Apple sold more than 5 million iPhone 5 in first three days

CUPERTINO, Calif., Mon Sep 24, 2012 – Apple Inc. sold more than 5 million iPhone 5 smartphones in the three days after the new device hit the marketplace on Sept. 21, the company said on Monday.

Apple said it sold out its initial supply of iPhone 5s, as demand for its latest smartphone exceeded initial supply.

While the majority of pre-orders have been shipped to customers, many are scheduled to go out in October, Apple said.

AT&T says iPhone 5 fastest-selling iPhone ever

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Mon Sep 17, 2012 – AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service provider, said it set a sales record with Apple’s iPhone 5 over the weekend, making it the fastest-selling iPhone the company has ever offered.

AT&T did not disclose how many iPhones it sold, but said the iPhone 5 was still available for preorder and would go on sale from Sept. 21 at AT&T retail stores.

It is not unusual for Apple products to sell out the first day. Orders for the previous iPhone 4S, the last product the company introduced before the death of co-founder Steve Jobs, surpassed 1 million in the first 24 hours, beating Apple’s previous one-day record of 600,000 sales for the iPhone 4.

Apple’s U.S. store, at www.apple.com, on Monday morning showed pre-orders for the iPhone 5 would take 2-3 weeks to ship.

The phone’s other carriers, Verizon Communications Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp., also showed similar delays in shipping the phone.

The company began taking orders for the iPhone 5 at midnight Pacific Time (0700 GMT) on Sept. 14, but shipping dates for the slimmer and faster smartphone slipped by a week within an hour of the start of pre-orders.

McDonald’s August same-store sales rise, but miss views

OAK BROOK, Tue Sep 11, 2012 – McDonald’s Corp.  reported a weaker-than-expected 3.7 percent rise in August sales at established restaurants around the world on Tuesday, as austerity measures in Europe and global economic volatility weighed on results.

Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix were expecting a gain of 3.9 percent at restaurants open at least 13 months for the world’s largest hamburger chain.

Still, the results show a rebound from July, the company’s worst month in more than nine years. McDonald’s had flat same-restaurant sales around the world for that period, on slight declines in all three of its major regions.

August same-restaurant sales were up 3 percent in the United States and up 3.1 percent in Europe. Analysts had expected a 3.1 percent rise for the United States and a 3.3 percent increase in Europe.

Europe is McDonald’s No. 1 market for sales, just edging out the United States. Positive results in the UK, France and Russia offset weakness in Germany and certain Southern European markets, the company said on Tuesday.

Chrysler U.S. August sales up 14 percent

DETROIT, Tue Sep 4, 2012 – Chrysler Group LLC reported its 29th consecutive month of year-on-year sales gains with a 14-percent rise in August.

Chrysler sales were 148,472 vehicles, which the company said showed its best performance for August since 2007.

U.S. auto industry sales should be 14.6 million new vehicles on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, including medium and heavy-duty trucks, Chrysler said.

Taking out the medium and heavy trucks, that would be about 14.3 million light cars and trucks, compared with 14.1 million projected in July.

Analysts use the light vehicles sales figure as a key measure of the industry’s health.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters last week expected an August annualized sales rate of 14.2 million light vehicles.

Chrysler is managed by and majority owned by Fiat SpA.

Cisco shares rise as dividend hike eclipses sales worries

SAN JOSE, Calif., Thu Aug 16, 2012 – Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. looked set to open up 7 percent on Thursday after the network equipment maker’s dividend hike overshadowed a lackluster quarterly sales performance and prompted several brokerages to raise their price targets on the stock.

Shares of the company, which closed at $17.35 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, rose to $18.49 in premarket trading on Thursday. The stock had fallen 11 percent after Cisco reported a weak third-quarter profit in May.

Cisco said on Wednesday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 75 percent to 14 cents per share after reporting fourth-quarter revenue largely in line with analysts’ estimates. It also said it bought back $1.8 billion worth of shares in the quarter.

Barclays Capital analysts said the higher dividend suggested a significant shift in direction and placed Cisco near the high-end of its large-cap IT tech peers such as Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. in terms of dividend yield and free cash flow.

“The 75 percent increase in dividend and commitment to return at least 50 percent of free cash flow in dividend and buybacks was not expected given high offshore cash balance and should be rightly viewed as sign of overall confidence on part of Cisco,” said Citi Investment Research analyst Kevin Dennean.

Retail sales in July point to rebound in consumer spending

WASHINGTON, Tue Aug 14, 2012– Retail sales rose in July for the first time in four months as demand rose broadly for everything from cars to electronics, a sign that consumers could drive faster economic growth in the third quarter.

