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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

HP Says Acquired Company Lied About Finances

November 20, 2012 10:11 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Hewlett-Packard Co. said that a British company it bought for $9.7 billion last year lied about its finances, resulting in a massive write-down of the value of the business. CEO Meg Whitman avoided calling it a fraud, but said Tuesday that there were "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy Corporation PLC."

2 Years After IPO, GM Is Piling Up Cash

November 19, 2012 10:17 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Two years after a wounded General Motors returned to the stock market, the symbol of American industrial might is thriving again. Sunday marks the anniversary of GM's initial public stock offering in November 2010. The company has made money for 11 straight quarters, piling up more than $16 billion in profits. Its cars and trucks are selling for good prices. And sales are strong in China.

Get Intelligent About Emerging Markets

November 19, 2012 8:06 am | by Pete Read, Senior VP of Global Strategic Analysis & Advisory and Rahul Dhingra, Senior Consultant at GIA North America | Articles | Comments

Any entry into emerging markets is fraught with uncertainties. There are no guaranteed winners. Take Carrefour for example. After an unsuccessful attempt to enter Brazil and its focus on the hypermarket model even as consumers buy more goods locally and online, its share prices have fallen since 2009. On the other hand, Yum! Brands, the operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, seems to have beaten McDonald’s in conquering China.

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IMTS Boosts Manufacturing Technology Orders

November 16, 2012 8:30 am | Articles | Comments

“In the 17 years that this data has been collected, there is only one other month that broke $600 million. Both of those were in months that reflected sales from IMTS, showing its strength as the largest manufacturing event in the Americas,” said Douglas K. Woods, AMT President.

Manufacturing In Philly, New York Regions Shrinks

November 15, 2012 2:26 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Manufacturing shrank in the Philadelphia and New York regions this month, reflecting damage from Superstorm Sandy that disrupted area factories. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its index of regional manufacturing activity declined to -10.7, a five-month low.

New Ford COO Sees Profit Margin Pressure

November 15, 2012 2:20 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Ford said that a switch to smaller cars and an increase in incentives will narrow the profit margins in its core North American business. Mark Fields, who becomes chief operating officer on Dec. 1, said higher inventories will force some automakers to raise incentives, and that is likely to cut into what has been stable pricing for Ford.

Governors Call For Wind Energy Tax Credit Renewal

November 14, 2012 10:28 am | by Jeff Barnard, Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The fate of a tax credit that advocates say is needed to maintain tens of thousands of wind energy jobs will be decided during high-stakes, last-minute negotiations between President Obama and House Republicans over fiscal issues, officials said Tuesday.

Most In U.S. Won't Be Able To Escape 'Fiscal Cliff'

November 13, 2012 1:51 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Everyone who pays income tax — and some who don't —will feel it. The package of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" takes effect in January unless Congress passes a budget deal by then. The economy would be hit so hard that it would likely sink into recession in the first half of 2013, economists say.

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AK Steel Falls On 4Q Outlook And Stock Sale

November 13, 2012 1:48 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of AK Steel Holding Corp. fell Tuesday after the company forecast a larger-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter on lower steel prices and a large income tax charge. AK Steel expects to lose between 67 and 72 cents per share in the quarter. The company said it will ship more steel than it did in the third quarter, but prices will fall by about 5 percent.

PwC: Industrial Manufacturing M&A Activity Rebounds

November 13, 2012 8:23 am | by PwC | Articles | Comments

The resilience of the U.S. manufacturing sector and the slow, but stable overall economic growth, may have been attractive for strategic, long-term investors.  Moreover, the value of North American targets far exceeded the value of targets from any other region, an indication of both the size and maturity of targets from this region and the fairly attractive nature of the North American manufacturing market.

Trina Solar Lowers 3Q Guidance

November 12, 2012 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Trina Solar Ltd. lowered its third-quarter guidance on Monday, citing industry-wide oversupply and lower prices. The Chinese solar panel maker estimates shipments in the third quarter between 375 and 385 megawatts, down from previous guidance of 450 to 480 megawatts. The company said margins were squeezed by anti-dumping duties in the U.S. and an inventory write-down.

India Industrial Output Down In September

November 12, 2012 2:00 pm | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

India's industrial production contracted 0.4 percent in September, government data showed Monday, far worse than expected as manufacturing output continued to slump amid signs of weakness in investment and consumer demand. The results indicate that Asia's third largest economy still has a way to go to pull itself out of its current slowdown.

Solar Companies Volatile After Trade Rulings

November 9, 2012 2:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The possibility of tariffs on China-made solar panels was causing some big swings in the stock prices of both U.S. and Chinese solar companies on Thursday. The U.S. International Trade Commission found that Chinese companies have materially injured U.S. manufacturers, upholding tariffs that can run as high as nearly 250 percent.

