News Archive


Chrysler recalls 33,443 light trucks in U.S. for tire pressure issues


DETROIT (Reuters) – Chrysler Group said on Thursday that it was recalling 33,443 light trucks in two separate campaigns to prevent false warnings from the tire pressure monitor systems.

Chrysler, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said it was unaware of any injuries or accidents related to the issue in either recall. All the affected vehicles are in the U.S. market.

Affected in one recall are an estimated 23,053 Ram ProMaster full-size commercial vans from model year 2014, the automaker said.

Chrysler said it would upgrade the software that helps the tire pressure monitor sensors recognize the tire from where the pressure data is coming. Absent that capability, a warning light may falsely signal tire pressure is low, raising the possibility the system may not properly alert drivers if tire pressure actually becomes too low.

The second recall affects an estimated 10,390 Jeep Wrangler SUVs and Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town Country minivans from model year 2014, Chrysler said.

The company plans to reconfigure a tire pressure monitor module to disable a test mode that was inadvertently left on following shipment from the supplier. When installed, a module configured that way may not get an accurate tire-pressure reading, which could result in a false warning.

Chrysler said it would notify owners of the vehicles in both recalls next month and tell them when they may schedule service, which will be free.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/NNDkYZ_urFA/story01.htm

ConocoPhillips 3rd-quarter profit up on Nigeria asset sale


(Reuters) – ConocoPhillips, the largest U.S. independent oil company, reported higher third-quarter profit on Thursday, lifted by the sale of its Nigerian business.

Over the last several years, Conoco has shed lower-margin assets, directing more capital to projects like shale drilling in the United States that offer higher returns and higher production growth.

Profit rose to $2.7 billion, or $2.17 per share, from $2.5 billion, or $2.00 per share, in the 2013 third quarter.

Excluding items such as the proceeds from the sale of its Nigerian business in July and a tax benefit, Conoco had a profit of $1.29 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $1.20, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The proceeds from the Nigerian sale were $1.4 billion.

Even as crude prices have fallen more than 20 percent in recent weeks on increased supply and waning demand, Conoco’s chief executive officer expressed optimism about next year.

“We expect strong growth in 2015 driven by ongoing success in the North American unconventionals and startup of several major projects, including Surmont 2 and APLNG.” CEO Ryan Lance said in statement.

Surmont is an oil sands project in Canada and APLNG is a liquefied natural gas project in Australia. Unconventional drilling refers to shale drilling.

Conoco said its total realized oil price was $64.78 in the third quarter, down from $69.68 a year earlier.

ConocoPhillips had third-quarter oil and gas production from continuing operations, excluding Libya, of 1.473 million barrels oil equivalent per day (boed), up 25,000 boed from a year ago.

For the full year, Conoco forecast production from continuing operations to rise to 1.525 million boed to 1.535 million boed, excluding Libya.

(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston; Editing by W Simon and JS Benkoe)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/r3G-3GOfuHk/story01.htm

Time Warner Cable loses more video customers in latest quarter


(Reuters) – Time Warner Cable Inc (TWC.N), the No. 2 U.S. cable TV operator, lost more video subscribers than analysts had expected in the third quarter as more customers opt for internet streaming services offered by companies such as Netflix Inc (NFLX.O).

Time Warner Cable lost a net 184,000 household video customers in the three months ended Sept. 30, far more than the 136,000 that market research firm StreetAccount had estimated.

The company, which is being acquired by market leader Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) for $45.3 billion, lost a net 152,000 customers in the April-June quarter.

Comcast reported higher quarterly revenue and income last week as more people signed up for high-speed internet and fewer customers dropped their cable subscriptions.

As of Sept. 30, Time Warner Cable had 10.8 million household video subscribers, down from 11.4 million a year earlier.

The company, which gets more than 80 percent of its total revenue from households, also reported lower-than-expected sign-ups for its residential voice and high-speed data services.

Net income attributable to common shareholders fell to $499 million, or $1.76 per share, in the quarter, from $532 million, or $1.84 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $5.71 billion from $5.52 billion.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.86 per share.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.90 per share on revenue of $5.75 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Time Warner Cable’s shares closed at $143.75 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The stock was untraded before the opening bell on Thursday.

