ADVERTISEMENT

Business Highlights: Netflix’s woes, Tesla profits

April 20, 2022 GMT

___

As shares plunge, Netflix takes aim at password sharing, ads

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Streaming service Netflix is dealing with a sharp drop in subscribers by considering changes to its service that it has long resisted. Netflix suffered its first loss of subscribers in years, an unwelcome surprise that drove its stock down 35% Wednesday. The company says it will try to minimize password sharing and is considering a low-cost subscription supported by advertising, changes that could affect loyal customers in unpredictable ways. Pandemic-driven lockdowns that kept people streaming content at home have lifted and services such as Apple and Walt Disney have begun to chip away at its vast audience.

___

Tesla 1Q earnings 7 times more than year ago on strong sales

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla has reported first-quarter net earnings over seven times greater than a year ago. The electric vehicle and solar panel company reported strong sales despite global supply chain kinks and pandemic-related production cuts in China. Tesla made $3.32 billion from January through March. Excluding stock-based compensation, the Austin, Texas, company made $3.22 per share. According to data provider FactSet, that soundly beat Wall Street estimates of $2.26 per share. Revenue for the quarter was $18.76 billion, also beating estimates of $17.85 billion.

ADVERTISEMENT

___

Years of fruitful relations between Disney, Florida at risk

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The idea was presented to Florida lawmakers in a movie house outside Orlando 55 years ago: Let Disney form its own government and in exchange it would create a futuristic city of tomorrow. That city never materialized, but Walt Disney World became an economic juggernaut, and its government retained unprecedented powers in deciding what and how to build. Now, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking lawmakers to end Disney’s government in a move that jeopardizes the symbiotic relationship between the state and company. The move follows the company’s opposition to what critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law barring instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

___

Yellen, Ukraine official walk out of Russia’s G-20 remarks

ADVERTISEMENT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Ukraine’s Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko walked out of a Group of 20 meeting Wednesday as Russia’s representative started talking. Several finance ministers and central bank governors also left the room, according an official familiar with the meetings who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event wasn’t public. Some ministers and central bank governors who attended virtually turned their cameras off when Russia spoke. The move comes during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings. The brutal effects of Russia’s war against Ukraine have taken center stage, and Treasury officials said earlier this week that Yellen would try to avoid contact with Russian officials.

___

Indexes end mixed, Netflix plunges on subscriber losses

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes ended mixed on Wall Street Wednesday after another bumpy day of trading, while Netflix lost more than a third of its value after reporting its first subscriber loss in more than a decade and predicting more grim times ahead. The S&P 500 ended just barely in the red and the Nasdaq fell 1.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 major blue chips added 0.7%, having received a bump from IBM, which added 7.1% after reporting results that beat analysts’ estimates. Facebook parent company Meta sank 7.8%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.84%.

___

Judge rejects gag order in suit over 2018 Elon Musk tweets

DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge in California has rejected a request from shareholders in a lawsuit to force Elon Musk stop talking about his 2018 tweets in which he said he had the funding to make Tesla a private company. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen Wednesday came just hours after the Tesla CEO’s lawyer filed a document in the case saying that a gag order would trample on Musk’s free speech rights. Lawyers for the shareholders have argued that Musk is trying to influence potential jurors before the lawsuit comes to trial on Jan. 17 of next year. They contend that the CEO’s August, 2018 tweets were written to manipulate the stock price, costing shareholders money.

___

United Airlines loses $1.4B in 1Q, but expects profit in 2Q

CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines says it lost $1.38 billion in the first quarter of 2022 but it expects to return to profitability in the current three-month period as post-pandemic travel ramps back up. The Chicago-based airline said Wednesday it had operating revenues of $7.57 billion in the quarter, which was down 21% from the first quarter of 2019. The airline is still running fewer flights than they were before the pandemic, but announced that it had reopened all of its lounges and had resumed 19 international routes and restarted services to six cities that haven’t been served since the pandemic began.

___

March home sales fall as mortgage rates, home prices climb

NEW YORK (AP) — Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes slowed in March to the slowest pace in nearly two years as a swift rise in mortgage rates and record-high prices discouraged would-be homebuyers. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that existing home sales fell 2.7% last month from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million. That’s in line with what economists had been expecting, according to FactSet. It’s also the slowest pace since June 2020. Sales fell 4.5% from March 2021. The slowdown came as the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate home loan climbed to about 4.7% by the end of March. Buyers still pushed up the median home price in March 15% from a year ago to a record $375,300.

___

The S&P 500 fell 2.76 points, or 0.1%, to 4,459.45. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 249.59 points, or 0.7%, to 35,160.79. The Nasdaq dropped 166.59 points, or 1.2%, to 13,453.07. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gained 7.42 points, or 0.4%, to 2,038.19.