Toyota plant’s future unclearNEW YORK — Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to liquidate its stake in a California manufacturing plant that it jointly operated with General Motors, a Japanese news agency reported Thursday. The Japanese carmaker will begin negotiating with the "Old GM” about the plant’s future starting next week, Kyodo News reported, citing unnamed company officials. Toyota spokesman Mike Goss would not confirm that the Japanese automaker had made a final decision on the fate of New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. Goss said Toyota will begin negotiations with the GM officials about the plant and added that the company is conducting an "extensive review” of its production needs.
3M’s results fall 17 percentST. PAUL, Minn. — Manufacturing conglomerate 3M Co. said Thursday its second-quarter profit fell 17 percent as the global recession cut sales to carmakers, but results still beat analyst estimates. The Dow Jones industrial average component, which makes products ranging from Scotch tape to Post-it Notes, raised its full-year sales and earnings forecasts, and shares rose in Thursday trading. Strong TV purchases in Asia boosted demand for 3M’s LCD television films, and swine flu lifted sales of its respiratory products. Also during the quarter, retailers started restocking for back-to-school sales.
Xerox says profits tumbleNEW YORK — Xerox Corp. said Thursday its second-quarter profit tumbled 35 percent but topped Wall Street forecasts, as cost cutting helped offset another weak period for sales. The company also projected third-quarter earnings below expectations, however. The worldwide slowdown in business is leading companies to spend less on printer and copier supplies. WORLD
Meat packer suspendedTOKYO — A Kansas meat packer that fought U.S. authorities to test its entire herd for mad cow disease was hit with a suspension by Japan this week for shipping banned animal parts. The decision came after Japanese inspectors Tuesday found bovine spinal columns — prohibited under a bilateral trade agreement — in two of 810 boxes sent by Creekstone Farms Premium Beef. No problems were detected in the remaining 808 boxes, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Under the terms of the trade agreement, U.S. beef shipped to Japan can come only from cattle age 20 months and younger, which are thought to pose less of a risk of the mad cow disease. U.S. exporters also must remove spinal columns, brain tissue and other parts considered "risk materials.”
Swiss bank posts earningsZURICH — Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group on Thursday reported a 29 percent increase in second-quarter net profit after a strong performance in its investment banking unit drove up core revenues.