In the news this morning, United Technologies updates its guidance, PPG expands its paint business, New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission strikes back at Uber, Hewlett-Packard's former CEO plays the blame game and United Continental's CEO consolidates power.
United Technologies (UTX) said Thursday that its acquisition of Goodrich Corp. will help it overcome Europe's weak economy and cuts to defense spending in the U.S. in 2013. The company said it expects revenue of $64 billion to $65 billion, which is below Wall Street's estimate for $66.13 billion, but still represents a 10% increase from 2012. United Technologies expects to finish 2012 having earned $5.32 per share, which is in line with estimates. For 2013, the company said it expects to earn $5.85 per share to $6.15 per share. The mean estimate for 2013 is for $6.15 per share.
PPG Industries (PPG) has agreed to buy the U.S. home paints arm of Akzo Nobel (AKZO) for $1.05 billion. The business, which is the main supplier of WalMart's (WMT) in-store paints as well as the popular Glidden brand, had sales of $1.5 billion in 2011.
Medallion Financial Corp.
New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a pilot program Thursday that will allow riders to “e-hail” the city's yellow cabs. Prearranged rides had been banned, but the move is a reaction to newer services like Uber which allow e-hailing, but use unlicensed cars. The program should be a positive for Medallion (TAXI) because it will help keep taxi's competitive with upstart services, preserving the value of the taxi medallions that serve as collateral for the company's loans.
Discovery Communications (DISCA) announced plans to buy 12 Nordic television channels from German company ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG for about $1.7 billion. The company also said it plans to take 20% equity stakes in France's TF1 Eurosport Group and four French pay-TV channels. The company also said its board has approved an additional $1 billion in share repurchases.
Former Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) CEO Leo Apotheker said the company's board shares responsibility for the company's acquisition of Autonomy. Apotheker has been blamed for the deal, which has turned into a disaster as Hewlett-Packard has had to write down a large portion of the acquisition cost already. “No single CEO is ever able to make a decision on a major acquisition in isolation, particularly at a company as large as HP — and certainly not without the full support of the chairman of the board,” Apotheker said. “The HP board, led by its chairman, met many times to review the acquisition and unanimously supported the deal, as well as the underlying strategic objective to bolster HP's market presence in enterprise data.”
Airline United Continental (UAL) said president and CEO Jeff Smisek will become the chairman of the company's board on Dec. 31. Smisek is replacing Glenn Tilton.