BHP eyes record production
Global mining giant BHP Billiton yesterday said it expected record iron ore production in the current fiscal year after output in the second half of last year rose by 23 percent. The world’s largest miner said iron ore production for the six months to Dec. 31 was 80.6 million tonnes, up 23 percent on the previous corresponding period. In the three months to the end of last month, BHP produced 41.1 million tonnes of iron ore, an increase of 4 percent from the third quarter. BHP said consistently strong operating performance, dual tracking of its rail infrastructure and additional ship loading capacity at Port Hedland all contributed to the record performance.
ASML earnings fall 12%
ASML Holding NV, a key equipment supplier to computer chipmakers Intel and Samsung, says its earnings fell 12 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Net profit was 317 million euros (US$405 million), down from 362 million euros in the same period a year ago. Revenues fell 20 percent to 1.21 billion euros. ASML makes “litho-graphy systems,” used to trace out the circuitry of semiconductors. The company said yesterday that although orders slowed in the fourth quarter, they had strengthened in the first quarter of this year on demand for logic and flash memory chips.
Apple sues Samsung again
Apple Inc filed another suit in Germany, seeking to ban sales of Samsung Electronics Co’s smartphones, including the Galaxy S Plus and the S II, extending the global legal dispute between the two companies. The action targeting 10 smartphone models was filed in the Dusseldorf Regional Court and is based on Apple’s design rights, court spokesman Peter Schuetz said on Tuesday. Apple also started a separate suit against five Samsung tablet computers related to a September ruling banning the Galaxy 10.1, he said. Samsung spokesman Nam Ki-yung said the company has no immediate comment to make.
Samsung doesn’t want RIM
Samsung Electronics Co said it was not interested in buying Research In Motion Ltd (RIM), denying a report that fueled an 8 percent surge in the BlackBerry maker’s shares. Samsung has “never” considered buying the Canadian mobile phone maker, and there has been no contact between the two companies, company spokesman James Chung said by telephone. Samsung is also not interested in using RIM’s software through a licensing deal, he said. RIM shares advanced to US$17.47 at the close of trading in New York on Tuesday. RIM spokesperson Tenille Kennedy declined to comment on the report.
Koobface hackers identified
Online security researchers claimed on Tuesday to have identified the members of a Russian gang of cybercriminals behind the Koobface computer virus, which has attacked Facebook and other sites. Meanwhile, Facebook said that its security team had helped knock out a computer server which controlled a Koobface “botnet” of malware--infected personal computers. According to Jan Droemer, an independent computer security researcher, and Dirk Kollberg of security firm SophosLabs, the five members of the Koobface gang live in St Petersburg, Russia. In a blog post, Sophos said evidence and the identities of the five Koobface suspects had been handed over to law enforcement.