An article in The Wall Street Journal says Taiwanese company Foxconn Technology Group has been ramping up recruitment of assembly-line workers at its flagship iPhone production facility at Zhengzhou, China, since the last week of March. Imminent production of the new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, probably accompanied by a cheaper model, is said to be the reason the unit has been adding 10,000 workers a week since that time. Analysts’ view that this is more or less a sure sign that a new iPhone is on the anvil is confirmed by a Zhengzhou executive: ”We have been very busy recently as we will start mass-producing the new iPhone soon.”
Citigroup (NYSE:C) announces Q1 EPS of $1.29 and revenue of $20.8 billion which surpass consensus estimates by $0.13 and $0.65 billion respectively. Citigroup revenues were higher by 3 percent year-over-year at $20.8 billion and net income grew 17 percent year-over-year at $4.01 billion. Credit losses were lower by 25 percent at $2.96 billion and the Loan Loss Reserve release was lower by 44 percent at $652 million versus $1.165 billion in the year ago period. Cost of credit fell 16 percent from $3.02 billion to $2.54 billion. Tier 1 Common Ratio under Basel I was 11.8. Net interest margin increased to 2.94 percent and book value per share to $62.51. Michael Corbat, Chief Executive Officer of Citi: “During the quarter, we benefited from seasonally strong results in our markets businesses, sustained momentum in investment banking, continued year-over-year growth in loans and deposits in Citicorp, and a more favorable credit environment. However, the environment remains challenging and we are sure to be tested as we go through the year.”
Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) agrees to acquire life sciences company Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE) paying $76.00 per share, about $13.6 billion, and net debt of about $2.2 billion. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Barclays (NYSE:BCS) stand by to provide bridge finance to Thermo Fisher. The transaction could result in $275 million of adjusted operating income synergies in year three following the close, and it is also expected to be “significantly and immediately accretive to adjusted EPS.” Thermo is likely to benefit from Life’s highly regarded e-commerce platform, which, combined with Thermo Fisher’s extensive research and healthcare customer channels, would create a world-class commercial infrastructure. Said Marc N. Casper, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific: “The acquisition of Life Technologies enhances all three elements of our growth strategy: technological innovation, a unique customer value proposition and expansion in emerging markets.”
British household energy supplier Centrica Plc and Qatar Petroleum International join hands to acquire gas fields from Canadian company Suncor Energy Inc (NYSE:SU) for $980 million. The fields are expected to produce 250 million cubic feet of gas a day and help Centrica diversify its energy supplies as well as enhance profits from operations in North America by increasing the number of retail customers. The deal could also serve a a foot in the door into U.S. shale gas production. The assets comprise reserves of 978 billion cubic feet equivalent plus over a million acres of undeveloped land. To Qatar, the transaction affords an opportunity to expand its producing asset base after a moratorium was placed on further development of its massive North Field gas reservoir, the world’s largest.
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