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Samsonite says Blue Orca report ‘incorrect’; stock slides again

Samsonite has fired back at an investment firm that accused it of questionable business practices, but its response failed to reassure shareholders. The company’s stock plummeted more than 12% in Hong Kong on Friday, following a 10% drop the day before. Samsonite came under fire Thursday from Blue Orca Capital, a new firm led by renowned short seller Soren Aandahl. Short sellers are investors who profit by driving down the value of a company’s shares. The Blue Orca report accused…

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CEO and directors quit sanction-hit Russian aluminum giant

A Russian aluminum giant just lost its CEO and most of its board as it tries to wriggle out of US sanctions. