Task force to talk with GM, Delphi officials
Officials from Delphi Corp. and its former parent General Motors Corp. will meet with representatives from President Barack Obama’s auto task force on Monday for talks that could get the struggling auto supplier out of bankruptcy protection.
The talks also will involve Delphi’s lenders and creditors.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain on Thursday approved a timetable for the parties to reach some kind of deal, setting a deadline of April 17 for Troy, Mich.-based Delphi to submit its plan.
Rite Aid loss doubles during fourth quarter
After Rite Aid Corp.’s loss doubled in its fiscal fourth quarter, the drugstore operator is planning to close as many as 117 stores over the next year as it tries to cut costs.
About 70 of the stores slated for closure used to be part of the Brooks Eckerd chain. Rite Aid bought 1,850 of those stores in June 2007 for $2.36 billion, but they have not done as well as Rite Aid’s older stores, a trend continued in March.
Rite Aid had 4,901 stores in 31 states at the end of February. The retailer plans 20 store openings and 55 relocations in fiscal 2010, which ends Feb. 28. Rite Aid closed 200 stores in fiscal 2008, cutting its store count by 158. Twenty-eight of them were in Southern Nevada.
The Camp Hill, Pa.-based drug retailer said its quarterly net loss widened to $2.29 billion, or $2.67 a share, from $952.2 million, or $1.20 a share, a year earlier.
Revenue fell 1.6 percent, to $6.71 billion from $6.82 billion, as the retailer closed stores.
Research in Motion profits rise, top outlook
Shares of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. said its profit jumped in its fiscal fourth quarter, surpassing analysts’ expectations.
The company said it earned $518.3 million, or 90 cents per share, for the quarter ended Feb. 28. That was up 26 percent from the year- earlier period.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of 84 cents per share.
Sales rose 84 percent, to $3.46 billion from $1.88 billion.
Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM said it added roughly 3.9 million BlackBerry subscriber accounts during the quarter, bringing the total to 25 million.
Payday loan industry lobbies for survival
The payday loan industry, threatened by Congress with extinction, has deployed well-connected lobbyists and hefty sums of campaign cash to key lawmakers to save itself.
The strategy has paid off.
Now a top Democrat who once tried to ban the practice is instead pushing to regulate it — a result, he says, of the industry’s lobbying clout.
The lawmaker, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., says his bill does have crucial protections for borrowers and represents the best deal he can manage in the face of the industry’s aggressive lobbying. Consumer groups are condemning the bill as a loophole-riddled gift to the industry.
Payday loans are small, very short-term loans with extremely high interest rates that are effectively advances on a borrower’s next paycheck. Finance charges typically amount to annual interest rates in the triple digits, around 400 percent, and can go as high as double that.
Ex-chief says he didn’t mismanage insurer AIG
The man who built insurance giant American International Group Inc. from a startup to a global behemoth said he didn’t mismanage the company — but the government did.
Following weeks of public and congressional outrage over largest corporate failure in U.S. history, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, AIG’s chief executive until March 2005, said taxpayers got a raw deal in the largest bailout of the financial crisis.
In his first testimony since the government stepped in with the first of four bailouts for AIG, Greenberg told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday that his leadership team had “nothing to do” with failures that so far have cost taxpayers more than $182 billion.
But he spread blame across virtually every other party involved in the company and its rescue — including subsequent management, federal regulators and ratings agencies.
Intel, GE will invest in health care gadgets
Intel Corp. and General Electric Co. are jointly investing $250 million over the next five years to develop personalized home health care devices.
The companies envision products that will cut health care costs and help aging baby boomers and people with chronic illnesses remain in their homes by allowing doctors to monitor patients remotely.
Announcing the agreement Thursday, Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt said their cooperation will help them jump quickly into a market they estimate will grow to $7.7 billion by 2012, from $3 billion this year.
Plant’s $1 billion redo put off by U.S. Steel
United States Steel Corp. said Thursday it is delaying indefinitely a $1 billion upgrade of a coke plant near Pittsburgh to cut costs as the global economic downturn saps demand for steel.
The Pittsburgh-based company has said the project at the Clairton plant was expected to create more than 600 construction jobs and ensure thousands of existing jobs.
The improvements were meant to reduce environmental emissions at the plant, the country’s largest production facility for coke — coal that’s baked and used as a fuel in steel making.
Treasury prices decline as stocks head higher
Treasury prices fell Thursday as stocks extended their rally.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 0.91 points to 99.91. Its yield rose to 2.75 percent from 2.65 percent late Wednesday.