Uber turned a profit thanks to its deals in Southeast Asia and Russia
- Under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s business is continuing to grow as it curbs its losses.
- The big news is that Uber turned a profit: $2.5 billion, to be exact.
- Uber gained $2.9 billion after it merged its businesses in Russia and Southeast Asia with local competitors.
- Excluding gains from Uber’s deals with Yandex in Russia and Grab in Southeast Asia, the company lost about $480 million, down from $1.1 billion in losses in the previous quarter and $800 million in the first quarter of 2017.
- While this quarter may be a good sign for the company as Khosrowshahi attempts to take it public in 2019, Uber expects to continue investing in growing the business.
- As we previously wrote, the company also expects to double down in important international markets like India, the Middle East and Latin America — where Uber is facing new competition from an old rival, Didi.
No One Said GE's Turnaround Was Going to Be Easy
- Speaking at an annual spring confab for industrial bigwigs, Flannery said he needs to see how the merger of GE's transportation unit with Wabtec Corp.
- Flannery has targeted $20 billion in asset sales, and is about two-thirds of the way there after the Wabtec deal; the $2.6 billion sale of GE's industrial-solutions unit to ABB Ltd.; and a $1 billion deal for a bundle of health-care IT businesses.
- Moody's Investors Service pegs the annual cash flow contribution from the transportation unit at $450 million.
- On the whole, GE has said assets targeted for divestiture excluding industrial solutions represent $1.2 billion of free cash flow.
- Flannery addressed this on Wednesday, saying he could have sold the transportation unit for cash six months ago if he had wanted to, but would have gotten a lower price and didn't think it was the best outcome.
We visited a JCPenney store a day after its CEO resigned abruptly, and it was a complete mess
- On Tuesday, the department store announced that its current CEO, Marvin Ellison, is resigning to lead home-improvement retailer Lowe's as its CEO.
- In the past few years, sales at JCPenney have stabilized, and Ellison has worked to reduce its debt load.
- The idea was to cash in on the collapse of rival department store Sears, attract first-time millennial homebuyers, and shift focus away from declining apparel sales.
- JCPenney claimed that appliance sales were the strongest area of growth for the company in 2017.
- The clothing was cheap and had the added bonus of being on sale, but customers didn't seem to be biting.
- In some parts of the store, it was hard to distinguish between the clearance racks and the full-priced clothing, given that everything was on sale.
Big Food’s exodus of leaders is a symptom of larger crisis
- One option could be for Campbell to spin out its faster-growing snack business and take its soup business private, along with brands like SpaghettiOs. Doing so would allow Campbell to shield its soups' slowing sales from the public eye, but still take advantage of its profitability.
- Still, at an employee townhall last week, McLoughlin said his strategy is not to sell Campbell, even though as a publicly traded company it is always for sale, a source familiar with the situation told CNBC.
- But Kraft-Heinz has learned the limits of its cost-cutting strategy and it's unclear the company wants to be saddled with Campbell's slowing sales.
- A less frequently cited option could be a sale to candy and pet food company Mars, which could provide Campbell another path to escaping the scrutinizing public eye.
- Campbell could take a less drastic approach, opting for a more straightforward sale of its Bolthouse packaged carrots business or brands like V8 juice and SpaghettiOs.
Bill Ackman's hedge fund has reportedly amassed a $1 billion stake in Lowe's
- Ackman has amassed a roughly $1 billion stake in the company through his hedge fund Pershing Square Capital, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday afternoon, citing sources at a conference in New York.
- His return to the home-improvement space comes amid increased activist investor interest in Lowe's.
- Fellow activist investor D.E. Shaw took up a stake in the company during the first quarter, and was instrumental in the executive shakeup, the paper reported.
- Together, the two activists are hopeful that Ellison can improve Lowe's e-commerce and professional businesses as he did at Home Depot during his 12-year tenure.
- That announcement of Ellison's hiring came just one day ahead of the company's first-quarter earnings report.
