FAST FACTS HAWAII
Hawaiian Electric, union reach deal
Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.'s three utilities have reached an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260 on a labor contract. The union represents about 1,260 workers, or about half the work force, at Hawaiian Electric Co., Maui Electric Co. and Hawaii Electric Light Co.
The new contract runs through October 2010. Union employees have been working under an extension to the previous contract, which expired in October but was extended for negotiations.
The utilities provide electric service for Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island.
Diebold rebuffs takeover bid
HARTFORD, Conn. » ATM and ballot machine maker Diebold yesterday rejected a $2.63 billion takeover bid from United Technologies, saying the offer was inadequate.
The board of directors of the North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold Inc. urged its shareholders to take no action on the offer, even though it was about two-thirds more than its closing price Friday.
Some 44,000 join Vioxx deal
NEW ORLEANS » More than 44,000 people have signed up for shares of a $4.85 billion settlement over the withdrawn painkiller Vioxx, a sign that the deal is on track to go forward, Merck & Co.
Of roughly 47,000 people who registered for the settlement earlier this year, more than 44,000 have submitted all or some of the paperwork necessary for enrollment in the deal, Merck said in a news release.
Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck has said it will withdraw from the agreement unless at least 85 percent of people in different groups of claimants join in the settlement. Those thresholds would be met -- and exceed 93 percent of eligible claims in each of four key categories -- if all of the more than 44,000 submissions are verified, the company said.
U.S. sales off at GM, Ford, Toyota
DETROIT » General Motors Corp.
and Ford Motor Co.
said yesterday they would cut second-quarter production in the face of falling U.S. sales and weakened consumer confidence, while Toyota Motor Corp.
said plummeting sales of sport utility vehicles and large sedans contributed to its 3 percent drop in U.S. sales for February.
GM reported a sales decline of almost 13 percent while Ford sales slumped 7 percent in what was expected to be a difficult month for automakers as consumers continued to react to a possible recession and falling home values.
Toyota said its car sales fell 4 percent while its truck sales were flat for the month. Toyota saw particular weakness in its luxury Lexus division, where sales of its flagship LS 460 sedan fell 25 percent for the month. Toyota's overall sales were down 2.5 percent for the year.
Porsche to take big stake in VW
BERLIN » Europe could see a new automobile and truck empire emerge after Porsche got clearance from its board yesterday to take a majority stake in Volkswagen -- just as VW said it would amass a controlling interest in Swedish truckmaker Scania
The moves could put Porsche Automobil Holding SE -- which owns Porsche AG and a nearly 31 percent stake in Volkswagen AG -- in a position to also absorb a new commercial truck giant combining Scania with German truckmaker MAN AG, in which Volkswagen holds 29.9 percent.
: Intel Corp. lowered its profit forecast for its fiscal first quarter yesterday, blaming the shortfall on a steeper-than-expected drop in prices for memory chips. The world's largest semiconductor maker, said slumping prices for a type of memory called NAND flash depressed profits more than anticipated.