eBay profits 53 percent up
Online auction site eBay posted a quarterly profit of US$291.6 million on Wednesday, a 53 percent rise over the same period last year. Revenue for the period totaled US$1.09 billion, a 40 percent increase from last year's US$773.4 million. The number of active users, plus the amount of merchandise sold through the site also displayed strong growth, the company said. "Excellent momentum in the US and Germany, as well as at PayPal, all helped deliver an impressive jump in revenues and profit," eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman said in statement. EBay also boosted its third-quarter revenue forecast to a range of US$1.05 billion to US$1.07 billion, from US$1.04 billion to US$1.06 billion previously.
CNOOC says bid still stands
State-owned energy company China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC, 中國海洋石油) said yesterday its all-cash deal for US oil giant Unocal remained on the table and no immediate counter bid would be made a day after rival Chevron sweetened its offer. "In the interests of protecting our shareholders, CNOOC's all-cash share offer has not been changed and remains in effect," spokesman Xiao Zongwei said. "The offer is US$67 per share." CNOOC has offered US$18.5 billion for Unocal. On Wednesday Unocal, the ninth-largest US oil company, and Chevron jointly announced their agreement to an improved offer from Chevron. The new Chevron bid values Unocal at US$63.01 per share based on its closing price on Tuesday. Its earlier bid in April stood at US$60.51 in cash and stock. The revised offer consists of 40 percent cash and 60 percent stock.
Ericsson profits rise
Telecommunications giant Ericsson, the world's largest supplier of mobile systems, reported yesterday a rise in second-quarter earnings amid a global recovery of demand for telephone networks. Net profit increased to 5.8 billion Swedish kronor (US$744 million) for the three months to June 30, against 5 billion a year earlier. Sales rose to 38.4 billion kronor from 32.6 billion and earnings per share to 0.37 kronor from 0.31. Chief executive Carl-Henric Svanberg said the quarterly performance, which outstripped financial analysts' forecasts, had been "robust."
Disneyland gets fashion line
Hong Kong Disneyland has taken its pre-opening publicity blitz to the shopping masses, launching a fashion line with the popular bargain fashion retail chain Giordano. The line features adult and children's T-shirts and sweat shirts featuring Disney characters like Mickey Mouse to Nemo, Hong Kong-based Giordano International Ltd said on its Web site yesterday. Giordano is popular because of its low prices. A standard T-shirt costs HK$40 (US$5) The Disney clothing is priced above Giordano's typical range but still cheaper than the higher-end apparel available at Hong Kong Disneyland, set to open on Sept. 12. The Giordano Disney T-shirts cost HK$80 each. By comparison, a sequined T-shirt featuring Mickey Mouse in a magician's outfit on sale at Hong Kong Disneyland is priced HK$380. The Disney collection is already available in Hong Kong and will launch in China next week, Taiwan and southeast Asia next month, and South Korea and Australia in September.