The Recap: Keystone pipeline’s southern leg is a go

January 25

TransCanada began shipping crude oil through the southern leg of the Keystone pipeline, easing the bottleneck at the sprawling storage-tank farms in Cushing, Okla., and feeding refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. But the company is still waiting for the State Department to decide whether to issue a permit for the 1,179-mile northern leg that would carry predominantly heavy oil from Canada’s oil sands, cross the border in Montana and run to the small town of Steele City, Neb. There it would connect with existing pipelines. ¶ Foes of the $5.3 billion project are still fighting TransCanada. They have filed a lawsuit in Nebraska and one in Texas. And they have taken advantage of the public comment period to file criticisms of the State Department’s draft environmental impact statement, which was issued March 1.

Business

Verizon said that federal, state and local authorities asked it to hand over user data 321,545 times in 2013. The company’s transparency report said the vast majority of requests, about 164,000, came from law enforcement subpoenas, followed by about 71,000 court orders.

Activist investor Carl Icahn raised his stake in Apple. In a post on his Twitter account, Icahn revealed that he has poured $500 million more into Apple stock over two weeks. He had already owned about 4.7 million Apple shares, worth more than $2.5 billion. Icahn is urging Apple to spend $50 billion buying back its own stock during this fiscal year.

A U.S. appeals court gave Apple a reprieve from an external monitor appointed to oversee its compliance with antitrust laws after the company was found liable last year for conspiring to raise e-book prices. Apple will receive a hearing on whether to stop the monitor, Michael Bromwich, from doing his job while the company pursues a formal appeal, which could last months. ●

Ten of the 11 economy cars crash-tested by the leading ­insurance industry group failed a new safety standard for front-end collisions. Only the Chevrolet Spark earned an “acceptable” grade on the test, in which 25 percent of the front end, on the driver’s side, strikes a ­five-foot-tall barrier at 40 mph. The Honda Fit, Fiat 500, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa, Toyota Prius C and Mitsubishi Mirage all received “poor” grades, ­according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Mazda 2, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris and Ford Fiesta earned “marginal” scores.

LinkedIn has added a “marketplace” in which members can search posted opportunities to volunteer.

BlackBerry shares surged the most in a month Monday after the Defense Department said the company’s smartphones will account for 98 percent of devices in one of its new networks.

CityCenterDC, the preeminent real estate project in the nation’s capital, will not be home to Apple. Hines Interests, the Houston developer behind the $1 billion downtown project, said Apple has pulled out of negotiations to open a store there.

Child car seats would for the first time have to protect children from death and injury in side-impact crashes under proposed regulations.

Deals

Verizon reportedly agreed to pay less than $200 million to buy Intel’s Internet-television start-up.

Anheuser-Busch InBev is re­acquiring Oriental Brewery, South Korea’s leading brewery, for $5.8 billion. Belgium-based AB InBev sold the brewery in 2009 for $1.8 billion to cut its debt following its acquisition of St. Louis-based Anheuser Busch. Oriental Brewery, maker of Cass beer, has an exclusive license to distribute AB InBev brands, including Budweiser, Corona and Hoegaarden, in South Korea.

Fiat has completed its buyout of Chrysler, making the U.S. business a wholly owned subsidiary of the Italian carmaker. The company announced Jan. 1 that it had struck a $4.35 billion deal — cheaper than analysts had expected — to acquire the remaining 41.46 percent stake in Chrysler from a retiree health-care trust affiliated with the United Auto Workers union.

Earnings

Delta Air Lines’ quarterly profit climbed to $558 million. Higher fares and growing traffic helped the airline post a larger-than-expected profit.

Deutsche Bank announced an unexpected fourth-quarter loss of $1.3 billion, largely because of weak investment banking results. Analysts were expecting a profit of about $270 million.

EBay posted a profit of $850 million, up from $751 million a year earlier, boosted by holiday use of its PayPal service.

General ­Dynamics reported a profit of $495 million compared with a $2.13 billion loss a year ago, helped by its aerospace unit.

Halliburton’s profit climbed 31 percent, to $770 million, as its push into global markets more than made up for weakness in North America.

IBM’s profit rose to $6.2 billion, but its quarterly revenue fell 5 percent to $27.7 billion — missing estimates for the fourth straight quarter because of a steep fall in demand for servers and storage products in emerging markets such as China.

Netflix, the world’s largest subscription streaming service, reported a profit of $8 million, beating analysts’ estimates. It said it may charge new users more to share accounts.

Verizon posted fourth-quarter profit of $5.07 billion, beating Wall Street predictions. It added 1.7 million net retail wireless connections during the quarter, excluding acquisitions and adjustments.

Economy

China’s economy grew a robust 7.7 percent, but signs of a slowdown have emerged.

Washington

The Supreme Court is considering whether states can require public employees to pay fees to the unions that represent them.

A transportation infrastructure bill from freshman Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) has gained bipartisan support in the House and Senate.

Transitions

Mohamed El-Erian, heir apparent to Pimco co-founder Bill Gross, will step down as chief executive and co-chief investment officer, raising questions about the future of Pacific Investment Management, the world’s largest bond-fund manager.

Neither the company nor El-Erian gave a reason for the departure, which comes as many investors are turning their backs on the kind of bond investments that Pimco is famous for offering. Customers withdrew $41.1 billion from Pimco’s flagship, Total Return Fund, last year, a record amount for the $2 trillion manager, according to investment research firm Morningstar. El-Erian will remain a consultant at Allianz, the German insurer that owns Pimco.

News Corp. said Lex Fenwick is leaving as chief executive of Dow Jones, less than two years after taking the helm. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which owns Dow Jones, said that it was reviewing the one-size-fits-all strategy that Fenwick had put in place for its news wires and other products. The bundled product offering that resulted, known as DJX, alienated some of the banks, hedge funds and retail brokers that were its main customers because of its rigid pricing structure.

— From news services and staff reports

200 million
world’s jobless population

The United Nations’ labor agency said the number of unemployed people around the globe rose above 200 million last year. The International Labor Organization said an estimated 201.8 million people were unemployed in 2013. That’s 4.9 million more than the previous year. An annual ILO report said East and South Asia together accounted for more than 45 percent of last year’s increase.

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Business