6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Users spent less time on Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) last quarter, the company disclosed. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Facebook Inc.’s dominance in digital advertising powered another surge in quarterly profit, though it said users were starting to shave back their time on its platform as it tries to address critics’ claims that the social network has harmful effects.

The company said its profit, excluding a $3.19 billion tax charge, soared 61% in the fourth quarter, typically the heaviest spending period for advertisers. About $2.27 billion of the charge stemmed from the U.S. tax overhaul.

Cloud computing, among the hottest sectors in tech, helped Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) earnings. This was indicated as the company announced quarterly results, according to The Wall Street Journal:

Microsoft already has carved a spot for itself as the No. 2 company behind Amazon.com Inc. in renting computing power and storage over the web. For its fiscal second quarter, the company reported strong gains in the two biggest pieces of its cloud-computing business: its Azure infrastructure services and Office 365 online-productivity business.

The government could run out of cash again in a few weeks. According to The Wall Street Journal:

The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday the government will most likely run out of cash to pay its bills in the first half of March unless Congress raises the federal borrowing limit.

CBO previously had projected Treasury would run out of cash in “late March or early April,” but said the effects of the new tax law caused it to move up its projection.

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) will end its long-term relationship with PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL), which used to be a division of the online auction company. The move will hurt PayPal’s financials. According to Bloomberg:

EBay Inc. will shift its payments business from long-time partner PayPal Holdings Inc. to Adyen BV, a global payments company based in the Netherlands, further distancing the companies that split in 2015 but remained intertwined through an agreement that fully expires in 2020.

Shares of PayPal fell after the news, dropping as much as 15 percent in extended trading.

PayPal will remain a checkout option for EBay shoppers at least until July 2023, EBay said in a statement. Adyen will gradually take over processing EBay payments, beginning in North America this year and will handle a majority of transactions in 2021. PayPal is currently EBay’s payments processor, meaning merchants selling on the marketplace have to have PayPal accounts to accept funds.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) will give many of its workers bonuses of $1,000, following the lead of many other companies that have made similar decisions because of the new tax laws. Bloomberg reporters wrote:

Lowe’s will follow rival Home Depot in giving thousands of its hourly employees a one-time bonus of up to $1,000 due to new tax legislation, according to an internal company memo reviewed by CNBC on Wednesday.

The bonuses will be based on an employee’s length of service with Lowe’s, and more than 260,000 part- and full-time individuals are set to receive the payouts, the company said. Lowe’s declined to comment on how the bonuses would be broken out based on tenure.

Airbus will begin to sell another super-long-range jet. According to CNNMoney:

Airbus has debuted its much-anticipated A321LR, the world’s longest-range jet with a single aisle currently in production.

The plane took its maiden flight Wednesday from the European plane maker’s factory in Hamburg, Germany.

‘LR’ stands for longer range. The plane can fly for 4,000 nautical miles, or about eight hours of flying, before it needs to refuel.