remain profitable; Delta Air Lines has done just that by purchasing an oil refinery in Pennsylvania.

The US-based airline paid $150 million to Conoco Phillips for the 185,000 barrel-per-day-capacity facility in a deal Reuters calls “the most audacious move yet by an airline trying to save money on fuel costs.”

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Google-Backed US Wind Connection Project Moving Forward

Google-Backed US Wind Connection Project Moving Forward

BUSINESS

  • US Department of the Interior clears $5 billion power line project
  • Project aims to begin distributing power by 2017
  • Project should transmit 7,000 MW of electricity or enough to power 2 million homes

Proposals for a $5 billion power transmission line serving wind farms off the United States East Coast have overcome an administrative obstacle, clearing the way for the next stage of the review process.

The US Department of the Interior found that the Atlantic Wind Connection project poses no conflict of interest with other activities in the area, allowing the Google-backed venture to proceed with its request for environmental approval.

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Robots To Run Digital Camera Manufacturing For Canon

Robots To Run Digital Camera Manufacturing For Canon

BUSINESS

  • Canon to use robots to reduce manufacturing costs
  • Automation viewed as wave of the future for Japanese manufacturers
  • If successful, Canon to be first manufacturer to fully automate digital camera production

Canon Inc., the world’s largest digital camera manufacturer, plans to fully automate its digital camera plants over the course of the next two years. The move is aimed at helping Canon cut overall manufacturing costs.

Japanese manufacturers have faced a number of challenges resulting from the value of the yen. In recent years, many have moved their facilities overseas to increase production and efficiency.

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P&G Moving Beauty Units To Asia To Capture Emerging Market Share

P&G Moving Beauty Units To Asia To Capture Emerging Market Share

BUSINESS

  • Procter & Gamble to move skin care, cosmetics, personal-care businesses to Singapore
  • Move part of restructuring plan aimed at saving company $10 billion by 2017
  • Asia-Pacific holds nearly half of global skin care market value, which totals almost $97 billion

The world's largest household products manufacturer Procter & Gamble plans to move its skin care, cosmetics and personal-care units from its company headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Singapore over the next two years, with the goal of capturing business in emerging markets.

P&G is the latest in a number of European and American companies relocating to Asia to take advantage of the growing Asia-Pacific market. According to Euromonitor International, Asia-Pacific holds nearly half of the skin care market’s global value, which is at close to $97 billion.

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Nissan Sees Record Automotive Sales In Major Markets Boost Profit

Nissan Sees Record Automotive Sales In Major Markets Boost Profit

BUSINESS

  • Nissan net profit up 145%
  • Nissan operating profit up 33%; forecast to rise 28% over coming year
  • Nissan sees record sales of 4.8 million vehicles for last year

Nissan’s profits for the January to March quarter 2012 rose sharply, buoyed by record sales in major markets, which saw it outdo Japanese rivals Honda and Toyota.

The country’s second-largest automaker posted a quarterly operating profit of 118.1 billion yen ($1.48 billion), marking a 33% hike over the same period last year; net profit rocketed up 145%.

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Facebook To Add App Store

Facebook To Add App Store

BUSINESS

  • App Center announced as company prepares initial public offering
  • Rising number of mobile device users contributing to slowing revenue
  • 200 social apps on Facebook each have over 1 million users

Facebook is set to open a new online store where users can purchase apps and games, in a bid to maximize the company’s revenue from its enormous user base.

The announcement of the App Center from the social networking giant coincides with the company’s preparations for an initial public offering, which would value it at around $77 billion to $96 billion.

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Presentation Site SlideShare Worth $119 Million in LinkedIn Purchase Deal

Presentation Site SlideShare Worth $119 Million in LinkedIn Purchase Deal

BUSINESS

  • SlideShare one of LinkedIn’s most popular applications
  • SlideShare buy marks LinkedIn’s fifth acquisition in two years
  • LinkedIn to expand mobile technology in hopes of attracting advertisers, members to its subscriptions services

The world’s largest professional networking website LinkedIn has struck a deal to purchase presentation website SlideShare for close to $119 million, a move that is expected to be mutually beneficial.

SlideShare is already one of LinkedIn’s most popular applications, according to an analyst with Needham & Co. It is not entirely clear how the two companies will integrate beyond how they are currently.

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Wal-Mart Launches Buy Online, Pay Cash in Store For US Shoppers

Wal-Mart Launches Buy Online, Pay Cash in Store For US Shoppers

BUSINESS

  • Only 15% of purchases made by Wal-Mart target audience paid for by credit card
  • Wal-Mart first major retailer to offer “pay-in-cash” option for online purchases
  • 25% of US households have little or no access to credit cards, bank accounts

US retail giant Wal-Mart Stores has introduced a new payment option to cater to more of its customers: shoppers on Walmart.com can now “pay with cash” instead with credit cards or debit cards.

The new payment option was tested in a handful of US stores before being launched nationwide. Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Walmart.com, says: "We are going to touch a segment of the American public who hasn't been able to participate online without going through a lot of hoops."

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Mobile Phone Shipments: Samsung Takes Top Spot From Nokia

Mobile Phone Shipments: Samsung Takes Top Spot From Nokia

BUSINESS

  • Samsung registers highest profit since 2008 with sales 36% higher over Q1 last year
  • Together Samsung and Nokia hold 48% of smartphone market
  • Global smartphone shipments forecast to grow 33%

After 14 years in the top spot, Finland’s Nokia has been replaced by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. as the world’s largest mobile phone maker, according to recent research from by private industry firms.

Nokia previously took the top position from Motorola Mobility Inc.

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Global Automotive Leaders Chrysler, Volvo and Fiat Start 2012 with A Bang

Global Automotive Leaders Chrysler, Volvo and Fiat Start 2012 with A Bang

BUSINESS

  • Chrysler Q1 net profit of over $470 million best result in 13 years
  • Fiat announces 10-fold jump in Q1 profit to over $498 million
  • Volkswagen reports $4.2 billion profit, nearly double its 2011 first quarter profit; plans to launch production in China
  • Honda Q1 profit up by over 60% from 2011 to $883 million

As the global automotive market rebounds, manufacturing leaders Chrysler, Fiat and Volkswagen recently announced significant increases in first quarter profits: Chrysler’s net profit of over $470 million is its best result in 13 years; Fiat, having increased its stake in Chrysler to over 58% in early 2012, reported a 10-fold jump in profit to over $498 million; and Volkswagen’s $4.2 billion profit is almost double its 2011 first quarter profit.

With an over 11% increase in customer deliveries to 2.2 million vehicles, Volkswagen outclassed other automotive companies globally, particularly in Russia. Meanwhile, Chrysler has recovered nicely from 2009, when it needed a government bailout to survive, with a 39% increase in first quarter sales this year.

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