Volkswagen, Europes largest automaker, said third quarter operating profit surged 46% on demand for Audi and VW brand sport-utility vehicles. Operating profit advanced to 2.89 billion euros from 1.99 billion euros a year earlier, the company said. Volkswagen chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn is expanding in China and the US in a bid to surpass Toyota Motor as the worlds biggest carmaker. VW has a goal of boosting deliveries of cars, SUVs and vans by 11% this year to a record 8 million units. VW stuck to a forecast that 2011 Ebit and revenue will be significantly higher than last year.
Visa revenue growth slows, shares dip
Visa said its revenues grew at a slower pace in the latest quarter and it paid more in client incentives, sending its shares lower even though the payment processing company posted better-than-expected net profit. The San Francisco-based card processor on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth quarter revenues grew at the lowest rate so far this year, rising 2.6% from June 30. Client incentiveswhat Visa spends to persuade clients to use its networkspiked 37% to $576 million from $421 million a year ago. The results are modestly disappointing, said Chris Brendler, cards analyst at Stifel Nicolaus. Shares slipped 1.7% in after-market trading.
Hyundai Q3 net profit up, sees rising competition
South Koreas Hyundai Motor warned of rising competition and economic uncertainty after it posted on Thursday a 21% rise in quarterly net profit, fuelled by solid sales gains in the United States, Europe and other markets. It reported a 1.92-trillion won net profit for the July-September quarter. Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors also said it will beat its already upgraded sales target of 4 million units this year, after its global sales rose 9.6% in the third quarter from a year earlier. Once viewed as manufacturers of bland but economical cars, Hyundai and Kia have addressed design and reliability problems in recent years to outperform during the global financial crisis and have become formidable competitors to more established rivals.
Shells Q3 profits soar on higher oil price
Royal Dutch Shell reported a doubling in profits on Thursday thanks to higher oil prices, robust demand for gas and stronger refining margins, and said it would continue to sell off non-core assets. Europes largest oil company by market value said its current cost of supply net profit was $7.2 billion, a 100% rise on the same period last year when non-cash accounting charges weighed on the result. The underlying result was broadly in line with analysts forecasts. The Hague-based group said its enormous investments in big new projects were paying off saying that while production fell 2% to 3.01 million barrels of oil equivalent (boepd), excluding the sale of fields, the underlying trend was upward.
Sharp cuts outlook as TV sales slide
Sharp cut its full-year operating profit forecast forecast by 12%, hit by sliding domestic television sales but the cut was not as bad as the market had feared. Sharp cut its annual liquid-crystal display (LCD) television sales forecast to 13.5 million units from 15 million units and also trimmed its outlook for solar cell sales. The company posted a 44% rise in July-September operating profit to 30.1 billion yen. But the electronics firm cut its operating profit forecast for the full year to March 2012 to 85 billion yen from 97 billion yen, compared with market expectations of a 71- billion-yen profit.
Daimler Q3 net slips 16% to $1.9 billion
Daimler said net profit fell 16% in the third quarter to 1.36 billion euros ($1.9 billion) compared to a year ago as higher costs at its Mercedes-Benz division held earnings back. The company said Thursday it also took a 110-billon euro charge for the fallen value of its investment in Renault. That kept it from beating analyst estimates of 1.40 billion euros net profit. Revenue rose 9% to 26.4 billion euros . Mercedes hit a record for unit sales in the quarter with 315,400 worldwide. Earnings from luxury division Mercedes-Benz fell 15% to 1.11 billion euros.
ZTE Q3 net profit down 38%, lags forecasts
ZTE Corp , Chinas No 2 telecommunications equipment maker, reported a 38% fall in quarterly net profit, its second straight quarterly decline, hit by foreign exchange losses as fierce competition undercut margins. Net profit was 299.3 million yuan ($47.5 million) in July-September, down from 483.9 million yuan a year ago, ZTE said in a statement. ZTE, like its bigger rival Huawei Technologies, has been muscling into the consumer devices sector by outselling some big global names with its low-cost cellphones and smartphones.
On Thursday, ZTEs shares were up 5.7%, outperforming the main Hang Seng Indexs 3.26% gain.
Daimler feels chill of Europe car slowdown
Germanys Daimler reported weaker than expected quarterly operating profit as premium car sales were hit by the economic downturn, while better news in the truck sector, for Daimler and its peers, showed predicted slowing demand had not yet arrived. Car and truck makers, which have benefited from robust demand in emerging markets including Brazil and China, have warned the outlook for Europe, beset by sovereign debt woes, is gloomy, with sales set to falter. However, data on Thursday from industry group ACEA showed the signs of cooling demand reported by truck makers had not yet filtered through to order books.
Nintendo slashes forecast again to just break-even
Nintendo slashed its annual earnings outlook for the second time this year to just break-even on Thursday, as the soaring yen and weak software sales dealt a fresh blow to the former games industry champion. The company tumbled to a 19.6 billion yen ($258 million) operating loss for the July-September period, worse than it had forecast and falling short of market expectations. That compares with a 30.9 billion yen profit in the same period last year. The games giant behind the Super Mario franchise also slashed its full-year operating profit forecast to just 1 billion yen from 35 billion yen. It cut its forecast for sales of 3DS software to 50 million units from 70 million units for the year to March, but left its 3DS hardware forecast at 16 million units for the year.