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Around the business world

Daily Staff Report

Restructuring costs aside, General Motors makes money, sales rise 12 percent: DETROIT – General Motors Corp. lost $3.2 billion in the second quarter because of heavy charges for layoffs and early retirements – part of its massive restructuring program. But the world’s largest automaker scored a profit without the charges that beat Wall Street estimates and its sales surged 12 percent, evidence it says shows the corporate revamp is working.ConocoPhillips reports 65 percent rise in second-quarter income: HOUSTON – ConocoPhillips pumped more oil and gas and commanded sharply higher prices for its energy in the second quarter, boosting its profits by 65 percent to more than $5 billion. Its acquisition of Burlington Resources last December appears to be paying off, too, accounting for more than a quarter of the earnings growth in its exploration and production business.Mileage reputation sends Honda quarterly profit soaring nearly 30 percent: TOKYO – Profit at Honda soars nearly 30 percent during the latest quarter as a solid reputation for high gas mileage lifted sales in the U.S., a critical region that makes up half of the Japanese automaker’s vehicle sales.GlaxoSmithKline reports progress in human bird flu vaccine: LONDON – The British company GlaxoSmithKline reported Wednesday that it had achieved the best results ever seen on an experimental human bird flu vaccine. A global health official called it “an exciting piece of science,” and the company said mass production might be possible by 2007. GlaxoSmithKline PLC, the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical company, reported a 14 percent gain in second-quarter net profit Wednesday and raised its full-year forecast.Heinz execs digging in their heels against investor uprising: PITTSBURGH – As H.J. Heinz Co. prepares for a final showdown with dissident investors seeking board representation at its annual shareholder meeting, the food maker’s chief executive says the company is well-positioned and sees no room for compromise.Amazon investors ask when investments will pay off: SEATTLE – Amazon.com Inc. has for years insisted that its hefty investments – whether in cheap shipping deals, mysterious technology or new retail offerings – will please its customers and ultimately pay off. But some investors are getting antsy. Shares in the company plunged 17 percent as the company laid out fresh plans to invest in a new toy store and cut prices.Sputtering of purported growth engine illustrates IBM’s challenges: BOSTON – A key growth engine in IBM Corp. appears to be sputtering, illustrating the challenges in the company’s strategy to cast itself as the high-end alternative to commodity offerings in information technology. The unit in question is a research-and-design team for hire known as Engineering and Technology Services, or E&TS.SEC requires disclosure of more details of executive pay and options: WASHINGTON – Companies will have to disclose their executives’ pay and perks in greater detail under the most thorough overhaul of benefits reporting rules since 1992, adopted Wednesday by federal regulators. Included are new rules on disclosure of the dating of stock option grants to executives, as a scandal spreads through corporate America over suspect timing of option awards.Mideast fighting doesn’t derail Israel’s economy: JERUSALEM – Economists say Israel’s war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon should not derail its robust economy as long as fighting ends soon. But don’t tell that to shop owners, taxi drivers and tourist agents in northern Israel. But in Beiruit, Israel’s bombardment has dealt a devastating blow to Lebanon’s fragile economy, just as it was recovering from a decades-long slump. A profitable tourist season has been lost, investors have fled, much commerce has stopped, construction is at a standstill – all costing the country an estimated $70 million dollars a day.Japan reopening too U.S. beef: TOKYO – The Japanese government will officially approve resuming U.S. beef imports from selected meat processing plants on Thursday, easing a blanket ban imposed earlier this year over mad cow fears, officials said.China moving ahead of Japan on U.S. trading ladder: WASHINGTON – China is set to overtake Japan this year as America’s third-largest export market, an American trade official says.Cigarette maker’s profits up 50 percent: NEW YORK – Cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc. says second-quarter profit rose 50 percent, helped by higher selling prices and productivity gains.Stocks fall slightly, oil prices up: NEW YORK – Stocks fell slightly Wednesday as investors take profits following two sessions of gains. Oil prices rose as traders awaited the weekly report on U.S. petroleum inventories. Relief that Israeli-Hezbollah fighting has not spread kept a lid on prices in early trading, while word of more unrest in Nigeria seemed to rattle the market.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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