Ford profit plummets 90%
Ford Motor Co on Thursday reported that its fourth-quarter net income fell 90 percent from a year earlier, leading company officials to say the automaker’s costs are too high and to pledge more belt-tightening this year. CEO Jim Farley said Ford should have done better last year, and it left US$2 billion in profits on the table that were within its control. He said Ford would correct that with improved urgency and execution this year. Chief financial officer John Lawler said about US$1 billion of the US$2 billion in lost profits was due to lower production and lost sales, the other US$1 billion was in operational costs. He attributed about 60 percent of the production problem to the chip shortage, with the rest coming from parts suppliers that had trouble ramping up factories. For this year, Lawler sees US sales rising to about 15 million vehicles, which he said should help increase Ford’s sales.
ALI listing on NASDAQ
A Japanese maker of flying motorbikes was expected to begin trading on the NASDAQ as early as yesterday, making it the fifth Japanese firm to join the tech-heavy bourse, people familiar with the matter said. Tokyo-based ALI Technologies Inc was going public through a merger with the blank-check firm Pono Capital Corp. Under terms of the deal, ALI Technologies is become a fully owned unit of its US arm, Aerwins Technologies, the people said, asking not to be named because the information was not yet public. Its market cap is expected to be at least US$600 million, in line with its target last year, despite a market selloff. A company representative said that a special purpose acquisition company listing is in progress, but details have yet to be decided.
Amazon profit disappoints
Amazon.com Inc on Thursday posted worse-than-expected fourth-quarter profits, but its revenue beat expectations, boosted by sales in its cloud-computing unit AWS, which is also seeing a slowdown in growth. Amazon said it earned US$300 million, or US$0.03 per share, in the October-December quarter. Industry analysts were expecting the company to earn US$0.17 a share, according to FactSet. The e-commerce giant said its bottom line was dented by a US$2.3 billion write-down of the value of its stock investment in electric-vehicle start-up Rivian Automotive. Amazon’s fourth-quarter profits represent a significant drop from the US$14.3 billion it posted during the same period in 2021, when the company had a nearly US$12 billion gain from its investment in Rivian. Amazon said its overall revenue rose 9 percent to US$149.2 billion, higher than the US$145.7 billion analysts were expecting. It said it expects revenue of between US$121 billion and US$126 billion this quarter. Analysts forecast US$125 billion.
China job openings surge
Chinese hotels and restaurants are seeking employees amid a demand recovery in the services sector after the end of Beijing’s zero-COVID protocols, with a survey by a leading recruiter showing a surge in job openings in the hospitality industry. During the first six days of work after the Lunar New Year holiday, job openings in the hotel and catering sectors surged 40 percent from the same period a year earlier, a survey published yesterday by recruiting firm Zhaopin (智聯招聘) showed. Passenger vehicle and freight truck drivers and airplane and train crews are also badly needed, with job openings jumping by 85.2 percent over the same period, due to busy transport and logistics sectors.
South Korea would avoid capitalizing on China’s ban on a US chipmaker, seeing the move by Beijing as an attempt to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, a person familiar with the situation said. The South Korean government would not encourage its memorychip firms to grab market share in China lost by Micron Technology Inc, which has been barred for use in critical industries by Beijing on national security grounds, the person said. China is the biggest market for South Korea semiconductor firms Samsung Electronics Co and SK Hynix Inc and home to some of their factories. Their operations in China
STATE SUBSIDIES: The talks over a factory in Dresden have a top end on par with what Japan is offering TSMC and outdo a cap other firms are being offered in Europe Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, is in talks to receive German government subsidies for as much as 50 percent of the costs to build a new semiconductor fab in the country, people familiar with the matter said. The government is in ongoing negotiations with TSMC, as well as its partners on the project — Bosch Ltd, NXP Semiconductors NV and Infineon Technologies AG — the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. No final decisions have been made and the final subsidy amount could still change. Any state aid must also
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) senior vice president of business development Kevin Zhang (張曉強) told reporters yesterday that talks over a possible plant in Germany are continuing and that the earliest decision would be in August. “I don’t want to get into the politics side of the thing, but I do think that there is a need for us to provide our customers with a diverse supply,” Zhang said, adding that Europe is a “very significant geography given the customer base ... [and] the demand.” Zhang did not confirm the size of subsidy or cost of the potential project or
POWER FORWARD: The US company’s bullish revenue projection also lifted the shares of Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC and Japanese equipment supplier Advantest Nvidia Corp’s forecast for surging revenue surprised even the most bullish analysts on Wall Street, propelling the chipmaker to the cusp of a US$1 trillion market capitalization and igniting a global jump in stocks linked to artificial intelligence (AI). The Santa Clara, California-based company gained as much as 29 percent in extended US trading, on course for a record high, after saying it expects sales to reach about US$11 billion in the three months ending July. That gain puts Nvidia on track also to rack up the biggest one-day valuation jump in US company history. Nvidia, the biggest supplier of the advanced