DeSantis Vs. Disney, Alibaba Spinoffs Cloud Business, Apple Bans Internal ChatGPT Use: Today's Top Stories


Alibaba's Cloud Business Spinoff - What's Going On With Alibaba Stock Friday

  • Alibaba Group Holding Limited's BABA move to fully spin out a potentially transformative $12 billion cloud business has fueled speculation of it succumbing to market or political realities.
  • Analysts value the cloud business at upwards of $30 billion, a prime beneficiary of a post-ChatGPT frenzy mirroring the success of Amazon.Com Inc's AMZN cloud unit Amazon Web Services.
  • Alibaba splurged tens of billions over a decade in hosting computing for corporations over the Internet, a business that outstripped rival offerings from Tencent Holdings Ltd TCEHY and Baidu Inc BIDU.


Financial Times

Carl Icahn Admits Making A Mistake On Bearish Bet, Said He Should Have Kept His Own Advice

  • Prominent activist investor Carl Icahn has acknowledged his error in placing a substantial bet on a market crash, ultimately resulting in his group suffering losses of nearly $9 billion over six years.
  • The net asset value of Icahn Enterprises LP IEP decreased from $7.9 billion in 2017 to $5.6 billion this month, posing a potential issue for Icahn, as he traditionally opted for an annual dividend of $8 per share in stock rather than cash. 
  • While Icahn still maintains some belief that the economy is unfavorable and anticipates future challenges, he admitted, "We are still hedged, but not to the extent we were."


Wall Street Journal

Apple Bans Internal ChatGPT Use: iPhone Maker Exploring In-House AI Solutions?

  • Apple Inc AAPL has reportedly implemented a ban on the use of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence tools within the company.
  • Apple circulated an internal document prohibiting its employees from using ChatGPT and similar large language models.
  • The decision to restrict the use of competing LLMs stems from concerns over the potential leakage of user data.
  • The tech giant is also reportedly in the process of developing a similar technology.

Google Celebrates As Samsung Retracts Plan To Switch Over To Microsoft Bing For Now

  • Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google heaved a sigh of relief as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd SSNLF decided against swapping out the default search engine on its smartphones for Microsoft Corp's MSFT Bing any time soon.
  • Samsung suspended an internal review that had explored replacing Google with Bing on its mobile devices.
  • Any reversal would have handed Bing a coveted victory in the Google-led search-engine space.

Disney Scraps $864M Lake Nona Project Amid Tensions With Florida Governor DeSantis

  • The Walt Disney Company DIS is withdrawing its decision to invest $864 million in a new Florida corporate campus. The project was initially anticipated to relocate more than 2,000 Disney employees, primarily from its theme parks division, to Lake Nona, Florida.
  • The news came from an email sent to employees by Josh D'Amaro, head of Disney's Parks, Experiences, and Products division since 2020.



Going All Electric Is Not The Best Choice For The Environment: Toyota

  • Toyota Motor Corporation's TM gasoline-electric hybrids, like Toyota Prius, are a more "realistic choice" to reduce climate change hazards for some markets and drivers.
  • The company warned that focusing just on Battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, as a cleaner car alternative could lead some drivers to hold onto polluting vehicles.
  • The automaker said there are insufficient resources for BEVs to be the only cleaner car option globally.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Ramps Up Stake In Occidental Petroleum Again Weeks After Denying A Buyout

  • Warren Buffett-backed Berkshire Hathaway boosted its stake in Occidental Petroleum Corp OXY to 24.4% in exchange for $201 million for 3.46 million Occidental shares between May 16 and 18
  • The firm began buying shares early since oil prices surged upon Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
  • Previously Buffett snubbed reports of Berkshire buying out Occidental.

AstraZeneca's China Executive Seeks Loyalty to "Love the Communist Party" In China

  • During an event held in the city of Wuxi to commemorate its 30th year in China, AstraZeneca Plc's AZN China president, Wang Lei, said the company will seek to be a patriotic company in China that "loves the Communist Party." 
  • Wang, who also holds the position of global executive vice president, commented at the event.
  • AstraZeneca's recent endeavors in China include a $450 million investment to construct a factory to produce inhalers. In 2022, China accounted for 13% of the company's overall sales.

Lazard CEO To Resign, Names Replacement

  • Lazard Ltd LAZ CEO, Ken Jacobs, is anticipated to resign from his post for undisclosed reasons.
  • As per the sources, Jacobs will continue to work with clients at Lazard post-resigning.
  • Peter Orszag, head of the investment bank's financial advisory division, was named the replacement.



What's Going On With Peloton Interactive Today

  • Peloton Interactive Inc PTON announced a rear safety guard for its recalled Tread+ treadmill.  
  • The safety guard, currently manufactured and available later this year, will be offered for free to the owners.
  • In May 2021, the company recalled its Tread and Tread+ treadmills after the use of treadmills resulted in multiple injuries and one child's death.



The First Test To Detect Preeclampsia From Thermo Fisher Gets FDA Approval

  • The FDA has reportedly approved Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc's TMO blood test for preeclampsia, which causes pregnancy-related illness and death, to aid in the risk assessment of pregnant women within the next two weeks. 
  • It is the first and only blood-based biomarker immunoassay to receive breakthrough designation and clearance for the risk assessment and clinical management of preeclampsia.
  • Testing of the blood-based biomarkers was looked at in over 700 women.

Deere Stock Pops On Upbeat Q2 And FY23 Guidance Boost

  • Deere & Company DE reported second-quarter FY23 net sales and revenue growth of 30% year-on-year to $17.39 billion, beating the consensus of $14.83 billion.
  • The EPS of $9.65 surpassed the consensus of $8.59.
  • Deere boosts FY23 Production & Precision Ag net sales growth of up ~ 20% and price realization of +15 %, Small Ag & Turf net sales growth of up ~ 5% and price realization of +9 %, and Construction & Forestry net sales growth of up ~ 15% and price realization of +10%.

Foot Locker Stock Plunges On Weak Q1 Earnings: Here's Why

  • Specialty athletic retailer Foot Locker Inc FL reported a first-quarter FY23 sales decline of 11.4% year-on-year to $1.93 billion, missing the analyst consensus estimate of $1.99 billion.
  • Adjusted EPS of $0.70 missed the analyst consensus of $0.81.
  • Comparable store sales decreased by 9.1% versus last year.
  • Foot Locker cuts FY23 comparable sales guidance from down 3.5% - 5.5% to down 7.5% - 9%.
  • It also cut FY23 sales guidance from down 3.55% – 5.5% to down 6.5% - 8%.

Newmont Hires A Highly Experienced CFO Post Newcrest Acquisition Announcement

  • Newmont Corp NEM today disclosed the appointment of Karyn Ovelman as the new Executive Vice President and CFO.
  • Karyn Ovelman, who will be joining the company in Q2 2023, has previously worked as CFO in several major resource and energy companies.
  • Karyn has also been on the Board of Directors at Hess Corp HESS and ArcelorMittal SA MT.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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