Facebook, Restaurant Brands, PG&E: Stocks That Defined the Week

Date : 11/01/2019 @ 10:40PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PCG)
Quote : 14.04  0.0 (0.00%) @ 1:52PM
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Last $ 14.32 ▲ 0.28 (1.99%)

Facebook, Restaurant Brands, PG&E: Stocks That Defined the Week

Pacific Gas and Electric (NYSE:PCG)
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By Francesca Fontana 

Facebook Inc.

Facebook gave a 'thumbs up' to political advertising during its quarterly conference call late Wednesday, taking the opposite position of rival Twitter Inc. on a thorny issue diving the world of social media. Twitter announced its ban of political ads in a series of tweets from Chief Executive Jack Dorsey minutes before Facebook reported quarterly results. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg defended the company's stance and ad-transparency initiatives. Facebook shares gained 1.8% the next day.

Restaurant Brands International Inc.

Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen is preparing for a chicken fight. It announced that its wildly popular spicy chicken sandwich is slated to return on Nov. 3, reigniting competition with Chick-fil-A Inc. The Restaurant Brands franchise sparked a social media sensation this summer when its sandwich sold out after roughly two weeks, prompting it to scour for more chicken breasts and buns. Popeye's sales were up double digits in the most recent quarter due partly to the sandwich buzz, but Restaurant Brands said Monday that sales from its Tom Hortons franchise slipped. Restaurant Brands shares fell 3.8% Monday.

PG&E Corp.

California is in a state of turmoil as fires and blackouts continue, posing new liability risks for the bankrupt utility giant. PG&E said Monday its power lines may have caused two small fires in a San Francisco suburb over the weekend -- even as it shut off power to an estimated 2.5 million people to try to prevent such events. That followed a separate disclosure last week about another line that also malfunctioned shortly before another fire developed north of San Francisco. Shares fell 24% Monday.

Boeing Co.

Boeing's CEO faced questions from lawmakers about whether he did enough before and after the two 737 MAX crashes that cost hundreds of lives. Throughout a six-hour hearing Wednesday, members of the House Transportation Committee demanded that Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg take personal responsibility for the fatal accidents. The legislators and their staff unveiled internal documents that painted the fullest picture yet of design errors that contributed to the crashes as well as what they described as management's disregard for safety warnings from subordinates. The chief executive resisted calls for his resignation. Boeing shares fell 0.8% Wednesday.

Kellogg Co.

The maker of Frosted Flakes, Special K and Rice Krispies has a problem: Americans don't want to eat cereal for breakfast anymore. Kellogg is instead leaning on snacks like Pringles and Cheez-Its for growth as its U.S. cereal sales continue to decline, the company said Tuesday. Consumers have opted in recent years for more protein-heavy meals at the start of the day and fast-food chains have moved to expand their breakfast businesses. "What we haven't done as an industry is respond quickly enough to some of the trends," Chief Executive Steve Cahillane said on a conference call. Kellogg shares gained 3% Tuesday.

General Motors Co.

The lengthy United Auto Workers strike will put a dent in General Motors' quarterly profit. The company lowered its full-year outlook Tuesday, saying the 40-day strike at its U.S. factories wiped out nearly all its free cash flow for the year and will cost the Detroit auto maker close to $3 billion in lost earnings. Recovering from the prolonged work stoppage, which halted production at more than 30 U.S. factories, will add to GM's challenges in the coming months as pressures build on the car business globally. Still, investors seemed to look past the strike's effects, as General Motors shares gained 4.3% Tuesday.

Fitbit Inc.

Fitbit found a new workout partner. The struggling maker of wearable fitness trackers said on Friday that it agreed to be acquired by Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. for $2.1 billion, or $7.35 a share in cash. The company lowered its full-year revenue outlook in July after weaker-than-expected sales of its new smartwatch model, Versa Lite, as it has struggled to compete with popular offerings from rivals such as Apple Inc. The deal is expected to close in 2020, the company said. Fitbit shares rose 16% Friday.

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

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 01, 2019 18:25 ET (22:25 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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