Whirlpool Q4 Profits Down 76% From Poor Demand

Things are not looking good for consumer appliance maker Whirlpool. The company reported lower than expected quarterly earnings citing slumping sales thanks to weakening global demand, particularly in North American which is the companies largest market in term of dollar sales. Aggregate Whirlpool Q4 sales were $4.3 billion, with North American sales down 18% year over year to $2.5 billion. Whirlpool experienced a net operating loss of $20 million, compared to a net profit of $175 million in Q4 2007 in North America. Total Whirlpool Q4 profits were down 76% to $44 million ($0.60 per diluted share), from $187 million $2.38 per diluted share) in Q4 2007. The company plans additional cost cutting measures, which could see hundreds if not thousands of more job cuts from the company.


Bankruptcies Up in Canada in 2008

New numbers released by the Canadian federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy show there were 8,299 bankruptcies in December 2008 across Canada, up from December 2007 where there were 5,659 bankruptcies. Most significantly in 2008, consumer bankruptcy was up materially by more than 50% to 7,821. Some good news, 5.5% less businesses failed compared from November 2008 to December 2008. In January 2009, Canada experienced one of the biggest job losses in any month with 129,000 lost jobs, on top of the 35,000 lost jobs in December 2008.


Pioneer to Announce Loss, Spinning Off TV Division

pioneerPioneer is reportedly set to introduce new cost cutting measures to curb massive losses. One of the biggest cost cutting moves will be entirely ending production of plasma TVs and to spinoff the division to Panasonic Corp. Pioneer has been faced with slumping demand amid the global financial crisis, and a strong yen that is making exports more expensive for the company. The company is also about to sell off its dvd player business to Sharp. Pioneer will also cut thousands of jobs from its 40,000 total headcount by the end of April 2010 as part of the cost cutting moves. Pioneer is now expected to unveil a massive $1.09 billion loss by the end of March.


Canada Loses 129,000 Jobs in January 2009

Statistics Canada has just released new employment figures. In January 2009, Canada lost 129,000 jobs, bringing unemployment up to 7.2% up from 6.6% in December 2008. 70,000 of these jobs were lost in Ontario, most in manufacturing. This is the worst in job losses Canada has ever seen in one month. The Canadian government is set to pass an economic stimulus package bill in 6 weeks, the effects of the bailout should start to be seen in more than a year. The USA house and credit issues are continuing to worsen, so things in Canada will be tuff in 2009 as well. The job losses in Canada can be attributed to slumping consumer spending, but how can you spend with all this volatility…The United States lost 598,000 in January 2009, bringing the unemployment rate to 7.6%


Kellogg’s Posts Massive $12B 2008 Profit, Strong Q4

kelloggsMichigan-based cereal maker Kellogg announced good Q4 earnings. Revenue for Q4 was up 5% YoY to $2.93 billion. Net profit for Q4 was up 7% to $179 million ($0.47 per share), up from $176 million ($0.44 per share). Kellog’s still managed to earn a profit despite a costly recall from possible salmonella contamination related to products with nuts made from a Georgia factory. Aggregately for 2008, the company reported a net profit of $1.15 billion ($2.99 per share), compared with $1.1 billion ($2.76 per share) in 2007. Total revenue for 2008 was $12.82 billion, up from $11.78 billion in 2007.


News Corp Posts $6.4B Loss, WSJ to Cut Jobs

The world’s largest conglomerate, News Corp, has posted a massive $6.4 billion loss. News Corp owns the Wall Street Journal, Fox, MySpace, Dow Jones & Co, among other popular companies. News Corp would not break down net profits for any specific company, instead only posting aggregate numbers. News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch said, “our results for the quarter are a direct reflection of the grim economic climate,” News Corp continues to cut costs at Down Jones including with salary freezes, and job cuts, and says it expects to save the company more than $40 million by June 2010. The Wall Street Journal also announced it would cut 25 editorial jobs today.


RIM Executives Pay $68M Options Backdating Fines

rimThree Research In Motion (RIM) executives, including co-founder Jim Balsillie agreed to pay a CND $68 million settlement on a stock options backdating scheme. The exectuvies must also pay an additional $8 million in administrative penalties. Mr Balsillie added he and the company were “very, very happy to put this behind [them],” Mr. Balsillie also agreed to give up his post as a director at RIM part of the deal. In case you are not familiar with what options backdating is Read the full story


Shell Earns $2.81B Net Loss in Q4, Yields Profit For 2008

shellShell has posted its Q4 2008 and annual earnings today. The company performed fairly well, but took a hard hit with a $2.81 billion net loss in Q4 because of falling crude prices which reached five-year lows to about $33 per barrel. However, in Q4 2007, the company earned an $8.47 billion profit. Aggregately, in 2008, total revenue was up 29% to $458 billion. For the year, Shell had a net profit of $26.28 billion, down 16% from 2007. Read the full story


RIM Ups Certicom Bid as Verisign Becomes Interested

Blackberry maker RIM initially bid $66 million cash, or $1.50 per share (76.5% premium over Certicom’s Dec 3 2008 stock price) in a hostile corporate takeover attempt of Ontario-based security software maker Certicom. Since then the two companies have been involved in heated exchanges. The Certicom board thought the bid was too low which undervalued the true company value and it also alleged RIM used classified information in its bid. Certicom subsequently won an Ontario court order blocking the acquisition. It seemed RIM would ended Certicom acquisition attempts.

Now, RIM has just upped its bid to $2.40, sending the Certicom stock price up 35% today on the TSE. The US company Verisign is also interested in the acquisition, who bid $2.10 per share in January, which was approved by the Certicom board. Verisign will have the opportunity to up its bid five days after Certicom chooses RIM, if it does at all.


Toymaker Mattel Q4 Profits Down

The biggest toymaker in the world, California-based Mattel, has announced massive losses in Q4. The company blamed slumping consumer spending resulting in low sales for popular Mattel products including Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels. Total net sales were down 11% worldwide year over year to $1.94 billion. Net income was $176.4 million ($0.49 per share), down from $328.5 million ($0.89 per share) year over year. Mattel CEO Robert Eckert said Mattel would cut costs and spending in 2009 to curb the losses. Mattel previously announced in November 2008 it would cut about 1,000 jobs as part of a cost cutting move. 2009 will probably also prove to be a difficult year as spending further decreases. It is also important to note that the world’s second biggest toymaker Hasbro Inc. saw its profits up 14% in 2008.


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