GM stock up on job cuts
Shares of General Motors (GM) surged on Wednesday after the company announced big job cuts in Europe and reported third-quarter earnings that were far better than analysts expected. The Detroit company said it has cut 2,300 jobs in Europe this year and wants to trim 300 more, part of a larger plan to reduce costs and raise revenue in the struggling region with new vehicles that are more appealing to buyers. Despite the moves, GM’s net profit fell 14 percent as European losses widened and North American earnings dropped due to falling pension income and higher warranty costs.
Samsung wins Mideast deal
South Korea’s Samsung Engineering yesterday said it had won a US$2.48 billion order to build plants in Abu Dhabi. Under the deal signed on Wednesday with the state-owned Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Co, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, Samsung will build a carbon black unit and a delayed coker unit in Ruwais, west of Abu Dhabi, by January 2016. When completed, the facilities will be able to produce 40,000 tonnes of carbon black per year and process 30,000 barrels of crude oil a day, Samsung Engineering said.
PMI reading steady: HSBC
India’s manufacturing activity held steady last month, as a rise in new export orders offset the impact of power shortages, a private business index said yesterday. The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) from HSBC India Manufacturing stood at 52.9 last month, compared with 52.8 in September. A figure of over 50 indicates growth, while below 50 points to contraction.
Netflix rises on Icahn stake
Netflix shares surged on Wednesday on news that corporate raider Carl Icahn had acquired a stake of nearly 10 percent in the online video giant. A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed Icahn had acquired about 5.5 million shares, or 9.9 percent, through various investment firms he controls, starting in September. Netflix closed up 13.8 percent at US$79.17.
LNG lifts Shell Q3 earnings
Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s third-quarter profit expanded 2.3 percent after Europe’s biggest oil company generated increased earnings from liquefied natural gas (LNG). Net income rose to US$7.14 billion from US$6.98 billion a year earlier, Shell said in a statement yesterday. Excluding one-time items and inventory changes, profit was US$6.6 billion, beating the US$6.3 billion average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company said LNG sales gained 4 percent to 4.97 million tonnes from a year ago, mainly reflecting the contribution from the Pluto project in Australia.
Court taps Micron for Elpida
The Tokyo District Court picked Micron Technology Inc as a buyer for Elpida Memory Inc to revive the bankrupt Japanese chipmaker, dismissing an alternative plan put forward by bondholders. The court said creditors must vote on a reorganization plan that includes the Micron offer by Feb. 26, Elpida said in a statement yesterday. US-based Micron offered ￥200 billion (US$2.5 billion) in July to take over Elpida. Bondholders challenged the deal, calling it “severely detrimental.” The transaction, which is subject to approval by creditors, courts and regulators, is expected to close in the first half of next year, Elpida said.