Home FINANCE Disney Slashes Ticket Prices For Children, US Government Ceases Free Distribution Of Merck COVID Pill, UK Deep Dives Into Amazon And Microsoft’s Cloud Power: Today’s Top Stories

Disney Slashes Ticket Prices For Children, US Government Ceases Free Distribution Of Merck COVID Pill, UK Deep Dives Into Amazon And Microsoft’s Cloud Power: Today’s Top Stories




Disney Slashes Children’s Ticket Prices Amid Attendance Slump

  • The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has unveiled a new series of discounts for children visiting its iconic Disneyland and Disney World parks.

  • This strategic move comes amidst a noticeable decline in attendance and hotel occupancy, a trend exacerbated by the inflationary pressures that have made vacations more expensive for families.

  • Beginning October 24, Disneyland, located in California, will offer tickets for children aged three to nine at a starting price of $50.

Amazon’s Strategic Retreat from Live Audio Resonates Bitter-Sweet Symphony

  • Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) has decided to pull the plug on Amp, its live-audio app introduced in March 2022. Amp was a platform where users could emulate radio DJs, combining music playback with live commentary. This closure comes amidst a series of project terminations by the e-commerce giant.

  • However, despite its initial allure, the app’s journey has been cut short, a decision that Steve Boom, the head of Amazon’s digital music unit, described as complex and well-considered.


Wall Street Journal

Lab-Developed Tests Under FDA Scrutiny: What It Means For Startups

  • A proposed regulatory shift has injected uncertainty into the laboratory-testing market just as startups advance various tests to detect diseases sooner and personalize treatments.

  • Startups seizing advances in fields such as genomics and artificial intelligence are designing laboratory-developed tests to spot cancer and other illnesses before symptoms arise and to identify optimal therapies.

  • But the agency’s latest salvo leaves lab companies with less certainty about future regulation, complicating investment and product-development decisions.



No Merck’s COVID-19 Pill – US Government Ceases Free Distribution

  • The U.S. government is set to cease the distribution of free doses of Merck & Co Inc’s (NYSE: MRK) COVID-19 antiviral treatment Lagevrio (molnupiravir), by mid-November, shifting its availability to the commercial market.

  • The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services division, recently announced this transition, citing the need for the drug to be made available through traditional commercial channels.

Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy Success Uplifts Denmark’s Economy And Reputation, But With Caution

  • Novo Nordisk A/S’s (NYSE: NVO) remarkable success with its weight-loss treatment, Wegovy, is not only a cause for celebration but also a source of caution for Denmark.

  • In August, the Danish government revised its annual economic growth forecast, crediting Novo’s achievements, which have translated into a 1.2% growth compared to the previously predicted 0.6%.

  • These profits will boost tax revenues and employment, with the company already adding 3,500 jobs in Denmark in 2022, bringing the total to 21,000 employees.



Could Walmart’s AI Leap Be A Game-Changer in the Retail Landscape?

  • Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) will likely disrupt the customer shopping experience by integrating generative AI tools. These innovations enhance every phase of the customer’s journey, from product discovery to purchase.

  • The retail giant is in the advanced stages of testing AI-powered features, including a conversational shopping assistant, an intuitive search tool, and an innovative interior design assistant.



DirecTV’s Future Uncertain as AT&T Mulls Over Divestment Strategies

  • AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) is reportedly considering various strategies for its 70% ownership in DirecTV, America’s third-largest pay-TV provider. This development surfaces as the telecom giant nears the expiration of an agreement that permits the sale of its stake in the pay-TV company.

  • Insiders revealed that AT&T is contemplating different options, including a dividend recapitalization, introducing a new investor, or potentially selling its stake by August 2024. However, these discussions are preliminary.



UK’s Deep Dive into Amazon and Microsoft’s Cloud Power Raises Eyebrows

  • The U.K.’s anti-competition regulators have initiated a comprehensive investigation into the towering dominance of Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Amazon.Com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) in the cloud computing arena.

  • This move comes as concerns rise over the giants’ extensive control and the subsequent impact on market competition and business operations.

  • Media watchdog Ofcom has escalated its preliminary inquiry to the Competition and Markets Authority, marking the commencement of an in-depth examination into the matter.

