Amazon Halts Delivery Bots; Merck's Covid-19 Pill Didn't Reduce Risk; Samsung Profits Slip; Adidas Reviews Relationship With Kanye: Top Stories Friday, Oct. 7

Zinger Key Points
  • Walmart to let go of more than 1,000 employees in Atlanta.
  • British fashion group Superdry has returned to profit.


Credit Suisse Floats Plan For $3B Debt Buyback

  • Credit Suisse Group AG CS has offered to buy back its debt securities worth about $3 billion in the backdrop of concerns about the Swiss bank's financial health, which had dragged its share price and led to an increase in bets against its debt.
  • Credit Suisse's shares had briefly hit an all-time low on Monday, while its credit default swaps hit a record high in the backdrop of the market's concerns over the bank's future.

Key Apple Supplier Clocks 48% Sales Growth In Q3

  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd TSM reported a September revenue growth of 36.4% year-on-year to NT$208.25 billion.
  • Revenue for January through September 2022 totaled NT$1.64 trillion, up 42.6% Y/Y.
  • Revenue for the third quarter grew 48% Y/Y to NT$613 billion ($19.4 billion), above the consensus of NT$603 billion.
  • Apple Inc's AAPL most crucial chipmaker signals that the most prominent players in the $550 billion semiconductor industry may bypass the downturn helped by resilient demand for electronics products.

Samsung Shares Slide As Much As 2% On Bleak Q3 Profit View

  • Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. SSLNF reported earnings guidance for the third quarter, with the consolidated operating profit likely dropping nearly 32% to 10.8 trillion won compared to last year.
  • This is the first profit drop reported by the company since 2019.
  • Consolidated sales are estimated at approximately 76 trillion won, slightly higher than the 73.98 trillion won registered a year earlier.

Google Opens Data Center In Japan

  • Alphabet Inc.'s GOOG GOOGL Google will open its first data center in Japan next year.
  • The new facility, based in Inzai City, Chiba, will accelerate the operation of Google tools and services and support economic activity and jobs.
  • The Chiba data center is part of a $730 million investment in infrastructure that began in 2021 and will continue through 2024. That includes the Topaz subsea cable, likely to be ready for service in 2023.

Spotify Weeds Out 11 Original Podcasts; Downsizes Staff By 5%

  • Spotify Technology S.A. SPOT pulled 11 original podcasts from the platform.
  • It will impact studios Parcast and Gimlet and involve less than 5% layoffs from Spotify's podcast staff.
  • Spotify appears to be weeding out the failures, possibly making room for the several upcoming O&E titles the company intends to announce in the weeks and months ahead.

UK Study: Merck's COVID-19 Antiviral Pill Did Not Cut Hospitalization Risk

  • Merck & Co Inc. MRK and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced data from two real-world evidence studies evaluating Lagevrio (molnupiravir), an investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine.
  • According to the results of a pivotal clinical trial in the UK, Merck's COVID-19 antiviral pill failed to show it can lower the risks of hospitalization and death among adults at higher risk from the disease. 

Telenor Divests 30% Of Norway Fiber Company for $1B

  • Telenor ASA TELNF TELNY agreed to divest a minority stake in its Norway fiber assets to a consortium led by KKR & Co Inc KKR and Oslo Pensjonsforsikring for 10.8 billion kroner ($1 billion).
  • The deal is part of a strategy by Norway's biggest telecommunications company to highlight the value of its infrastructure and free up capital to lay down more fiber in the country.

British Fashion Retailer Superdry Returns To Profit; Emphasizes Refinancing Needs

  • British fashion group Superdry ADR SEPGY has returned to profit in the fiscal year 2022, with an adjusted profit before tax of £21.9 million versus a loss of £(12.6) million in FY21.
  • Total revenue increased 9.6% to £609.6 million year-on-year due to lapping enforced store closures and lifting restrictions in key markets.

Wall Street Journal

Amid FDA Dispute, Juul Labs Cancels Overseas Expansion Plans

  • Juul Labs Inc. is taking all necessary steps to stay afloat, CEO K.C. Crosthwaite says. Altria Group Inc MO has a minority stake in the company.
  • Juul expects lay offs after scrapping expansion plans outside the U.S.
  • It has also refinanced its secured debt, giving it more time to explore more long-term options, the CEO added.


Amazon Will Halt Live Tests Of 'Scout' Delivery Bots

  • Inc AMZN has reportedly halted the live testing of its automated delivery robot "Amazon Scout."
  • The e-commerce giant found that the program failed to meet customer needs.
  • An Amazon spokesperson told the newswire it was "reorienting" the program instead of complete abandonment, and workers would be matched to other open roles at the company.

EU Asks: Will Microsoft Block Peers Following Activision Deal?

  • EU antitrust regulators grilled game developers about whether Microsoft Corp MSFT will be incentivized to block rivals' access to "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard Inc. ATVI best-selling games.
  • The EU competition enforcer also asked if Activision's trove of user data would give Microsoft a competitive advantage in developing, publishing, and distributing computer and console games.
  • EU antitrust regulators are due to make a preliminary decision by November 8 on whether to clear Microsoft's proposed $69 billion acquisition.

Toyota Fears Information Leak From Its Telematics Service

  • Toyota Motor Corp TM fears that about 296,000 pieces of customer information from its T-Connect service might have been leaked.
  • The affected customers are individuals who signed up to the service's website using their email addresses since July 2017.
  • Toyota denied any possibility of a leak in users' sensitive personal information.

Walmart To Let Go More Than 1,000 Employees In Atlanta

  • As per a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, Walmart Inc. WMT looks to lay off 1,458 workers at the e-commerce fulfillment center in Fulton Parkway in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • "We're converting the fulfillment center on Fulton Parkway to support our growing WFS (Walmart Fulfillment Services) business.


Adidas Holds Kanye West Tie Under Review

  • Adidas AG ADDYY is reviewing its relationship with rapper Kanye West following recent issues when the rapper publicly accused Adidas CEO of not providing him control over Yeezy.
  • Adidas announced its partnership with West in 2013. West also agreed in 2016 to manufacture and distribute items from his Yeezy clothing line.
  • In September, West terminated Yeezy's partnership with Gap Inc GPS.
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