Facebook investors feel poorer; CNN boss Zucker quits abruptly |
Parent company Facebook down 22% on lower profits
NEW YORK – Meta, the company that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, saw its shares plunge after hours on February 2 after surprisingly large spending on its “metaverse” project led to a rare drop in fourth-quarter earnings. trimester.
That’s on top of a lower-than-expected revenue outlook for the current quarter, in part due to growing competition from time-demanding rival platforms like TikTok.
Shares of Meta fell 22.6% to $249.90 in after-hours trading. If the decline continues through Thursday’s market open, the company’s market capitalization – its overall value – is on track to fall by nearly $200 billion. That’s a little more than Greece’s entire gross domestic product, according to World Bank data.
The company said it earned $10.29 billion in the last three months of 2021, down 8% from the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 20% to $33.67 billion.
During the quarter, Meta invested heavily in its Reality Labs segment — which includes its virtual reality headsets and augmented reality technology — which accounted for much of the decline in earnings.
CNN chief walks out after workplace romance leaks
NEW YORK — The president of CNN abruptly resigned on Feb. 2 after acknowledging a consensual relationship with another network executive, ending a nine-year stint at the helm of one of the nation’s biggest media companies.
Jeff Zucker said he acknowledged the relationship when asked about it as part of an investigation into Chris Cuomo, the former CNN anchor who was fired after discovering he had helped his brother, then New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as he navigated a sexual harassment investigation.
“I was required to disclose when this started, but I didn’t,” Zucker wrote in a memo. “I was wrong.”
Allison Gollust, CNN’s chief marketing officer, acknowledged the relationship in a memo.
Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, said in a note that an interim leadership plan would be announced shortly.
Zucker, 56, has been an industry leader since serving as executive producer of the show “Today” in the 1990s. Over the next decade, he led NBC’s entertainment division, where he helped put Donald Trump on the reality show “The Apprentice.” He became head of NBC Universal and left in 2010 when Comcast took over.
Caution from OPEC+ allies to keep oil prices high
FRANKFURT, Germany — The OPEC oil cartel and allied producing nations are sticking to cautious increases in the amount of oil they send to the global economy, a move likely to support near-high prices seven-year-old amid fears of Russian military intervention against Ukraine.
The alliance of OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia and non-members led by Russia agreed on Wednesday to add 400,000 barrels a day in March. This is in line with the OPEC+ group’s plans to add this amount of oil every month and gradually restore the deep cuts made at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
The move comes as oil prices are near their highest levels since 2014, pushing up fuel costs for drivers. US oil traded up 1.2% at $89.28, while the international benchmark Brent price was $90.09, up 1%.
Prices at these levels have led to pressure for increased production from the United States and other consuming nations, which in November announced a coordinated release of oil from national reserves, a step that did little to curb rising prices as the economy rebounds. of the pandemic and consumes more fuel for travel and industry.
OPEC+ sticking to its plan will support oil prices, especially as several members have been unable to meet their production share. Rising oil prices ripple throughout the global economy in terms of higher consumer inflation in the US and Europe and more expensive fuel for heating, flying and driving.
Spider-Man movie boosts Sony profits
TOKYO – The earnings of Sony Corp. for the quarter to December edged up 11% to $3 billion on healthy sales from its film division, including the new Spider-Man movie, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company said on Feb. 2 .
Quarterly sales increased slightly to $26 billion.
Sony has announced strong offerings in its music division, such as Adele’s “30” album; movies like “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Seinfeld” series licensing revenue boosted revenue.
Its Imaging and Sensors Unit also posted strong results.
In video games, sales fell short of expectations as a parts supply crisis, particularly semiconductors, weighed on sales of its PlayStation 5 machine, Sony said.
The company’s chief financial officer, Hiroki Totoki, says Sony’s recently announced acquisition of Bungie Inc., known for its Halo and Destiny games, for $3.6 billion underscores its commitment to the industry. games.
The purchase includes payments to the indie studio’s shareholder creators to ensure their retention, he said.
Inflation in eurozone countries hits new high
FRANKFURT, Germany — Inflation fueled by high oil and gas prices has hit record highs in Europe for the third month in a row, prolonging consumer pain and heightening questions about future decisions by the European Central Bank.
The 19 countries that use the euro saw consumer prices rise 5.1% a year in January, the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat reported on Wednesday. The figure broke records of 5% in December and 4.9% in November and was the highest since record keeping began in 1997.
Once again, soaring energy prices played a major role, rising a painful 28.6%. Oil prices soared as the global economy recovered from the worst COVID-19 restrictions, while natural gas prices surged in Europe due to depleted winter reserves, dwindling supplies of from Russia and fears of a new military intervention by Moscow against Ukraine.
Higher energy bills for consumers have quickly become a political issue in Europe as governments roll out subsidies and tax breaks to soften the blow to household budgets.