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Business briefs

For Tuesday, October 30, 2012

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:02 a.m. HST, Oct 30, 2012


Storm impels firms to delay earnings reports

NEW YORK >> A number of major U.S. companies postponed quarterly earnings reports scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, as Hurricane Sandy barreled into the East Coast and caused the first unplanned shutdown of financial markets since 2001.

Pfizer Inc., Thomson Reuters Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., Tesla Motors Inc., Spirit Airlines Inc. and NRG Energy Inc. are among those holding financial reports until later this week.

Some companies reported earnings but canceled their conference calls.

Altogether, about 50 companies have announced they were postponing earnings announcements.

HawTel parent's stock restrictions end

Hawaiian Telcom Holdco Inc. has announced that restrictions on trading in its common stock are no longer in effect.

The restrictions began April 27, serving to avoid potentially adverse tax consequences for the company.

"The temporary trading restrictions were essential in protecting certain tax benefits and preserved significant value for Hawaiian Telcom and our shareholders, but now investors are free to more fully evaluate the prospects of ownership in the company," said Eric Yeaman, president and CEO, in a statement.

The expiration date of Oct. 28 marked the second anniversary of the company's emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Chrysler quarterly profit rises 80 percent

DETROIT » Chrysler said Monday that its third-quarter profit rose 80 percent on the strength of new models, less debt and steadily growing sales in both U.S. and international markets.

The third-largest Detroit carmaker said it earned $381 million in net income, up from $212 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter was $15.5 billion, an 18 percent increase from $13.1 billion in the same period last year.

The results could be seen as the latest evidence that Chrysler's improbable comeback from its government bailout and bankruptcy was not only sustainable, but accelerating.

Apple ousts mobile software, retail execs

Apple fired the executives in charge of the company's mobile software efforts and retail stores, in a management shake-up aimed at making the company's divisions work more harmoniously together.

The biggest of the changes involved the departure of Scott Forstall, who for several years ran software development for Apple's iPad and iPhone products. Forstall was an important executive at the company and the one who, in many respects, seemed to most closely embody the technology vision of Steve Jobs, Apple's former chief executive who died a year ago.

But Forstall was also known as ambitious and divisive, qualities that generated more friction within Apple after the death of Jobs, who had kept the dueling egos of his senior executives largely in check. Forstall's responsibilities will be divided among a few other Apple executives.

John Browett, who took over as head of the company's retail operations in April, also will leave the company after a number of missteps. Apple said that a search for a new head of retail was under way and that the retail team would report directly to CEO Timothy Cook in the meantime.

New Windows Phone may catch up in apps

NEW YORK » Microsoft launched a new version of its Windows Phone software Monday with broad support from smartphone makers, cellphone carriers and app developers as the software company tries to position new Windows gadgets as strong alternatives to Apple and Android devices.

The company also promised to address one of the chief shortcomings with Windows Phone: the dearth of third-party applications relative to offerings for Apple's iPhone and devices running Google's Android system.

Windows Phone 8 is the successor to Windows Phone 7, which launched two years ago but has had little traction in the market. The new software will run on more powerful phones with flagship models coming from Nokia, Samsung and HTC. Together, they'll launch eight Windows Phone 8 smartphones before the year is out, starting this weekend overseas and later in November in the U.S.

Toyota headed to record global sales

TOKYO » Toyota is shrugging off a sales plunge in China set off by a territorial dispute and says it is headed to a record year on the back of strong growth in the rest of Asia and the U.S.

Toyota Motor Corp. Executive Vice President Yuki­toshi Funo acknowledged Monday that achieving the company's target of 9.76 million vehicle sales this year will be harder because of the problems in China. Violent protests and a call to boycott Japa­nese goods erupted after Tokyo nationalized tiny islands that are controlled by Japan but claimed by Beijing.

Toyota's sales in China the last couple of months have fallen to about half of what they were a year earlier. Initially, Toyota had expected to sell 1 million vehicles in China this year. Achieving that is now unlikely.

On the Move

Volta Industries has named Michael Menen­dez chief technical officer, and he will also continue to be a director of research and development. His experience includes being a founder of Pacific Mechanical Technologies.

***

Yamamoto & Settle has announced the addition of Tyler P. McNish as an associate attorney. He was previously a law clerk for Judge Richard R. Clifton of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and he practiced commercial, real estate and environmental litigation at Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing.

***

The Monsanto Fund has awarded a total of $32,450: Aloha United Way on Oahu received $12,850; Maui United Way, $14,650; Molokai Affordable Homes and Community Development Corp., $1,650; Molokai Community Health Center, $1,650; and Hui Kakoo c/o St. Damien Catholic Parish, $1,650.






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