Roche forecasts EPS growth
Roche Holding AG, the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs, has forecast high single-digit percentage growth in earnings per share (EPS) this year as new products start to contribute to sales. Net income last year rose to 9.5 billion Swiss francs (US$10.3 billion) from SF8.9 billion a year earlier, the Switzerland-based company said yesterday in a statement on its Web site. EPS excluding some items were SF12.30, falling short of the SF12.46 average estimate of 26 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.Two new skin cancer drugs — Zelboraf for metastatic melanoma and Erivedge for advanced basal cell carcinoma — will add to sales, Roche said.
LG’s yearly loss narrows
LG Electronics Inc, South Korea’s second-largest electronics maker, reported a narrower full-year loss helped by sales of high-end televisions and mobile phones. The net loss narrowed to 277.9 billion won (US$247 million) in the 12 months that ended on Dec. 31 from a loss of 635.9 billion won a year earlier, LG said in a regulatory filing yesterday. The company’s consolidated full-year net loss, to be released later yesterday, would be about 322.2 billion won, according to the average of 37 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Rising sales of higher-margin TVs and smartphones helped improve profitability, the company said. LG, the world’s third-largest handset maker and the second-largest maker of TVs, is introducing new models equipped with 3D functions and Android-powered cell phones to revive earnings after losing market share to Samsung Electronics Co and Apple Inc in smartphones.
Magnate buys Fairfax shares
Australia’s richest person, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, reportedly took her stake in press group Fairfax to 12.8 percent yesterday, prompting government calls for tougher media ownership laws. The iron ore billionaire acquired close to 8 percent of the group after launching a A$200 million (US$212 million) share raid late on Tuesday, bringing her total holding to about 12.8 percent, Dow Jones Newswires said. Rinehart had been seeking a further 9.9 percent stake in the newspaper, radio and digital media firm in which she already held more than 4 percent to become its largest shareholder, the Australian Financial Review said. Laws designed to diversify media ownership prevent Rinehart from taking more than 15 percent of shares in the company which publishes the Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne paper The Age as well as the Financial Review.
Infineon profits fall less
Infineon Technologies AG, Europe’s second--largest semiconductor maker, said its operating profit for the fiscal first quarter fell a smaller-than-expected 20 percent and predicted second-quarter sales would be “flat” to slightly down. Operating profit in the fiscal first quarter, which ended on Dec. 31, fell to 141 million euros (US$184 million) from 177 million euros a year ago as sales rose 2.6 percent to 946 million euros, the company said in a statement yesterday. Twelve analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected an average operating profit of 127 million euros and sales of 934 million euros. Infineon said it sees “continued confidence” from automotive customers and “some early signs” of stabilization in the market for chips for security on credit and identity cards though “seasonal weakness” would drive a decline in chips that improve power efficiency and go into wind turbines.
STAYING AHEAD: Fitch said that TSMC remains technologically ahead of others, but Samsung is building a new chip fab, while China is investing in its domestic industry As escalating US-China tensions and COVID-19-related production disruptions force US technology supply chains to transform, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) US$12 billion chip fabrication plant in Arizona would be key to spurring greater US production of core semiconductor components, Fitch Ratings said. “We view the US-TSMC alliance as a first step in building a more autonomous US technology supply chain, given high barriers to entry, specifically related to the significant capital and design capability required for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing,” Fitch said in a statement on Tuesday. “By working with TSMC, US chipmakers will not face the financial burden of incremental investment
DIVERSIFICATION: Although COVID-19 would push more companies to produce in emerging markets, DBS said that it was unlikely that firms would totally leave China Geopolitical tensions and supply disruptions are expected to accelerate the migration of manufacturing out of China, as concerns about the risk of production concentrated in one country increase, S&P Global Ratings said. Although its economic expansion might be weaker than previous levels due to the accelerated relocation of manufacturing, China’s economic growth would still be stronger than that of most other economies, the ratings agency said. “While absolute growth rates will moderate, we believe China’s economic performance will continue to be a key sovereign credit support,” S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Tan Kim Eng (陳錦榮) said in a statement on Thursday. “Its growth
Taiwan’s corporate landscape has changed significantly over the past 20 years, with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) replacing Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑) as the revenue leader, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) has emerged as the most profitable firm, a survey of Taiwan’s 50 largest companies published on Tuesday last week showed. The Chinese-language CommonWealth Magazine survey ranked Taiwan’s 50 largest companies based on their revenue last year, and compared them with the results of a similar survey it conducted in 2000. Only 33 companies on the original list remained in this year’s rankings, the survey found, following two
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) yesterday announced that it would suspend guestroom operations and lay off related staffers from Monday, as regional border controls and travel restrictions are unlikely to be lifted anytime soon. The partial shutdown would not affect the five-star hotel’s restaurants, bars, spa, and conference and banquet facilities, which this month have almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels, it said. “Mandarin Oriental Taipei will suspend all guestroom services from June 1 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the hotel said after four months of maintaining normal operations proved unsustainable. The change necessitates downsizing and the hotel is handling