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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

China's Auto Sales Up 19.5 Percent In Jan-Feb

March 11, 2013 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

China's auto sales accelerated in the first two months of this year, rising 19.5 percent over the same period of 2012 in a possible positive sign for an economic recovery. Automakers sold 2.8 million cars in January and February, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Monday. Total sales, including trucks and buses, rose 14.7 percent to 3.4 million vehicles.

Canadian Solar 4th-Quarter Loss Widens

March 11, 2013 10:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Canadian Solar said Monday that its fiscal fourth-quarter loss widened versus a year ago as solar module shipments dropped and operating expenses increased. Its shares fell more than 3 percent in premarket trading. The Canadian solar power company lost $105 million, or $2.43 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $59.9 million, or $1.39 per share, a year ago.

ISM: Manufacturing Continues Its Positive Start To 2013

March 11, 2013 9:00 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, MBT | Articles | Comments

U.S. manufacturing continues its positive start to 2013. “The PMI is a little bit above my expectations but I try to stay away from expectations and try to focus on the data,” says Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Business Survey Committee.


Analyst: Drop In Unemployment Good For Automakers

March 8, 2013 2:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Sterne Agee analyst said auto sales have been strongly tied to the unemployment rate for years, and that makes February's drop in the jobless rate to 7.7 percent good news for automakers.  Michael Ward said the unemployment rate has been an indicator of vehicle demand for the past 30 years, and the trend continues to hold up now.

China's February Exports Surge But Imports Fall

March 8, 2013 2:14 pm | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's exports surged more than expected in February in a possible sign of stronger global demand. Exports leaped 21.8 percent, well ahead of analysts' expectations of single-digit growth as companies shut down for the Lunar New Year holiday, data showed Friday.

Small Businesses Feel Sequester Pinch

March 8, 2013 1:45 pm | by CBS News | Videos | Comments

The automatic sequester budget cuts are expected to slash $43 billion in defense spending over the next seven months - 8 percent of the Pentagon's budget. And, as CBS News' Ben Tracy reports, that will impact thousands of small businesses that work in the defense industry.

Toyota Aqua Remains Japan's Best-Selling Car

March 6, 2013 9:46 am | News | Comments

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Aqua hybrid hatchback remained Japan's best-selling car in February for the fifth straight month, selling 24,526 units, up 11.7 percent from a year earlier, industry bodies said Wednesday. Ranking second was the same maker's Prius hybrid hatchback with sales of 23,473 units, down 34.6 percent.

U.S. Futures Head Higher; Dow Set To Extend Record

March 6, 2013 9:25 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Stock futures rose Wednesday on strong jobs numbers and what is expected to be more evidence that businesses are ramping up orders to meet rising demand from their customers. The Dow rode a triple-digit gain into the history books this week and appears ready to do it again Wednesday.


Nissan, Honda, Mazda Car Sales Down In China

March 4, 2013 3:07 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. all announced Monday that their sales of new passenger cars in China in the first two months of the year fell from the same period last year. Toyota Motor Corp. on Friday announced a similar drop in sales in the reporting period.

3D Printing Stocks Still One Dimensional

March 4, 2013 3:06 pm | by CNN Money | Videos | Comments

Stratasys shares surged in early trading today and rival 3D Systems was also up. Recently public company ExOne shares rallied as well. 3D printing companies are up on some good sales but be careful when investing in this volatile, emerging industry.

U.S. Budget Impasse Weighs On Markets

March 4, 2013 10:22 am | by Carlo Piovano, Associated Press | News | Comments

Uncertainty over the outcome of a budget battle in Washington pushed world stock markets lower on Monday. President Barack Obama and his political opponents have failed so far to agree on a way to roll back automatic spending cuts that took effect Friday. Those cuts slash $85 billion from the nation's budget, which could slow down the economy.

MAPI: Cautious Optimism Tempered By Austerity, Tax Increases

March 4, 2013 8:08 am | by The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation | Articles | Comments

A number of positive signs are starting to emerge regarding the U.S. economy, but there remain political and global headwinds that could slow growth, according to a new report. The MAPI Quarterly Economic Forecast predicts that inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) will expand by 1.8 percent in 2013 and by 2.8 percent in 2014, showing no change from MAPI’s November 2012 report.

U.S. Factories See Best Growth Since June 2011

March 1, 2013 4:42 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace since June 2011, buoyed by increases in new orders and production. The third straight month of growth suggests factories may help the economy this year after slumping through most of 2012.


