Archive for August, 2008

Google to go ahead with Yahoo deal: report (Reuters)

Friday, August 29th, 2008 | Finance News

(Reuters) -
Google Inc. (GOOG.O), facing a U.S. Justice
Department probe
of its search-advertising partnership with
Yahoo Inc. (YHOO.O), will proceed with the agreement by early
October, Bloomberg said.

"We are going to move forward," Google Chief Executive Eric
Schmidt
said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on
Thursday in Denver.

"We are in the process of talking to the government.
They've not indicated one way or the other how they're dealing
with us," the news agency quoted Schmidt as saying.

Google, with more than 60 percent of the internet search
market, and Yahoo, with 16.6 percent, agreed in June last month
on an advertising partnership under which Yahoo will let Google
put search ads on its site.

The deal has raised concerns that it will give Google too
much power in the $65 billion online advertising market, and
the U.S. Justice Department launched a formal antitrust
investigation in July.

"We always worry a little bit, but we think our arguments
are pretty strong," Schmidt told Bloomberg.

Google was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty in Bangalore)

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Delphi liquidation looms large: report (Reuters)

Friday, August 29th, 2008 | Finance News

(Reuters) -
Bankrupt U.S. auto parts maker Delphi Corp
(DPHIQ.PK) may end up being liquidated, with some U.S. plants
being taken over by its former parent General Motors Corp
(GM.N), the Wall Street Journal said, citing people involved in
the bankruptcy process.

Even if that doesn't happen, GM's financial obligation
could grow by billions of dollars, the paper said.

The report, however, quoted a Delphi spokesperson saying it
doesn't intend to liquidate.

"We've not thrown that word around," the paper quoted
Delphi spokesman Lindsey Williams.

"If that were our intent, we would not be working as
feverishly as we are. We've been going down a lot of avenues to
emerge from bankruptcy," Williams told the paper.

Delphi's Williams was not immediately available for
comments.

Delphi, which filed for bankruptcy protection in October
2005, was about to exit bankruptcy protection in April when
hedge fund Appaloosa Management LP and other investors pulled
out of a plan that would have provided up to $2.55 billion to
support Delphi's reorganization.

That left Delphi scrambling for alternatives, delaying its
emergence from bankruptcy protection, and raised the cost of
the reorganization process for GM.

When GM had spun off Delphi in 1999 it agreed to assume
pension and health care obligations of thousands of Delphi
employees represented by the United Auto Workers union should
the supplier be unable to do so.

GM took a $2.8 billion charge in the second quarter for its
exposure to Delphi.

(Reporting by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty in Bangalore; Editing
by Louise Heavens)

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Nintendo lifts profit, shares soar (Reuters)

Friday, August 29th, 2008 | Finance News

TOKYO (Reuters) -
Nintendo Co boosted its annual profit
outlook by 23 percent on white-hot demand for its Wii video
game console and DS portable player, beating market
expectations and sending its shares more than 8 percent higher.

As consumers in the United States and Europe snap up its
game machines, Nintendo hiked forecasts for the Wii 6 percent
and for the DS 9 percent, pushing the company to the limits of
current production capacity.

"The fact that Nintendo is confident to say even before the
end of the first half, that overseas sales are this strong,
will likely help the stock ride a wave towards the Christmas
shopping season," said Koki Shiraishi, an analyst at the Daiwa
Institute of Research.

The Wii, launched in late 2006, has far outsold Sony's
PlayStation 3
and Microsoft's Xbox 360 in the $57 billion video
game industry, thanks to its easy-to-learn motion-sensing
controller, low price and innovative titles like the "Wii Fit"
exercise game.

Nintendo said it now expects an operating profit of 650
billion yen ($6 billion) in the year to March, up from its
previous forecast of 530 billion yen, also helped by a softer
yen.

It sees sales of 2 trillion yen, 11 percent higher than its
previous estimate.

The new profit forecast trounced a Reuters Estimates
consensus of 605 billion yen from 20 analysts.

Nintendo's shares rose by their daily limit of 4,000 yen to
close at 51,800 yen, outperforming a 2.4 percent climb for the
Nikkei benchmark

The stock's value grew more than five-fold in the two years
through October 2007, spurred by strong sales of the DS and
Wii, Nintendo's twin growth engines.

But it has lost 28 percent since then due to investor
concerns that its break-neck growth may be slowing.

The company lifted its annual dividend forecast to 1,680
yen, up from the 1,370 yen it had expected in April. It also
lifted its half-year operating profit estimate by 17 percent to
245 billion yen.

Nintendo's robust sales underscores the video game sector's
resilience in the face of soaring oil prices and sluggish
consumer spending which have hurt industries such as autos.

"Games aren't all that expensive, so they're appealing even
now. Something like a car, of course, is quite different,"
Shinkin Asset Management fund manager Tomomi Yamashita said.

By contrast, Toyota Motor Corp cut its 2009 vehicle sales
forecast on Thursday.

Nintendo said it now aims to sell 26.5 million Wii consoles
and 30.5 million DS players this business year.

(Additional reporting by Elaine Lies and Kiyoshi Takenaka;
Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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