Nissan Motor Co took an US$83 million charge related to the compensation of former chairman Carlos Ghosn as the Japanese automaker reeling from the shock arrest of the iconic executive warned of its lowest profit in six years.
Operating profit would be ￥450 billion (US$4.1 billion) this fiscal year, Nissan said yesterday.
That is down from its previous forecast of ￥540 billion and below the lowest of analysts’ estimates.
Sales in the US and China are falling amid an industry-wide slump, intensifying the pressures on chief executive officer Hiroto Saikawa who is trying to ease tensions with partner and shareholder Renault SA following Ghosn’s arrest.
The companies have spent the past two months coping with a major reputational hit from the scandal, indictments by Tokyo prosecutors over alleged financial improprieties and an unflattering spotlight on both companies’ corporate governance controls.
The one-time charge of ￥9.2 billion to reflect Ghosn’s yet-to-be-paid remuneration shows Nissan and Renault are set to feel reverberations from the scandal for a long time.
The so-called deferred pay has emerged as a point of focus for Tokyo prosecutors who have indicted Ghosn for allegedly understating his income at Nissan by tens of millions of US dollars.
Sales in China, Nissan’s largest market, fell 4 percent in the October-to-December last year quarter.
Nissan relies heavily on China, which is estimated to become its largest market. The company plans to invest US$9 billion and introduce 20 electrified models there within three years.
Nissan’s US sales last month plunged 19 percent, after slumping 6.2 percent last year.
The US market has been a major drag for Nissan in the past quarters. Sales in the Japanese automaker’s domestic unit rose about 32 percent in the December quarter, helped by the previous year’s low base when shipments were hit by an inspection scandal.
Nissan kept its projected full-year dividend at ￥57 a share, a boon for shareholders, including Renault, which owns 43 percent of Nissan.
RECORD BUDGET: TSMC does plan to raise its proposed capital expenditure a lot, and could benefit if Intel outsources more of its production to foundries, analysts said Intel Corp’s earnings conference call on Thursday is expected to clarify the US semiconductor giant’s outsourcing production plans, which would be crucial regarding Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) performance, analysts said. “TSMC stands to benefit if Intel outsources more of its fabrication to foundries,” SinoPac Securities Investment Service Corp (永豐投顧) analysts said in a note on Friday. Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) was more cautious, saying that Intel’s contribution initially would be limited, but its outsourcing plans would still highlight TSMC’s leadership in technology, it added. “Intel will continue to manufacture server or high-end central processing units [CPUs], which have higher
MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday announced it would give incentive bonuses totaling NT$1.7 billion (US$59.7 million) to its employees and those at the firm’s major subsidiaries, after the smartphone chip supplier’s revenue hit US$10 billion last year. This is the biggest incentive bonus the Hsinchu-based handset chip designer has ever distributed in its 23-year history. About 17,000 full-time employees of MediaTek and five of its subsidiaries, including Richtek Technology Corp (立錡科技) and Airoha Technology Corp (絡達科技), would receive a “red envelope” of NT$100,000 each, the company said. “Surpassing US$10 billion is just the beginning. We will continue to [grow] on this basis,” MediaTek
TO SPUR REVENUE: The contract chipmaker expects its profit to grow 15 percent this year, outpacing the foundry industry’s projected advance of about 10 percent Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday raised its projected capital spending for this year by 62 percent, a new high, in an attempt to satisfy customer demand for advanced technologies in the production of central processing units, high-performance-computing (HPC) devices and 5G applications. After investing US$17.24 billion last year, TSMC this year plans to spend US$25 billion to US$28 billion on manufacturing equipment and new facilities, including a fab in the US. About 80 percent of the budget would be allocated for developing advanced technologies including 3, 5 and 7-nanometer technologies, the company said. The larger-than-expected capital spending prompted speculation
Norway’s oil and gas reserves have made it one of the world’s wealthiest countries, but its dreams for deep-sea discovery now center on something different. This time, Oslo is looking for a leading role in mining copper, zinc and other metals found on the seabed and in hot demand in green technologies. The country could license companies for deep-sea mining as early as 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said, potentially placing it among the first countries to harvest seabed metals for electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines and solar farms. However, that could also place it on the front line of