6 Most Important Things in Business Today
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) will no longer report monthly car sales. According to Reuters:
General Motors Co said on Tuesday it will stop reporting monthly U.S. vehicle sales, saying the 30-day snapshot does not accurately reflect the market and will instead issue quarterly sales.
GM will also no longer report monthly sales in China, its largest market, and Brazil. GM will provide monthly data to the U.S. Federal Reserve, industry associations and government agencies across the globe but that data is not made public.
Vacancies at malls have surged. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Empty space in regional shopping malls reached a six-year high in the first quarter, adding further stress to regions being hit by a retail earthquake that is shaking up the job market across the U.S.
The vacancy rate in big U.S. malls increased to 8.4% in the first quarter of 2018, up from 8.3% in the fourth quarter and the highest since the fourth quarter of 2012, according to real-estate data firm Reis Inc., which studies 77 metropolitan areas. Meanwhile, neighborhood and community shopping centers in 41 of the 77 areas experienced an increase in vacancy during the 12 months ending on March 31.
Elon Musk’s joke about a Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) bankruptcy backfired. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Tesla Inc. shares sank more than 7% Monday, suggesting investors were in no laughing mood over Chief Executive Elon Musk’s bankruptcy jokes as the electric-vehicle maker grapples with the aftermath of a fatal crash and prepares this week to release production results.
The drop to $248 a share in early trading extended a selloff that has lopped off 36% from the stock since its peak in September.
Mr. Musk delivered his April Fools’ tweet (“Tesla Goes Bankrupt”), in which he joked Tesla failed to raise enough cash in a last-ditch Easter Egg sale, at a time when his company’s cash position is under real scrutiny. Last week, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Tesla’s credit rating and cautioned about the company’s outlook, citing concerns about cash levels.
CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) may make a low-ball bid to buy Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB). According to Bloomberg:
CBS Corp. will offer less than the current market value of Viacom Inc. in its opening bid for the owner of MTV and Nickelodeon, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, showing how far apart the companies are as they explore recombining.
CBS will propose that its chief executive officer, Leslie Moonves, run the merged company for at least two years, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations.
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NYSE: FOXA) may sell Sky News to Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS). According to Bloomberg:
21st Century Fox Inc. is offering to sell Sky News to Walt Disney Co. as it seeks to win over U.K. regulators reviewing its 11.7 billion-pound ($16.5 billion) bid for broadcaster Sky Plc.
Disney is interested in acquiring Sky News regardless of whether its larger $52.4 billion takeover of most of Fox goes through, a move that would guarantee the editorial independence of the operation, Fox said in a submission to the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority. Fox could also legally ringfence Sky News, it said.
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox is bolstering efforts to secure the Sky takeover after Comcast Corp. in February made a surprise competing offer for the pay-TV company. Acquiring the 61 percent of Sky that Fox doesn’t own is part of Murdoch’s broader plan to sell Fox’s media businesses to Disney but the European takeover has been held up by additional scrutiny, after allegations of harassment at Fox News in the U.S. and as a 2011 phone-hacking scandal at Murdoch’s newspapers continued to dog the billionaire media tycoon.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) may buy an online pharmacy. According to CNBC:
Online pharmacy start-up PillPack is in talks to be acquired by Walmart for under $1 billion, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
PillPack’s focus on making it easier for customers to order and fulfill medications is an attractive proposition for Walmart and other e-commerce companies that are looking to enhance their health care offerings. The talks come amid reports of early acquisition talks between Walmart and health insurance giant Humana, which would be a much larger deal.