Lyft, Bumble, Walt Disney: Stocks That Defined the Week
By Francesca Fontana
Lyft took another turn toward profitability. The ride-hailing
company posted a narrower annual loss on Tuesday, even as the
pandemic decimated demand in the industry. Lyft President John
Zimmer aims to become profitable on an adjusted basis by the end of
this year. Rival Uber Technologies Inc. also reported a smaller
annual loss, on the back of its food-delivery business and
aggressive cost cuts. Lyft shares gained 4.8% Wednesday.
TikTok's U.S. fate is in limbo again. The Biden administration
shelved a plan to force a sale of the popular video-sharing app's
American operations to a group including Oracle and Walmart Inc.
The deal was driven by former President Donald Trump, who last year
ordered a ban on TikTok aimed at forcing a sale of the app to a
majority-U.S.-ownership group. The TikTok deal has languished since
last fall in the midst of successful legal challenges to the U.S.
government's effort by the app's owner, Chinese tech company
ByteDance Ltd. Oracle shares slipped 0.6% Wednesday.
Bumble is buzzing from its public market debut. Shares of the
online-dating company jumped 64% in their first day of trading and
closed at $70.31 Thursday. Its initial public offering was priced
at $43 a share, raising $2.2 billion for Bumble. Its namesake app,
on which women make the first move, was founded by Whitney Wolfe
Herd in 2014 to disrupt traditional dating dynamics. The app also
has an option for users seeking same-sex interactions. Ms. Wolfe
Herd had earlier co-founded Match Group Inc.'s Tinder, and Bumble
now joins rival Match on the public market.
Zillow Group Inc.
One of Zillow's hottest properties is the company itself. The
online real-estate company reported a sharp rise in traffic in the
latest quarter and better-than-expected earnings. In recent years,
Zillow has moved into iBuying, or automated home flipping. It also
recently acquired virtual home-touring company ShowingTime. Demand
for homes has jumped in the past year as buyers took advantage of
record-low interest rates and the pandemic prompted many households
to seek more space to better accommodate remote work. Zillow shares
jumped 17% Thursday.
Elon Musk is backing up his tweeting about bitcoin. Tesla said
Monday that it bought $1.5 billion of the digital currency,
following Mr. Musk's promotion of the cryptocurrency on social
media. The electric-car maker's announcement in its latest annual
report caused bitcoin prices to jump more than 10% that morning,
according to cryptocurrency research and news site CoinDesk. The
electric-vehicle company also said it expects to start accepting
bitcoin as payment for its products soon. Tesla joins a handful of
other companies that have disclosed bitcoin holdings, such as
software developer MicroStrategy Inc. The purchase, likely among
the largest by a public company, comes after a rally in 2020 when
the price more than quadrupled. Tesla shares rose 1.3% Monday.
Walt Disney Co.
Disney still managed to deliver some magic last quarter. Despite
the blows Covid-19 has dealt to its film distribution and theme
park businesses, Disney beat pessimistic Wall Street estimates and
posted a quarterly profit of $17 million. With the traditional
movie business hurting from closed theaters, Chief Executive Bob
Chapek reiterated the shift toward a streaming-first model. Its
flagship streaming service, Disney+, added more than 21 million new
subscribers in its latest quarter, the entertainment giant said
Thursday. Disney+ is now a crucial arm of the company's franchise
planning, as shows and movies that play at home slot into the
narratives of the feature films. Disney shares lost 1.7%
Kraft Heinz Co.
Mr. Peanut has a new owner. Kraft Heinz said Thursday that it
reached an agreement to sell its Planters nuts business to Skippy
peanut butter owner Foods Corp. The all-cash deal values the
century-old business at $3.35 billion. Kraft Heinz, the product of
a 2015 merger of the two well-known food companies, has been
divesting itself of brands after struggling to keep up with
shifting consumer tastes, and in September agreed to sell a chunk
of its cheese business to France's Groupe Lactalis SA for $3.2
billion. The food company also reported better-than-expected
quarterly earnings. Kraft shares added 4.9% Thursday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 12, 2021 19:29 ET (00:29 GMT)
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