WTO to rule on rare earths
The WTO has concluded that restrictions by China on the export of rare earths are not in line with global body’s rules, the Financial Times reported yesterday. The newspaper cited sources in countries that have challenged the Chinese measures, but said the WTO had not yet issued its findings. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry confirmed the existence of an interim report, but could not comment on its contents, including the ruling. A final report was expected around year-end, a ministry spokesman said.
Output falls on auto dispute
South Korea’s industrial output fell last month, with labor disputes limiting production at leading automakers, government data showed yesterday. Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries shrank 2.1 percent from a month earlier and 3.6 percent from a year ago, Statistics Korea said. That also compares with a revised 1.6 percent month-on-month rise in August.
Baidu posts profit increase
Baidu Inc (百度), which operates China’s most popular search engine, yesterday said quarterly profit rose 1.3 percent as it invested to expand its fledgling mobile business. The Beijing-based firm earned 3 billion yuan (US$498 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30. Revenue rose 42.3 percent to 8.9 billion yuan, but sales and administrative costs more than doubled mainly due to mobile-related expenses. Development costs rose 77.5 percent.
Toshiba upgrades forecast
Toshiba Corp yesterday raised its full-year operating income forecast by 12 percent amid a rally in memorychip prices. It expects operating profit of ￥290 billion (US$2.9 billion) in the 12 months ending March 31, compared with a previous projection of ￥260 billion, the company said, while keeping its net income forecast at ￥100 billion.
Nintendo returns to profit
Nintendo yesterday said it swung back to profitability in the six months to September thanks to a sharply weaker yen, but the Japanese videogames giant struggled with tepid sales of its Wii U console. The firm said net profit for the half-year period came in at ￥600 million, compared with a ￥28 billion loss a year earlier, but it still logged an operating loss of ￥23.3 billion. The company’s sales fell 2.2 percent to ￥196.6 billion.
Porsche cuts into VW profit
German auto giant Volkswagen (VW) yesterday said that one-off effects in connection with its takeover of Porsche hit profits in the third quarter. VW said it booked a net profit of 1.856 billion euros (US$2.55 billion) in the period from July to September, down from 11.265 billion euros. Operating profit rose 19.9 percent to 2.777 billion euros on a 3.6 percent increase in units sales to 2.387 million cars worldwide, while revenues fell 3.8 percent to 46.985 billion euros.
LinkedIn falls into red
LinkedIn Corp on Tuesday reported a loss of US$3.4 million, or US$0.03 per share, in the July-September period. It had earned US$2.3 million, or US$0.02s per share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 56 percent to US$393 million. LinkedIn forecast revenue of US$415 million and US$420 million for the current quarter, which is below Wall Street’s expectations of US$438.9 million.