The energy goliath suffered a 63 pct fall in quarterly profit. Rivals Chevron and Conoco were hurting, too, as crude fell below $30 in January before investment cuts helped ease excess supply and push up the price. Recovery will be slow and uneven, but the worst is probably past.
The giant producer claims cyber thefts breach trade laws and has asked a federal commission to block offending firms’ imports. It’s a novel way to fight a thorny problem but one unlikely to attract imitators. The Middle Kingdom may be too lucrative a market to tempt retaliation.
The internet company’s 28 pct Q1 sales increase is impressive, but more still are its prodigious and growing earnings from selling digital services. Amazon’s lowly margin remains a long way from justifying its $280 bln valuation, but it is finally looking less like a retailer.
That’s a scenario laid out in a new McKinsey Global Institute report. The idea is that returns in recent decades – and expectations that are still above 7 pct – have been inflated by effects that are now disappearing. If so, Gen Xers will retire even poorer than they expect.
Rovi’s $1.1 bln purchase price for digital-recording pioneer TiVo should mostly be covered by $100 mln in expected cost savings. Stock rises are rarer for corporate buyers as mergers have become financially irrational. This one suggests there can still be another way.
The broadcaster’s NBC Universal unit is paying a 50 pct premium for DreamWorks, which has been losing money for two years. Cost cuts, recouped revenue and more movies may justify the price for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s studio. But Comcast is leaving its investors in the dark.
The founders of mini-mart leviathan Couche-Tard devised a clever way to balance supporters and detractors of dual-class stock by eliminating voting rights over time. The idea would suit Facebook and many others, if only bad tendencies fueled by ego could somehow be overcome.