Business News - part 42

US Consumer Survey: Toyota Makes Most Reliable Cars in America

US Consumer Survey: Toyota Makes Most Reliable Cars in America

BUSINESS

  • Japanese automakers take top seven spots in US Auto Reliability Survey
  • American automakers near bottom of list; Ford ranked 27 out of 28 brands
  • Ford vehicles facing technology issues

Toyota Motor Corp. sells the most reliable cars in the US, according to the annual Auto Reliability Survey conducted by magazine Consumer Reports.

The top seven manufacturers on the list are Japanese, with Toyota in the lead. Jaguar ranked at the bottom of the 28 brands surveyed, with US automaker Ford Motor Co. placing just before it at number 27.

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Disney Buys Star Wars, Indiana Jones Franchise Owner Lucasfilm For $4 Billion

Disney Buys Star Wars, Indiana Jones Franchise Owner Lucasfilm For $4 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Disney buys Lucasfilm to add popular live action and animated characters
  • Disney estimates Lucasfilm to generate $860 million in sales in 2012
  • New Star Wars trilogy scheduled to be released in 2015

Entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. has agreed to purchase production company Lucasfilm, owner of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, for $4.05 billion in an effort to reinvent the company by adding popular live action and animated characters.

The deal also includes Lucasfilm special effects business Industrial Light & Magic, and LucasArts, which produces video games. The acquisition of LucasArts should help boost Disney’s ailing interactive unit.

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UBS Cutting 10,000 Jobs to Increase Profit

UBS Cutting 10,000 Jobs to Increase Profit

BUSINESS

  • UBS posts $2.31 billion third-quarter loss
  • Bulk of job cuts in London, US; to be completed by 2015
  • UBS under investigation linked to London Interbank Offered Rates

Switzerland's largest bank UBS AG plans to cut 10,000 jobs – or 15% of its global workforce – by 2015 as part of a strategy to increase profit and save $3.6 billion. The move comes after the bank posted a third-quarter loss of $2.31 billion.

UBS currently employs 64,000 employees in 57 countries, down from 83,500 in 2007. The majority of the job cuts will be in London and the United States. Some 2,500 cuts will be made in Switzerland where UBS is headquartered.

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AstraZeneca Looks to New Leadership As Drug Patent Expiration Hurts Sales

AstraZeneca Looks to New Leadership As Drug Patent Expiration Hurts Sales

BUSINESS

  • Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s new leader, expected to combat decline in sales and pre-tax profit caused by expiration of drug patents
  • Most critical losses through to 2016 include best-selling drugs Crestor, Seroquel and Nexium
  • Recovery plan includes annual strategy review, outsourcing of product development and acquisitions

Global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is looking to the leadership of new chief executive Pascal Soriot to counter the company’s decline in revenue and pre-tax profits as reported in the third quarter.

Poor financial results, including a 56% decrease in net profit and a 19% decrease in sales, largely reflect the expiration of significant drug patents and entrance of cheaper generic brands into the market.

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Yahoo Buys Smartphone App Start-Up Stamped To Focus On Mobile

Yahoo Buys Smartphone App Start-Up Stamped To Focus On Mobile

BUSINESS

  • First Yahoo acquisition under new CEO Marissa Mayer
  • Yahoo to become mainly mobile company
  • Stamped app to be scrapped in favor of new Yahoo app

Yahoo Inc has acquired the smartphone application maker Stamped as part of its push to build a customized lineup of products and services for smartphones, tablet PCs and other mobile devices.

The purchase of the New-York based start-up is new Yahoo chief executive officer Marissa Mayer’s first M&A venture since she defected from arch-rival Google three months ago to help revive the internet pioneer and transform it into a mainly mobile company.

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Consumer Products Leader Newell Rubbermaid Cutting Jobs, Changing Executive Members

Consumer Products Leader Newell Rubbermaid Cutting Jobs, Changing Executive Members

BUSINESS

  • Newell Rubbermaid to cut 1,900 jobs
  • Rubbermaid restructuring  expected to save $180 million to $225 million annually
  • Savings from reorganization to be used to grow brands, boost sales in foreign markets

Consumer products manufacturer Newell Rubbermaid Inc. will cut 1,900 jobs and reorganize the company as part of a restructuring plan aimed at saving money for reinvestment.

The company plans to eliminate 10% of its workforce by mid-2015, and departments will be reorganized with several executives replaced.

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Proctor & Gamble To Introduce New Products To Win Back Market Share

Proctor & Gamble To Introduce New Products To Win Back Market Share

BUSINESS

  • Procter & Gamble sees drop in net sales of close to 4% over July-September 2012
  • New products and productivity measures to be implemented to help regain market share
  • Competitors Kimberly-Clark and Colgate cutting jobs

The world’s largest consumer-products manufacturer Procter & Gamble Co reported a drop in net sales of close to 4% from July-September 2012 over the same period last year.

In light of this, the company has laid out a turnaround plan aimed at regaining market share in key categories, with new products to be introduced and productivity measures to be implemented.

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Pfizer Buys Specialty Drug Maker NextWave Pharmaceuticals For $680 Million

Pfizer Buys Specialty Drug Maker NextWave Pharmaceuticals For $680 Million

BUSINESS

  • Pfizer buys NextWave to offer more diverse portfolio of high-quality medicines
  • Pfizer selling off nutritional and animal health businesses to focus on developing new prescription drugs
  • NextWave ADHD drug Quillivant XR approved by FDA, expected to be available in US by January 2013

Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest drug manufacturer, has agreed to purchase emerging specialty pharmaceutical company NextWave Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $680 million as part of its strategy to focus on developing new drugs.

Specifically, NextWave manufactures an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug, called Quillivant XR.

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Airbus Launches New A350 Aircraft Manufacturing Line

Airbus Launches New A350 Aircraft Manufacturing Line

BUSINESS

  • Airbus A350 aircraft designed to decrease fuel consumption dramatically, made out of lightweight carbon-composite material
  • A350 marked as Europe's first major contribution to new generation of aircraft
  • Airbus to begin production immediately, should generate 10 planes per month by 2018

European airplane manufacturer Airbus has launched a new assembly plant for its latest jetliner the A350. The A350 assembly factory will produce a new generation of aircraft made of lightweight materials engineered to save carriers fuel costs and allow Airbus to go head-to-head with rival Boeing.

The plane is meant to be Europe's first major contribution to a new generation of aircraft scheduled to drastically decrease fuel consumption by using high-tech materials. The A350 will be made of carbon-composite elements instead of much-heavier aluminum and is designed to seat between 270 – 350 passengers.

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Semiconductor Deal: Dutch ASML To Buy US Company Cymer For $2.6 Billion

Semiconductor Deal: Dutch ASML To Buy US Company Cymer For $2.6 Billion

BUSINESS

  • ASML and Cymer to develop EUV technology, satisfy consumer demand for microchips
  • PC demand drops to 349 million units in 2012, marking first decrease since 2001
  • Demand for memory chips to be weak during start of 2013, while demand for logic chips to grow

ASML Holding NV, Europe’s largest semiconductor equipment supplier, has agreed to purchase San Diego, CA, based Cymer Inc. for around $2.6 billion to accelerate the develop of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) semiconductor lithography technology used in the creation of microchips.

EUV technology is used to increase the capacity and speed of microchips, while lowering costs and making them more energy efficient. The chips are used in smartphones and tablet computers.

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