Dell To Reveal Its Updated Long-Term Value Creation Framework

  • Dell Technologies Inc (NYSE: DELL) prepared to offer updates to its long-term financial framework during its Securities Analyst Meeting Thursday, including an increase to the company’s share repurchase authorization, a boost to its annual capital return target, and its commitment to grow the dividend.

  • Dell will announce its updated long-term value creation framework, which includes compounded annual revenue growth of 3%-4% and an increase to its non-GAAP EPS target of 8% yearly growth or better over the long term.

Dover Acquires FW Murphy For $530M, Expects Deal To Boost Margin

  • Dover Corp (NYSE: DOV) inked a deal to acquire FW Murphy Production Controls, LLC, a subsidiary of privately-owned Genisys Controls LLC, for $530 million in cash.

  • The acquisition cost, net of positive tax attributes, represents about 13x of FW Murphy’s 2023 Adjusted EBITDA, with accretive to DOV’s margin.

  • FW Murphy is projected to generate revenue of around $120 million in 2023, with substantial aftermarket and recurring revenue.



Beverage Alcohol Company Constellation Brands’ Q2: Earnings Beat, 8.7% Beer Shipments Growth & More

  • Constellation Brands Inc (NYSE: STZ) reported second-quarter FY24 net sales growth of 7% year-on-year to $2.84 billion, beating the analyst consensus estimate of $2.82 billion.

  • Net sales for the Beer segment increased 12% Y/Y to $2.392 billion, and Wine and Spirits declined 14% Y/Y to $444.1 million.

  • Constellation raised its FY24 Comparable EPS outlook from $11.70 – $12 to $12 – $12.20 versus an estimate of $11.70.

Swedish Electric Car Brand Polestar Records 50% Growth In Q3 Deliveries; Foresees Higher Margins

  • Swedish electric performance car brand Polestar Automotive Holding UK (NASDAQ: PSNY) reported Q3 delivery growth of 50% Y/Y to about 13,900 vehicles.

  • The company benefitted from increased sales of the higher-priced, upgraded Polestar 2, which boosted margin.

  • With approximately 41,700 deliveries in the first nine months ( up 37% Y/Y) and Polestar 4 deliveries commencing in China during the fourth quarter, Polestar still expects to deliver 60,000-70,000 vehicles in 2023.

Tesla’s Vietnamese Rival VinFast Shares Jump After Q3 Earnings

  • VinFast Auto Ltd (NASDAQ: VFS) reported Q3 revenues of $342.66 million, representing an increase of 159.3% Y/Y and an increase of 3.8% from Q2.

  • The Vietnamese automaker’s EV deliveries were 10,027 in Q3, representing an increase of approximately 5.2% from Q2. The company started to see a sales increase in September in North America, particularly in Canada. VinFast delivered 153 EVs in the same quarter a year ago.

Bleach And Cleaning Products Maker Clorox’s Shares Fall On Interim Q1 Results

  • Clorox Co (NYSE: CLX) shares are trading lower after it reported preliminary Q1 FY24 financial results.

  • The company sees Q1 adjusted EPS of $(0.40)-$0.00 and a net sales decline of 23%-28% Y/Y, with expected organic sales decrease of 26%-21% (vs. guidance of mid-single-digits growth).

  • Last month, Clorox identified unauthorized activity on some of its IT systems in August and immediately remediated the breach, forcing the company to operate at reduced speeds.

Duncan Hines Parent ConAgra Brands’ Q1: Flat Sales, EPS Beat, Inflation-Driven Pricing, Reaffirmed FY24 Guidance & More

  • ConAgra Brands Inc (NYSE: CAG) reported Q1 FY24 sales of $2.90 billion, flat Y/Y, missing the consensus of $2.95 billion.

  • Organic sales fell 0.3% Y/Y in Q1, led by a 6.6% Y/Y decline in volume on an industry-wide slowdown in consumption and recent consumer behavior shifts.

  • ConAgra reaffirmed FY24 organic net sales growth of 1% and adjusted EPS of $2.70-$2.75 (consensus $2.72).

Specialty Retailer Buckle Reports 11.1% Drop In Comparable Store Sales For September

  • Specialty retailer Buckle Inc (NYSE: BKE) released its sales figures for September 2023, showing a decline in performance.

  • BKE’s comparable store net sales declined by 11.1% YoY for the five weeks ending September 30, 2023.

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