Research In Motion has set up a facility in Mumbai to help the government carry out lawful surveillance of its BlackBerry services, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. RIM gave India access to its consumer services, including its Messenger services, in January this year after authorities raised security concerns, but said it could not allow monitoring of its enterprise email. RIM partly assuaged India by setting up the small Mumbai facility earlier this year to handle surveillance requests from India, the paper reported. India can submit the name of a suspect its investigators want to wiretap, and RIM will return decoded messages for that individual, as long as it is satisfied the request has legal authorization, it said. RIM was not available for comment outside regular Canadian business hours. The new facility will handle lawful intercept requests for consumer services including the BlackBerry Messenger chat service, the paper said.
Porsche 9-month profit rises 25% on Cayenne
Porsches carmaking unit, 49.9%-owned by Volkswagen, said
nine-month profit rose 25% on demand for the Cayenne sport-utility vehicle. Operating profit rose to 1.51 billion euros ($2.14 billion) from 1.21 billion euros a year earlier, the Germany- based manufacturer said on Friday in a statement. Sales rose 20% to 7.93 billion euros. Porsches 19% profit margin is outstanding compared with other high-end carmakers, said Daniel Schwarz, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Commerzbank. Porsches product cycle is very positive and will help offset potential headwinds from the economy. Backed by Volkswagen, Porsche aims to double deliveries to at least 200,000 vehicles by 2018 as it adds new models and expands in emerging markets.
Acer sees Q4 sales dip, to hike prices on Thai floods
Taiwans Acer expects fourth quarter sales to fall as much as 10% from the previous three months and will raise prices as flooding in Thailand disrupts supplies of hard disk drives for PCs. The company told an investor conference on Friday that it hopes to see some improvement in the supply of hard disks in the first quarter of next year, but added that with prices for disks rising up to 20%, it needs to take action. We have seen a hard disk price rise so we have started to raise prices on future orders to cope with the rising cost, said President Jim Wong, adding that the company is talking to suppliers daily to stay on top of the inventory and supply situation while trying to find resources outside Thailand.
Baidu net rises 80% as ad sales surge
Baidu, Chinas biggest Internet company by market value, said third-quarter profit rose 80%, beating analysts estimates, as revenue from search-engine advertising surged. Net profit attributable to Baidu climbed to 1.88 billion yuan ($296 million), or 5.38 yuan per American depositary receipt, compared with 1.05 billion yuan, or 3 yuan, a year earlier, Baidu said on Thursday. That exceeded the 1.85 billion yuan average of eight analysts estimates. CEO Robin Li, named by Forbes magazine as Chinas second-richest man, is boosting investments on services, such as wireless and travel features, to meet competition from rivals Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings. Fourth-quarter revenue is forecast to rise at least 80%, Baidu said, after advertisers paying more for keywords to reach online users in China boosted sales 85% in the three months ended September.
Whirlpool to cut 5,000 jobs, reduce capacity
Whirlpool, the worlds largest maker of household appliances, said it will cut more than 5,000 jobs and reduce capacity by six million units after lowering its earnings targets as consumers rein in spending. The plan will result in a charge of $500 million, of which $160 million will be booked in 2011, Whirlpool said in a statement on Friday. The company reported sales of $4.63 billion for the third quarter, less than the $4.70 billion estimated by analysts. During the quarter, we experienced weaker than expected global industry demand and elevated material costs, CEO Jeff M Fettig said in the statement.