Monthly Archives: July 2013

‘The Croods’ drives DreamWorks earnings

DreamWorks Animation beat expectations in the second quarter thanks to a better than expected box office performance from The Croods, its film about a prehistoric family. But profits for the rest of the year will be constrained by the disappointing release of Turbo, its recent movie about a racing snail, which had a weaker than expected opening weekend performance in…

Facebook follows US markets lower

Facebook reached a milestone in its 14 months as a public company after the shares briefly touched the company’s IPO price on Wednesday for the first time since the company’s botched flotation. However both Facebook and US stocks finished the day lower, despite shares spending much of the day in positive territory following upbeat US economic data The social network…

EADS to rebrand as Airbus

©Reuters EADS is to rebrand itself as Airbus and merge its sensitive defence units in a move to streamline the pan-European aerospace group’s structure and reinforce a strategic emphasis on its commercial aircraft operations. The shake-up, announced on Wednesday, represents an important step for Tom Enders, the German chief executive who has campaigned for “normal” governance at the group since…

Questions hang over Uralkali

Since Uralkali announced it would leave the Belarussian Potash Company export cartel – spooking markets, blind-sighting competitors and sending its own stock down 24 per cent – analysts and investors are still grappling with two big questions: Why did Uralkali do it? And who, if anyone, is benefiting? The Russian group has justified its decision by saying it had been…

US oil prices rally on strong demand data

US oil prices rallied as government data showed further strong demand for oil products, with demand from US summer drivers continuing to beat expectations. Petrol demand in the week to Friday July 26 was 9m barrels a day, almost 4 per cent higher than in the same period last year. Demand for distillate, which includes diesel for trucks, was 15…

Herbalife boosted by reports of Soros stake

©Bloomberg Herbalife shares jumped to a fresh 12-month high on Wednesday following reports that billionaire investor George Soros had taken a large stake in the nutritional supplement direct seller. A 9 per cent rise in the share price to more than $65 extends losses already in the hundreds of millions of dollars for Pershing Square, the $13bn hedge fund run…

Goldman relents in metals warehousing row

Goldman Sachs has bowed to a barrage of criticism of its activities in the metals markets, proposing a series of measures to ease long queues that have helped to boost profits at its warehousing unit. The bank came under heavy fire last week at a Senate hearing on banks and commodity markets where MillerCoors, the brewer, suggested that its supply…

Competition fears weigh on Admiral

Admiral lagged behind a rising London market on competition fears. Admiral slipped from a two-year high as investors picked up on results this week from LV Group, the UK’s third-biggest motor insurer. LV’s half-year underwriting profit dropped 19 per cent, which the insurer blamed on “overly competitive conditions in the core motor business” cutting premiums. Analysts blamed a price war…

Ecobank board to discuss chairman’s fate

©AFP The divided board of the African bank that pioneered cross-border expansion on the continent is to meet next week to determine the fate of its chairman, as Nigerian regulators broaden inquiries into debts linked to his business interests. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Lagos, which had a central role in sanitising Nigeria’s financial system following the 2009…

Potash row set to hit producers’ profits

©Reuters Under the southern prairies of Canada’s Saskatchewan province lie vast deposits of potash, the vital ingredient in fertiliser. Marius Kloppers, former chief executive of BHP Billiton, once described them as “a magnificent asset”. Indeed, eyeing growing demand for the crop nutrient as global food consumption rises, the miner has spent $2bn on early exploration for its Jansen project, which,…