German automaker Volkswagen AG says its net profit increased 41 percent for 2012 to €21.7 billion ($28.7 billion) on a 21 percent rise in revenues. Volkswagen said in a press release Friday ahead of its full-earnings next month that revenues were up to €192.7 billion. The number of vehicles delivered worldwide last year by the group topped 9 million for the first time, rising 12.2 percent to nearly 9.3 million.
Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net loss grew by 10 percent due to higher costs during the production start for the new Model S. The Palo Alto, Calif., company said in a letter to shareholders that it expects to be "slightly profitable" in the first quarter, excluding noncash option and warrant expenses.
Dell Inc. on Tuesday posted another quarter of declining sales and profits, deepening a downturn that disenchanted shareholders and culminated in the slumping personal computer maker's recent decision to take its stock off Wall Street in a $24.4 billion deal.
Japan posted a record 1.63 trillion yen ($17.4 billion) trade deficit in January as rebounding exports lagged behind surging imports of crude oil and gas due to rising prices and the weakening yen. The provisional data released Wednesday show exports for the world's third-biggest economy rose 6.4 percent to 4.8 trillion yen ($51.2 billion) in January from a year earlier, the first year-on-year increase in eight months.
U.S. wholesale prices rose only slightly in January after three straight declines, the latest sign that inflation is posing no threat. It means the Federal Reserve has room to keep interest rates at record lows without worrying about igniting inflation.
When General Motors' new full-size pickup trucks hit the U.S. market in late spring or early summer, the timing should be good, an auto industry analyst said Tuesday. Citi Investment Research analyst Itay Michaeli, in a note to investors, wrote that pickup sales in the next 12 to 18 months should outperform U.S. auto sales as a whole, and that's good news for the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
China has a new status its government doesn't want — world's biggest trader. Official Chinese and American trade data indicates China passed the United States last year in total imports and exports by a margin of $3.866 trillion to $3.822 trillion. That is about $44 billion, or just over 1 percent of China's total.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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'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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.