Oracle, Snowflake, SoftBank: Stocks That Defined the Week -- WSJ
By Francesca Fontana andDerek Hall
This article is being republished as part of our daily
reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S.
print edition of The Wall Street Journal (September 19, 2020).
Oracle won the bidding for TikTok's U.S. operations, beating out
Microsoft Corp., but more hurdles are ahead. President Trump said
on Wednesday that he wasn't prepared to sign off on a deal that
could also award a stake to Walmart Inc. Administration officials
still want American investors to hold a majority of the
Chinese-owned app. Starting Sunday, the White House will also start
banning use of TikTok due to national-security concerns. Oracle
shares rose 4.3% Monday.
Christmas came early for FedEx. Residential shipments surged as
consumers keep shopping from home, reaching levels the delivery
giant normally sees during the holiday season. Thanks to the extra
cargo, FedEx on Tuesday posted the highest quarterly revenue in its
history. The increasing shift to online shopping has been a boon to
the FedEx Ground business, which handles shipments for store chains
such as Target Corp. and Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. Now, FedEx and
rival United Parcel Service Inc. are bracing for an additional
torrent of packages during the holiday season, testing networks
that are already strained. FedEx shares added 5.8% Wednesday.
Kraft Heinz Co.
Kraft Heinz is shredding its ties with a large chunk of its
cheese business. The food maker said Tuesday that it had reached a
deal to sell a portion of its cheese brands to France's Groupe
Lactalis SA for $3.2 billion. The deal comes as some food companies
struggle to keep up with unprecedented demand for groceries during
the pandemic. The sale will include Kraft shredded and blocks of
cheese and the Cracker Barrel brand in the U.S. Kraft Heinz will
keep Philadelphia cream cheese, Velveeta, Cheez Whiz and Kraft
Singles in the U.S, along with its macaroni-and-cheese business
world-wide. Kraft Heinz shares added 0.3% Tuesday.
Hershey wants to save Halloween from the real-life scare of
Covid-19. The candy maker is offering tips on trick-or-treating
safety to protect sales during its biggest holiday. The site,
Halloween2020.org, maps Covid-19 risk level by county and offers
suggestions, like masked trick-or-treating in low-risk areas and
at-home Halloween candy hunts in high-risk areas. The coronavirus
pandemic didn't bolster demand for sweets like it did for staples
like cereal and soup, making the upcoming holidays even more
important. Hershey also introduced its Halloween offerings earlier
than usual in the hopes of selling more, and produced less themed
candy to avoid having tons of discounted leftovers. Hershey shares
fell 0.7% Monday.
Snowflake didn't melt on its opening day. Shares of the
data-warehousing company more than doubled in value on Wednesday,
further stoking enthusiasm for initial public offerings in 2020.
The IPO market is on pace for a banner year as investors search for
higher returns with interest rates at historically low levels and
the Federal Reserve pumping trillions of dollars into the economy.
Snowflake's stock, the biggest tech issue of the year so far, took
longer than any traditional IPO in modern history to pair up orders
and begin trading. Its shares closed up 111% from its IPO price on
Facebook isn't generating any "likes" from antitrust
authorities. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the
Federal Trade Commission is gearing up to file a possible antitrust
lawsuit against the company by the end of the year, following more
than a year investigating concerns that Facebook has been using its
powerful market position to stifle competition. The inquiry is part
of a broader effort to examine the conduct of a handful of dominant
tech companies. No final decision had been made as of Tuesday
whether to sue Facebook, and the commission doesn't always bring
cases even when it is making preparations to do so. Facebook shares
fell 3.3% Wednesday.
SoftBank Group Corp.
SoftBank is on a selling spree. The Japanese tech-investment
conglomerate said on Friday that it was selling U.S.-based
wireless-services unitBrightstar Corp. to a private-equity firm
founded by a former Brightstar executive. This deal came on the
heels of its sale of semiconductor company Arm Holdings to
graphics-chip giant Nvidia Corp. for $40 billion. SoftBank's string
of divestitures began in March, after a series of stumbles in its
$100 billion venture-capital pool, the Vision Fund. The losses,
coupled with the overall rout in markets, drove Chief Executive
Masayoshi Son to announce $42 billion in asset sales to fund share
buybacks and debt redemptions. American depositary shares of
SoftBank lost 2.2% Friday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at firstname.lastname@example.org
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September 19, 2020 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)
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