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Thursday, July 23, 2009
Helped by a lightened debt load, Ford Motor Co. posted a surprise second-quarter profit of $2.3 billion Thursday, following the worst loss in company history a year earlier. Shares rose 8 percent in morning trading.
The net profit ends a string of four straight quarterly losses for the nation's second-largest automaker, which has gained U.S. market share at the expense of crosstown rivals Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co., both of which spent time under bankruptcy court supervision. Ford last went into the black in the first quarter of 2008, with net profit of $70 million.
However, excluding its debt reduction and other items, Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford would have reported a quarterly loss, though smaller than Wall Street expected.
Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth said the improved second-quarter results are a sign that the company's cost cuts and emphasis on new products are paying off. He stuck to Ford's earlier prediction that it would return to annual profitability in 2011.
"We're 18 months away, I guess," he told reporters on Thursday, adding that a full year of profitability hinges on improved auto sales in the U.S. and Europe.
Unlike GM and Chrysler, Ford avoided bankruptcy and government loans, mainly by borrowing or setting up credit lines totaling $23.5 billion in 2006 and 2007 to prepare for an economic downturn. Since then the company has cut costs and rolled out new vehicles, mitigating its sales decline in the worst auto sales market in more than a quarter-century.
Ford reported second-quarter net income of 69 cents a share, compared with a loss of $8.7 billion, or $3.89 a share, for the same quarter a year ago.
The profit came from a $3.4 billion accounting gain due to debt reduction. Earlier this year the company swapped stock and cash to reduce its loan and bond debt by $10.1 billion, cutting its interest payments by more than $500 million.
Ford also raised $1.6 billion by selling 345 million more shares during the quarter, and said it is likely to take further steps this year to lower debt and raise cash.
The company made $1.8 billion in structural cost cuts for the quarter, including 1,000 blue-collar job cuts through buyout and early retirement offers. Ford now has 47,300 factory workers, which it says is about the correct level.
But excluding special items, including the debt reduction, Ford would have lost $424 million, or 21 cents a share. Still, the results beat analysts' expectations of a per share loss of 50 cents on revenue of $24.7 billion. Excluding special items, the company lost just over $1 billion in the second quarter of last year.
Revenue totaled $27.2 billion, 40 percent less than a year earlier as the worldwide auto sales slump continued.
Ford spent $1 billion more in cash than it earned in the quarter, compared to $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2009.
In its main market of North America, Ford reported a much smaller pretax loss of $851 million, down from a loss of $1.3 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Ford is predicting a modest improvement in U.S. sales next year to about 12.2 million light vehicles. Sales so far this year have run below an annual rate of 10 million. In the U.S., the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands gained two percentage points of market share, ending the quarter at 16.4 percent.
Ford's shares rose 52 cents, or 8 percent, to $6.90 in morning trading after rising to a 52-week high of $6.99 earlier in the session.
The automaker also reached a new agreement with the United Auto Workers union to change how it will pay the $13.1 billion it owes to a health care trust. That trust will take over retiree medical costs starting in January.
Ford now will be able to pay up to $6.5 billion in company stock at market value, company spokesman Mark Truby said. An agreement reached earlier this year set the stock price at $2 to $2.20, but the share price has risen to $7.
He said the new deal would require the company to issue fewer shares, reducing dilution for existing shareholders.
The company and union are still talking about other aspects of the union contract, as the company seeks to be competitive with concessions the UAW granted GM and Chrysler.
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The number of newly laid-off workers seeking jobless benefits rose last week, though the government said its report again was distorted by the timing of auto plant shutdowns.
Unemployment insurance claims have declined steadily since the spring, but most private economists and the Federal Reserve expect jobs to remain scarce and the unemployment rate to top 10 percent by year-end.
The Labor Department said Thursday that its tally of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 30,000 to a seasonally adjusted 554,000. That was above analysts' estimates of 550,000.
The increase follows two straight weeks of sharp drops largely because automakers didn't lay off as many workers as expected in early July. General Motors and Chrysler temporarily shut down many of their plants earlier than usual this year, in May and June, after filing for bankruptcy protection and restructuring their companies.
A department analyst said the government's seasonal adjustment process expected claims to drop sharply last week, after the normal pattern of auto layoffs was complete. But that didn't happen, causing seasonally-adjusted claims to rise.
Still, some economists saw positive signs in the report. The four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, dropped to 566,000, its lowest level since January.
"The trend inis still downward," Joseph Lavornga, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, wrote in a note to clients.
But Lavornga also said the unemployment rate likely will keep rising as long as initial claims remain above 400,000. He expects theto increase to 9.6 percent this month, from a 26-year high of 9.5 percent in June.
The financial markets shrugged off the news. The Dow Jones industrial average added about 110 points in morning trading and broader indices also rose.
Still, weekly claims remain far above the 300,000 to 350,000 that analysts say is consistent with a healthy economy. New claims last fell below 300,000 in early 2007. The lowest level this year was 488,000 for the week ended Jan. 3.
The total jobless benefit rolls, meanwhile, fell by a more-than-expected 88,000 to 6.2 million, the lowest level since mid-April. And the four-week moving average of claims, which normally smooths out some volatility, fell by 19,000 to 566,000.
But the number of people on emergency extended state and federal programs continued to rise. Unemployment insurance recipients can receive up to 53 weeks of additional benefits from the emergency programs, on top of the 26 weeks typically provided by the states.
When the extended benefit rolls are included, more than 9.1 million people received jobless benefits for the week of July 4, the latest data available.
The recession, which started in December 2007 and is the longest since World War II, has eliminated a net total of 6.5 million jobs. The unemployment rate in June rose to 9.5 percent, a 26-year high.
