Finance News - part 10

Saab Saved By $223 Million Investment from Chinese Carmaker Hawtai

Saab Saved By $223 Million Investment from Chinese Carmaker Hawtai

FINANCE

  • Privately owned Hawtai invests $223 million in Saab
  • Hawtai takes 30% stake in Spyker, Saab’s owner
  • If deal is finalized, both Sweden’s main car manufacturers will be Chinese-owned

Sweden’s Saab was rescued from ruin on Tuesday when it secured $223 million in a deal with privately owned Chinese carmaker Hawtai. As part of the agreement, Hawtai Motor Group will take a 30% stake in Dutch sports car brand Spyker Cars, who owns Saab. The money provided by Hawtai will be enough for Saab to maintain operations in the midterm.

Prior to the deal, production at Saab had been halted since early April, as the Swedish carmaker found itself short on funds. It reported that it had reached an agreement for $88 million in loans, which should allow it to recommence production by next week.

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Chrysler Posts First Profits Since Bankruptcy

Chrysler Posts First Profits Since Bankruptcy

FINANCE

  • Chrysler posts net income of $116 million for first quarter 2011
  • Sales increase 18% and revenue rises 35% to $13 billion
  • US market share rose slightly from 9.1% to 9.2%

Two years after filing for bankruptcy, the Chrysler Group posted a profit in the first quarter of 2011, its first since 2006.

The Detroit-based carmaker reported a net income of $116 million, compared to its net loss of $197 million in Q1 last year. Sales grew 18%, boosting revenue by 35% to over $13 billion.

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PayPal Acquires Fig Card, Steps Up Mobile Payment Campaign

PayPal Acquires Fig Card, Steps Up Mobile Payment Campaign

FINANCE

  • PayPal buys mobile payment startup Fig Card to gain more ground in m-commerce
  • Fig Card smartphone app offers mobile payment services like NFC without expensive hardware costs
  • Fig app works on Apple iOS, Google Android and BlackBerry platforms

Online payment company PayPal has acquired mobile payment startup Fig Card, as it continues to forge ahead in the m-commerce industry.

The small Boston-based Fig Card developed a system that allows retailers to accept mobile payments by plugging a USB device into the cash register. The USB key then communicates with the Fig Card application installed on the shopper’s smartphone to complete the payment. No credit card information or banking details are shared with the retailer.

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US Retail Stocks in Decline

US Retail Stocks in Decline

FINANCE

  • Poor results and low forecasts for OfficeMax, Liz Claiborne and Urban Outfitters drag US retail stocks down
  • Walmart reports 0.6% increase in shares

Retail stocks in the United States fell on Thursday following poor results and forecasts from big names such as OfficeMax, Urban Outfitters and label Liz Claiborne, according to analysts at FactSet Research.

Office supplies giant OfficeMax reported lower than expected first quarter profits of 13 cents a share, well short of the estimated 27 cents. Share prices plummeted 12% as a result.

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European Carmakers Boosted by Strong Q1 Profits

European Carmakers Boosted by Strong Q1 Profits

FINANCE

  • Volkswagen reports profit of $2.5 billion in Q1, three times higher than 2010
  • Fiat acquires additional 16% stake in Chrysler, narrows in on top automakers
  • Volvo, Peugeot-Citroen cut back production due to limited parts from Japan

European automakers bounced back strongly in the first quarter of 2011, as Volkswagen continued on from last year’s strong performance and Fiat closed in on the world’s top carmakers.

Europe’s largest carmaker Volkswagen posted first quarter profits of $2.5 billion, three times higher than the same time last year. It sold an unprecedented two million cars, another milestone for the German group, after its record profits of $9.8 billion in 2010.

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Hyundai Seals $557 Million JV in China

Hyundai Seals $557 Million JV in China

FINANCE

  • Hyundai signs $557 million joint venture deal with Sichuan Nanjun Automobile Group
  • JV aims to produce 160,000 vehicles annually by 2013
  • Chinese commercial car market to hit 5.2 million units by 2015

Hyundai has reached an agreement over terms for a $557 million joint venture with China’s Sichuan Nanjun Automobile Group. The venture will be an equal share partnership between the South Korean and Chinese carmakers that aim to manufacture 160,000 vehicles per year by 2013.

The operation will be based in Ziyun in China’s southwest province of Sichuan and will get underway in late 2011. Talks began earlier last year with Hyundai agreeing to an initial proposal for the joint venture in October.

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Amazon Sales Soar in North America

Amazon Sales Soar in North America

FINANCE

  • Q1 sales for Amazon’s North American sites increased nearly 45% to $5.47 billion
  • Amazon international site sales top $4.39 billion
  • However, global net income fell to $201 million in Q1, down 33% on last year

The world’s largest online retailer Amazon.com announced that sales from its North American sites jumped nearly 45% to $5.47 billion in the first quarter of 2011, with global sales totaling $9.86 billion.

The US and Canada saw the strongest growth of all Amazon sites, with electronic goods and merchandise sales totaling $3.3 billion, a 63% increase compared to the same period last year. Media sales, particularly books and DVDs, increased by 18% to $1.89 billion.

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Nokia Signs Smartphone Deal with Microsoft as Market Share Falls

Nokia Signs Smartphone Deal with Microsoft as Market Share Falls

FINANCE

  • Nokia signs smartphone partnership deal with Microsoft; plans to scrap Symbian OS platform
  • Nokia Q1 2011 profits fall 1.4% to $503 million – much better than expected; its global market share drops to 29%
  • Apple posts record unit sales of 18.6 million iPhones and $11.9 billion in profit for Q1

Finnish mobile phone company Nokia is connecting with Microsoft in a partnership that is expected to boost its diminishing market share.

The deal between the smartphone and software giants comes as Nokia posted a 1.4% fall in profit to $503 million for the first quarter of 2011. The figures were better than expected though, with initial forecasts predicting much lower earnings, or even a loss in Q1.

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Apple Profits Soar as iPhone Sales Hit Record High

Apple Profits Soar as iPhone Sales Hit Record High

FINANCE

  • Apple’s net profit almost doubles to just under $6 billion
  • Revenue jumps 83% to $24.7 billion
  • iPhone sales hit record high of 18.65 million units, accounting for almost $12 billion in revenue

Profits for US tech giant Apple have exceeded expectations, boosted by an unprecedented number of iPhone sales.

Apple reported net profit of just under $6 billion in its fiscal second quarter, which almost doubles the figure from last year. Revenue was up 83% totaling $24.7 billion, nearly $1.30 billion more than highest expectations, according to business intelligence group Thomson Reuters.

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Walmart Goes Social with $300 Million Kosmix Purchase

Walmart Goes Social with $300 Million Kosmix Purchase

FINANCE

  • Walmart buys social media company Kosmix for $300 million to create @WalmartLabs
  • New group will create technologies for social and mobile commerce to support Walmart’s global multi-channel strategy
  • Acquisition predicted to force competitors to invest in social media strategies

Walmart has acquired social media company Kosmix for the sum of $300 million in a bid to create a mobile and social shopping experience to draw in new customers.

California-based Kosmix built a social media platform that helps filter online updates by topic. It drives TweetBeat, a real-time live events filter, and medical search engine RightHealth, providing users with detailed and personalized information.

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