Target, Microsoft, Oatly: Stocks That Defined the Week
By Francesca Fontana
Shoppers are returning to physical stores and ready to spend.
Target reported robust quarterly sales and a jump in store visits,
maintaining momentum even as consumer buying habits change during
the pandemic. Meanwhile, larger rival Walmart Inc. reported
comparable sales rose 6% in its latest quarter, and Macy's Inc.
reported a jump in quarterly sales and swung back to a profit from
the year-ago period. Target shares gained 1.3% Thursday.
New details surrounding Bill Gates's departure from Microsoft's
board last year have come to light. The Wall Street Journal
reported on May 16 that some of the tech giant's board members
decided that Mr. Gates needed to step down from its board in 2020,
as they pursued an investigation into the billionaire's prior
romantic relationship with a female employee that was deemed
inappropriate. Members of the board tasked with the matter had
hired a law firm to conduct an investigation in late 2019. Mr.
Gates resigned before the investigation was completed and before
the full board could make a formal decision on the matter.
Microsoft shares lost 1.2% Monday.
AT&T is unwinding its big bet on entertainment. The company
reached a deal with Discovery Inc. to combine their media assets
into a new, publicly traded company. AT&T's WarnerMedia owns
cable channels such as HBO, CNN, TNT and TBS as well as the Warner
Bros. television and film studio. Discovery has a portfolio that
includes its namesake network and HGTV. Both companies also offer
streaming video portals that compete with larger on-demand services
like Netflix and Walt Disney Co. 's Disney+. The new business,
which isn't yet named, will be led by current Discovery Chief
Executive David Zaslav. AT&T dropped 2.7% Monday.
Google is opening its first-ever permanent retail store in New
York City. The Alphabet unit's store will open this summer in
Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood as part of Google's existing
campus there. It will sell items such as Google's Pixel phones,
Nest smart thermostats and Fitbit wearable devices, the company
said Thursday. The tech giant's store will also provide repair and
troubleshooting services, and host workshops on using Google
Google has temporarily run pop-up shops in New York and Chicago
in the past, but the Chelsea site would be its first permanent
location. Alphabet shares rose 2.1% Thursday.
Oatly Group AB
Investors were thirsty for Oatly in its market debut. Shares of
the Swedish oat-milk maker rose 19% in their first day of trading
Thursday, giving the company a valuation of roughly $12 billion.
Oatly entered the U.S. market in 2017 with its alternative dairy
products, which are popular among consumers seeking healthier
options that cause less impact on the environment. The company
boasts the backing of famous investors including Oprah Winfrey and
Natalie Portman, as well as private-equity behemoth Blackstone
Group Inc. Companies going public at this time are making a risky
bet, as choppy markets have proved challenging for several of
Cruise lines are budgeting for extra costs as they prepare to
set sail again. As they get ready to resume voyages out of the
U.S., the companies expect to book a mix of one-time and recurring
expenses for enhanced sanitation, Covid-19 testing and other
measures. Cruise lines are vying to win back the public's trust
after coronavirus outbreaks aboard ships last year brought sailings
to a halt. Carnival, which operates nine brands, forecasts
additional spending in the hundreds of millions of dollars as it
prepares to resume voyages. The company sees costs needed to
restart its ships as one-time expenses, while health
protocol-related costs -- a separate class of outlays -- will
depend on the duration for which they are needed. Carnival shares
lost 0.5% Thursday.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase is putting two of the contenders to succeed Chief
Executive Jamie Dimon in charge of its sprawling consumer-banking
operation. The bank on Tuesday said Chief Executive Officer of
Consumer Lending Marianne Lake and Chief Financial Officer Jennifer
Piepszak are taking the reins of its consumer and community bank
from Gordon Smith, who will retire at the end of the year. The move
comes two years after Ms. Lake and Ms. Piepszak took their current
roles, establishing them as front-runners to one day run America's
biggest bank. The women will be in charge of a unit that serves
half of all U.S. households and accounts for roughly 40% of the
bank's profit, further cementing that status. JPMorgan shares fell
Write to Francesca Fontana at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 21, 2021 20:12 ET (00:12 GMT)
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