6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ: FOXA) said it would sell a number of its assets to Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS). According to The Wall Street Journal:

Walt Disney Co. raised its offer to purchase most of 21st Century Fox to more than $71.3 billion in cash and stock, topping an unsolicited offer from rival Comcast Corp. and escalating the bidding war for the coveted media properties.

Disney’s new offer is far higher than its original deal, $52.4 billion in stock, and surpasses Comcast’s all-cash offer of roughly $65 billion. In addition to having the higher offer, Disney said it also has a regulatory advantage over Comcast in winning a company to help it fight back against new-media competitors like Netflix Inc.

A major gun company said sales are off. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Smith & Wesson parent company American Outdoor Brands Corp. plans to lower advertising spending and firearms production to address what’s expected to be at least another year of falling gun sales.

Sales, which peaked just above $900 million in the business year ended in April 2017 fueled by concerns about tougher gun-ownership laws, are expected to fall for the third consecutive year.

Struggling MoviePass has new competition. According to The Wall Street Journal:

After previously saying subscription service MoviePass didn’t pose a significant threat, the largest cinema chain in the U.S. is taking it on directly.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. is launching a new offering that lets customers see up to three movies a week for $19.95 a month at any of its U.S. theaters. Called AMC Stubs A-List, the new service has several advantages over MoviePass, including the ability to book tickets days in advance, to do so in an app without a special debit card and to see films in premium formats such as 3-D or IMAX at no extra charge.

OPEC may be close to a production deal. According to CNBC:

Oil-producing nations appeared to inch closer to an output agreement in Vienna on Wednesday, even as geopolitical tensions and competing interests threatened to fracture an alliance of crude exporters.

Energy ministers are gathering in the Austrian capital this week to determine the future of OPEC’s 18-month-old agreement with Russia and other producers to limit oil output. The strategy has shrunk a global crude glut, but with oil prices recently hitting 3½-year highs, the producers are trying to reach consensus on easing the output caps to prevent the market from overheating.

The United States could become the number one producer of oil. According to CNNMoney:

The United States will be the world’s top oil producer in just a matter of months.

That’s the assessment of Pioneer Natural Resources Chairman Scott Sheffield, who told CNNMoney that he expects US production to surpass 11 million barrels a day within the next three to four months.

If achieved, that level of output would move the United States past Russia and make it the world’s top oil producer.

The German company that owns Mercedes-Benz said a trade war would hurt its financials. According to CNNMoney:

German automaker Daimler says its profits will fall this year, blaming the emerging trade war between the United States and China.

Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, said in a statement late Wednesday that “the decisive factor” for cutting its profit forecast was the expectation that China will raise tariffs on vehicles imported from the United States.