Pacific Northwest A day after Boeing announced a new three-month delay in its crucial 787 Dreamliner program, the company revealed its first...

Share story

A day after Boeing announced a new three-month delay in its crucial 787 Dreamliner program, the company revealed its first 2008 sales of the aircraft.

Boeing booked 24 new orders for the airplane this week, bringing the swelling Dreamliner order total to 841 jets.

Switzerland-based PrivatAir ordered one more VIP version of the Dreamliner, adding to one ordered in 2006 for use as a charter business jet.

PrivatAir will take the latest jet, worth $162 million at list prices, in 2016. After standard discounts, the plane’s actual value is about $108 million, according to estimates by aircraft valuation firm Avitas.

Boeing said the other 23 new sales went to a single unidentified customer. That order is worth more than $11 billion at list prices, and has an estimated actual value of more than $6 billion after standard discounts.


Disney executive hired as CIO

Microsoft hired Walt Disney Co. executive Tony Scott as chief information officer.

Scott, 56, will manage Microsoft’s information-technology staff of 4,000 beginning next month, the company said Thursday in a statement. Before Disney, where he served as information chief, Scott held a similar job at General Motors.

Microsoft fired its last CIO, Stuart Scott, for violating unspecified policies and has been relying on two temporary replacements.

At Disney, Tony Scott was the first CIO to manage information technology for the entire company. He oversaw projects that improved the reliability of the company’s systems.


Investigators subpoena records

New Jersey investigators on Thursday said they have subpoenaed records from Amgen after accusations from two former sales representatives that the biotech company pushed its sales force to market a top-selling psoriasis drug for unapproved uses.

Amgen on Monday was ordered to deliver by Feb. 4 “a comprehensive array” of documents and information concerning the marketing, sale and prescription of Enbrel from July 2002 to the present, Attorney General Anne Milgram said.

She said the state is primarily focused on whether Amgen engaged in “off-label” marketing by promoting the arthritis and psoriasis treatment for uses that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and whether the company violated medical-privacy laws for the purpose of direct marketing.

Amgen spokeswoman Mary Klem, in a statement, said the company would fully cooperate with the attorney general, but declined to discuss the matter in detail.

Enbrel is a top seller, with sales of nearly $3 billion in 2006. Enbrel was developed for rheumatoid arthritis during the late 1990s in Seattle at Immunex, which Amgen acquired in 2002. Amgen has about 1,000 employees in the Seattle area.


American doubles fuel surcharge

American Airlines, the nation’s largest carrier, doubled its fuel surcharge Thursday to $40 per round trip just days after a slightly larger increase led by United Airlines failed.

A spokesman for American confirmed that the airline raised its previous fuel surcharge from $10 one-way and $20 round-trip., a Web site that tracks air fares, said the increase at midday Thursday applied to business and leisure fares on most of American’s routes but not on those where the airline competes with low-fare leader Southwest Airlines.

United, the nation’s No. 2 carrier, raised its surcharge to $50 per round trip late last week. That move was matched by American and others, but it crumbled this week as some airlines pulled back.


4th-quarter profit beats expectations

Healthy sales of software and technology services helped fourth-quarter profit rise 12 percent at IBM, which had already disclosed that the results would be way ahead of analysts’ forecasts.

IBM said Thursday that in the last three months of 2007, it earned $3.96 billion, or $2.80 per share, on revenue of $28.9 billion. In the comparable period a year earlier, it made $3.54 billion, $2.31 per share, on revenue of $26.3 billion.

That 10 percent revenue gain would have been 4 percent if not for weakness in the dollar. Payments in other currencies now translate into more dollars.

IBM had released the per-share and revenue figures Monday because the numbers were well beyond Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had been expecting $2.60 per share on revenue of $27.8 billion.

IBM shares fell 53 cents to close at $101.10 before the earnings report was released. In extended trading, the stock moved past $102.


American Stock Exchange bought

The New York Stock Exchange said Thursday it agreed to acquire its smaller rival, American Stock Exchange, for $260 million in stock.

The deal, which will later include the proceeds from the sale of Amex’s Lower Manhattan headquarters a few blocks from the NYSE’s Wall Street home, gives NYSE Euronext a second U.S. license for an option exchange. It would make the NYSE the No. 3 U.S. options marketplace.

The NYSE has been looking to move further into the options business.

Word of the deal follows months of speculation over the fate of the Amex, which has struggled with lost market share, even among popular products such as exchange-traded funds, or ETFs. An ETF is a security that tracks an underlying benchmark much like an index mutual fund but that trades like a stock on an exchange.


4th-quarter loss widens on charge

Struggling chip-maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) said Thursday its fourth-quarter net loss widened, partly due to a huge goodwill impairment charge related to its $5.6 billion acquisition of graphics chip-maker ATI Technologies.

AMD’s results, released after the market closed Thursday, pleased investors with signs that AMD is returning to profitability and holding its ground against larger rival Intel in the market for microprocessors, the brains of personal computers.

AMD posted a net loss of $1.77 billion, or $3.06 per share. Excluding charges of $2.89 per share, AMD would have reported a loss of 17 cents per share. Revenue rose 9 percent to $1.77 billion from $1.63 billion.

Analysts, on average, were expecting a loss of 36 cents per share on revenue of $1.79 billion, according to analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

AMD shares fell 23 cents, or 3.5 percent, to close at $6.34, but gained it back in after-hours trading.


Emerging-market stocks at risk?

Emerging-market stocks may fall 20 percent should the U.S. slip into recession, said Mark Mobius, who oversees $45 billion at Templeton Asset Management.

“We don’t think there is going to be much of a decline from here,” Mobius said in an interview from São Paulo, Brazil. “Usually these corrections are about 20 percent.”

Mobius said he is buying stocks in Russia, China, India, South Africa and Turkey.

“If there is zero growth in the U.S., not only emerging markets but markets around the world would be impacted,” Mobius said. A 20 percent decline for emerging markets would be “quite normal,” he said.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff, The Associated Press and Bloomberg News