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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Budget Cut Warnings May Prove Harsher Than Reality

February 19, 2013 10:22 am | by Alan Fram, Associated Press | News | Comments

Get ready for two weeks of intensifying warnings about how crucial, popular government services are about to wither. Many of the threats could come true. President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans made no progress this past week in heading off $85 billion in budget-wide cuts that automatically start taking effect March 1.

HP's Headaches Likely To Vex Fiscal 1Q Results

February 19, 2013 10:17 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Investors will be hoping to avoid another shock when slumping personal computer and printer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. reports its latest quarterly result after the stock market closes Thursday. The results are expected to show the HP's revenue sinking from the previous year for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Eurozone Recession Deepens As Germany Falters

February 15, 2013 1:12 pm | by David Rising, Pan Pylas, Associated Press | News | Comments

It was only a matter of time. With many of its debt-ridden euro partners in recession, Germany could only swim against the tide for so long. Figures Thursday showed that output in Germany, Europe's largest economy, contracted by more than anticipated in the last three months of 2012. And it was the German drop that lay behind a deepening of the recession across the economy of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro.


Renault Earnings Slump In 2012 Despite Volvo Sale

February 15, 2013 1:12 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

French car maker Renault managed to shore up its cash position in 2012 even though it saw its profits crumble during the year in spite of a big one-off gain from the sale of its shares in Swedish truck maker AB Volvo. Renault said Thursday its net profit fell 15 percent to €1.77 billion ($2.39 billion) in 2012.

U.S. Factory Output Falls On Weak Auto Production

February 15, 2013 1:11 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factories slowed production in January after two solid months of cranking out goods. The weakness mainly reflected a big drop in output at auto factories that is likely temporary. Manufacturing output fell 0.4 percent in January from December, the Federal Reserve said Friday. The decline followed increases of 1.1 percent in December and 1.7 percent in November.

Japan Economy Shrinks, Fueling Push For Weak Yen

February 15, 2013 12:52 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan's economy shrank in the last three months of 2012, its third straight quarter of contraction, giving the government ammunition to defend its "weak yen" strategy as necessary to getting growth back on track. The 0.4 percent contraction in annualized terms in October-December was worse than expected.

Dow Board Oks $1.5B Stock Buyback

February 15, 2013 12:50 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Dow Chemical Co. announced stock buyback program Friday of as much as $1.5 billion. The Midland, Mich., company said the investment underscores its confidence in the ability to turn a profit, cash flow and growth potential. Shares of Dow Chemical Co. rose 11 cents to $32.60 in morning trading.

Lincoln Electric 4Q Profit Rises 7.5 Percent

February 15, 2013 12:48 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Welding equipment maker Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. said on Friday that its net income rose 7.5 percent as higher prices helped offset a drop in volume. The company earned $62.1 million, or 74 cents per share, during the fourth quarter. That was up from $57.7 million, or 68 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier.


No Love For Apple, "Wedding Crashers" Vs. Google

February 15, 2013 12:00 pm | by Reuters | Videos | Comments

Not a lot of love for Apple right now - more hedgefunds are reporting that they've dumped their shares as Apple deals with another patent fight, this time with Brazil. Apple is requesting a review of the iPhone trademark while Google prepares to take center stage later this year.

TRW 4Q Profit Better Than Expected

February 15, 2013 11:58 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Auto parts maker TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. said on Friday that its fourth-quarter net income fell as vehicle production in Europe slowed and it absorbed higher pension expenses. But its adjusted earnings beat Wall Street expectations and its shares rose, briefly touching its highest level in more than two years.

Manufacturing Tech Orders See Best Year Since 1996

February 15, 2013 11:49 am | by AMT | News | Comments

December U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $499.43 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was up 17.8 percent from November but down 9.4 percent when compared with the total of $550.99 million reported for December 2011.

General Motors Posts $898M 4Q Net Profit

February 14, 2013 2:10 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

General Motors made money in North America and Asia and lost a bundle in Europe as it nearly doubled last year's fourth-quarter profit. But the numbers were complicated by a dizzying array of accounting gains and losses for tax credits and devaluation of European assets.

Tata Motors Quarterly Profit Falls 50 Percent

February 14, 2013 2:04 pm | by Kay Johnson, Associated Press | News | Comments

India's Tata Motors reported on Thursday a sharp drop of more than 50 percent in its quarterly net profit from the same period a year earlier. Its net profit was 16.2 billion rupees ($302 million) in the September-December quarter, compared to 3.4 billion rupees for the same period the previous year, the automaker said.


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.

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.

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.

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