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bangalore; Editing by Tresa Sherin Morera and Ted Kerr)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/dNwCNBMGK-k/story01.htm

Thomson Reuters posts revenue rise on legal and tax & accounting


(Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp on Thursday reported a 1 percent rise in revenue because of growth in its Legal and Tax Accounting businesses.

The news and information company said third-quarter revenue from ongoing businesses was $3.1 billion before currency changes, compared with analysts’ expectations of $3.09 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue at the company’s Financial Risk business fell 2 percent to $1.62 billion. That division caters to banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions and includes its Eikon flagship desktop product.

The company said net sales for financial products were positive in the third quarter in all three regions: the Americas, Europe and Asia. This is the second consecutive quarter that net sales, which strip out cancellations, were positive.

“It is particularly encouraging to see sales trends continue to improve in both our financial and legal businesses alongside consistent strong performance from our other units,” Chief Executive Officer Jim Smith said in a statement.

At the Legal division, which includes WestlawNext, revenue increased 1 percent to $854 million. Tax Accounting revenue rose 13 percent to $301 million.

Excluding items like tax charges, income was $361 million, or 45 cents per share, compared with $397 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company affirmed its outlook for the year and expects revenue to be unchanged from last year’s $12.5 billion.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/3xD8xrnUv-I/story01.htm

Dollar surges as Fed ends QE on hawkish note


LONDON (Reuters) – The dollar surged to a three-week high, bond yields rose and gold fell on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve ended its six-year quantitative easing bond-buying program.

The decision was widely expected, but a relatively hawkish tone to the accompanying statement was not. It prompted financial markets to rethink the growing consensus that the Fed’s first interest rate hike would be late in 2015.

Stock market reaction was more mixed. Asian shares mostly fell, following a slight decline on Wall Street overnight. European bourses opened higher on Thursday, helped by encouraging corporate earnings, but quickly turned negative.

The biggest moves were in currency and bond markets. The dollar rose sharply against all its major counterparts, and the two-year U.S. bond yield posted its biggest one-day rise in almost four years.

“Relatively hawkish comments about the labor market caused the dollar to spike strongly as the market readjusted for the next move from the Fed, which senior analyst at FXpro in London.

In a statement on Wednesday after a two-day meeting, the Fed retained its basic guidance that overnight borrowing costs would remain near zero for a “considerable time”.

But it dropped a characterization of the U.S. labor market slack as “significant” in a show of confidence in the economy’s prospects, which markets perceived as a slightly hawkish turn.[ID:nL1N0SO24I]

In early European trade the dollar index, a broad measure of the greenback’s trade-weighted value, was up 0.5 percent above 86.4 .DXY.

The dollar was up a third of a percent against the yen, above 109 yen JPY=, and the euro was down half a percent at $1.2575 EUR=.

The dollar benefited as U.S. Treasury yields surged, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield US10YT=RR climbing to a three-week high of 2.362 percent. In early European trade on Thursday it was hovering around 2.33 percent.

The two-year yield, which is more sensitive to interest rate moves, was above 50 basis points, double the level it was only two weeks ago. It jumped almost 10 basis points immediately after the Fed’s statement on Wednesday.

European equity markets initially welcomed the Fed’s statement as a sign the U.S. economy is in good shape, rather than taking fright at the prospect of interest rates perhaps rising sooner than had been expected.

But at 0930 GMT the EuroFirst 300 index of leading shares was down 0.1 percent at 1317 points .FTEU3. Germany’s DAX .GDAXI was down 0.4 percent and France’s CAC40 .FCHI was down 0.1 percent, shrugging off upbeat corporate updates from Alcatel Lucent (ALUA.PA), Technip (TECF.PA) and Renault (RENA.PA).

Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.5 percent .FTSE, and U.S. futures pointed to Wall Street opening around 0.2 percent lower.

British bank Barclays (BARC.L) set aside 500 million pounds ($800 million) for potential fines resulting from a global foreign exchange investigation. Its shares were up 1 percent, however, after the bank reported a 15 percent rise in third- quarter profit. [ID:nL5N0SP18X]

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 0.5 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 bucked the trend in Asia and rose 0.7 percent, as investors took heart from the significantly weaker yen.

Gold fell to a three-week low just above $1,200 an ounce XAU=, pressured by the strong dollar. Oil also fell, with U.S. and Brent crude futures down almost 1 percent to $81.40 and $86.42 a barrel, respectively CLc1 LCOc1.

