Top Headlines - part 7

Bayer Buying Merck Consumer Unit for $14 Billion

Bayer Buying Merck Consumer Unit for $14 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Deal will make Bayer top in North and Latin American market
  • Bayer also purchasing trademarks in deal
  • Drug manufacturers to partner in clinical test

Bayer AG is purchasing U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck & Co Inc.’s consumer care business for $14.2 billion.

The deal also includes the trademarks for nasal spray Afrin and allergy treatment Claritin. It also includes the brands Coppertone, MiraLAX and Dr. Scholl, among other brands.

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GE Oil & Gas Partnering With Devon Energy to Produce New Technologies

GE Oil & Gas Partnering With Devon Energy to Produce New Technologies

BUSINESS

  • Technologies to be quickly tested in the field
  • Focus to center on three technologies: water treatment and processing, drilling technologies and artificial lift systems
  • GE opening Oklahoma City tech facility

GE Oil & Gas has established a technology collaboration agreement with Oklahoma City, OK, energy exploration and production company Devon Energy Corporation to develop unconventional oil and natural gas technologies.

Under the agreement, the companies will focus on three technologies: water treatment and processing, drilling technologies and artificial lift systems.

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BMW First-Quarter Profit Rises 2.6%

BMW First-Quarter Profit Rises 2.6%

BUSINESS

  • Auto manufacturer close to meeting its goal of 2 million cars
  • Sales picking up in Europe
  • Rivals also see healthy quarter

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world's largest luxury carmaker, reported a better than expected first quarter thanks for rebounding markets and new models.

Profit rose 2.6% and car sales rose 8.7%. Earnings were $2.03 billion.

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Nintendo Sees Third Straight Fiscal Year of Losses

Nintendo Sees Third Straight Fiscal Year of Losses

BUSINESS

  • Annual sales were revised in January but losses still greater than forecast
  • Wii U not selling well
  • Company sees bright future for 2014

Nintendo, the world’s oldest console gaming company, posted $457 million in losses for the fiscal year ending March 31, the third consecutive year of losses. Revenue was only $5.63 billion, down from $6.26 billion in fiscal year 2013.

Poor sales of the Wii U are to blame. In January, the company revised its expected sales to 2.8 million units, down from 9 million, but only 2.72 million sold. Since debuting in November 2012, 6.17 million units have been sold.

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Fiat Chrysler Unveils Strategy to Increase Sales by 2018

Fiat Chrysler Unveils Strategy to Increase Sales by 2018

BUSINESS

  • Fiat Chrysler unveiled ambitious sales targets and product strategies to achieve a 60% sales increase through 2018 at recent meeting.
  • Plan to boost global competitiveness includes updating Chrysler’s Town and Country minivan and dropping Dodge sedans to focus on a sportier Dodge model.
  • Investors showing doubt about plan’s achievability by withdrawing funds.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently announced an aggressive $77 billion plan to boost Maserati, Jeep and Alfa-Romeo sales and refresh its Chrysler line.

Five years ago US-based Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA of Italy entered a partnership but only officially joined forces in January, when Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler was complete; at a day-long conference held at Chrysler’s Auburn Hills, MI headquarters, Chrysler and Fiat together revealed their product strategies and prospective sales targets for the next five years.

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Coach Sales Fall 7% in Third Quarter

Coach Sales Fall 7% in Third Quarter

BUSINESS

  • Sales falling sharpest in handbag division
  • North American sales weak compared to rest of world
  • Coach facing fierce completion from rivals

 

Luxury handbag manufacturer, Coach, saw sales decline 7% and profit fall 20% in the third quarter, thanks to weak North American sales and increased competition. Revenue dropped to $1.1 billion, below analysts’ expectations.

In North America, Coach operates nearly 600 retail stores and plans to open 20 more.

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Toyota’s US Headquarters Moving to Texas from California

Toyota’s US Headquarters Moving to Texas from California

BUSINESS

  • Move affects thousands of employees
  • California home to numerous foreign auto headquarters
  • Texas has been attempting to lure businesses

The world’s largest automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., has plans to move its U.S. sales headquarters from Torrance, CA, where it has been since 1957 to Plano TX, a Dallas suburb, to save money.

The move would put manufacturing and quality, service, marketing, advertising and sales all in one location and affect 5,300 employees.  Three subsidiaries, Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Toyota Financial Services and Toyota Motor Sales USA, also would make the move, affecting more than 9,400 employees.

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Artificial Hip, Knee Manufacturer Zimmer Buys Rival Biomet For $13.4 Billion

Artificial Hip, Knee Manufacturer Zimmer Buys Rival Biomet For $13.4 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Combined company to become second largest in market
  • Number of medical procedures increasing in rebounding economy
  • Biomet had started IPO process

American artificial hip and knee manufacturer Zimmer Holdings Inc. has agreed to purchase rival Biomet Inc. for $13.4 billion in cash and shares. The combined company will become the second largest in the orthopedic and muscle injuries market.

In the rebounding economy, patients who had put off elective procedures are having surgeries. The acquisition of Biomet will allow Zimmer to expand into sports medicine, treating injuries such as torn ligaments, extremities, products for the hands and wrists, and trauma, screws and nails used after accidents.

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UK Retailer Primark To Enter US Market

UK Retailer Primark To Enter US Market

BUSINESS

  • Primark to open in Boston in 2015
  • Eight more Primark stores in Northeast to open in 2016
  • Primark hopes to succeed where other UK companies failed

British discount retailer Primark, which is owned by conglomerate Associated British Foods, plans to enter the US market, making it a global company.

Primark will open a 70,000-square-foot store downtown Boston near the end of 2015; an additional eight stores may be opened in the Northeast in 2016.

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Pepsi Reports Strong First Quarter Thanks To Snacks

Pepsi Reports Strong First Quarter Thanks To Snacks

BUSINESS

  • Pepsi snack volume grew 2%
  • Pepsi looking for new ways to market beverages
  • Price increases help boost profit

American multinational food and beverage corporation Pepsi Co. posted a stronger than expected first quarter profit due in part to its snack business.

The company made $12.62 billion in revenue, beating the $12.43 billion analysts forecast, and an increase of 4% from a year earlier; net income was $1.22 billion. 

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