Retail sales rose 0.8 percent last month, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

It was the biggest gain since February and well above analysts’ expectations. Economists polled by Reuters had expected retail sales to rise 0.3 percent.

The report bolsters the view that the slowdown in economic growth during the second quarter will prove temporary.

It also offers some relief for President Barack Obama, whose November re-election bid has been imperiled by a weak jobs market. Republican challenger Mitt Romney is focusing his campaign on the weak economy that has plagued Obama’s presidency.

The report could also splash a bit of water on hopes the Federal Reserve could soon launch another bond-buying program to help the economy.

Job creation in the United States slowed dramatically in the second quarter as consumer spending cooled and economic growth slowed. Job creation accelerated in July although the unemployment rate still rose to 8.3 percent.

Pointing to a strong increase in consumer spending during July, the so-called core measure of retail sales – which excludes autos, gasoline and building materials – rose 0.9 percent. That was the biggest gain since January.

Boeing profit up on rising plane deliveries

CHICAGO, Wed Jul 25, 2012 – Boeing Co. reported an increase in second-quarter profit on Wednesday as rising airplane deliveries offset higher pension costs.
The plane maker and defense contractor reported a profit of $967 million, or $1.27 per share, compared with $941 million, or $1.25 per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Sales rose 21 percent to $20 billion, boosted by commercial aircraft sales.

Boeing targets 1,000 civil jet orders in 2012, CEO Albaugh says

CHICAGO, Mon Jun 11, 2012 – Boeing Co. expects to sell 1,000 commercial aircraft in the calendar year 2012, including the 737 and wide-body models, the head of the company’s commercial division told Reuters on Monday.

“I think we are going to get there, there’s a lot of demand for big aircraft out there,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of an IATA airlines meeting in Beijing.

Chrysler new-car sales in May miss estimates

DETROIT, Fri Jun 1, 2012 – Chrysler Group posted a 30 percent increase in May new-car sales in the U.S. market but fell short of what analysts had expected.

Chrysler, controlled by Italy’s Fiat, reported May sales of 150,041 vehicles, up from 115,363 in the same month last year. While it was the best May sales performance for Chrysler in five years, the results were below several analysts’ estimates.

The rest of the U.S. auto industry is scheduled to report sales results later Friday. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expect an annual sales rate for the month of 14.5 million vehicles.

Some industry officials expect the rate to be lower, however, as warmer weather earlier in the year pulled demand forward and led to stronger-than-expected sales. In addition, falling gas prices have reduced the pressure on consumers to get rid of gas-guzzlers and buy more fuel-efficient cars.

Auto sales have been one of the bright spots in the economy for several months and the monthly sales results offer an early snapshot of consumer demand.

Sales have shot up this year despite cooling consumer confidence and mixed economic data that illustrates how shaky the recovery has been over the last three years.

One factor fueling the sales growth has been Americans’ increasing need to replace their aging cars and trucks, which are now a record 10.8 years old on average.

Higher fuel prices in the first quarter prompted some consumers to swap older, less fuel-efficient models to lock in fuel savings. According to Swiss bank UBS, 63 percent of dealers said higher gasoline prices increased demand in the first quarter.

With gas prices falling again, the pace of new-car sales may moderate in the second and third quarters, but the underlying consumer appetite for new cars and trucks as a result of pent-up demand remains strong, UBS analyst Colin Langan said.

Retailers report strong May same-store sales

NEW YORK, Thu May 31, 2012 – Several top retailers reported stronger-than-expected sales in May, as shoppers overcame growing anxiety about the U.S. economy and the job market.

Victoria’s Secret parent Limited Brands Inc said on Thursday that sales at stores open at least a year had risen 6 percent in the four weeks ended May 26. The report came the day after department store chain Macy’s Inc posted a 4.2 percent increase. Both companies beat Wall Street forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Meanwhile, Costco Wholesale Corp’s May same-store sales rose 4 percent, hurt by the strong dollar’s impact on overseas sales. Analysts were expecting a 4.3 percent increase.

Other top retailers reporting May sales later on Thursday morning include Kohl’s Corp., Gap Inc., Target Corp. and Nordstrom Inc.

Many analysts had warned that May sales might suffer because an unusually warm spring in much of the country prompted many shoppers to make clothing purchases earlier. Still, many chains benefited from the timing of Mother’s Day — this year it fell on May 13, five days later than last year.

Fred’s Inc and teen retailer Zumiez Inc. were among the other chains to report higher-than-expected May sales, while home furnishings chain Pier 1 Imports Inc. said its same-store sales for the first quarter ended on May 26 had risen 7.2 percent.