Brazil surprised markets late on Wednesday by hiking interest rates, a bold move that signals President Dilma Rousseff may make market-friendly policy changes after her narrow re-election victory on Sunday. [ID:nL1N0SO0TA]

The rate hike could give the Brazilian real BRL= a further lift. It had fallen to a nine-year low against the dollar on Monday after Rousseff defeated market-friendly challenger Aecio Neves, but it recovered ground as some of the pessimism faded.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Larry King; To read Reuters Global Investing Blog click here; for the MacroScope Blog click on blogs.reuters.com/macroscope; for Hedge Fund Blog Hub click on blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub)

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Samsung seeks smartphone revamp to arrest profit slide


SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) on Thursday said it would revamp its smartphone line-up to take on competitors in the rapidly growing mid-to-low range segment, after third-quarter earnings set it on course for its worst year since 2011.

The global smartphone leader’s market share declined in annual terms for the third straight quarter in July-September, lagging Apple Inc (AAPL.O) in the premium market and overtaken by rivals like Lenovo Group Ltd (0992.HK) and Xiaomi Inc at the bottom end, research firm Strategy Analytics said.

Executives said the South Korean giant would overhaul its lower-tier line-up to boost price competitiveness and use higher-quality components to set its devices apart, after it announced its worst third-quarter profit in more than three years.

“The mid-to-low end market is growing rapidly, and we plan to respond actively in order to capitalise on that growth,” Samsung Senior Vice President Kim Hyun-joon said during a conference call with analysts.

Samsung said its third-quarter operating profit fell by an annual 60.1 percent to 4.1 trillion won ($3.9 billion), matching its guidance issued earlier this month.

While the company expects profits to pick up in the fourth quarter on strong demand for televisions and memory chips, analysts still expect Samsung to record its worst annual operating profit in three years.

Profit for the mobile division fell 73.9 percent to 1.75 trillion won in the third quarter, its worst performance since the second quarter of 2011.

Samsung spent most of the quarter without launching a new flagship device, and continued to struggle in the mid-to-low tier markets against cheaper and value-packed offerings like Xiaomi’s Redmi 1S.

Robert Yi, Samsung’s head of investor relations, said the firm would launch new mid-tier models in the fourth quarter, although he didn’t specify what features they would have.

Samsung expects average selling prices for handsets will rise in the fourth quarter due to an increase in premium smartphone sales, namely of the Galaxy Note 4, and as demand picks up in the holiday shopping season.

Analysts say Samsung will likely have to sacrifice margins to protect its market share. Cheaper phones are expected to drive global smartphone market growth in coming years, meaning a general trend of lower average selling prices.

Samsung’s chips division was a bright spot, recording a 2.26 trillion operating profit for the July-September quarter to mark the highest earnings since the third quarter of 2010.

(1 US dollar = 1,053.5000 Korean won)

(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/6UlTurJtZpI/story01.htm

U.S. prosecutors reopen probes against several big banks: NYT


(Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors are reopening investigations into big banks on suspicion they may have violated agreements under which the institutions settled prior cases against them, The New York Times reported, citing lawyers briefed with the matter.

With the settlements, the banks avoided criminal prosecution and instead paid fines and implemented reforms. Among the banks named in the report were Standard Chartered Plc (STAN.L) and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ [MTFGTU.UL].

In its Dealbook column, the newspaper said prosecutors in Washington and New York reopened an investigation into Standard Chartered that in 2012 settled allegations it funneled billions of dollars for Iran and other nations blacklisted by the United States.

“The prosecutors are questioning whether Standard Chartered, which has a large operation in New York, failed to disclose the extent of its wrongdoing to the government, imperiling the bank’s earlier settlement,” the newspaper said.

New York’s banking regulator has also reopened a 2013 settlement with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ [MTFGTU.UL] over allegations that the bank’s New York branch did business with Iran, it reported, saying the bank is suspected of downplaying the scope of its wrongdoing.

The regulator “is negotiating a new settlement deal with the bank that, if finalized, would involve a penalty larger than the $250 million it paid last year.”

Consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which advised the Japanese bank on the case, has also come under investigation, according to lawyers, the report said.

