6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Netflix Inc.’s (NASDAQ: NFLX) market cap surged over $100 billion after news of better-than-expected additions to its subscriber base. According to MarketWatch:

Investors sent Netflix Inc. stock on a rampage after hours Monday, pushing shares up nearly 10% and tacking on enough value to propel the company to a $100 billion valuation by market capitalization following its fourth-quarter results.

Netflix beat revenue expectations by just under $10 million, logging earnings exactly where Wall Street predicted: 41 cents a share. But the company blew net subscription additions out of the water, logging 8.3 million new net subscribers, a 18% gain over the same period last year, well above the company’s forecast of 6.3 million. It also handily beat the analyst consensus forecast of 6.37 million, according to FactSet.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced that CEO Elon Musk’s compensation would be based strictly on the company’s performance. The company said:

Tesla today announced a new 10-year CEO performance award for Elon Musk with vesting entirely contingent on achieving market cap and operational milestones that would make Tesla one of the most valuable companies in the world. In order to fully vest, Tesla’s market cap would have to grow to $650 billion (an increase of almost $600 billion), and important revenue and profitability goals would also have to be achieved. The award is modeled after Elon’s 2012 performance award, which helped bring about a more than 17-fold increase in Tesla’s market cap in the five years after it was put in place.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), the second largest U.S. company based on market cap, has a current value of $660 billion.

The U.S. president imposed huge tariffs on some U.S. imports. According to The Wall Street Journal:

President Donald Trump slapped steep tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines, kicking off his second year in office by showing he is ready to start implementing his long-promised “America First” trade policy.

The moves were announced Monday in response to U.S. industry pleas for relief from a recent flood of cheap imports and are the first of what administration officials said would be a series of trade-enforcement actions in the coming months.

The tariffs are aimed mainly at Asian manufacturers—Chinese makers of solar panels and South Korean producers of washing machines. But the administration announced few exceptions for any countries, indicating a willingness to impose comprehensive new protective policies for U.S. companies against global competition. The new curbs also would affect trading partners from Mexico and Canada to Europe

The International Monetary Fund expects global economic growth to surge in the next two years. It also warned about potential trouble ahead:

As the year 2018 begins, the world economy is gathering speed. The new World Economic Outlook Update revises our forecast for the world economy’s growth in both 2018 and 2019 to 3.9 percent. For both years, that is 0.2 percentage points higher than last October’s forecast, and 0.2 percentage points higher than our current estimate of last year’s global growth.

This is good news. But political leaders and policymakers must stay mindful that the present economic momentum reflects a confluence of factors that is unlikely to last for long. The global financial crisis may seem firmly behind us, but without prompt action to address structural growth impediments, enhance the inclusiveness of growth, and build policy buffers and resilience, the next downturn will come sooner and be harder to fight.

The United Kingdom has blocked a plan by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ: FOXA) to buy all of satellite company Sky. According to CNNMoney:

A U.K. regulator is recommending that the government block Rupert Murdoch’s planned $16 billion takeover of Sky TV in its current form.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in a statement Tuesday that the proposed deal by Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox (FOX) is likely to be “against the public interest” because it would give the mogul too much control over British media.

The action might be reversed if Murdoch sells Sky News, the regulator said.

Bacardi will pick up another liquor company. According to CNNMoney:

Bacardi Limited, which owns the rum brand and hundreds of other spirits, said Monday that it’s acquiring the tequila company in a deal worth $5.1 billion. It’s expected to close in the first half of this year.

Patrón Spirits International is known for its premium tequila, packaged in distinctive dome-shaped bottles. The brand’s been around for nearly 30 years.