By Dan Fitzpatrick and Erik Holm 

Chevron Corp.

Spending projections are sliding at two of the world's energy giants. Chevron Corp. on Thursday said it will cut its annual capital spending budget by 26% next year and sharply through the middle of next decade, as the coronavirus pandemic forces an industry-wide reappraisal of fossil fuel investment. That followed Exxon Mobil Corp.'s retreat from a plan to increase spending to boost its oil-and-gas production as the struggling company reassesses its next decade. Chevron shares fell 0.1 % Thursday.

General Motors Co.

General Motors Co. is tapping the brakes on its relationship with electric-truck startup Nikola Corp. The Detroit auto giant revealed Monday it is scaling back a pact that had fueled investor enthusiasm for both companies. Under the revised deal, GM still intends to provide Nikola with fuel-cell technology but is scrapping plans to build an electric pickup truck called the Badger for Nikola and will no longer take a stake in the company. The move comes after a short seller's report raised questions about the readiness of some aspects of Nikola's business, allegations the company said were false and misleading. GM shares fell 2.7% Monday.

Kohl's Corp.

A new face-off is unfolding in the world of beauty. Sephora plans to install 850 shops inside Kohl's Corp. stores by 2023, upending the beauty retailer's longstanding partnership with J.C. Penney Co. That follows Ulta Beauty Inc.'s deal announced in November to open more than 100 shops inside Target Corp. stores by next year. Beauty has been one of retail's brighter spots during the pandemic. Department stores are struggling to find new revenue sources as shoppers turn to fast-fashion chains, discount retailers and e-commerce players. Shares of Kohl's rose 13% Tuesday.

Zoom Video Communications Inc.

Investors may have Zoom fatigue. Despite posting another quarter of record sales and lifting its outlook due to the proliferation of remote working and distance schooling, Zoom Video Communications Inc. reported higher costs that disappointed holders of the company's stock. Zoom has been providing some of its services free to users, and that is weighing on its profitability, Zoom said Monday. Gross margin for the quarter fell to 67%, down from 71% in the prior three-month period, as the company spent heavily on its cloud-computing needs. Shares dropped 15% on Tuesday.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.

So long, Silicon Valley. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. -- a descendant of the firm that Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard famously started in their Palo Alto, Calif., garage -- is moving its headquarters to the Houston area, the latest sign that Silicon Valley is losing some of its gravitational pull. HPE said the cheaper real estate in Texas would help it save money, and hiring is also generally cheaper and less competitive in that state than in California. The company is currently based in San Jose. That city's mayor, Democrat Sam Liccardo, said HPE's decision was "a wake-up call." HPE shares rose 2.9% Wednesday.

3M Co.

Masks are not offering enough protection to 3M Co. The industrial conglomerate said Thursday it plans to cut 2,900 jobs to account for slumping demand for some products during the pandemic. The St. Paul, Minn.-based company produces N95 face masks that protect medical workers and others from the virus. But sales of 3M's office supplies, industrial products and other goods have slumped as people stayed home from work and postponed dental appointments and medical procedures. 3M has said nonemergency medical procedures are unlikely to recover through next year as people stay away from facilities where patients are being treated for coronavirus. Shares of 3M fell less than 0.1% Thursday.

AT&T Inc.

A Hollywood giant is blurring the traditional boundaries between your TV screen and the neighborhood movie theater. AT&T Inc.'s Warner Bros. said it will release its entire 2021 slate of theatrical films simultaneously in theaters and on its HBO Max streaming service, taking the most drastic step yet in eliminating the exclusivity theater chains have enjoyed for decades. Warner Bros. movies will play on HBO Max during their first month of theatrical release before leaving the service while staying in theaters. The hybrid model will apply to all of Warner Bros. films next year, from smaller-scale releases to big-budget movies that traditionally require gargantuan box-office sales to turn a profit. The head of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the world's largest movie theater chain, said WarnerMedia must be willing to give up "a considerable portion of the profitability" of its studio division to "subsidize" HBO Max, adding "we will do all in our power to ensure that Warner does not do so at our expense." AT&T shares rose 0.5% Thursday.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 04, 2020 17:08 ET (22:08 GMT)

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