Standard Chartered Plc, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ could not be reached out for comment outside the regular working hours.

(Reporting by Anjali Rao Koppala in Bangalore; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/p5zLeVPB1lk/story01.htm

Asia stocks dip, dollar well bid on Fed’s optimistic tone


TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks dipped and the dollar hovered at three-week highs versus the yen after the U.S. Federal Reserve ended its quantitative easing program as expected, but laced its economic assessment with a tinge of optimism.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.5 percent in early Asian trade on Thursday.

Tokyo’s Nikkei bucked the trend and rose 0.3 percent, taking heart from a significantly weaker yen.

In a statement after a two-day meeting on Wednesday, the Fed ended its quantitative easing program of bond purchases. At its peak, the program pumped $85 billion a month into the financial system.

The Fed did retain its basic guidance that overnight borrowing costs would remain near zero for a “considerable time.”

But it dropped the characterization of the U.S. labor market slack as “significant” in a show of confidence in the economy’s prospects, the part markets perceived as containing a slightly hawkish bent by spelling a turn toward a new regime.

“The Fed was widely expected to end quantitative easing (QE) but barely anyone anticipated such a significant upgrade to their labor market assessment,” Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York, said in a note to clients.

“The FOMC statement breathed new life into the U.S. dollar and looking ahead, we anticipate further gains in the greenback,” she said.

The dollar hovered near a three-week peak of 108.97 yen after surging nearly 0.7 percent in light of the Fed’s statements, while the euro fetched $1.2625 after shedding 0.8 percent overnight.

The greenback benefited as U.S. Treasuries surged, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield spiking to a three-week high of 2.362 percent as market participants pulled forward expectations of when the Fed would eventually raise interest rates.

The strength of the dollar was a blow to the New Zealand dollar, which tumbled on a softening stance over future interest rate increases by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

New Zealand’s central bank held its benchmark rate at a five-and-a-half year high on Thursday, but dropped its explicit tightening bias, as it renewed its attack on the high level of the currency.

The New Zealand dollar fell as low as $0.7769 from around $0.7820 before the announcement. The kiwi has slid about 10 percent against the U.S. dollar from its three-and-a-half year high in mid-July.

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/xdXLghYTKE0/story01.htm

Smartphone woes drag Samsung Electronics third-quarter profit to more than three-year low


SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) saw its July-September quarterly profit fall to the lowest level in more than three years, as a decline in earnings from its smartphone business set the South Korean giant on track for its worst year since 2011.

The global smartphone leader has lost market share in annual terms for the past two quarters, lagging behind Apple Inc (AAPL.O) in the premium market and overtaken by rivals like Lenovo Group Ltd (0992.HK) and Xiaomi Inc at the bottom end.

Samsung on Thursday said its third-quarter operating profit fell by an annual 60.1 percent to 4.1 trillion won ($3.90 billion), matching its guidance issued earlier this month and marking the weakest result since the second quarter of 2011.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Samsung said it “cautiously expects an earnings increase, driven by strong seasonal demand for TVs and continued growth momentum for the memory business”.

However it said the mobile division’s outlook remained uncertain.

Analysts expect Samsung to record its weakest annual operating profit in three years despite the launch of new gadgets like the Galaxy Note 4 phablet.

A mean forecast from a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S survey of 41 analysts tips 2014 profit at 26.4 trillion won, down from last year’s record 36.8 trillion won.

Profit for the mobile division fell to 1.75 trillion won in the third quarter from 6.70 trillion won a year ago, its worst performance since the second quarter of 2011.

Samsung spent most of the quarter without launching a new flagship device and continued to struggle in the mid-to-low tier markets.

While the Galaxy Note 4 launch in September and the expected release of new products in the low end of the market during the October-December quarter are seen lifting smartphone sales slightly, analysts say the days of record mobile profits for Samsung are over.

The firm will likely have to sacrifice margins to ensure it does not lose more market share. Cheaper phones are also expected to drive global smartphone market growth in coming years, meaning a general trend of lower average selling prices.

Samsung’s chips division offered support, recording a 2.26 trillion operating profit for the July-September quarter to mark the highest earnings since the third quarter of 2010.

The flat-screen panels business ran a 60 billion won profit during the July-September period, compared with a 980 billion won profit a year earlier.

(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/6UlTurJtZpI/story01.htm