Biz Buzz: Microsoft Woos Yahoo Anew, Lowe's Is Glum, and Other Business News

Microsoft makes a new move, while Carl Icahn presses Yahoo.


Less Is More at Microsoft

Microsoft is wooing Yahoo again. Two weeks after Yahoo turned down Microsoft's offer to buy it for $33 a share, Microsoft has now proposed an unspecified "transaction" that would fall short of buying the entire company. Analysts say the move might reopen the door to Microsoft's making a fresh bid to buy Yahoo. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has acquired $1.5 billion in Yahoo shares and is pressuring management to restart talks with Microsoft.

Rick Newman wrote about the headaches facing Yahoo in the wake of Microsoft's offer.

Lowe's Earnings Are Weak

Home improvement retailer Lowe's today reported an 18 percent decline in first-quarter net income and said that it expected same-store sales to fall 6 to 7 percent for the year. Lowe's reported earnings of $607 million for the quarter, down from $739 million a year earlier. Sales dipped 1.3 percent and revenues from stores open at least a year were off by 8.4 percent as the economic slowdown and dropping consumer confidence hurt the company. Still, Lowe's is standing by plans to open 120 new stores in 2008.

Kirk Shinkle discussed why economic stimulus checks aren't expected to bail out hurting retailers.

Daimler, BMW Talk of Sharing Parts

BMW and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division are discussing joining efforts to develop and purchase auto parts. The two German luxury car makers are considering jointly buying parts including seat frames, air conditioner modules, and maybe even engines in efforts to trim costs and maintain profit levels, which have taken a hit from a strong euro and a weakening U.S. economy.

Nissan Races to Get Green

Nissan Motor says it will be putting out zero-emissions cars run on lithium-ion batteries by 2009. Tech giant NEC will provide the batteries, which are also used in laptop computers. Keeping the batteries cool has been the main stumbling block with this technology, as some have caught fire when used in personal electronics. Toyota, General Motors, and about a dozen other car manufacturers are also planning to come out with lithium-ion electric vehicles.

Read U.S. News's report on the details of Nissan's plans.