Financial
Pickups, small SUVs lead April auto sales rebound PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writers TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writers   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 12:56

DETROIT (AP) — American car buyers came out of hibernation in April to spend on pickup trucks and SUVs, fueling an auto sales rebound that analysts expect to last the rest of the year.

Nissan led the way with an 18.3 percent increase over a year ago, with sales of the redesigned Rogue small SUV up almost 27 percent. Chrysler posted a 14 percent gain, boosted by a big jump in sales of Jeep SUVs. Both companies reported record April sales. And Toyota sales grew by 13 percent, led by a double-digit gain in truck sales.

General Motors, which has suffered through bad publicity from a string of embarrassing safety recalls, posted a 7 percent gain, led by the Buick Encore small SUV and the Chevy Silverado pickup truck.

Analysts are expecting an industrywide sales gain of at least 8.5 percent compared with last April. That would mark the best April since 2005. But there were some soft spots.

Ford's sales fell 1 percent. Its car sales sputtered, although sales of its F-Series pickup, the best-selling vehicle in the U.S., rose 7.4 percent. Sales at Volkswagen dropped 8.4 percent.

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Ford's Fields to replace Mulally as CEO July 1 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writers TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writers   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 09:49

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Alan Mulally, the man who transformed Ford Motor Co. from a dysfunctional money-loser to a thriving company, will retire July 1 and be replaced by Mark Fields, the current chief operating officer.

During his eight-year tenure at Ford, Mulally gambled all of the company's assets on a credit line that kept Ford out of bankruptcy, then used a simple "One Ford" plan to change the company's culture. He was hired away from aircraft maker Boeing Co. in 2006 by Bill Ford, who at the time was running the company.

Fields, 53, has been in charge of Ford's daily operations since December of 2012 and was widely expected to one day ascend to the top job. The change in leadership is taking place about six months ahead of schedule, but Ford said that was based on Mulally's recommendation that the new leaders were ready.

"Alan and I feel strongly that Mark and the entire leadership team are absolutely ready to lead Ford forward, and now is the time to begin the transition," Bill Ford said in a statement Thursday morning. Bill Ford, the company's executive chairman, is the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford.

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MasterCard 1Q profit rises 14 percent PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 10:01

MasterCard's net income climbed 14 percent in the first quarter, as more spending by cardholders worldwide lifted the company's results.

Net income rose to $870 million, or 73 cents per share, in the three months ending March 31, the company said Thursday. That compares with net income of $766 million, or 62 cents per share, in the same three months of last year.

MasterCard, which runs the world's second-largest payment network behind Visa, said revenue increased 14 percent to $2.18 billion, up from $1.91 billion the year before.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 72 cents per share on $2.14 billion in revenue in the latest quarter, according to the data provider FactSet.

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Viacom buying Channel 5 Broadcasting for $757M PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 07:09

NEW YORK (AP) — Viacom is buying Britain's Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd. for 450 million euros (about $757 million), increasing its investment in U.K-produced content.

The media company said Thursday that the commercial public service broadcaster is watched by more than 80 percent of the U.K. population monthly. Viacom anticipates that Channel 5 will complement its pay TV networks that include Comedy Central and MTV.

The deal between Viacom International Media Networks and Northern & Shell Media Group, which bought Channel 5 in 2010, includes all brands and assets of Channel 5 Ltd. This includes 5(asterisk), 5USA, Milkshake!, Channel 5 and Demand 5.

Viacom Inc. said it will finance the transaction with existing cash balances.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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