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China's Factory Output Rises In Sign Of Recovery

November 9, 2012 10:19 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China's auto sales, consumer spending and factory output improved in October in a new sign of economic recovery as the Communist Party prepared to install a new generation of leaders. Growth in factory output accelerated to 9.6 percent over a year earlier from the previous month's 9.2 percent, the government reported Friday. Retail sales rose 14.5 percent, up from September's 14.2 percent.

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows To $41.5B

November 8, 2012 1:25 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

The U.S. trade deficit declined to the lowest level in nearly two years because exports rose to a record high. The gain may not last given the global economic slowdown. Still, the narrower trade deficit could lead the government to revise its July-September economic growth estimate slightly higher than the 2 percent annual rate reported last month.

Tata Motors Profit Up On Jaguar Land Rover

November 7, 2012 2:07 pm | by Erika Kinetz, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

India's Tata Motors reported a 10 percent rise in quarterly net profit Wednesday, as the strong global performance of Jaguar Land Rover masked lackluster results from Tata's core brand. Net profit was $387M in the July to September quarter. Sales rose 19 percent from a year earlier to $8.1B, thanks to strong demand for Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, especially in China, which accounts for over 20 percent of global sales.

Obama Faces A Slow But Improving Economy

November 7, 2012 10:25 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writers | News | Comments

Here's the assignment President Barack Obama has won with his re-election: Improve an economy burdened by high unemployment, stagnant pay, a European financial crisis, slowing global growth and U.S. companies still too anxious to expand much.

CAT: Production Cuts Will Run Into 2013

November 7, 2012 10:21 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Caterpillar Inc. says it will continue to idle factories and cut production into next year due to a slowdown in demand for its mining and construction equipment. Mike DeWalt is director of investor relations for Peoria-based Caterpillar. Crain's Chicago Business says DeWalt said that Caterpillar has been hard hit by a slowdown in mining.

AK Steel Imposes Price Hike On Steel Products

November 7, 2012 10:14 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of some U.S. steel manufacturers rose Tuesday, a day after AK Steel Holding Corp. imposed a $50 per ton increase in spot market base prices for carbon flat-rolled steel used in such products as automobiles and appliances. AK Steel said Monday that the increase was effective immediately on new orders.

China Helps BMW Offset European Weakness In Q3

November 6, 2012 2:01 pm | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Strong sales of its luxury cars in China helped Germany's BMW AG overcome weak markets in crisis-ridden Europe. Net profit rose 16 percent in the third quarter to €1.29 billion ($1.65 billion) on a 13.7 percent jump in sales to a record €18.82 billion. The Munich-based carmaker said it was sticking to its forecasts for 2012 sales and earnings to be up on the previous year despite "an increasingly uncertain market environment."

Microsoft, Apple Tablets Have Most Profit Margins

November 6, 2012 1:59 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Microsoft and Apple are garnering the highest profit margins for their tablets, followed by Google and then Amazon, according to research firm IHS. IHS' analysis excludes costs for marketing, sales or operating system-software, which Microsoft has been touting with its device. The research firm obtains the devices independently and breaks them apart to estimate the cost of the components.

ISM: Manufacturing Continues To Grow

November 6, 2012 7:09 am | by Mike Schmidt. Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

The October registered 51.7 percent, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from September’s reading of 51.5 percent, indicating growth in manufacturing at a slightly faster rate. “This helps to remind people that manufacturing is growing, despite its ups and downs and everything going on around us,” said Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

Auto Industry Could Ease IN Manufacturing Slowdown

November 5, 2012 2:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indiana's manufacturing industry has seen its recovery stall, and experts predict things will get worse as many of the state's largest companies feel the effects the European financial crisis and slowing growth in China. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the state lost an estimated 1,400 manufacturing jobs in September.

Boeing Inks Deal To Sell 20 Planes To Kuwaiti Firm

November 5, 2012 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Boeing Co. and Kuwaiti airplane leasing company ALAFCO are saying they finalized an order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s valued at $2.0 billion at their current list price. ALAFCO buys planes and then leases them to airlines. The deal was first announced in July at Britain's Farnborough Airshow

Toyota Quarterly Profit Triples, Raises Forecast

November 5, 2012 10:23 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toyota's quarterly profit tripled, driven by a recovery from natural disasters, and the company raised its full-year earnings forecast Monday despite a sales slump in China. Toyota Motor Corp., on track to regain the crown of world's No. 1 automaker this year, reported a July-September net profit of $3.2B. The result was better than the $3B quarterly profit forecast by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

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