DETROIT – Chrysler Group’s sales picked up in the second quarter thanks to strong U.S. demand for trucks and SUVs, but the company still cut its full-year sales and profit targets after a slower-than-expected start to the year.
Chrysler said Tuesday that its net income rose 16 percent to $507 million in the April-June period from $436 million a year ago. It was Chrysler’s eighth straight quarterly profit.
Chrysler sold 643,000 vehicles worldwide in the second quarter, up 10 percent from a year ago. Sales were also up 10 percent in the U.S., where Chrysler sells 75 percent of its vehicles. Chrysler’s U.S. sales rose faster than the industry average of 8 percent in the second quarter.
Revenue was up 7 percent to $18 billion from $16.8 billion.
Consumer confidence dipped slightly in July
WASHINGTON – Americans’ confidence in the economy fell only slightly in July but stayed close to a 5 1/2-year high, a sign that consumers should continue to help drive growth in the coming months.
The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index dipped to 80.3 in July. That’s down from a reading of 82.1 in June, which was revised slightly higher and the best reading since January 2008.
Despite the slight drop in July, confidence remains well above year-ago levels. And consumers are more optimistic about the current job market.
Sprint loss blamed on closure of Nextel
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Sprint Corp. says that its second-quarter net loss grew while revenue held steady as the wireless carrier released its first earnings report under majority owner SoftBank.
Sprint Corp., the nation’s third-largest cellphone carrier, said Tuesday that it lost more than 2 million wireless customers in the quarter, primarily due to the shutdown of the Nextel network, which it purchased in a merger in 2005. But it gained about 412,000 subscribers by buying the business of U.S. Cellular in the Midwest in May.
The company had 53.6 million subscribers by June’s end, down from 55.2 million at the end of March.
Net losses grew to $1.6 billion, or 53 cents per share. It lost $1.4 billion, or 46 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding unexpected charges related to the Nextel shutdown, the adjusted loss came to 31 cents per share.
Revenue rose to $8.88 billion from $8.84 billion.
Sprint’s stock rose 42 cents, or 7 percent, to close at $6.16 on Tuesday.
Pfizer pays millions to settle marketing case
NEW YORK – Pfizer and the Justice Department say the drugmaker will pay almost $491 million to resolve an investigation into illegal marketing of the company’s organ transplant drug Rapamune.
Rapamune was approved in 1999 for use in kidney transplant patients, and the Justice Department says sales representatives were trained to market the drug for use in other patients.
The U.S. Department of Justice says Pfizer Inc. will pay $257.4 million in civil settlements with federal and state governments and a $157.6 million criminal fine. It will also forfeit $76 million in assets.
Rapamune was originally made by Wyeth. Pfizer bought Wyeth in 2009.
The parties announced a proposed $491 million settlement in October.