Google eked out slightly higher earnings in the fourth quarter, despite a financial drag caused by the Internet search leader's expansion into device manufacturing and a decline in digital ad prices as more people gaze into the smaller screens of smartphones.
Earnings at industrial conglomerate Siemens AG declined 12 percent in the October-December quarter after the company took charges at its transport business and a solar power operation it is selling. Siemens reported Wednesday net earnings of €1.21 billion ($1.6 billion) in its fiscal first quarter, down from €1.38 billion a year earlier.
Chemical and bioscience company DuPont Co. says weakness in its performance chemicals and electronics and communications businesses, coupled with costs associated with growth initiatives, led to a sharp drop in fourth-quarter income. The company on Tuesday reported net income of $111 million, or 12 cents per share, for the last three months of 2012.
Packaging Corp. of America's net income climbed 54 percent in its fourth quarter, buoyed by higher prices and sales as well as lower costs for recycled fiber and energy. But the producer of containerboard and corrugated packaging product issued an outlook for the current quarter that fell short of analyst estimates.
Higher sales helped Johnson & Johnson post a much bigger fourth-quarter profit than a year ago, when several charges depressed results. But J&J's long-running manufacturing quality problems continued to hurt sales of consumer health products, which were down 3.6 percent in the U.S. and 0.4 percent worldwide at a total of $3.65 billion.
Johnson Controls saw its European operations hammered by the broad recession there and posted a 17 percent decline in net income for the first-quarter Friday. A weak outlook for the current quarter sent shares tumbling in premarket trading.
General Electric Co. has been re-energized. Performance at all of the conglomerate's industrial segments is improving thanks to cost cutting, a shift in strategy and growth in emerging markets. GE, based in Connecticut, reported an operating profit per share of 44 cents, a penny higher than analysts polled by FactSet expected.
The Thai subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. announced Monday that Thai automotive industry sales in 2012 totaled a record 1.43 million vehicles, up 80 percent from the previous year. The company said it expects industry sales to drop 16 percent to 1.2 million vehicles in 2013.
The U.S. Treasury Department says it has come up with a plan on how it will sell the remaining 300.1 million shares of stock it owns in General Motors. The process will bring to an end almost four years of partial government ownership of the car maker.
China's economy is finally rebounding from its deepest slump since the 2008 global crisis but the shaky recovery could be vulnerable to a new downturn in global trade. Growth rose to 7.9 percent in the three months ending in December, up from the previous quarter's 7.4 percent data showed Friday.
November U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $421.83 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was down 11.0 percent from October and down 8.5 percent when compared with the total of $460.86 million reported for November 2011. With a year-to-date total of $5,212.17 million, 2012 was up 4.8 percent compared with 2011.
Airbus said it was confident it would not run into the same problems afflicting Boeing Co.'s Dreamliner, related to a type of battery both companies use, but lost the crown as the world's largest plane maker to its archrival despite record deliveries.
Maybe it was the brand new, bright red Chevrolet Corvette gleaming in one corner, or the elegant BMW coupe in the other. But car companies were positively giddy this week as the North American International Auto Show opened in Detroit. They have reason to be. U.S. new car and truck sales reached a five-year high of 14.5M in 2012, and many analysts think they'll climb to 15.5M this year.
U.S. factory production rose in December for the second straight month, buoyed by more output of autos, electronics and business equipment. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that factory output increased 0.8 percent last month compared with November. That followed a 1.3 percent rise in November, which partly reflected a rebound from Superstorm Sandy.
General Motors expects only a modest increase in pretax profits this year as it rolls out multiple new cars and trucks worldwide. The company also thinks global auto sales will grow modestly this year, driven by the U.S. and China, while European car sales fall.
American Airlines says it has renegotiated jet orders with Boeing Co. to save money and in some cases get a slightly smaller, less expensive version of Boeing's new 787 jet. The 787, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, was delayed during production and has been beset by problems recently, including a fire aboard a Japan Airlines 787 last week in Boston.
Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are among major players in an increasingly confident global car industry unveiling new models for the recovering U.S. market at the annual North American International Auto Show that opened Monday.
Lear Corp. expects its 2012 and 2013 revenue will beat Wall Street's forecasts. The automotive seating and electrical power management systems supplier is also boosting its existing stock buyback program by $800 million to $1.5 billion and replacing a $500 million credit line with a new $1 billion revolving facility.
Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday that global sales of its Galaxy S smartphones surpassed 100 million units since the first model in the series was released less than three years ago. Samsung said it has sold more than 25 million Galaxy S smartphones, 40 million Galaxy S II smartphones and 41 million Galaxy S III smartphones.
Toyota has once again dethroned General Motors as the world's top-selling automaker. The Japanese company sold 9.7 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, although it's still counting. GM sold 9.29 million. Both companies saw higher sales, but Toyota's growth was far larger as it rolled out new versions of popular models like the Camry.
Industrial output across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro fell in November for the third straight month, official figures showed Monday, raising fears that the recession in the region has continued into the last three months of 2012.
Apple shares fell in premarket trading Monday after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has cut its orders for iPhone 5 components due to weaker than expected demand. The newspaper said two people it did not identify by name told it that Apple's first-quarter orders for iPhone 5 screens have dropped to about half of what the company had planned.
Apple expects China to overtake the United States as its biggest market, CEO Tim Cook told a Chinese government news agency. "China is currently our second largest market. I believe it will become our first. I believe strongly that it will," the Xinhua News Agency quoted Cook as saying in an interview.
A trust fund that pays medical bills for Chrysler blue-collar retirees has asked the company to set up a public sale of Chrysler stock. The United Auto Workers trust, which owns 41.5 percent of Chrysler's shares, on Wednesday asked Chrysler to start the process for an initial public stock offering. The trust wants the company to sell 16.6 percent of the stock owned by the trust, Chrysler said.
Concern is growing that the British economy may be headed back into recession after statistics released Friday showed a surprise drop in manufacturing activity. The Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output fell by 0.3 percent between October and November, far off analysts' expectations for an increase of 0.5 percent.