Tesla posts surprisingly large 1Q loss
SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla CEO Elon Musk had prepped Wall Street for a first quarter loss but analysts were still stunned by its size: $702.1 million, among the company’s worst quarters in the past two years. The net loss was more than double what analysts had predicted as Tesla’s sales slumped 31% for the quarter. The loss of $4.10 per share left Musk spending much of a conference call explaining how it happened.
US durable goods orders up solid 2.7% in March
WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose 2.7% in March with a key category that tracks business investment decisions rising at the strongest pace in eight months. The Commerce Department says the increase in orders for durable goods followed a 1.1% drop in orders in February.
Disappointing 3M earnings weigh on Wall Street
LONDON — Disappointing earnings from 3M, the maker of Post-it notes, industrial coatings and ceramics, is weighing on stocks ahead of Wall Street’s open Thursday. The failure of two projected mergers in Europe has dented market sentiment, too.
Possible $5B Facebook fine echoes European tech penalties
SAN FRANCISCO — The possibility of a $5 billion federal privacy fine for Facebook suggests that U.S. regulators may be taking a cue from their European counterparts, who have been handing out large penalties to U.S. technology giants. The potential move by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission would be more than a slap on the wrist, especially if it comes with strings that limit how the company targets advertising to its massive user base.
UK blocks Sainsbury’s merger with Walmart unit Asda
LONDON — British regulators have blocked Sainsbury’s 7.3 billion-pound ($9.4 billion) purchase of Walmart’s Asda unit amid concerns the deal would have increased prices and reduced the quality and range of products available. For Walmart, it’s another setback in its effort to export its low-price strategy around the world. The regulator said Thursday that the deal would lead to a poorer shopping experience across the country.
Nintendo profit jumps 39% on Switch software sales
TOKYO — Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co. is reporting a 39% rise in profit for the fiscal year through March on healthy software sales for its popular Switch console. The Kyoto-based company behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises reported Thursday a 194 billion yen ($1.7 billion) annual profit. Nintendo says popular Switch software included “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” which sold 13.8 million units. It expects to ship 18 million Switch devices the current year.
US expands probe into air bag failures to 12.3M vehicles
DETROIT — U.S. auto safety regulators have expanded an investigation into malfunctioning air bag controls to include 12.3 million vehicles equipped with bags that may not inflate in a crash. As many as eight deaths are blamed on the problem. The probe covers parts made by made by ZF-TRW that were installed in Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Fiat Chrysler vehicles from the 2010 through 2019 model years.
Henry Bloch, co-founder of tax company H&R Block, dies at 96
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tax preparer H&R Block says its co-founder, Henry Bloch, has died at the age of 96. He died Tuesday at St. Luke’s Hospice in Kansas City. He founded H&R Block in 1955 in the city with his brother, Richard, to take advantage of the vacuum left as the Internal Revenue Service stopped providing free income tax returns service. Richard Bloch died in 2004.
Tech firm VMware faces DACA discrimination lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO — A participant in the federal program shielding young immigrants from deportation is suing a Silicon Valley company, saying she was denied a job she was qualified for despite being authorized to work in the U.S. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund sued VMware in federal court in California on Tuesday, saying the software company violated the Civil Rights Act when it denied Sandy Vasquez a job.
Walgreens to hike minimum age for store tobacco sales
Walgreens has decided to raise its minimum age for tobacco sales several weeks after a top federal official chastised the drugstore chain for violating laws restricting access to cigarettes and other tobacco products. Walgreens said Tuesday that it will require customers to be at least 21 years old to purchase tobacco in any of its more than 9,500 stores nationwide. That policy starts Sept. 1.
Medicare, Social Security face shaky fiscal futures
WASHINGTON — A new report by the government’s overseers of Medicare and Social Security urges lawmakers to “take action sooner rather than later” to address shortfalls in the financial condition of the government’s bedrock retirement programs for middle- and working-class Americans. The report says Medicare is headed toward insolvency by 2026. Social Security would become insolvent in 2035, though that is one year later than previously estimated.
‘Thrones’ is ending, but will live on in merchandise
NEW YORK — From wine to clothing to tours, HBO and retailers have cashed in through the years with “Game of Thrones” merchandise. “Thrones” is not only a huge international show but also a massive business, with all sides hoping to pad the bank during the show’s eighth and final season. Products also include makeup, beer, toy collectibles and even high fashion collaborations.
Samsung delays folding phone launch after breaking issues
SAN FRANCISCO — Samsung is pushing back this week’s planned public launch of its highly anticipated, $2000 folding phone after reports that reviewers’ phones were breaking. The company had been planning to release the Galaxy Fold on Friday, but instead it will now run more tests and announce a new launch date in the “coming weeks.” The delay is a setback for Samsung and for the smartphone market generally, which had been pinning hopes on the folding phone as a way to catalyze creativity in the industry.
Kraft Heinz CEO stepping down, Patricio named successor
PITTSBURGH — Kraft Heinz Co. has named a new CEO as it struggles to remain relevant amid changing American tastes. The company said Monday that Miguel Patricio, a longtime executive at Anheuser-Busch InBev, will replace outgoing CEO Bernardo Hees in July.