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business news roundup, feb. 1

business news roundup, feb. 1 News Article With The full text news and with Resource Link at the bottom of the text and you can View this News Article in the source page.



business news roundup, feb. 1

slack goes after big companies

slack technologies, a fast-growing startup trying to wean businesses off email by hooking employees on its more informal messaging service, is now hoping to snare the world’s biggest companies as customers.

its new enterprise grid is designed to enable workers in different departments to communicate more easily with each other.

slack has become a popular way for teams of employees to communicate, but workers haven’t been able to quickly connect with other departments.

enterprise grid will let workers in different slack groups message each other more easily.

delivery

walmart alters

shipping rules

walmart is replacing a program that offered free shipping but had an annual fee with one that has a lower free shipping threshold and faster delivery.

it’s one of the first big moves by walmart.com’s ceo mark lore, whose company jet.com was bought by walmart last year, as it hopes to answer amazon’s powerful prime membership success.

walmart says it will reduce shipping time to two days on 2 million popular essentials like diapers, pet food and cleaning supplies. its average shipping time has been three to five days. it also reduced the spending level to qualify for free shipping to $35 from $50.

that’s still lagging amazon.com, which offers two-day delivery on millions of products for prime members who pay $99 annually and get several other perks.

earnings

pfizer profit

dips in quarter

pfizer posted disappointing profit for the fourth quarter to cap a difficult 2016, but it predicted slightly better results for this year.

the biggest u.s. drugmaker earned less than analysts had expected, but revenue e in higher than projected.

the maker of viagra and pain treatment lyrica reported net income of $775 million (13 cents per share), compared with a loss of $172 million a year ago, as it reduced spending on administration, sales, marketing and lawsuits.

excluding one-time expenses, profit was 47 cents per share, 3 cents below analysts’ estimates. quarterly revenue totaled $13.63 billion, just above the $13.55 billion wall street had expected.

company executives cited approval last year of new medicines for eczema and pain, approvals of three existing drugs for use in additional patient groups and possible approval this year of a new cancer drug.

exxon mobil down 40%

exxon mobil posted its smallest quarterly profit in more than 17 years after low oil and gas prices pushed the company to write down the value of some natural gas holdings in the united states.

the 40 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit capped exxon’s weakest year since 1998.

still, exxon ended a string of nine straight quarters in which revenue declined from a year earlier.

the new ceo, darren woods, didn’t signal any change in strategy. he blamed the lower profit on the long slump in oil and gas prices and the $2 billion write-down, and said exxon’s string of major projects around the world put it in good position for the long term.

the write-down mostly covered gas properties in the rocky mountains that exxon acquired in 2010.

fourth-quarter net income was $1.68 billion (41 cents per share). that included a $2 billion impairment charge, making it exxon’s smallest quarterly gain since it earned $1.53 billion in the third quarter of 1999.

analysts expected 72 cents per share.

exxon reported revenue of $61.02 billion, an increase of 2 percent but less than the $63.57 billion analysts expected.

ea posts

smaller loss

electronic arts reported a net loss of $1 million in its fiscal third quarter, smaller than the $45 million loss it reported a year earlier.

the redwood city video game maker said tuesday that the loss was less than a penny per share basis, compared with 14 cents a year ago.

ea had revenue of $1.15 billion in the period, up from $1.07 billion in the year-ago quarter. its adjusted revenue was $2.07 billion, exceeding the $2.06 billion forecast by analysts.

for the current quarter, which ends in march, electronic arts said it expects revenue in the range of $1.48 billion.

the company expects full-year earnings to be $2.91 per share, with revenue expected to be $4.8 billion.

electronic arts shares have climbed roughly 6 percent since the beginning of the year. the stock closed tuesday at $83.43 per share, but slid to $82.50 in after-hours trading.

chronicle news services