McDonald's, Nike, Amazon.com: Stocks That Defined the Week

Date : 02/01/2020 @ 12:23AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Nike Inc (NKE)
Quote : 86.79  1.49 (1.75%) @ 1:00AM
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McDonald's, Nike, Amazon.com: Stocks That Defined the Week

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By Francesca Fontana 

McDonald's Corp.

The fast-food fight for breakfast is heating up. McDonald's said Tuesday that it will offer chicken sandwiches that are served on griddle cakes and biscuits at the start of the day, for a limited time. The chain faces intense competition from rivals vying for morning customers as well as pressure to step up its chicken offerings after Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen sparked a battle over poultry last year by introducing a chicken sandwich that quickly became a hit. McDonald's shares gained 0.5% Tuesday.

Nike Inc.

The sudden death of Kobe Bryant sent fans looking for merchandise linked to the basketball icon. Nike said its website sold out of Kobe Bryant merchandise, rebutting media reports it had pulled the products. Several media outlets earlier reported Nike pulled the items to thwart buyers seeking to resell them at higher prices. A Nike spokesman said Tuesday the company didn't remove Kobe Bryant products or ask retailers to send them back. Mr. Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash, was one of Nike's biggest basketball stars after it signed him to an endorsement contract in 2003. Shares fell 0.6% Tuesday.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Warren Buffett is tossing his newspapers. The decision by Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to sell its papers to publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. for $140 million is an admission by the billionaire investor that he views that business as unsustainable. Berkshire is famous for hardly ever selling any of its operating businesses. Berkshire's newspaper collection includes the Buffalo News in New York, the Tulsa World in Oklahoma, the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Mr. Buffett's hometown paper in Nebraska, the Omaha World-Herald. Berkshire shares gained 0.2% Wednesday following the announcement.

L Brands Inc.

Leslie Wexner could relinquish day-to-say oversight of the retail empire he built. The billionaire behind the lingerie brand Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works is in discussions to step aside as chief executive officer of L Brands, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The company is exploring strategic alternatives for the lingerie brand, including a full or partial sale, and is exploring those alternatives with private-equity firm Sycamore Partners. Victoria's Secret has long dominated the U.S. lingerie market but has struggled in recent years with falling sales. L Brands shares gained 13% Wednesday.

General Electric Co.

There are some new bright spots at General Electric. The conglomerate reported strong cash flow from its industrial operations Wednesday and gave an upbeat outlook. GE said it generated $3.9 billion in industrial free cash flow in 2019's final quarter, helping the company exceed its targets for the full year. Executives expect cash flow and profit to rise in 2020, overcoming challenges from the grounding of Boeing Co.'s 737 MAX jet. GE is part of a joint venture that makes the engines for the airplane; its financial projections assume the plane returns to service in mid-2020. Shares gained 10% Wednesday.

International Business Machines Corp.

There were big changes unveiled this week at Big Blue. IBM said Chief Executive Ginni Rometty is stepping down after a challenging eight-year run at the top of the iconic technology company. Ms. Rometty will formally step down on April 6 and will be succeeded by Arvind Krishna, who heads the company's cloud and cognitive-software division, the company said on Thursday. Jim Whitehurst -- the chief executive of Red Hat, the open-source software giant that IBM acquired for about $33 billion last year -- was appointed the company's president. IBM shares gained 5.1% Friday.

Amazon.com Inc.

Amazon is poised to join the trillion-dollar club. The e-commerce giant came close to joining Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. as the fourth U.S. company to close at a value of $1 trillion Friday after beating rivals in the crucial holiday period and signing up a wave of new customers to its Prime service. The tech giant released quarterly results Thursday, saying the company surpassed its internal profit estimate by more than $1 billion. Amazon shares gained 7.4% Friday.

Write to Francesca Fontana at francesca.fontana@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 31, 2020 19:08 ET (00:08 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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