Paw Print Rewind #010: May 7, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is the Paw Print Rewind, a daily look at the top news headlines.

#NepalQuake: About 100 bodies found in trekking village

Nepali police and local volunteers found the bodies of about 100 trekkers and villagers buried in an avalanche set off by last month’s earthquake and were digging through snow and ice for signs of dozens more missing.

“[Foreign teams] can leave. If they are also specialists in clearing the rubble, they can stay.”

-Rameshwor Dangal, Nepal home ministry official

The trekker’s bodies were recovered over the weekend at the Langtang village, 40 miles north of Kathmandu, on a trekking route popular with Westerners.

“Local volunteers and police personnel are digging through six feet [deep] snow with shovels looking for more bodies.”

-Gautam Rimal, Langtang assistant chief district officer

At least seven foreigners are dead in the village, according to Rimal, but only two have been identified.

“We had not been able to reach the area earlier because of rains and cloudy weather.”

-Uddhav Bhattarai, Langtang senior bureaucrat

“All the search and rescue teams, not the relief [teams] … have been asked to return. We will see how best it can be done.”

-P. Singh, NDRF director general

John Chambers out as Cisco’s CEO; Robbins takes his place

Current Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers will step down from the company in July after 20 years at the network equipment maker’s helm.

Chuck Robbins will take over as CEO. Chambers, who is also Cisco’s chairman, will become executive chairman, according to the company.

“In many cases where the CEO has been very acquisitive, the next guy pares down and refocuses the company, and that is what I would be expecting with this change.”
– Kim Forrest, Fort Pitt Capital Group analyst

“Over the next 90 days, I (would) actually like to listen. The market is moving too rapidly for any one individual to think they have all the answers.”

-Chuck Robbins, to reporters on a conference call

Hocim, Lafarge win U.S. antitrust approval to merge

Swiss company Holcim and Paris-based Lafarge have won U.S. antitrust approval to merge from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after agreeing to divest assets.

The companies agreed to divest plants, terminals, and a quarry to gain approval for their $25 billion deal, according to the FTC.

In the United States, the two companies agreed that Lafarge would sell an Iowa cement plant and quarry as well as terminals and distribution centers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Louisiana.

Holcim will sell slag cement plants in Chicago and New Jersey as well as terminals in Massachusetts, Michigan and Illinois.

Inmarsat’s GlobalXpress being used in Nepal ahead of global launch

The first of Inmarsat’s high-capacity GlobalXpress satellites is being used in Nepal after its earthquake ahead of a global launch later this year, according to the company.

“We were able to rush terminals into Nepal, and the feedback from that has been great.”

-Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat CEO, after the company’s first-quarter earnings were released

The terminals provide voice and broadband data capability to help emergency relief workers communicate and broadcast media to send pictures.

Disney revenue gets lift from theme parks, TV networks

Walt Disney’s quarterly revenue was helped by increased visitor spending at its theme parks and strength in the company’s TV networks business.

Results were also boosted by a surge of toy and merchandise sales related to animated film Frozen.

“As much as the quarter itself was strong the outlook for the next few quarters, with so many big franchise properties coming to market, looks to be just as good.”

-Timothy Nollen, Macquarie Research analyst

Theme parks revenue rose six percent to $3.76 billion, pushing up the unit’s operating income 24 percent as ticket prices and hotel room rates increased and visitors spent more on food, drinks, and merchandise.

Total revenue rose seven percent to $12.46 billion in the second quarter that ended March 28.

Net income attributable to Walt Disney was $1.23 per share.

The company’s media networks business, which includes ESPN, Disney Channel, and ABC, reported a 13 percent rise in revenue to $5.81 billion, helped by higher ad sales and affiliate fees.

Higher programming and production costs at ESPN, however, pushed the unit’s operating income down two percent.

Revenue at the studio business dropped six percent to $1.69 billion, while sales at the consumer products division rose 10 percent.

News Corp quarterly revenue falls on currency, lower ad sales

News Corp, parent company of the Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins, reported lower quarterly revenue and profit due to foreign currency changes and a drop in newspaper ad sales.

Total revenue for the third quarter fell one percent to $2.06 billion.

Revenue at its News and Information Services unit, which represents about 65 percent of company revenues, declined nine percent to $1.35 billion.

Newspaper advertising revenue fell 12 percent while circulation revenue declined six percent due to foreign currency fluctuations. Wall Street Journal advertising revenue fell 11 percent.

The company’s digital real estate services business’ revenue increased 67 percent to $170 million.

At its book publishing unit, revenue rose 14 percent to $402 million.

Net income attributable to shareholders fell to $23 million ($0.04 per share) for the third quarter that ended March 31, rom $48 million ($0.08 per share) a year earlier.

Earnings per share was $0.05.

Tesla posts wider loss, highlights energy storage demand

Tesla Motors has reported a wider first-quarter net loss, but stuck to key milestones for the year ahead.

The company’s cash reserves fell to $1.5 billion as of March 31 from $1.9 billion at the end of 2014.

Tesla reported an adjusted net loss of $0.36 per share in the latest quarter, excluding certain expenses, compared with a profit of $0.14 a share a year ago.

The company had a first quarter net loss of $154.2 million ($1.22 per share) on revenues of $939.9 million. A year ago, Tesla reported a net loss of $49.8 million on revenues of $620.5 million.

Tesla Motors delivered 10,045 Model S sedans in the first quarter, a 55 percent increase from the year ago.

JPMorgan probed over role in French tax evasion case

JPMorgan Chase has been placed under formal investigation in France as part of a probe into alleged tax evasion by senior managers at investment firm Wendel.

The bank is suspected of acting as an accessory to tax evasion.

JPMorgan is also defending separate civil claims by some of Wendel’s managers, according to its quarterly 10-Q filing made Tuesday.

“JPMorgan Chase is responding to and cooperating with the investigation.”

-JPMorgan’s quarterly 10-Q filing

MetLife’s profits up on investment gains

MetLife, the U.S.’ largest life insurer, reported better quarterly profits due to investment and derivative gains.

The company reported a net investment gain of $286 million in the first quarter that ended March 31, compared with a loss of $411 million a year ago.

Derivatives program gains rose to $821 million from $343 million.

MetLife’s total operating revenue fell slightly to $17.03 billion.

On an operating basis, MetLife earned $1.44 per share.

The company’s net profit rose to $2.13 billion ($1.87 per share) from $1.29 billion ($1.14 per share) a year earlier.

Bank of America shareholders back board despite criticism

Shareholders voted to back Bank of America’s executive compensation, board nominations and opposition to shareholder proposals at the annual meeting on Wednesday, despite earlier complaints about bylaws being changed.

All directors were elected, according to the company.

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