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Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 9:49 am

China helps BMW offset 3Q weakness

FRANKFURT, Germany – Strong sales of its luxury cars in China helped Germany's BMW AG overcome weak markets in crisis-ridden Europe.

Net profit rose 16 percent in the third quarter to $1.65 billion on a 13.7 percent jump in sales to a record $24.09 billion.

The Munich-based carmaker said Tuesday it was sticking to its forecasts for 2012 sales and earnings to be up on the previous year despite "an increasingly uncertain market environment."

CEO Norbert Reithofer added that in the fourth quarter the company and the auto sector as a whole "are likely to be confronted with adverse business conditions."

Nissan profit rises 8 percent, cuts forecasts

TOKYO – Nissan's quarterly profit rose nearly 8 percent, but the Japanese automaker lowered its full-year forecasts Tuesday because of a sales slump in China and weakness in Europe.

Nissan Motor Co. reported a July-September net profit of $1.3 billion, slightly better than the $1.2 billion profit forecast by analysts surveyed by FactSet. Quarterly sales improved 5.5 percent to $30 billion.

Anti-Japanese sentiment has flared in recent months in China over a group of tiny islands controlled by Japan but also claimed by Beijing, setting off a boycott of Japanese products and some violent protests. Nissan's sales are also being hit by an economic slowdown in Europe.

Yokohama-based Nissan, which makes the March subcompact, Leaf electric car and the Infiniti luxury model, said it now expects a $4 billion profit for the business year ending March 2013, down 6 percent from $4.25 billion the year before. It had previously expected to rake in $5 billion in net profit for the year.

It lowered its vehicle sales forecast as well, to 5.08 million vehicles from 5.35 million vehicles.

Freddie Mac posts $2.9B 3Q net income

WASHINGTON – Mortgage giant Freddie Mac posted net income of $2.9 billion for the July-September quarter, its second straight profitable quarter.

The government-controlled company attributed the gain to rising home prices and fewer mortgage delinquencies.

Freddie paid a dividend of $1.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and requested no additional federal aid.

The increase compared with a loss of $6 billion for the same quarter of 2011. It also marked the sixth quarter in which Freddie sought no additional aid since being taken over by the government in September 2008.

Measure of US home prices rises most in 6 years

WASHINGTON – A measure of U.S. home prices jumped 5 percent in September compared with a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase since July 2006. The gain reported by CoreLogic offered more evidence of a sustainable housing recovery.

The real estate data provider also said Tuesday that prices declined 0.3 percent in September from August, the first drop after six straight increases. The monthly figures are not seasonally adjusted. CoreLogic says the monthly decline reflects the end of the