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Thu, Oct 19, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Telecoms
Motorola's profits slump

Motorola Inc reported a 45 percent decline in third-quarter profit on Tuesday on revenue that came in well below analysts' expectations. The earnings met Wall Street's estimates, but sales of the company's hot-selling Razr phones left total revenue still nearly half a billion dollars lower than forecast. Earnings for the July-through-September period were US$968 million, or US$0.39 a share, down from US$1.75 billion, or US$0.69 a share, a year earlier. Revenue was US$10.6 billion, up 17 percent from US$9.05 billion a year ago but well under the consensus estimate of US$11.07 billion.

■ Takeovers

Carlyle cuts investment

US investment firm Carlyle Group has cut the size of the stake it is trying to buy in a Chinese construction equipment maker to 50 percent, the Chinese company said yesterday, after a takeover bid last year offer prompted a nationalist outcry. Carlyle signed an offer on Monday to buy the stake in Xugong Group Construction Machinery Co (徐工築路機械), Xugong said in a statement. It didn't give a price and said the deal requires Chinese government approval. Carlyle's offer last year to buy 85 percent of Xugong for US$375 million prompted complaints about asset sales to foreigners and received high-level official attention.

■ Corruption

Lay's conviction dismissed

A judge on Tuesday dismissed the conviction of Enron founder Kenneth Lay, who became a symbol of corporate malfeasance in the US, because he died before he had a chance to appeal. The decision by a US federal judge in Houston, Texas, means Lay's estate will not have to forfeit tens of millions of dollars that the court had determined were fraudulently obtained. Thousands of people who lost their jobs and life savings when the Houston-based energy giant collapsed in 2001, however, will still be able to sue Lay's estate in civil court. Lay was convicted of six counts of fraud on May 25 and died of a massive heart attack on July 5.

■ Computers

IBM's earnings rocket

Third-quarter earnings jumped nearly 50 percent to US$2.22 billion at IBM Corp, thanks largely to a lower tax bill, with sales of software and hardware helping drive a 5 percent increase in the computer company's revenue. Net income for the three months ended on Sept. 30 amounted to US$1.45 per share. In the same period last year, IBM earned US$1.52 billion, or US$0.94 a share, as the company absorbed a US$525 million tax expense on foreign earnings that were repatriated to the US. Third-quarter revenue totaled US$22.62 billion, up from US$21.53 billion a year earlier.

■ Technology

Spain tackles child porn

Spain's leftist government signed a cooperation agreement with Microsoft Corp on Tuesday to fight child pornography on the Internet. Under the deal, Microsoft will make available to Spanish police and civil guards a special tracking system aimed to improve ways of fighting crimes linked to child pornography, Spain's interior ministry and Microsoft said in a joint statement. In particular, the system allows the sharing of different national police and judicial data compiled using a standard computer language, and facilitates the storing, research and analysis of facts on current and past investigations.

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