By Francesca Fontana 

Lyft Inc.

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.

Oracle Corp.

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 Inc.

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.

Tesla Inc.

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% Friday.

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 francesca.fontana@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 12, 2021 19:29 ET (00:29 GMT)

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