Correspondent, Chicago
James's Feed
Apr 22, 2014

Harley-Davidson shares surge on higher-than-expected profit

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shares surged nearly 9 percent on Tuesday after the iconic U.S. motorcycle maker posted a better-`than-expected quarterly profit, lifted by strong international demand.

The company’s results were also lifted by its continued success in cutting production costs. Harley-Davidson said its gross margins grew a full percentage point year-over-year to 37.7 percent during the most recent quarter, a testament analysts said to the company’s five-year restructuring under CEO Keith Wandell. The austerity drive concluded last year and pulled $300 million in annual costs out of its manufacturing operations.

Apr 7, 2014

Not your old man’s Hog: Harley bets big on a small bike

, April 7 (Reuters) – To catch a glimpse of
Harley-Davidson Inc history, visit its Milwaukee
headquarters, housed in the 111-year-old company’s first real
factory. Or tour its York, Pennsylvania, plant, which has
cranked out motorcycles since the early 1970s and builds some of
its biggest cruising bikes, including the Road King and Electra
Glide.

But for a look at the company’s future, head for its vehicle
and power-train plant in Kansas City. Opened in 1998, the
435,000-square-foot factory produces several of Harley’s most
popular bikes, including the Sportster and V-Rod.

Mar 20, 2014

From dumb iron to Big Data: Caterpillar’s dealer sales push

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc has a long tradition of proudly – and publicly – proclaiming how much it loves its dealers.

In recent years, the Peoria, Illinois-based company has called the 178 independently owned businesses that distribute its earth-moving products worldwide everything from “a critical competitive differentiator” to “the foundation” of its success.

Mar 6, 2014

Caterpillar dealer push may drive some out, Levenick says

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc’s (CAT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) bid to lift the financial performance of its dealer network isn’t designed to thin the ranks of the 178 independent distributors that sell and service its earth-moving products around the globe, a company executive said.

But Stuart Levenick, who is charged with overseeing the financial turnaround, said an unknown number of dealers including some family-run businesses, could be casualties of the push unveiled last month.

Mar 1, 2014

Exclusive: Fared Adib, senior Sprint executive, departing – memo

By James B. Kelleher and Carey Gillam

(Reuters) – Another senior executive is leaving Sprint Corp, the U.S. wireless company that has seen several key leaders exit since it was acquired last year by Japan’s SoftBank Corp (9984.T).

Fared Adib, a 12-year veteran of Sprint who was tapped by SoftBank to lead a new initiative last fall, has resigned from the Overland Park, Kansas-based company, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters.

Mar 1, 2014

Fared Adib, senior Sprint executive, departing – memo

March 1 (Reuters) – Another senior executive is leaving
Sprint Corp, the U.S. wireless company that has seen
several key leaders exit since it was acquired last year by
Japan’s SoftBank Corp (9984.T).

Fared Adib, a 12-year veteran of Sprint who was tapped by
SoftBank to lead a new initiative last fall, has resigned from
the Overland Park, Kansas-based company, according to an
internal memo obtained by Reuters.

Feb 26, 2014

Tesla to raise $1.6 bln to build battery factory

Feb 26 (Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc said on
Wednesday it plans to raise $1.6 billion from investors to
finance a new battery factory that will help the upstart U.S.
automaker reach its goal of producing a lower-priced,
mass-market electric car by 2017.

Tesla said the new plant, nicknamed the “Gigafactory,” would
be built in one of four states: Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico or
Texas. By 2020, Tesla said, the plant would be able to make more
lithium-ion batteries in a year than were produced worldwide in
2013.

Feb 25, 2014

Lesbian couple challenges Michigan’s gay-marriage ban in court

DETROIT (Reuters) – Michigan’s ban on gay marriage perpetuates discrimination and should be overturned, an attorney representing a lesbian couple argued on Tuesday at the start of the latest in a series of legal challenges to U.S. laws banning same-sex unions.

But the state countered in U.S. District Court in Detroit that its law prohibiting gay couples to wed was the “will of the people” who voted it into Michigan’s constitution a decade ago.

Feb 21, 2014

Same-sex couples allowed to wed in Cook County, Illinois

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Same-sex couples in Illinois’ Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago, can wed immediately and do not have to wait to tie the knot until a new state law legalizing gay marriage takes effect in June, a federal judge ruled on Friday.

Illinois lawmakers approved same-sex marriage late in 2013, effective on June 1, and several couples had sued Cook County Clerk David Orr for the right to marry immediately.

Feb 20, 2014

What polar vortex? Caterpillar sales to builders surge despite chill

Feb 20 (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc said on Thursday
that sales of its construction equipment had surged in recent
months, driven by an especially large jump in demand in North
America, where a series of severe winter storms and arctic
temperatures failed to keep builders out of dealer showrooms.

The Peoria, Illinois-based company, the world’s largest
maker of earth-moving equipment used by builders and miners,
said that worldwide retail sales to end users in the
construction industry rose 9 percent in the three months ended
Jan. 31, driven by a 12 percent increase in North America.