- On Wednesday, the home-improvement retailer said it earned $1.19 per share, missing the $1.22 that analysts polled by Bloomberg were expecting.
William Ackman's Pershing Square builds roughly $1 billion stake in Lowe's: Report
- Bill Ackman's Pershing Square has taken a stake in Lowe's, a source tells CNBC.
- Ackman's new stake in the home improvement retailer was first reported by Dow Jones.
- The hedge fund manager revealed the approximately $1 billion sized position at a conference in New York Wednesday, the Dow Jones report said.
- Ackman said he supports the company's incoming chief executive Marvin Ellison at the conference, according to the report.
- The hedge fund manager also said he agrees with activist investor D.E. Shaw's position that Lowe's needs to do more to catch up with its competitor Home Depot.
- Lowe's shares are up 9 percent Wednesday after the retailer reported its first-quarter financial results.
- The hedge fund's returns fell 4 percent in 2017, dropped 13.5 percent in 2016 and declined 20.5 percent in 2015, according to its Pershing Square Holdings website.
The Weather Channel stopped publishing video on Facebook
- Over the past few years, The Weather Channel built up a network of six pages on Facebook that grew to 500 million video views per month by last May, according to Katz.
- The Weather Channel was part of Facebook’s funding program for live and on-demand news feed videos and also produced three shows for Facebook Watch last fall.
- The Weather Channel’s deal to produce live and on-demand news feed videos for Facebook, for which Katz said it received a seven-figure fee, shined a light on how difficult it is to make money on Facebook.
- Even during big weather events such as Hurricane Harvey, when The Weather Channel would cut and distribute hundreds of videos on Facebook and capture a lot of views, Katz said revenue was close to negligible.
Mass financial adviser exodus puts $900 billion in play
- A mass exodus of financial planners over the next five years will put $900 billion of client wealth in play as the reality of tougher educational standards and the fallout from damning royal commission revelations set in.
- Angus Woods, the managing director of Adviser Ratings, a consumer group set up in the wake of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms, said regulatory reforms that may come out of the royal commission's focus on vertical integration – the pushing of own products by company-aligned advisers – would further fuel the exodus.
- Paul Barrett, the former managing director of ANZ Banking Group's global advice arm and now founder of financial advice network AZ NGA, said that Adviser Ratings' finding of 14,000 advisers departing the Australian industry "might be a bit high".
No suitors emerge for Trans Mountain stake as Kinder Morgan deadline looms
- CALGARY — With just over a week remaining until the May 31 deadline set for abandoning its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, no suitors have publicly emerged to step into builder Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.’s shoes.
- Analysts and observers say they remain perplexed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s comment last week that “plenty of investors would be interested in taking on this project,” after the federal government said it would offer an “indemnity” or insurance to guarantee it is built.
- It’s difficult to guess who might take Kinder Morgan’s place without knowing what guarantees or deals are being offered by the federal government and possibly the province of Alberta, said Samir Kayande, a director with RS Energy Group in Calgary.
- The federal government has said its indemnity and suggestion of the entry of a third party gives it an advantage as it negotiates with Kinder Morgan but Dennis McConaghy, a former TransCanada Corp.
Comcast Confirms It May Top Disney's Bid for Fox Entertainment
- confirmed that it may make an offer for the entertainment assets that 21st Century Fox Inc. has agreed to sell to Walt Disney Co., escalating a bidding war that’s already underway over Fox’s European satellite business.
- The cable giant said that while no final decision has been made, work to finance the offer and preparation to file key regulatory statements is “well advanced.” A person familiar with the discussions said earlier this month that Comcast was mulling such a step.
- Comcast was talking to investment banks about obtaining bridge financing for the all-cash deal, the person said at the time.
- Philadelphia-based Comcast has already made a 22 billion pound ($30 billion) offer to acquire the 61 percent stake in European pay-TV group Sky Plc that Fox doesn’t already own.
- Comcast won approval on Monday from the U.K. government to move ahead with the offer for Sky.