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Berkshire preliminary first-quarter operating profit falls

Warren Buffett participates in the newspaper tossing challenge during the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha NebraskaOMAHA, Neb. (Reuters) - Warren Buffett on Saturday said preliminary first-quarter profit at his Berkshire Hathaway Inc fell about 12 percent, hurt by weaker performance in its railroad and insurance operations. Quarterly operating profit for the Omaha, Nebraska-based insurance and investment conglomerate probably fell to $3.73 billion from $4.24 billion. Net income probably rose to $5.59 billion from $5.16 billion, helped by a gain from the swap of Procter & Gamble Co stock for the Duracell battery business. Buffett said insurance underwriting suffered from hailstorm claims. ...

Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:06:15 -0400
With weak earnings in tow, focus turns to jobs data

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New YorkComing off a barrage of flimsy company earnings reports that included Apple's first revenue drop in 13 years, investors will turn to April jobs data for signs of budding resilience or further weakening in the second quarter. U.S. nonfarm payrolls, unemployment and wages data are due Friday May 6, when the economy is expected to have added 200,000 jobs in April, with the unemployment rate unchanged at 5 percent and a wage increase of 0.3 percent, according to Reuters data. Unlike in recent months, where weak jobs numbers were counted on to stave off another Federal Reserve interest rate hike, investors are now itching for better-than-expected employment data to indicate a stronger next earnings season, analysts said.

Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:19:10 -0400
Apple's stock suffers worst week since 2013

A 3D printed Apple logo is seen in front of a displayed stock graph in this illustration takenBy Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc on Friday ended its worst week on the stock market since 2013 as worries festered about a slowdown in iPhone sales and after influential shareholder Carl Icahn revealed he sold his entire stake. Shares of Apple, a mainstay of many Wall Street portfolios and the largest component of the Standard & Poor's 500 index, have dropped 11 percent in the past five sessions. Confidence in the Cupertino, California company has been shaken since posting its first-ever quarterly decline in iPhone sales and first revenue drop in 13 years on Tuesday, although Apple investors pointed to the stock's relatively low valuation as a key reason to hold onto the stock.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 16:15:52 -0400
Facebook hit with lawsuit over plan to issue new stock

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg holds a pair of the touch controllers for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets during the Facebook F8 conference in San Francisco, CaliforniaBy Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A Facebook Inc shareholder filed a proposed class action lawsuit on Friday in a bid to stop the company's plan to issue new Class C stock, calling the move an unfair deal to entrench Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg as controlling shareholder. The lawsuit, filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, followed the social networking company's announcement on Wednesday of its plan to issue the shares. The rejiggering of Facebook's share structure is effectively a 3-for-1 stock split.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 21:29:53 -0400
German finmin criticizes Volkswagen management over bonuses: paper

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble speaks during a news conference at the 2016 World Bank-IMF Spring Meeting in WashingtonGermany's finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has criticized the executive board of scandal-ridden carmaker Volkswagen for not waiving bonuses despite bringing the company to the brink of collapse. "I have no sympathy for managers who first drive a large blue chip-listed company into an existence-threatening crisis and then defend their own bonuses in a public debate," Schaeuble told German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. "That shows that something is not working." Volkswagen plans to pay the 12 current and former members of its management board 63.24 million euros ($72.44 million) for 2015, a year when Europe's largest carmaker posted a record loss due to legal and compensation costs for cheating diesel emissions tests.

Sat, 30 Apr 2016 09:51:36 -0400
Daimler hires Deloitte for internal emissions probe

Car bonnet emblems for Mercedes-Benz S-class models are pictured at a plant in SindelfingenDaimler has hired auditor Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu to help with an internal investigation into its diesel-engine emissions technology requested by the U.S. Department of Justice, the luxury car maker said. The investigation is to see if Daimler used devices to manipulate emissions tests and comes after another German carmaker, Volkswagen AG, admitted installing software that did so. Daimler said last week that it was conducting an internal investigation of its certification process for diesel exhaust emissions in the United States at the request of the Justice Department.

Sat, 30 Apr 2016 05:45:10 -0400
United Airlines cuts COO Hart's pay by $1 million over Port Authority probe

File photo of a United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner touching down at San Francisco International Airport, San FranciscoThe 2015 annual incentive pay of Chief Operations Officer Greg Hart was reduced by $1 million in connection with a probe into the No.3 U.S. airline's relationship with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The internal probe focused on whether United added flights to Columbia, South Carolina to curry favor with then-Port Authority Chairman David Samson, who had a home there. United has also disclosed two government probes related to the matter.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 22:33:34 -0400
Refining's silver lining loses luster at Exxon and Chevron

A view of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, TexasExxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corpon Friday reported their most dismal quarterly results in more than a decade on low oil prices and an oversupplied fuel market that hurt what had been lucrative refining margins. As crude prices slid 60 percent from mid-2014, large integrated energy companies have touted the virtues of a business model that both produces oil and refines it. Both Exxon and Chevron sought in Friday conference calls with investors and analysts to downplay the weakness in their refining units.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:57:03 -0400
Air France-KLM to name Jean-Marc Janaillac as new CEO: source

An Air France pilot looks on as he taxis his Boeing 777 aircraft after landing at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near ParisAir France-KLM's board is to appoint Jean-Marc Janaillac as the Franco-Dutch airline group's next chief executive on Tuesday to replace Alexandre de Juniac, a source close to the matter said on Saturday. Frederic Gagey would remain as head of Air France, the source said. Sixty-three year old Janaillac, CEO of multi-modal transport company Transdev since 2012, first occupied a senior position in the airline industry when he was associate director general at now defunct airline AOM in the late 1990s.

Sat, 30 Apr 2016 09:08:39 -0400
Tame U.S. inflation bolsters Fed caution on rate hikes

People are seen walking through Roosevelt Field shopping mall in Garden City, New YorkU.S. inflation barely rose in March as consumer spending remained tepid, making it less likely that the Federal Reserve will be able to follow through on its projected two interest rate increases this year. The tame inflation backdrop was reinforced by another government report on Friday showing a modest advance in labor costs in the first quarter. Other data showing a drop in consumer sentiment in April, the fourth consecutive monthly decline, and a softening in factory activity in the Midwest further supported the case for a single rate hike in 2016.

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:25:20 -0400
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