Business News - part 43

Hiring Freeze At Taiwan Tech Giant Foxconn Creates Doubts About Apple

Hiring Freeze At Taiwan Tech Giant Foxconn Creates Doubts About Apple

BUSINESS

  • Foxconn Technology Group launches hiring freeze at plants in China because of increase in employee retention
  • Apple iPhone has taken hit against cheaper Android-based smartphones produced by competitors
  • “iPhone mini” for Chinese market could drive growth for Apple

Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group – the world’s biggest contract assembler of electronics, including Apple, Sony, Nokia and Hewlett-Packard products – has announced a hiring freeze at its plants in China.

The company says no single customer factored into its hiring decisions, refuting a Financial Times report linking the freeze to a decline in iPhone5 orders.

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Spanish Airline Iberia Strike In Madrid Over Job Cuts

Spanish Airline Iberia Strike In Madrid Over Job Cuts

BUSINESS

  • Iberia workers protesting 3,800 job cuts and salary deductions
  • Iberia owner IAG suffered operating loss in 2012
  • Thousands of passengers rescheduled for other airlines

Pilots and employees of Spanish airline Iberia, Europe's largest carrier to Latin America, are striking at Madrid's Barajas airport over owner International Airlines Group’s plans to reduce salaries and cut 3,807 jobs.

IAG suffered a $882 million operating loss in 2012 caused by the economic crisis in Spain as well as competition from low-cost airlines and high-speed train service.

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Oil & Gas Producer Linn Energy Buys Berry Petroleum To Boost Oil Reserves

Oil & Gas Producer Linn Energy Buys Berry Petroleum To Boost Oil Reserves

BUSINESS

  • Purchase to increase Linn Energy’s oil reserves by 34%
  • Linn Energy to up liquids exposure from 46% to 54%
  • Linn Energy to spend $2 billion in deals annually

US oil and gas producer Linn Energy LLC is buying Berry Petroleum Co. for $2.42 billion in stock, with the goal of increasing its oil reserves by 34% and raising output by a third.

Linn Energy is the first publicly traded independent oil and natural gas limited liability company. It was founded in 2003, and purchases older oil and natural gas fields.

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Office Depot and OfficeMax Merge To Boost Competitivity

Office Depot and OfficeMax Merge To Boost Competitivity

BUSINESS

  • Office Depot, OfficeMax merger expected to generate $18 billion entity
  • Merger aims to accelerate innovation for customers and become more competitive
  • Office supply revenue drops due to recession; competition from online sales and big discount chains

Office supplies leader Office Depot Inc. and its rival Office Max Inc. have agreed to merge in a near $1.8 billion stock transfer.

Although officials from both OfficeMax and Office Depot have declined at this point to say who will lead the combined company as well as where it will be located, both companies are referring to the transaction as a “merger of equals” that is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.

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Honda, SolarCity Partner To Fund Solar Panels In Homes and Auto Dealerships

Honda, SolarCity Partner To Fund Solar Panels In Homes and Auto Dealerships

BUSINESS

  • Honda, SolarCity launch $65 million tax equity solar fund
  • Fund to finance solar systems for 2,500 to 3,000 residential homes plus 10-20 dealerships
  • Partnering with SolarCity to help Honda reach goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2050

Honda Motor’s US division and solar-power provider SolarCity Corp. are partnering to finance a $65 million tax equity fund to provide US Honda and Acura customers and dealerships with solar panels.

Both companies will put up equal shares to the fund.

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Automotive Leaders BMW, Chrysler Recall Thousands of Vehicles In North America

Automotive Leaders BMW, Chrysler Recall Thousands of Vehicles In North America

BUSINESS

Automotive manufacturing giants BMW and Chrysler Group LLC have announced the recall of thousands of vehicles in North America.

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, BMW has recalled 30,265 of its luxury X5 utility vehicles. Only vehicles equipped with V8 engines from model years 2007-2010 are affected.

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American Airlines and US Airways Merge To Become Biggest World Air Carrier

American Airlines and US Airways Merge To Become Biggest World Air Carrier

BUSINESS

  • US Airways and American Airlines merge in $11 billion deal
  • Merger expected to generate over $1 billion in new revenue and annual savings by 2015
  • Merger latest in a series of airline industry consolidations ongoing since 2005 linked to financial crisis

US Airways, the fifth-largest airline in the US, and AMR’s American Airlines, the third-largest, have joined forces in an $11 billion merger to become the number-one air carrier worldwide.

The new airline will be run by Doug Parker, US Airways Chief Executive Officer, and will surpass the already-consolidated United Continental Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc.

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Luxury Goods Firm PPR Going Strong At Start Of 2013

Luxury Goods Firm PPR Going Strong At Start Of 2013

BUSINESS

  • PPR shares at highest level in 12 years, sales jump 20%
  • Nearly 40% of PPR’s global sales come from emerging markets
  • PPR brand Puma reports 70% decline in profit

French luxury goods firm PPR SA forecasts 2013 will be a year of growth as shares are up more than 7% to their highest level in a dozen years.

Sales have jumped 20% to $13 billion, and are being driven in part by the success of the Bottega Veneta handbag line. Overall, nearly 40% of PPR’s global sales came from emerging markets.

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Media King Comcast Buys GE’s Stake In Entertainment Company NBCUniversal For Over $16 Billion

Media King Comcast Buys GE’s Stake In Entertainment Company NBCUniversal For Over $16 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Comcast buys NBCUniversal to take over media conglomerate that includes NBC Network, SyFy, MSNBC, Bravo, USA Network, Universal Pictures film studio and Universal Studios theme parks
  • Purchase originally planned for after 2014 but Comcast buying now to avoid higher prices
  • Customers should not see cable prices increase

Comcast Corp, the most valuable media company in the US, is purchasing General Electric Co.’s stake in entertainment company NBCUniversal for $16.7 billion, taking full control of a media conglomerate.

The purchase includes NBC Network; cable channels SyFy, MSNBC, Bravo and USA Network; Universal Pictures film studio and Universal Studios theme parks. Comcast also will purchase the headquarters of NBCUniversal, 30 Rockefeller Plaza and CNBC’s headquarters in New Jersey for $1.4 billion.

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Goodyear Revises 2013 Forecast In Response to European Crisis

Goodyear Revises 2013 Forecast In Response to European Crisis

BUSINESS

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the top US tire maker, has lowered its forecast for 2013 in response to a weak European tire market.

Goodyear expects the global tire industry to increase at a slower than expected pace with volume growing at single-digit percentage rates. Operating profit was revised from $1.6 billion, to $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion. 

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