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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Platinum, Palladium Rise On Supply Concerns

February 13, 2013 12:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Platinum and palladium surged Tuesday on renewed concerns that supplies of the platinum group metals will shrink. Zimbabwe's government reportedly gave platinum producers two years to begin refining the metals in Zimbabwe. That spurred speculation on Tuesday that production of platinum will drop, because the companies will likely have to build the refineries.

Deere 1Q Net Income Jumps 22 Percent

February 13, 2013 12:38 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Farm and construction equipment maker Deere & Co. said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income leaped 22 percent on growing sales of farm machinery at higher prices. The Moline, Ill., company's earnings soundly beat Wall Street expectations.

Peugeot Citroen Posts $6.7B Loss For 2012

February 13, 2013 10:05 am | by Greg Keller, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

PSA Peugeot Citroen posted a record €5 billion ($6.7 billion) loss last year after Europe's cratering car market forced France's largest automaker to book a €3 billion financial charge. As well as falling demand, which led to a 12.4 percent slump in new vehicle sales to €27.8 billion, the Paris-based company had to contend with the rising cost of steel and other materials.

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PwC: 2012 Manufacturing M&A Surpassed 2011

February 13, 2013 8:05 am | by PwC US | Articles | Comments

Amid high uncertainty over the direction of the global economy, the fourth quarter of 2012 saw a slowdown in the number of announced industrial manufacturing transactions. However, despite the reduction in M&A activity during the last quarter, 2012 proved to be a favorable year for dealmaking in the industrial manufacturing space.

Alfa Romeo To Make U.S. Comeback With New Car

February 12, 2013 2:33 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

After a 30-year absence, Italy's storied Alfa Romeo brand will return to the United States later this year with a new two-seat compact sports car. Italian automaker Fiat SpA said Tuesday that the long-delayed Alfa 4C will go on sale during the second half of the year. Fiat owns Alfa and controls the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram brands in the U.S.

VW Reports 17 Percent Increase In January Sales

February 12, 2013 2:26 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Germany's Volkswagen AG says it started off the year with brisk car sales, as deliveries outside Europe — particularly in China — helped more than offset declines in its home market. Europe's largest automaker said Tuesday overall January sales were up 17.4 percent to 491,900 from 419,100 in January 2012.

Tesla Shares Fall On Range Worries

February 12, 2013 10:18 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of Tesla Motors took a ride Monday after a weekend article in the New York Times claimed that its electric sedan, the Model S, ran out of power during an East Coast road trip and had to be towed to a recharging station. Shares recovered somewhat after Tesla's CEO and others questioned the story.

How To Collaborate With Europeans

February 12, 2013 8:00 am | by Mike Rainone, Contributing Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

I am not sure how to define it, but what the Italians seem to be stumbling over is a lack of global reach. Outside market understanding entails extensive effort and often requires a presence in that market, in order to identify that market’s unique needs. This does not come cheap.

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Reward Potential Big For AR Mill, But Has Risks

February 11, 2013 2:28 pm | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The planned $1.1 billion steel mill in Osceola carries the promise of a long-term economic boost for northeast Arkansas, but investors — including the state — face a number of risks. Legislators must decide whether it's worth borrowing $125 million, then giving $75 million of it in grants to Big River Steel LLC.

Boeing Warns That 787 Deliveries Could Slip

February 11, 2013 2:25 pm | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Boeing acknowledged Friday that it may not be able to deliver 787s as fast as hoped. The company said it has told customers expecting the next 787 deliveries that those planes have either been delayed, or are at risk for a delay. Boeing is still building the long-range, fuel-efficient planes, and it reiterated that it has no plans to slow production.

American Axle 4Q Profit Soars On Tax Benefit

February 11, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. said Friday that its fourth-quarter net income soared, helped by a hefty tax benefit and an increase in vehicle production. The Detroit-based auto supplier earned $319.9 million, or $4.21 per share, up from $31.1 million, or 41 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before.

Dell Looks To Calm Shareholder Concern Over Buyout

February 11, 2013 10:05 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Dell is trying to reassure shareholders about its proposed $24.4 billion acquisition by a group led by its founder, saying it considered a number of strategic options before agreeing to the deal. Dell Inc. laid out the advantages of the transaction in a regulatory filing Monday, three days after a major shareholder ridiculed the buyout as a rotten deal that undervalues the business.

Obsolete Industries Won’t Drive Economic Growth

February 11, 2013 8:00 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor, Electronic Component News | Blogs | Comments

New technologies and industries inevitably outpace older ones. When analog became obsolete, digital took over. LCD TVs gradually buried CRTs. And those who cling to obsolescence (beyond what the market dictates, that is — see the untimely incandescent ban) are left behind.

