US house sales jump 4.7%
Americans snapped up more homes last month, suggesting that the US housing sector remains insulated from global economic turmoil. The National Association of Realtors on Thursday said sales of existing homes jumped 4.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.55 million. Sales have advanced 8.8 percent over the past 12 months, while the number of listings has declined 3.1 percent, the association said.
French output picks up
French economic output picked up this month to the fastest in four months as growth in manufacturing and services accelerated. A composite index of both industries by Markit Economics rose to 52.3 from 51.9 last month, moving further above the 50 level that divides expansion from contraction. A gauge of services activity increased to 52.3 from 51.9, while a factory output measure jumped to a 19-month high. On Thursday, France’s business confidence climbed to its strongest in four years this month.
Kia takes profit hit
South Korea’s Kia Motors Inc yesterday said that weakening demand in the world’s largest auto market, China, contributed to a more than 16 percent drop in third-quarter profit. The company said its net profit for the July-September period had fallen 16.3 percent year-on-year to 550 billion won (US$487 million). In a conference call, Kia chief financial officer Han Chun-soo said the company hoped to boost market share by taking advantage of a purchase tax reduction being offered by Beijing on car models with smaller engines.
3M to slash 1,500 jobs
3M Co on Thursday said it plans to cut up to 1,500 jobs as part of a restructuring plan as it reported declines in its overall third-quarter profit and revenue. The maker of Post-it notes, industrial coatings and ceramics said it is cutting jobs as part of a plan to “strengthen its competitiveness.” 3M reported a slight drop in net income to just under US$1.3 billion, even as a decline in shares outstanding for the latest quarter resulted in a boost in the earnings per share figure to US$2.05. Revenue, meanwhile, fell 5.2 percent to US$7.7 billion.
McDonald’s sees Q3 boost
McDonald’s on Thursday reported higher earnings, capitalizing on positive buzz from a new buttermilk chicken sandwich and other product tweaks to break a two-year streak of falling US comparable sales. The fast-food giant, which has been in turnaround mode under new chief executive Steve Easterbrook, reported third-quarter net income of US$1.3 billion, up 22.5 percent from the year-ago period. Revenues fell 5.3 percent to US$6.6 billion, dented by the strong dollar in overseas markets, while global comparable sales rose 4.0 percent, including a 0.9 percent gain in the US.
Earnings forecast revised
AT&T Inc boosted its earnings outlook for this year and posted profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates, using tablet promotions to win wireless subscribers while also adding DirecTV satellite-TV customers. The company revised its earnings forecast to between US$2.68 and US$2.74 a share, topping the US$2.64 average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Earnings excluding some items were 74 cents a share last quarter, AT&T said on Thursday.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and