Sat, Oct 24, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

REAL ESTATE

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.

MACROECONOMICS

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.

AUTOMAKERS

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.

MANUFACTURING

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.

FAST FOOD

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.

TELCOS

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.

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