Apple (AAPL) and News Corp. (NWS) have signed an agreement to offer Twentieth Century Fox movies for rent through the iTunes Music Store, the Financial Times reported Thursday. Users would be able to download the latest Twentieth Century Fox movies from iTunes and view them for a limited time. No pricing details were available, but earlier reports suggested that Fox and Apple were talking about charging $2.99 for 30 days viewing. That’s considerably cheaper than competing services from BlockBuster (BBI) and NetFlix (NFLX), neither of which works with iTunes, Macs or iPods.
As part of the strategic intent of Ford (F) to refocus on its core brands, Ford had already put Jaguar and Land Rover on the selling block in June this year. In March, Ford had sold control of Aston Martin, the sports car marquee, to a Kuwait led consortium for $931 million in cash and preferred stock.
Toyota (TM) Motor Corp., long lurking in the wings to snatch and keep the title of the world’s biggest automaker from rival General Motors (GM), might get there even sooner than expected.
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) reported strong third-quarter earnings fueled by rapid consumer growth during the lead-up to the holiday season. This was strongly supported by growth in sales to non-business customers. Net income surged to $370.5 million or 65 cents a share, from $175.2 million, or 31 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue has doubled to $1.67 billion. The results allayed fears of slowing demand from its financial services customers in wake of the credit-market meltdown.
Dow Chemical (DOW) plans to sell a 50 percent interest in five of its global businesses to a Kuwaiti company for about $9.5 billion and form a new joint petrochemicals venture. Dow Chemical Co. and Petrochemical Industries Co.(PIC), an arm of Kuwait Petroleum Corp., announced plans to form a 50/50 joint venture to create a fully integrated petrochemicals company.
Walgreen’s (WAG) fiscal first-quarter net income rose 5.5% amid solid revenue gains and cost controls, as the company bounced back from a rough fiscal fourth quarter. The drugstore chain recorded a net income of $455.5 million, or 46 cents a share for the period ended Nov. 30, compared with $431.7 million, or 43 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 10% to $14.03 billion, as comparable-store sales rose 5.4%.
In the last few year’s H-P’s (HPQ) strategy on printers has changed from capturing the market share based on number of printer’s sold to ‘number of pages printed’ on H-P printers. While H-P has a 47% market share in the printer’s business, only about 1.6% of world’s total pages are printed on H-P machines. This would be the focus of H-P’s strategy as it moves ahead.
With an increased suite of product offerings, McDonald’s (MCD) continues to show impressive sales growth as compared to its competitors. The overall sales worldwide rose by 16.3% and the same-store sales grew by 8.2%. This boost has come from markets outside of US. While, the US market grew by 4.4%, Europe grew by 10.8% and the rest of world grew by an impressive 12.0%. The news is the latest in a series of good reports for McDonald’s, including the October’s third-quarter filing, which reported net income up 27% despite increased dairy costs, mostly on cheese.