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Feb 9, 2013

Airbus studies dropping lithium-ion battery for A350

PARIS/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Europe’s Airbus is considering whether to drop lithium-ion batteries and switch back to traditional ones on its A350 passenger jet as investigators probe Boeing 787 safety incidents, several people familiar with the matter said.

The move comes amid a wider rethink in the aerospace industry on whether the powerful but delicate backup energy systems are technically “mature”, or predictable, they said.

Feb 8, 2013

Airbus studies dropping lithium-ion battery for A350: sources

PARIS/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Europe’s Airbus is considering whether to drop lithium-ion batteries and switch back to traditional ones on its A350 passenger jet as investigators probe Boeing 787 safety incidents, several people familiar with the matter said.

The move comes amid a wider rethink in the aerospace industry on whether the powerful but delicate backup energy systems are technically “mature”, or predictable, they said.

Feb 6, 2013

No rebound yet, but some US companies see European bottom

Feb 6 (Reuters) – The corner is far from turned in Europe,
but for some U.S. companies there is a sense that they have
reached – or can at least see – a bottom after years of
weakness, a welcome change that could help boost profits in
2013.

The euro hit a new 14-month high on Friday after new data on
European factory activity suggested the region was on track to
start growing again this year, underlining the opportunity for
well-placed U.S. businesses.

Feb 6, 2013

Analysis: No rebound yet, but some U.S. companies see European bottom

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – The corner is far from turned in Europe, but for some U.S. companies there is a sense that they have reached – or can at least see – a bottom after years of weakness, a welcome change that could help boost profits in 2013.

The euro hit a fresh 14-month high on Friday after new data on European factory activity suggested the region was on track to start growing again this year, underlining the opportunity for well-placed U.S. businesses.

Feb 6, 2013

Michael Dell: Repairing a legacy?

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – Michael Dell once gave up day-to-day control of the computer company that bears his name – and everything began to go south. Now the billionaire is cementing his grip over the firm to try to restore it to its former glory.

The billionaire roped in private equity house Silver Lake and Microsoft Corp, to take his 28-year-old company private for $24.4 billion in the second-largest buyout in technology history.

Feb 5, 2013

Michael Dell bets on a private turnaround

Feb 5 (Reuters) – Michael Dell once gave up day-to-day
control of the computer company that bears his name – an
experiment that went poorly and ended relatively quickly. But
now he is putting up some of his own wealth to reverse the
company’s fortunes.

Dell Inc will go private in a $24.4 billion deal
led by Michael Dell and including capital from private equity
firm Silver Lake and a loan from Microsoft Corp, the
parties said on Tuesday.

Feb 5, 2013

Michael Dell bets his wealth on a private turnaround

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – Michael Dell once gave up day-to-day control of the computer company that bears his name – an experiment that went poorly and ended relatively quickly. But now he is putting up a big chunk of his own wealth to reverse the company’s fortunes.

Dell Inc will go private in a $24.4 billion deal led by Michael Dell and including capital from private equity firm Silver Lake and a loan from Microsoft Corp, the parties said on Tuesday.

Jan 31, 2013

Analysis: Rate pressures on pensions wipe out billions in profits

By Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – Pension charges wiped out more than $20 billion in fourth-quarter earnings at major American companies, as persistently low interest rates leave some of those with the largest retiree burdens no choice but to assume they need more money now to cover liabilities later.

Actuaries warn there is little chance for improvement on the horizon for defined benefit pension programs, as rates linger at historically low levels and the Federal Reserve shows no inclination to raise them. The only hope, they say, is for rates to turn around – though when, no one really knows.

Jan 31, 2013

Rate pressures on pensions wipe out billions in profits

Jan 31 (Reuters) – Pension charges wiped out more than $20
billion in fourth-quarter earnings at major American companies,
as persistently low interest rates leave some of those with the
largest retiree burdens no choice but to assume they need more
money now to cover liabilities later.

Actuaries warn there is little chance for improvement on the
horizon for defined benefit pension programs, as rates linger at
historically low levels and the Federal Reserve shows no
inclination to raise them. The only hope, they say, is for rates
to turn around – though when, no one really knows.

Jan 28, 2013

U.S. firms offset weak sales growth with fat margins

By Scott Malone and Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – After four years of belt-tightening, American companies are good at squeezing more profit out of every dollar of sales – a skill that chief executives regard as critical in the face of an uncertain economy.

While the headline-making cuts of the last recession – when companies shed tens of thousands of workers as they scrambled to lower costs – have mostly passed, they have kept their focus on finding lots of small steps to improve earnings.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Berkowitz covers the insurance industry in New York City. He rejoined Reuters in Amsterdam in May 2009, covering the Dutch banking system and economy. He originally worked for Reuters in Los Angeles and New York from 2001 to 2006 covering everything from video games to oil. In between he was business editor at AOL, head of the editing desk at AP Business News and managing editor of Fidelity.com."
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