More job cuts were announced this week, many by major airlines.
Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc. reported a quarterly loss of $213 million and said it would slash 1,700 more jobs on top of 1,200 already announced. Southwest Airlines Co., which has never laid off workers, announced that 1,400 employees — about 4 percent of its work force — took offers of cash and travel benefits to leave the Dallas-based company.
Among the states, New York reported the largest increase in initial claims, with 12,504, which it attributed to higher layoffs in the construction and transportation industries. The next largest increases were reported by North Carolina, Florida, Missouri and Tennessee. The state data lags initial claims by one week.Michigan reported the largest decrease, with 6,648, which it attributed to fewer layoffs in most industries. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Indiana and California reported the next largest drops
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I love arguing with friends...
So today.."Since I have nothing better to do" I spoke with a lobbyist friend of mine and an attorney..
We debated something that could have an impact on Debt Settlement companies wishing to do business in California. The Check Sellers, Bill Payers and Proraters Law. Personally I know some individuals and companies who wish this would just go away, but....It's not.
The definition of proraters, found in Financial Code section 12002.1, states: A prorater is a person who, for compensation, engages in whole or in part in the business of receiving money or evidences thereof for the purpose of distributing the money or evidences thereof among creditors in payment or partial payment of the obligations of the debtor.
Debt Settlement is also called debt consolidation or debt negotiation by consumers because it's what they type into the search engine when they feel the need to take action about overwhelming bills.
Debt Settlement companies argue that since they do not directly control the clients funds that they do not qualify as a prorater.
Both of my friends (Lobbyist & Attorney) agree that debt settlement companies are considered proraters due to the interpretation of the law by the Department Of Corporations.
The bill AB350 if passed will not take effect until 2012.
AB350 is the proposed Debt Settlement Service Act for the purpose of licensing debt settlement service providers.
this may bore some people but, if you want to avoid being scammed you should pay attention.
The Check Sellers, Bill Payers and Proraters Law (the Law) is contained in Division 3 of the California Financial Code, commencing with Section 12000. The regulations are contained in Subchapter 10 of Chapter 3, Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations, commencing with Section 1770 (10 C.C.R. § 1770, et seq.).
The Law, originally named the Check Sellers and Cashers Law, was enacted in 1947. As enacted, it provided for the licensing and regulatory review of companies and individuals who sold checks, cashed checks, or paid bills on behalf of others. In 1983, the law was amended to no longer require the licensure of check cashers by the Department. Now check cashers are required by law to obtain a permit from the Department of Justice.
Currently, there are four different types of businesses licensed under the Check Sellers, Bill Payers and Proraters Law.
- Check Sellers.
A check seller sells checks, money orders, or drafts to be used by others for the payment of obligations and the transfer of money. Most checks and money orders are sold by agents who split the check fee with the licensee. The checks are sold through a network of agents such as small markets and check cashing businesses. A check or money order is usually purchased to pay rent, utilities, or some other obligation that must be sent through the mail. In addition, checks are purchased to send money back to a foreign country.
- Bill Payers.
A bill payer receives money as an agent of an obligor to pay bills. For this service, it receives a fee from the obligor.
- General Proraters.
A general prorater contracts with delinquent debtors and intercedes with creditors to settle debts on behalf of the debtor.
- Special Proraters.
A special prorater pays its customers' bills as part of its management of its customers' affairs, and is generally a business agent or a manager.
The license requirements are set forth in Section 12000, et seq. of the law. The law requires that applicants for Check Sellers licenses maintain a minimum net worth of $500,000 and a $500,000 license bond.
Bill Payers and General Proraters must maintain a minimum of $10,000 net worth and a surety bond of $25,000. For those licensees who use agents, the requirements are considerably higher.
In addition to the financial and bonding requirements, applicants must demonstrate that they have experience in this type of business, and that they do not have a criminal history or a history of noncompliance with regulatory requirements.
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A state bill to regulate the burgeoning debt-settlement industry in California is moving closer to passage.
Being Broke does suck. I know. As a consumer you really don't know which way to turn. There are so many debt consolidation companies (Most which happen to rip off consumers by advertising things that will never happen.)
The average person doesn't really know or understanding credit scoring and as Americans we have been trained to believe that we are our credit score. It's understandable. take the time and get your credit report here
It's time to take charge of what you want to do. Are you happy where you are financially right now?
If not, do you want to do something about it?
Take the step
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you get where you want to go.
The government of the most populous U.S. state, also the world's eighth-largest economy, began its fiscal year on July 1 facing the massive shortfall due to a plunge in revenues caused by the recession and rising unemployment.
Schwarzenegger,AKA The Governator.. a Republican, said during a news conference the budget would be balanced through deep spending cuts and borrowing and shifting of state funds but without raising taxes.
I just want to know when they are going to pay me what they owe. When you owe the IRS they put interest on the money owed...I WANT THE SAME!!
Click here to manage your credit report
If you have problems there, Contact me at email@example.com and I'll help you fix it!!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
CIT is expected to announce the deal before markets open Monday, according to the source, who did not want to be identified because talks are private.
I'm sure this is going to cost us all money in helping yet another lender whom has taken advantage of it's consumers...
I say get your credit report from here and see what has been done...
Contact me and I'll show you the steps to get your credit report fixed!!
Get Equifax Credit Watch Gold 3-in-1 Now!
Fico will lower your credit score the more you owe compared to your credit limit.
Example, If you have 4 credit cards of 500 dollar limits and on 3 of them the balances are over 300 dollars and you are making the minimum payment,your credit score could be lowered. I recommend clicking here
and getting your credit report and monitoring and contacting me to help improve your scores