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Nissan Quarterly Profit Dives On China Sales Slump

February 8, 2013 3:15 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. suffered a 35 percent plunge in October-December profit to 54.1 billion yen ($579 million) as global sales languished, especially in China, where anti-Japanese sentiment flared over a territorial dispute. Quarterly sales dipped 5.3 percent from a year earlier to 2.2 trillion yen ($23.5 billion), Yokohama-based Nissan said Friday.

U.S. Wholesale Stockpiles Dip 0.1 Percent

February 8, 2013 3:15 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. wholesalers cut their stockpiles slightly in December while their sales were unchanged, suggesting businesses were cautious at the end of a weak quarter. The Commerce Department says wholesale business stockpiles dipped 0.1 percent in December from November, after a 0.4 percent rise the previous month. Inventories of furniture and automotive goods fell by the most in more than three years.

U.S. Growth In Q4 Likely Stronger On Export Gains

February 8, 2013 3:14 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in December because exports rose while oil imports plummeted. The smaller trade gap means the economy almost surely grew in the October-December quarter — an improvement from the government's estimate last week that it shrank in the final months of 2012.

Investor Sues Apple, Wants More Cash

February 8, 2013 9:56 am | by Barbara Ortutay, Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writers | News | Comments

With its annual meeting looming and its stock on the decline, Apple is facing a rebellion from an influential investor who wants the company to stop stockpiling cash and give it to shareholders instead. Greenlight Capital said Thursday that it is suing Apple in a New York federal court over the company's proposal to make it more difficult for it to issue preferred stock.

Daimler Sees Q4 Profit Rise On One-Off Gain

February 7, 2013 12:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A one-off gain from the sale of an investment helped boost German automaker Daimler AG's net profit in the fourth quarter of 2012, offsetting the impact of higher costs. The company, based in Stuttgart, said Thursday that net profit was €2.3 billion ($3.1 billion), up from €1.79 billion in the same quarter last year, thanks to the sale of a 7.5 percent stake in European defense company EADS.

Will Sequester Budget Cuts Create A Recession?

February 7, 2013 12:06 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

On March 1, across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequester, will hit the federal budget. The sequester is designed to get the deficit under control, economists argue that the cuts are too deep. Scott Pelley speaks with President Obama on whether the sequester could trigger a recession.

Ally Returns To Profit In 4Q As Auto Loans Grow

February 6, 2013 1:57 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ally Financial Inc. said Tuesday it posted fourth-quarter net income of $1.45 billion, reversing a year-ago loss, helped by a tax benefit and growth in auto financing. Ally, the former finance arm of automaker General Motors, now operates as an auto finance company and bank.

Cummins' 4Q Tops Analyst Expectations

February 6, 2013 1:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cummins net income slid 31 percent in the fourth quarter as the recession in Europe and slowing growth elsewhere cut into demand for its engines, but it did better than most had expected and shares rose in premarket trading Wednesday. After a strong start to the year, demand began to soften and the company cut expenses to offset weak revenue, which slide 13 percent in the final three months of the year.

Volvo Truck Sales And Profits Plunge In Q4

February 6, 2013 1:53 pm | by Karl Ritter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Swedish truck maker AB Volvo saw profits tumble in the fourth quarter as sales slumped 17 percent on weakening demand in key markets, the company said Wednesday. The net profit in the final three months of 2012 was 793 million kronor ($125 million), down from 4.72 billion kronor in the same period a year earlier. Sales fell to 71.8 billion kronor from 86.5 billion kronor in the fourth quarter of 2011.

German Factory Orders Increase In December

February 6, 2013 10:22 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

German industrial orders increased in December, suggesting business is beginning to pick up in Europe's largest economy. The Economy Ministry said Wednesday orders were up 0.8 percent over November, according to seasonally adjusted figures. That comes after a 1.8 percent decline in November.

ArcelorMittal Blames Europe For Q4 Loss

February 6, 2013 10:21 am | by Toby Sterling, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Charges related to its ailing European business and a drop in the value of its assets saw ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steel maker, post a near $4 billion loss for the fourth quarter. The company, based in Luxembourg, said Wednesday its net loss widened to $3.99 billion (€2.94 billion) from $1 billion in the same period a year ago. Sales fell 14 percent to $19.3 billion, as both prices and volumes declined year on year.

Vestas Posts Steep Loss In 2012

February 6, 2013 10:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world's largest maker of wind turbines, posted a 23 percent rise in revenue in the fourth quarter but saw its losses deepen for the full year amid tight competition and a market slowdown. The Danish company said its revenue in the last three months of 2012 reached €2.5 billion ($3.4 billion), driven by an increase in deliveries. It didn't provide a quarterly profit or loss figure.

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