Automakers Post Strong Sales Gains

March 1, 2013 4:41 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers | News | Comments

Tax increases. Rising gas prices. Political dysfunction in Washington. None of that kept Americans away from auto dealer showrooms in February as General Motors, Ford and other automakers posted strong sales gains. Industry analysts expect last month's sales to be up about 7 percent from a year earlier as pent-up demand and cheap financing kept the U.S. auto sales recovery powering along.

U.S. Economy Barely Grew In Q4, But Rebound Likely

March 1, 2013 10:27 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The weakest quarter for the U.S. economy in nearly two years may end up being a temporary lull. Economists think growth has begun to pick up on the strength of a sustained housing recovery and a better job market. The economy grew at an annual rate of just 0.1 percent from October from December, a government report Thursday showed.

A Closer Look: Eaton’s 4Q With Partial Cooper Numbers

March 1, 2013 8:00 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution | Blogs | Comments

Industry analysts and manufacturers were eagerly waiting Eaton’s 4Q reporting as the diversified international manufacturer showed the partial results of its $13.2B acquisition of Cooper Industries. Eaton CEO, Alexander M. “Sandy” Cutler, had warned analysts last quarter that the reporting would be “complex” because the results would show only one month’s (December) numbers of Cooper on its 4Q report.

Japan's Factory Output Shows Signs Of Recovery

February 28, 2013 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japanese manufacturing showed a faint sign of recovery in January, with factory production up 1 percent from the month before. Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Thursday that the figures, the second straight monthly increase, suggested the slump in output had "bottomed out."

Airbus Parent EADS Sees Q4 Earnings Halve

February 27, 2013 2:16 pm | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

Airbus parent company EADS NV posted a 47 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit Wednesday after taking costly charges at its helicopter and defense electronics divisions. The aerospace giant recorded a €325 million ($425 million) net profit in the October-December period, down from the previous year's €612 million. But for the full year, its net earnings were up 19 percent at €1.23 billion from €1.03 billion in 2011.

Orders Up For Key U.S. Long-Lasting Factory Goods

February 27, 2013 2:11 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Orders for U.S. factory goods that signal business investment plans jumped last month by the most in more than a year, suggesting companies are confident about their business prospects. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders for so-called core capital goods, which include industrial machinery, construction equipment and computers, rose 6.3 percent in January from December.

First Solar Reverses Loss, Posts 4Q Gain

February 27, 2013 10:04 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

First Solar, Inc. on Tuesday posted net income of $154.2M for the fourth quarter, reversing a huge loss from a year earlier, but investors were disappointed by the company's sales in the quarter and the earnings outlook for this year. Last year the company lost $413M, or $4.78 per share, on revenue of $660.4M after it reduced the value of its solar system components division and booked other one-time charges.

Survey: U.S. Budget Impasse Holding Back Economy

February 26, 2013 10:32 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The political standoff over the U.S. budget is slowing the economy, more so than any hesitance by Americans to spend. That consensus emerges from the latest AP Economy Survey just as the budget impasse in Washington is about to trigger automatic cuts across the economy.

HP Parts With webOS In LG Electronics Deal

February 26, 2013 10:25 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Hewlett-Packard is selling its webOS software to South Korean electronics company LG Electronics, securing a new home for a technological orphan. The deal announced Monday rids HP of the centerpiece of its ill-fated, $1.8 billion purchase of Palm Inc. three years ago.

Survey: China Manufacturing At A 4-Month Low

February 25, 2013 10:14 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A survey shows China's manufacturing activity this month has declined to a four-month low in a reminder of possible threats to its shaky economic recovery. HSBC Corp. said Monday the preliminary version of its purchasing managers index for February fell to 50.4 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity expanding. That was down from January's 52.3.

Equipment Lease Finance Industry Confidence Up Again

February 22, 2013 2:06 pm | News | Comments

Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is up for the third consecutive month at 58.7, an increase from the January index of 54.2, reflecting industry participants’ increasing optimism despite a wary eye on economic conditions and government management of fiscal policies.

United Technologies CEO Sees Sequester Impact

February 22, 2013 10:00 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The chief executive of United Technologies Corp. expects automatic federal budget cuts will take effect in eight days, taking a nick out of earnings of the aerospace giant. CEO Louis Chenevert told investor analysts Thursday that the cuts, which are known in Washington as the "sequester," look more likely. He says earnings would be reduced by 10 cents per share in the "worst case."

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