Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent said its chief executive was leaving after it swung to a net loss of 1.37 billion ($1.85 billion) for 2012, hit by lower sales in Europe and China and a writedown of its wireless and optics businesses. CEO Ben Verwaayen said the company needed a new leader to complete its turnaround when his mandate ends in May. If you look at the task at hand, it is focused on execution, said the Dutch-born executive. Looking in the mirror, I felt maybe thats not my natural strength, and maybe it will be good for the company to get fresh perspective.
The group, which was formed in a merger in 2006, said it would look for a successor internally and externally, and gave no timetable for the appointment. Since arriving in September 2008, Verwaayen has been unable to deliver on his pledge to return the group to normal, with steady cash flow and profit.
Michael Dell coughs up $750 m cash to buy Dell
Michael Dell and his investment firm are ponying up $750 million in cash toward the $24.4 billion purchase of Dell Inc to help bankroll the largest private equity-backed buyout since the financial crisis. The Dell founder and chief executive officer this week struck a deal to take private the company he created out of a college dorm room in 1984, partnering with private equity house Silver Lake and Microsoft. Michael Dell will contribute $500 million of his own cash, and MSDC Management an affiliate of his investment vehicle, MSD Capital will contribute another $250 million, according to a company filing on Wednesday. Dell Inc also said it is targeting the repatriation of $7.4 billion of cash now parked abroad to help finance the deal. That may dismay some shareholders, as a hefty tax is usually levied on cash brought back from overseas.
Daimler sees Q4 net profit up on one-off gain
A one-off gain from the sale of an investment helped boost German automaker Daimlers net profit in the fourth quarter of 2012, offsetting the impact of higher costs. The company, based in Stuttgart, said Thursday that net profit was 2.3 billion ($3.1 billion), up from 1.79 billion in the same quarter last year, thanks to the sale of a 7.5% stake in European defence company EADS. That sale, which reaped a 709 million gain, masked a 2% fall in Daimlers operating profit in the period, to 8.6 billion from 8.8 billion in 2011 as the company invested heavily in new plants and models.
News Corp posts higher quarterly revenue, profit
News Corp reported higher quarterly revenue and profit on Wednesday on strong growth at its cable networks. The media conglomerate, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said revenue rose 5% to $9.43 billion for the quarter that ended in December. Analysts were expecting revenue of $9.28 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. News Corps global media empire includes Fox Broadcasting, The Wall Street Journal and the film studio Twentieth Century Fox. Net income was $2.38 billion or $1.01 per share, compared with $1.06 billion or 42 cents per share in the same period a year ago. Excluding special items including costs related to the phone hacking scandal in the UK, earnings per share was 44 cents, ahead of analysts estimates by a penny.
iTunes hits a new note, sells 25 billion songs
Apples iTunes music store hit its 25 billionth download equal to selling more than three songs for every person on Earth and on Wednesday gave the German student who bought the track a gift card worth 10,000. Economics student Phillip Luepke, 22, of Hanover, Germany, downloaded the techno song Monkey Drums (Goksel Vancin Remix) by British DJ Chase Buch, hitting the number a decade after the online music store debuted. I woke up this morning and had an email from Apple saying I had the 25 billionth download, Luepke told Reuters by phone. In fact, I didnt quite believe it at first. Its a new feeling for me.