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With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world.
Goldman Records $3.03 Billion 3Q Income; Nokia Posts First Loss; Google Opening Online Bookstore in 2010; Rio Tinto Abandons South Africa Plans; RIM Ramping up Storm2; Tandberg Shareholders Reject Cisco Bid; Xstrata Drops $48 Billion Merger Bid with Anglo American
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) beat third-quarter earnings expectations, reporting a net income of $3.03 billion, or $5.25 a share, blowing away year-earlier earnings of $845 million, or $1.81 a share, Reuters reported. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $4.24 a share. Goldman's shares are up more than 300% from its November 2008 low, and are up more than 122% year-to-date. "Although the world continues to face serious economic challenges, we are seeing improving conditions and evidence of stabilization, even growth, across a number of sectors," Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman's Chief Executive, said in the statement.
- The world's biggest mobile phone producer, Nokia Corp. (NYSE ADR: NOK), posted its first net loss on record, a result of weaker demand and costs suffered in its joint venture with Siemens AG (NYSE ADR: SI), Bloomberg reported. For the third quarter, the Finnish company reported a net loss of $834 million (559 million euros), down from a 1.09 billion-euro profit in the same quarter last year. Nokia said its 38% share of the handset market was unchanged in the third quarter, and will remain in the fourth quarter.
- Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) plans to open an online book store with between 400,000 to 600,000 titles in the first half of 2010, a shot across the bow at online competitor Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and opening competition with retailer Barnes & Noble, Inc (NYSE: BKS). Unlike Amazon, Google Editions and its publishing partners won't require a reading device for e-books, which can be accessed by a Web browser in PCs, laptops, netbooks, smartphones and some e-readers, Reuters reported.
- Rio Tinto Group plc (NYSE ADR: RTP) cancelled a $2.6 billion plan to build an aluminum smelter in South Africa, sources familiar with the plan told Bloomberg. The world's third-biggest mining company walked away from the plans because of electricity shortages and state-owned power company Eskom Holdings Ltd.'s plans to triple prices to fund a $53 billion expansion. Rio put the project on hold last year citing concerns for ample electricity and political concerns.
- Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) announced the launch of a new version of its touchscreen smartphone. The Blackberry Storm2 marks its latest weapon in its battle with Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: APPL) iPhone, and it improves the old model with "multi-touch" capabilities – users can type on more than one part of the screen at a time, co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie told Reuters. "We have a really rich (product) road map … and we aren't slowing down," he said.
- Holders of nearly a quarter of Norway's Tandberg ASA, the world's largest maker of teleconferencing equipment, rejected Cisco Systems Inc.'s (NASDAQ: CSCO) $2.96 billion all-cash buyout offer, MarketWatch reported. "The shareholders are convinced that Tandberg will generate strong returns as an independent company, but are open to evaluate a higher offer from Cisco or a third party," brokerage SEB Enskilda said in a statement to the Oslo Stock Exchange.
- Xstrata plc (PINK ADR: XSRAY) dropped its $48 billion offer to merge with Anglo American plc (OTC ADR: AAUKY), which would have created one of the world's largest mining companies, Bloomberg reported. Anglo rejected the proposal on June 22, and Xstrata had until next week to walk away or make a formal bid. "Anglo shareholders rejected both the poor strategic rationale and the underwhelming valuation of Xstrata's proposal," Jon Simmons, a spokesman for Anglo, told Bloomberg. "Anglo can now move forward and run our business without further distraction."