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By Francesca Fontana
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 (February 8, 2020).
As traditional car giants sputter, Tesla is in the lead. General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. gave tepid outlooks for the year ahead to investors as they deal with weakening demand and rising labor costs. Meanwhile, investors are gravitating to upstarts like Tesla, whose valuation soared in recent days to more than $130 billion -- higher than that of GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV combined. Telsa shares gained 20% Tuesday.
CVS Health Corp.
Aetna Inc.'s former chief executive is leaving the CVS board. Mark Bertolini said he is being pushed off the board of CVS, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Mr. Bertolini, who joined the CVS board after the November 2018 closing of CVS's nearly $70 billion deal to buy Aetna, said he was willing to stay on the board, and that the integration between the two companies isn't complete. CVS Chairman David Dorman said in a statement the remaining board members strongly back management and its direction. CVS shares fell 1.3% Monday.
Edgewell Personal Care Co.
The U.S. consumer protection agency got in the way of a razor maker's acquisition Monday. The Federal Trade Commission sued to block a $1.37 billion deal in which Edgewell sought to buy upstart rival Harry's Inc. The FTC alleged that the acquisition would eliminate an important competitive force in an industry long controlled by Edgewell and Procter & Gamble, which sell their respective Schick and Gillette brands of men's razors, and Intuition/Hydro Silk and Venus brands of women's razors. The complaint alleges that Harry's, launched in 2013, has shaken up the "comfortable duopoly" between the two companies. Edgewell shares gained 13% Monday.
Macy's is slashing jobs and shutting stores. The retailer plans to close 125 department stores over the next three years and will keep running about 400 of its namesake stores as shoppers continue to make fewer trips to malls. The company is also cutting roughly 2,000 corporate jobs, or 10% of corporate and support staff, and closing several offices. It will abandon a dual headquarters in Cincinnati -- a structure Macy's has kept since 1994 when it was still one of the country's biggest retailers -- and put all headquarters roles in New York. Macy's shares gained 6% Wednesday.
Estée Lauder Cos.
Coronavirus could spell trouble for Estée Lauder. The beauty giant cut profit expectations, saying China's viral outbreak will harm sales to travelers and Chinese consumers, which have been major growth drivers. Estée Lauder's fast-growing and profitable travel retail business -- comprised of duty-free spaces such as airports and cruises -- will be hit hardest as airlines cancel flights into China and overall tourism falls, Chief Executive Fabrizio Freda said. "We expect to recover our momentum at the end of this health crisis," Mr. Freda said in a call to investors. Still, shares rose 5.1% Thursday as investors rewarded better-than-expected quarterly results.
The owner of the New York Stock Exchange says deal talks with eBay are off. Intercontinental Exchange Inc.'s Thursday announcement came after The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the company made a takeover offer for eBay that could value the sprawling online marketplace at more than $30 billion. ICE shareholders didn't welcome the news, with shares falling 7.5% while eBay's stock soared 8.8% Tuesday. ICE said late Thursday that it was giving up on its consideration of "strategic opportunities" with eBay based on conversations with investors.
Casper Sleep Inc.
Mattress-seller Casper became the first banner-name startup to go public in 2020. In recent months, investors have grown wary of companies like Casper -- highly valued startups that have yet to turn a profit -- and its debut this past week didn't put those fears to rest. Shares of the mattress company priced at $12, well below the company's initial range of $17-to-$19 a share. They jumped 13% on their first day of trading Thursday, but gave back all their gains and then some when they dropped 15% to $11.49 Friday. Casper's $455 million market cap is less than half what it had been valued at in a private funding round early last year.
Write to Francesca Fontana at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 08, 2020 02:47 ET (07:47 GMT)
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