South Korea Plans $10.8 billion Stimulus; KKR IPO Delayed Again; DryShips Posts 71% Profit Growth; Oil Slides Below $64; Manufacturing Hits 26-year Low; Viacom Profit Down 37%; Cars Sales Plummet;
- South Korea's government announced plans for a 14 trillion won ($10.8 billion) economic stimulus aimed to create an extra 200,000 jobs, extend tax breaks for factory investments and increase infrastructure spending and development. Relief measures announced this year now total 33 trillion won, according to the finance ministry, Bloomberg reported.
- Initial public offering plans for buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. have again been delayed, this time because its Amsterdam-listed affiliate suffered big investment losses. With KKR's delay, there hasn't been a U.S. IPO in nearly three months, Reuters reported.
- DryShips Inc. (DRYS), Greece-based dry bulk ships carrier, posted a 71% gain in quarterly profits. The company dodged the cash drought by employing its vessels for long-term contracts, securing revenue as most companies are losing it, Reuters reported.
- Oil prices fell nearly 6% yesterday (Monday) as weak demand continued to drive investors from the market. Light, sweet crude fell $3.90, or 5.75%, yesterday to settle at $63.91 a barrel. Black gold has plummeted nearly 57% from its record high of $147.27 a barrel reached in July.
- The Institute for Supply Management said yesterday (Monday) that its manufacturing index fell to 38.9 in October - the lowest reading since September 1982. Manufacturers have been crushed by mounting job losses and weak consumer demand.
- Viacom Inc. (VIA) announced yesterday (Monday) that third-quarter profit fell 37% from a year ago even though revenue rose 4% to $3.4 billion. Net earnings fell to $401 million, or 65 cents per share, down from $641 million, or 96 cents per share last year. The loss was largely the result of a $19 million operating loss in "filmed entertainment." Viacom is parent to Paramount Pictures.
- October sales for General Motors Corp. (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F), Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), Honda Motor Co. (HMC) and Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) all fell in the midst of tighter credit and a weaker global economy. GM sales of cars and light trucks fell 45% from last year. Ford down 30%. Toyota slipped 23%. Honda skidded 25%. And Nissan sales dropped 33%.