Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

November 11, 2008

Southwest plans travel to Mexico

DALLAS : Southwest Airlines Co., looking to expand its U.S.-only service, said yesterday it will sell tickets for travel to Mexico beginning in 2010 through a deal with Mexican partner Volaris. The announcement comes a few months after Southwest announced a similar deal with WestJet Airlines that will allow it to sell travel to Canada late next year. Dallas-based Southwest offered no details of fares or flight schedules for the deal with Volaris, saying that would be worked out by early 2010. The airline is the No. 1 carrier at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Volaris was founded in 2006 and serves 23 cities in Mexico. It operates a new fleet of 18 Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft - unlike Southwest's fleet, which is all Boeing 737s, and much older on average.

Associated Press

Fannie Mae posts $29 billion loss

WASHINGTON : Fannie Mae posted a $29 billion loss in the third quarter yesterday as it took a huge tax-related charge, and said it may have to tap the government's $100 billion lifeline in the coming months. The mortgage finance company, seized by federal regulators more than two months ago, posted a loss of $13 per share for the July-September quarter, mainly due to a $21.4 billion noncash charge to reduce the value of tax assets. That compares with a loss of $1.4 billion, or $1.56 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a loss of $1.60 per share.

Associated Press

McDonald same-store sales rise 8.2 percent

NEW YORK : Consumers worldwide who are watching their spending bought more burgers and chicken breakfast biscuits at McDonald's in October, leading to a big rise in sales at established locations for the fast-food leader. McDonald's Corp. said yesterday its global same-store sales jumped 8.2 percent during the month. That beat the company's own prediction for a rise similar to the one it recorded in its last quarter, when same-store sales, or sales at locations open at least a year, jumped 7.1 percent worldwide. The results were a bright spot in what was a dismal month for most restaurant operators. Many sit-down chains have reported steep declines in same-store sales during October as consumers grew more anxious about the possibility of a prolonged recession.

Associated Press

Starbucks 4Q profit drops 97%

NEW YORK : Fewer U.S. customers and venti-sized costs for closing poorly performing stores led to lower sales and profit in the fourth quarter at Starbucks Corp., the company said yesterday. Seattle-based Starbucks said profit fell 97 percent to $5.4 million, or a penny a share, from $158.5 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier. The coffee retailer earned 10 cents per share when the costs from closing about 600 stores in the U.S. and 61 locations in Australia are excluded. Analysts expected profit of 13 cents per share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. Starbucks began shutting the U.S. and Australian stores this summer as part of a campaign to reverse falling profits.

Associated Press

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