Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) – Google has renamed its chatbot Bard to Gemini, powered by a new artificial intelligence. Consumers can pay $19.99/month for Gemini Advanced, which includes a more powerful AI model and two terabytes of cloud storage, competing with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon and BMW triumphed in an action against sellers of counterfeit goods in Spain. Counterfeits, including products such as valve caps and keychains, led to a lawsuit in the Spanish Community Trademark Court in Alicante. Details on penalties have not been disclosed.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) – Meta is ending the lease of seven office floors in Singapore, scheduled to expire in September, as reported by The Business Times. This follows a decision not to renew communicated last June.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) – The EU has set a deadline until March 13 to decide on Cisco Systems’ $28 billion offer for Splunk. The deal aims to reduce Cisco’s dependence on networking equipment, facing regulatory hurdles due to antitrust concerns.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) – Walt Disney’s $1.5 billion investment in Epic Games values the gaming company at $22.5 billion, reflecting a decline in value over the past two years. The deal will allow for the creation of a vast Disney universe in the gaming world.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) – Under legislative pressure, Duke Energy in the US plans to phase out Chinese CATL batteries on military bases, aligning with cybersecurity concerns. Changes may affect the energy supply chain. Legislation proposes avoiding Chinese batteries until 2027.

ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) – ExxonMobil plans to end its operations in Equatorial Guinea soon, after nearly three decades of oil exploration. The transfer of investments to the government will occur in the second quarter, aligning with the company’s global strategy.

Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) – China’s Baidu is partnering with Lenovo to integrate its generative AI into smartphones, following similar collaborations with Samsung and Honor. Lenovo will incorporate Baidu’s Ernie model into its devices.

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) – Novo Nordisk’s (NYSE:NVO) acquisition of Catalent (NYSE:CTLT) highlights the importance of major pharmaceuticals having control over their supply chain. AstraZeneca, a Catalent client, is strengthening its internal capacity to reduce external dependence, aiming for autonomy and continuity in drug production.

Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) – Novo Nordisk is preparing to launch a revolutionary weight loss pill but faces production challenges. As competitors advance, the company seeks to balance supply and demand, acknowledging that injections remain an effective choice for many patients.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) – Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is considering layoffs while financial reports show the company is behind in revenue per employee. While Tesla generated nearly $97 billion in 2023, each employee brought in about $690,000, compared to more than $1 million from GM (NYSE:GM) and $937,000 from Ford (NYSE:F).

General Motors (NYSE:GM) – General Motors has appointed Kurt Kelty, a former Tesla executive, as vice president of its battery unit. Kelty led battery development at Tesla for 11 years before joining Sila Nanotechnologies. The move comes as GM expands its battery production capacity to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.

Getaround (NYSE:GETR) – San Francisco-based Getaround plans to lay off about a third of its staff in North America to cut costs and seek long-term profitability. The company’s shares are up 3.5% in pre-market trading on Friday.

HSBC (NYSE:HSBC), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) – HSBC partners with Google to finance rapidly expanding climate tech companies. This alliance, driven by the Google Cloud Ready-Sustainability program, seeks to accelerate solutions to climate change, responding to the growing demand for business innovation and sustainability.

Barclays (NYSE:BCS) – Barclays, the UK’s leading oil and gas lender, will stop direct financing to new fossil fuel fields and limit loans to companies expanding this production, as part of the Transition Financing Framework (TFF). The move responds to pressure for more sustainable energy policies. Moreover, Barclays plans to acquire most of Tesco Plc’s banking business, strengthening its presence in the UK’s retail banking sector. The transaction includes a £600 million payment and establishes a 10-year strategic partnership. Barclays CEO CS Venkatakrishnan faces pressure to present a simplified and sustainable business plan to shareholders. With shares falling and a complex business model, there are calls for higher returns.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) – Goldman Sachs is reducing its presence in Hong Kong, giving up office spaces in Lee Garden Three, reflecting the trend of global banks cutting costs. The move adds pressure to an already weakened commercial real estate market in the city.

Earnings

Cloudflare (NYSE:NET) – The cloud services provider saw a 26% increase in pre-market trading on Friday. Cloudflare announced adjusted earnings of 15 cents per share and revenue of $362 million. Analyst forecasts, according to LSEG, were for earnings of 12 cents per share and revenue of $353 million. Additionally, the projection for the full-year adjusted earnings per share was positive.

Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) – Expedia shares are down 14% after warning of a moderation in revenue in 2024 due to falling airfare prices. CEO Peter Kern will step down, succeeded by Ariane Gorin. Fourth-quarter earnings were $1.72 per share on revenue of $2.887 billion. Gross bookings grew 6%, to $21.672 billion.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) – Hershey outlined a two-year restructuring program to save about $300 million before taxes, following projections below expectations. The company reported net earnings of $349 million, or earnings of $1.70 per share, compared to net earnings of $396 million, or earnings of $1.92 per share, in the same quarter last year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of $1.95 per share. Hershey also increased its quarterly dividend by 15%.

Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) – Pinterest forecast first-quarter revenues below Wall Street estimates, facing strong competition from major social media players. Fourth-quarter revenue was $981 million versus $991 million expected, according to LSEG. EPS was 53 cents per share, adjusted, against the estimate of 51 cents per share. Shares are down -11.4% in pre-market trading.

Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) – Take-Two shares fell -9.2% in pre-market trading on Friday after the video game publisher issued a bleak projection for the current quarter. Additionally, Take-Two slightly missed earnings expectations, recording 71 cents adjusted per share compared to the 72 cents per share expected by FactSet.

CleanSpark (NASDAQ:CLSK) – Shares of the bitcoin mining company rose 19.5% in pre-market trading after reporting better-than-expected results for the first fiscal quarter. Reported earnings were 14 cents per share, surprising analysts who expected a 26-cent per share loss, as indicated by FactSet. Revenue for the quarter reached $73.8 million, exceeding expectations of $71 million.

Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) – Shares of the genomics company fell 2.8% after indicating that annual revenues will remain stable, contrary to analysts’ expectation of a 0.6% increase, according to LSEG. In the fourth quarter, Illumina exceeded estimates with an adjusted earnings per share of 14 cents, and its revenue also exceeded expectations.

Bill Holdings (NYSE:BILL) – In the last fiscal quarter, Bill reported a net loss of $40.4 million, or 38 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $95.1 million, or 90 cents per share, in the same fiscal quarter last year. Sales increased 22%, totaling $318.5 million, exceeding expectations of $299 million. Adjusted earnings per share were 63 cents, above expectations. The company expects annual sales between $1.23 billion and $1.25 billion, with adjusted earnings per share of $2.09 to $2.31, surpassing expectations. However, cost cuts and economic uncertainty continue.

Affirm Holdings (NASDAQ:AFRM) – Affirm shares rose ahead of the earnings report but fell 12% in pre-market trading on Friday. The company exceeded expectations, but its conservative outlook disappointed investors, despite raising the gross merchandise volume (GMV) forecast to over $25.25 billion. Fiscal second-quarter revenue was $591 million, with net revenue of $242 million. GMV was $7.5 billion, with net loss reduced to $166.9 million. Projections for the March quarter are for GMV between $5.8 billion and $6.0 billion, with revenues between $205 million and $215 million, less transaction costs.

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