What's New in the Financial World (3/7/2013)
Adidas Full-Year Sales
The running shoe business continues to hold its own, particularly if the running shoes are used for golf or sold in China. Adidas Group, which owns Reebok and other businesses, reported that for 2012 revenue rose 6% to 14.9 billion euros. Sales in China rose 15% to 1.6 billion euros. Despite economic problems in its home market of Europe, which is its largest area by sales, revenue was up 3% to 4.1 billion euros. Even the unemployed need shoes. Adidas reported:
Group sales in North America were down 8% on a currency-neutral basis, as growth at adidas and Taylor Made-adidas Golf was more than offset by declines at Reebok, mainly due to the non-recurrence of prior year related NFL licence sales.
In Greater China, Group sales were up 12% on a currency-neutral basis, driven by strong double-digit sales gains at adidas Sport Style.
Currency had an effect of two to three percentage points.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has admitted, in it own way, that people do not spend as much time as they used to on the social network, as well as that the company has had trouble selling ads. As a reaction to this, Facebook will change the design of its News Feed, likely very substantially. According to The New York Times:
Facebook plans to announce on Thursday a substantial redesign of its News Feed - a makeover aimed at both keeping users glued to the social network and luring more advertising dollars.
Company executives have broadly said they want to make the News Feed, the first page every user sees upon logging in, more relevant.
Fate of the 787 Dreamliner
There is more confusion about the near-term fate of the Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner. Some media outlets say that test flights could begin soon, and that an acceptable solution to the plane's battery problems are days away. Other reports claim that the federal government may not find an acceptable solution for weeks or longer.
U.S. safety regulators are poised to approve within days a plan to allow Boeing Co to begin flight tests of the 787 Dreamliner with a fix for its volatile batteries, a critical step towards returning the grounded aircraft to service, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood needs more information to be convinced that Boeing Co.'s BA +0.53% proposed fixes to batteries on its 787 Dreamliner are adequate to enable the jet to resume commercial flights.
"I have made it very clear that I want a thorough review" of the Boeing plan, Mr. LaHood told paper on Wednesday. "I am going to ask a lot of questions" before a final decision is made.
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