May 6, 2009 in Business

Weyerhaeuser posts loss but beats expectations

 

Weyerhaeuser Co.’s first-quarter loss deepened as a near-dormant housing market knocked down sales of its lumber and wood panels.

But some good news emerged in Tuesday’s results. Weyerhaeuser’s loss of $264 million was not as bad as Wall Street expected. And the company forecast slightly higher closings of home sales in the second quarter.

Weyerhaeuser reported a first-quarter loss of $1.25 cents a share, steeper than 70 cents a share, or $148 billion, lost a year earlier. Revenue fell 37 percent to about $1.3 billion. The company has lost money in five of the six quarters since the U.S. recession began.

Boston

Globe asks newsroom workers for 23 percent cut in wages

Management of the Boston Globe has proposed that wages for the newspaper’s largest union be slashed about 23 percent to gain concessions of $10 million and keep the newspaper from closing.

The Globe, on its Web site, reported on what management called its “last best offer” Tuesday evening as negotiations resumed between officials of the New York Times Co., the Globe’s parent, and the Boston Newspaper Guild.

The Guild has offered a 3.5 percent pay cut for the 700 editorial, advertising and business employees it represents, plus three unpaid furlough days, for a total salary reduction of just under 5 percent.

Detroit

GM says plug-in hybrid SUV to be ready for testing in 2011

General Motors’ new product development chief says it will have a plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicle ready for fleet testing in early 2011.

The SUV was supposed to be a Saturn Vue Green Line, but GM has announced it will sell or phase out Saturn by the end of this year.

Vice Chairman Tom Stephens says GM will still produce the vehicle under one of its four remaining core brands – Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

He would not identify the vehicle or say when the hybrid would be in showrooms.

A plug-in hybrid can be recharged with a home outlet and be powered by electricity or a conventional engine.

Stephens says the new SUV will get about double the city gas mileage of any other conventional SUV.

Seattle

Bigger-screen Kindle could work for reading textbooks, papers

Amazon.com is expected to unveil a new Kindle electronic book device with a larger screen today.

The Seattle-based online retailer was not giving details about what it will announce at its press event in New York, but the company has not disputed widespread reports that a larger Kindle is on tap.

That Kindle, which costs $359 and can wirelessly download books to be read on its grayscale screen, already includes several features that could aid textbook reading, such as the ability to highlight and bookmark passages.

Newspaper and magazine lovers can also buy subscriptions to publications that are wirelessly delivered to the device, too. But the current device’s screen, 6 inches on the diagonal, is more suited to paperback books than larger reading material.

If Amazon reveals a bigger device better suited for digital textbooks and periodicals, the rollout could help students get educational materials more cheaply and give newspapers and magazines a better way to sell digital versions of their content.

From wire reports

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