Business in Brief – Thursday April, 28

April 28, 2011 Updated: April 28, 2011

Energy

Exxon Reports $11 Billion in Quarterly Profits

ExxonMobil Corp., the world’s biggest company by market capitalization, reported a 69 percent increase in first-quarter profits. Its earnings of $10.7 billion, on $114 billion of quarterly revenues easily beat Wall Street expectations, and was mainly driven by an increase in crude oil prices. The company said that oil prices averaged around $95 per barrel, although that number has risen north of $100 per barrel since then, which points to an even better second quarter. The Irving, Texas-based company also saw higher profits from its chemical business, with profits of $1.5 billion, and oil refining business, with profits of $1.1 billion. Earnings per share were $2.14, up from $1.33 per share reported during the same quarter in 2010.

Consumer Products

Panasonic to Cut 17,000 Jobs

Panasonic, one of the world’s biggest consumer electronics makers, said this week that it would slash about 17,000 jobs as part of a global restructuring. It currently has a global workforce of 367,000, mainly in Asia. The company’s move is related to its recent acquisition of Japanese rival Sanyo Electric, in an effort to better compete with rivals such as Sony Corp. and South Korea’s LG Electronics, and Samsung Group. Panasonic’s publicly traded shares rose 2 percent on the Osaka Securities Exchange Thursday.

Entertainment

Movies, Ads, and ‘Jersey Shore’ Lift Viacom’s Earnings

Entertainment and media giant Viacom Inc. on Thursday said that its fiscal second-quarter earnings surged by 53 percent on higher ad revenues on Nickelodeon, MTV, and movies. The New York-based company, which owns MTV, Comedy Central, BET, and Spike TV, said that topline revenues came in at $2.7 billion, and profits were $420 million. A major generator of revenues was MTV’s “Jersey Shore” reality TV series, which attracted record viewers. “Our ability to translate industry-leading research and creative ingenuity into hit programming makes our branded networks a gateway to some of the most highly valued audiences around the globe,” CEO Philippe Dauman said in a statement. Revenues also increased at its Paramount Pictures movie studio, which is set to release the upcoming “Transformers” live-action film this summer.

Automotive

Chrysler to Repay US, Canadian Governments

Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker Chrysler Group said that it would repay the bailout loans it received from the U.S. and Canadian governments in the near future, under a new debt refinancing program agreed upon this week. Chrysler reportedly will raise private debt from institutional investors in order to repay the $5.8 billion it owes the U.S. Treasury and $1.7 billion it owes Canada. Fiat, which has a controlling stake in Chrysler and is tasked with the day-to-day management of the No. 3 U.S. automaker, plans to purchase an additional 16 percent stake in the firm. Fiat has said that Chrysler is planning an initial public offering of stock.