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Thursday
Feb032011

Visa Reports Strong Earnings in First Quarter

Photo Courtesy - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Visa Inc. came out with its first quarterly report of 2011 Thursday, showing a net income of $884 million for the three months ended on Dec. 31, 2010.

The company also reported a net operating revenue of $2.2 billion in the first quarter, marking a 14 percent increase from the same time period in the prior year.

“Visa’s first quarter was a great start to our fiscal 2011 as evidenced by strong earnings fueled by continued growth in payments volume, cross border volume and processed transactions globally -- our core business,” said Visa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Saunders. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb032011

Jobless Claims Drop by 42,000 in Last Week of January

Photo Courtesy - Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The number of people filing for unemployment benefits in the last week of January went down, according to the Labor Department's latest reported released Thursday.

For the week ending Jan. 29, the department said claims dropped by 42,000 to 415,000.  The previous week, claims stood at 457,000.

The four-week average saw a slight increase of 1,000 claims, rising to 430,500 from the previous week's average of 429,500

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb032011

Airlines to Offer Free Facebook Access to Passengers

Photo Courtesy - Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Airline passengers may get free access to Facebook on board flights as early as February.

Since the social networking website is the most visited by travelers, American Airlines, AirTran, Alaska Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America will partner with Gogo Inflight Internet to get passengers Web-connected.

On the bright side, travelers won't have to pay for Facebook access but they'll need to fork over $4.95 for full Wi-Fi connection, with the service for longer flights expected to run up to $13.

Gogo is working to become the first name people think of for in-flight Internet service.  From late November 2010 through early January, the company set up its service with AirTran, Delta and Virgin America so that fliers could access the Web for free on their laptops and smart phones.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb022011

Google Says Bing Caught in Cheating Sting

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) - Google has accused rival search engine Bing of stealing their search results after an operation they've dubbed the "Bing Sting."

Google has said it noticed Microsoft was copying Google results in which even words that were spelled wrong would yield the same results on Bing. So, engineers at Google created a series of non-existent words, such as "hiybbprqag," combined with fake search results for each word. The company said after just a few weeks the same results would appear on Bing.

Microsoft has denied the claim and accused Google of "stunts." But in a blog post, Google's Amit Singhal said the evidence is clear.

"A search for 'hiybbprqug' on Bing returned a page about seating at a theatre in Los Angeles. As far as we know the only connection between the query and result is Google's result page," he said. "Some Bing results increasingly look like an incomplete, stale version of Google results - a cheap imitation."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb022011

Death in a Digital World: Company Offers Funeral Webcasts

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ST. CLAIR, Mich.) -- Death in the digital age means always being able to say goodbye. In the same way that memorial services for Michael Jackson, Ted Kennedy and the six people killed Jan. 8 in Tucson became Web events, FuneralOne, a Michigan-based company, enables any funeral to be broadcast live on the Internet.

"The idea of funeral webcasting was never meant to be about replacing people actually attending the funeral," said Joe Joachim, CEO of FuneralOne. "What it was really made for was to give people a chance to connect with family and friends and be part of that experience for those that could not afford to attend."

Videos of services can be archived so others can watch it later, even multiple times.

This is mourning in the digital age, and it's becoming a big business. In 2008, 126 funeral homes offered webcasts through FuneralOne. By the end of 2010, that number had climbed to 1,053.

Joachim said he doesn't have an obsession with death, just good business.

"I'm not a funeral director," he said. "I'm not from a funeral background whatsoever. Really, if you look at it at the end of the day, I like solving big problems. I'm always driven by creating products that can change the world and improve lives.'

"The ultimate definition of that is...if we can change what people are doing in the death care space, which is traditional by all means," Joachim said. "And if we can figure out how to create change in that industry, then we can do it anywhere."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb022011

News Corp Introduces 'The Daily'

Photo Courtesy - WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Rupert Murdoch announced the launch of News Corp’s iPad daily newspaper The Daily at an event in New York Wednesday morning.

The new multimedia service is available in the Apple iTunes store for people who already have iPads.

According to the announcement, Verizon has sponsored the 99-cent weekly subscription costs for the first two weeks. Beyond that initial period, users will pay 99 cents per week or an annual subscription of $39.99.

They don’t have a version for Android- or Windows-based tablet computers and users on the web will see redacted content without a pay-wall.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb022011

Whirlpool Reports $171 Million in Earnings for 2010's Fourth Quarter

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto/Whirlpool Corporation(BENTON HARBOR, Mich.) -- Whirlpool Corporation came out with its fourth quarter report Wednesday, announcing earnings of $171 million for the last three months of 2010.

The appliance maker's latest figure nearly doubles the amount the company earned during the same time period in 2009, when it made $95 million.

Whirlpool also reported full year net earnings of $7.97 per share compared to earnings of $4.34 per share during the prior year.

Looking ahead, Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer of Whirlpool Corporation, said, "As we enter 2011, we remain focused on delivering higher margin innovations, realizing significant cost productivity, and achieving profitable growth driven by some recovery in demand in the developed economies and by continued strong growth in many emerging markets."

"In 2011, we expect to expand our operating margins despite significant global inflation and generate good levels of free cash flow and further strengthen our financial position," Fettig added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb022011

Walmart Donating $750,000 in Cash, Goods to Brazil Flood Victims

Photo Courtesy - Vanderlei Almeida/ AFP/Getty Images(BENTONVILLE, Ark.) -- Retail giant Walmart announced Wednesday that it is committing over $750,000 to help victims of flooding in Brazil.

The Walmart Foundation will donate $400,000 to be used towards long-term relief efforts and the purchase of critical items like water, food and medical supplies.  Campaigns by Walmart Brazil also helped raised nearly 100 tons of donations in goods, amounting to an estimated value of over $350,000.

All the donations will go towards emergency relief efforts in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where over 800 people died and thousands were displaced after torrential rains came down on the country last month, causing flooding and mudslides.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb022011

Verizon Offers Customers Pre-Order of iPhone 4

Photo Courtesy - Verizon Wireless(BASKING RIDGE, N.J.) -- Some Verizon customers will have the opportunity to get their hands on an iPhone 4 before the wireless provider offers the smart phone to the general public.

Verizon Wireless announced Wednesday it would allow its customers to pre-order the phone starting Feb. 3 at 3 a.m. EST.  The company has set aside a limited amount of iPhone 4s available exclusively to its existing customers.  Those who pre-order the phone will receive it on or before Feb. 10 -- the date when the phone becomes available to everyone.

The iPhone 4 will cost $199.99 for the 16 GB model and $299.99 for the 32 GB model with a new two-year contract.  Those interested in pre-ordering the phone can visit www.verizonwireless.com/iphone on Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb022011

Airlines Impose Fuel Surcharges

Photo Courtesy - United Continental Holdings(NEW YORK) -- Some major airlines are imposing fuel surcharges as the cost of oil rises on global markets. Oil is close to a two-year high and, as a result, airlines are adjusting their rates.

JetBlue has added 35 dollars each way to its Puerto Rico flights plus a 45 dollar fuel surcharge for other destinations in the Caribbean. 

American Airlines, Continental, United and Delta are adding fees on domestic flights, but its not clear if all of them will stick. 

Southwest has not said if it will add fuel fees, but many fares have been going up in recent months.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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