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Boeing Struggles to Get 787 Off Ground; Citigroup Sells $12 Billion in Loans; UPS Failing to Deliver; American Airlines Cancels 1,000 Flights; IBCB Expects 50% First-Quarter Profit Spike; Hershey Trust CEO to Retire; New Oil High; Wholesale Inventories Climb
- Boeing Co. (BA) delayed the delivery of its 787 Dreamliner again yesterday (Wednesday), this time until the third quarter of 2009. It’s the third postponement in six months. The company said it would deliver just 25 planes next year, less than a quarter of what had originally been planned.
- Citigroup Inc. (C) is planning to sell $12 billion of loans at a loss to Apollo Management LP, Blackstone Group LP and TPG Inc., a person briefed on the matter told Bloomberg News. The loans are part of the $43 billion in financing that Citigroup agreed to provide for leveraged buyouts last year before credit markets froze.
- United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) cut its profit guidance for the year from between 94 and 98 cents a share to 86 or 87 cents. The company, which carries products that amount to about 5% of gross domestic product each year, cited lower volume and higher fuel costs as the biggest reasons for declining profit.
- The world’s largest air carrier, American Airlines – principal subsidiary of AMR Corp. (AMR) – canceled 1,000 flights yesterday (Wednesday) to reinspect jets. The cancellations affected more than 45% of its scheduled flights, Bloomberg reported, and stranded an estimated 11,000 travelers. The company said to expect more flight cancellations this week.
- Citing rapid growth in China and increasing demand for loans, Industrial & Commerce Bank of China (IBCB) said it expects first-quarter profit to soar 50%. IBCB is the world’s largest bank by market value. So far this year, ICBC has gained 5.2% in Hong Kong this year, compared with a 13.8% drop in the benchmark Hang Seng Index, Bloomberg reported.
- Hershey Trust Co., primary shareholder in The Hershey Co. (HSY), announced its Chief Executive Robert Vowler would retire in April 2009, Bloomberg News reported. Vowler has held the position for 12 years. Vincent Rudisill, the trust’s chief investment officer, will assume CEO duties.
- Crude oil for May delivery hit a new intraday high yesterday (Wednesday). It increased $2.37, or 2.2%, to close at $110.87 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the day, it hit a new intraday high of $112.21 a barrel after the Energy Information Administration announced U.S. stockpiles of crude fell to 316 million barrels in the week ended April 4, MarketWatch reported.
- U.S. wholesale inventories increased 1.1% in February, more than had been forecast. The increase was due to a 0.8% decline in sales for the same period. "Supply is starting to run ahead of demand and that could mean slower growth and also slower inflation further on down the line," Jonathan Basile, an economist at Credit Suisse Holdings in New York, told Bloomberg News.