Foreclosures help push rate
of U.S. homeownership lower
The nation’s homeownership rate remained at its lowest in more than a decade, hampered by a rise in foreclosures and weak demand for housing.
The percentage of households that owned their homes was unchanged at 66.9 percent in the July-September quarter, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. That’s the same as the April-June quarter.
The last time the rate was lower was in 1999, when the rate was 66.7 percent.
Homeownership peaked at more than 69 percent in 2004 at the height of the housing boom. But the housing bubble burst in 2006 .
Oracle says business hurt by SAP’s website plundering
A battle between two of the world’s biggest makers of business software hinges on the value of a trove of millions of stolen customer-support documents.
In a trial that began Tuesday in a federal courtroom in Oakland, Oracle Corp. made its first pitch to a jury. Oracle says that archrival SAP AG’s plundering of password-protected Oracle websites dealt a $2 billion blow to Oracle’s business.
SAP has admitted that the now-shuttered subsidiary secretly siphoned off instruction manuals and technical specifications for Oracle’s software. But SAP argues that Oracle’s claims of injury are exaggerated. SAP says it owes Oracle just tens of millions of dollars.
Wyeth acquisition helps boost revenue, sink profits for Pfizer
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.’s mega-acquisition of Wyeth boosted its third-quarter revenue 39 percent, but hefty charges and a higher tax rate, both related to that $68 billion purchase, dragged its profit down 70 percent, the company said Tuesday.
The New York-based maker of cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor and impotence pill Viagra posted net income of $866 million, or 11 cents per share. That’s down from $2.88 billion, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items totaling $3.51 billion, or 43 cents a share, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company by revenue said net income would have been $4.37 billion, or 54 cents per share. That topped Wall Street expectations by 3 cents.
Revenue, while up from $11.62 billion in 2009’s third quarter because of Wyeth’s products, fell short of expectations at $16.17 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting revenue of $16.68 billion.
Cereal sales slump, recalls lead Kellogg to net income decline
Kellogg Co. said Tuesday that a drop in cereal sales, intense competition and the lingering impact of some of the largest food recalls in the company’s history have made 2010 a difficult and disappointing year.
The world’s largest cereal maker hopes to regain its momentum in 2011, but executives said they are being pragmatic in their expectations.
Kellogg’s third-quarter net income fell 6 percent and the company issued a cautious 2011 forecast.
Kellogg, which makes Eggo waffles, Keebler cookies and other foods, as well as its top-selling cereals, reported that it earned $338 million, or 90 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Oct. 2. That’s down from $361 million, or 94 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue dropped 4 percent to $3.16 billion.