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February 20, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Office Depot and OfficeMax have agreed to share the supply cabinet. Office Depot Inc. is buying smaller rival OfficeMax Inc. in what it's calling a "merger of equals," creating a heftier office-supply company to challenge industry leader Staples Inc. In the $1.2-billion all-stock deal, OfficeMax shareholders will receive 2.69 Office Depot shares for each OfficeMax share, valued at $13.50 each. Together, the two companies said they expect to better "meet the growing challenges of a rapidly changing industry," anticipating annual revenue of about $18 billion.
February 14, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
General Motors Co. profits grew substantially in the fourth quarter, but for all of 2012, the company made less money than it did the year before. GM said its fourth-quarter profit grew 89% to $892 million from the same period a year earlier. For the entire year, profits sank 36% to $4.9 billion as earnings in North America leveled and losses in recession-plagued Europe mounted. Sales rose to $39.3 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $38 billion in the same period a year earlier.
January 29, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
Nonprofit healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente had a 40% share of California's $59-billion health insurance market for employers and individuals, new data show. A report issued this week by Citigroup analyst Carl McDonald compiled nationwide data on 2011 premiums and enrollment among large and small employers and individuals buying their own policies. Those insurance markets, excluding government healthcare programs and self-insured employers, totaled more than 80 million people and $317 billion in premiums.
January 3, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
The latest smartphone figures show Apple and Android phones have taken nearly complete control of the U.S. smartphone market, with almost 90% combined market share. A report by comScore shows that as of November, Apple and Android devices accounted for a combined 88.7% share of the U.S. smartphone market. Individually, the Google-owned Android operating system leads the way with 53.7% of the market, up 1.1% from August. Apple, meanwhile, accounted for 35%, which was a 1.4% increase from August.
December 18, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Stuck with too many trucks, General Motors Co. is offering discounts of as much as $9,000 to drain its supply of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups as it gets ready to launch a new generation of the vehicles next year. GM's truck inventory has ballooned to 139 days despite previous sales incentives designed to move the vehicles off dealer lots.  Automakers like to keep supplies of an individual model at about 90 days. “This is more inventory than any car manufacturer would like to have,” said Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at Gartner Inc. Now the automaker will offer as much as $9,000 off remaining 2012 models and about $4,500 off 2013 model year trucks.
December 17, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Automakers are vying to win various annual sales crowns while dealerships are trying to achieve both year-end and month-end goals, a confluence of events that's good for car shoppers, said auto analyst Tom Libby of R.L. Polk & Co. That's why the airwaves and weekend newspaper ads are stuffed with year-end deals for new cars. Libby said that employees at dealerships and the sales staffs at manufacturers are compensated in part on whether they achieve year-end sales objectives as well as December goals, "which in effect doubles the pressure to sell new vehicles," Libby said.
December 13, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch and David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
For decades, Chevrolet's Silverado pickup has carried the load for General Motors Co., most recently providing needed cash and loyal buyers through the automaker's bailout and bankruptcy. Truck sales remain central to GM's North American strategy, even as it has uncharacteristic success with new car models including the small Cruze sedan and the Chevy Equinox crossover. That's largely because GM makes $9,000 to $11,000 from each pickup sale, compared with about $5,000 for a passenger car, according to Brian Johnson, an analyst with Barclays Research.
December 11, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Apple's first foray into the LTE smartphone market has already landed the Cupertino tech giant more than a quarter of the world's market share. The iPhone 5, the first Apple smartphone equipped to work with so-called "long term evolution" data networks, hauled in 26.7% of the global third quarter LTE smartphone market, according to information by research firm Strategy Analytics . LTE networks typically provide faster speeds than other cellular...
December 5, 2012 | By Chris O'Brien
First, the good news for Apple: The tablet market continues to surpass all projections as the iPad and iPad Mini are exciting consumers. That's according to IDC, which on Wednesday released its latest projections for tablet shipments this year Wednesday.  The research firm raised its  2012 forecast for the worldwide tablet market from 117.1 million units to 122.3 million units. "Tablets continue to captivate consumers, and as the market shifts toward smaller, more mobile screen sizes and lower price points, we expect demand to accelerate in the fourth quarter and beyond," Tom Mainelli , research director for  tablets  at IDC, said in a news release.
November 27, 2012 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before auditioning for "Two and a Half Men. " The Skinny: Isn't the week after Thanksgiving the most depressing of the year? You had this great short week and now this week will feel like two. That's weak! Tuesday's headlines include a look at why "The Hobbit" will look different from any movie you've seen before; Warner Bros. renews with Village Roadshow; and "Two and a Half Men" co-star Angus Jones would like a new gig. Daily Dose: Lifetime's "Liz and Dick" movie starring Lindsay Lohan drew 3.5 million viewers in its Sunday premiere.
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