Business Highlights: Axios sold, Pfizer buying spree

August 8, 2022 GMT

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Axios Media is sold to Cox Enterprises

NEW YORK (AP) — Axios Media is being acquired by Cox Enterprises, which says it plans to push the online news provider into new markets while broadening its coverage. Axios, citing sources, reported Monday that the deal is worth $525 million. Cox, a conglomerate whose other media companies include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Dayton Daily News, first became an investor in Axios last year. Axios co-founders and former Politico journalists Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz will continue to hold substantial stakes in the company and will lead editorial and day-to-day business decisions.

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Wall Street end flat as investors await inflation updates

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed flat on Wall Street as investors prepare for a busy week of updates on inflation. The S&P 500 gave up early gains and closed down 0.1% Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher and the Nasdaq fell slightly. Small-company stocks outpaced the broader market in a sign of investors’ confidence in the economy. Retailers and communications stocks were among the biggest winners. Clean energy companies, including First Solar, rose following Senate approval of Democrats’ big election-year economic package. The government will release its July reports for consumer prices and wholesale prices later this week.

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Pfizer buying spree continues with $5.4B hematology deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer is buying sickle cell drug maker Global Blood Therapeutics in an approximately $5.4 billion deal as it looks to accelerate growth after its revenue soared during the pandemic. Pfizer said Monday that its latest acquisition will boost its work in rare hematology. Global Therapeutics produces Oxybryta tablets for treating sickle cell disease. Pfizer has been flush with cash since its COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, and treatment, Paxlovid, have hit the market. It has now announced deals valued at a total of nearly $19 billion, counting debt, since late last year.

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BioNTech reports strong first half, expects demand to grow

BERLIN (AP) — BioNTech, which teamed with Pfizer to develop a powerful COVID-19 vaccine, has reported higher revenue and net profit in the first half of the year. The German pharmaceutical company said Monday that it expects demand to grow as it releases updated vaccines to target new omicron strains. BioNTech said the dynamic nature of the pandemic has led to changes in orders and revenue but that it expects a strong end to the year. It said it plans to release revamped vaccines tailored to the latest omicron variants as early as October 2022, which could lead to a fall booster campaign.

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Not so fast: California’s last nuke plant might run longer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s last operating nuclear power plant could get a second lease on life. Pacific Gas & Electric decided six years ago to close its twin-domed Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by 2025. But Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom — who was involved in the agreement to close the reactors — has prompted PG&E to consider seeking a longer lifespan for the plant. Newsom worries about possible power shortages as the state transitions to solar and other renewable sources. But it’s not clear if the utility wants to back out of the complex closing deal that involved environmentalists and unions, or if it even could.

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FAA clears Boeing to resume deliveries of 787 Dreamliner

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal safety officials have confirmed they will let Boeing resume deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner jet. The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it expects Boeing to start shipping out the long-shelved planes in the coming days. Production has been marred by several problems including gaps between panels of the 787′s carbon-composite skin. That’s prevented Boeing from delivering any of the planes for most of the last two years, and about 120 of them have been parked while Boeing tried to fix the production process. Once shipments resume, Boeing will regain a critical source of cash.

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Japan tech giant SoftBank posts $23 billion quarterly loss

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese technology company SoftBank Group posted a $23 billion loss in the April-June quarter as the value of its investments sank amid global worries about inflation and interest rates. SoftBank Group’s loss of 3.16 trillion yen was a reversal from its 762 billion yen profit in the same quarter a year earlier. The company said Monday that quarterly sales rose 6%. Although Softbank’s portfolio is not directly exposed to the war in Ukraine, the company warned that global uncertainty as well as inflation and soaring energy costs hurt profitability. Foreign exchange losses also bit into its earnings. Chief Executive Masayoshi Son apologized and acknowledged “things are really bad.”

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Hungary fines Ryanair over raising prices to cope with tax

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary has accused Ryanair of consumer protection violations after it raised ticket prices to cope with a tax on what the government calls “extra profits.” Justice Minister Judit Varga wrote Monday on Facebook that an investigation found “unfair trade practices,” leading to a $777,058 fine. It’s the first tied to the new tax, which led Ryanair and others to increase prices. Hungary said costs shouldn’t be passed along to customers and that the tax on industries from banking to insurance to airlines will aid the country’s economic recovery. Ryanair says it will “immediately appeal any baseless fine” but that it hasn’t received notice of one.

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The S&P 500 fell 5.13 points, or 0.1%, to 4,140.06. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 29.07 points, or 0.1%, to 32,832.54. The Nasdaq dropped 13.10 points, or 0.1%, to 12,644.46. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gained 19.38 points, or 1%, to 1,941.21.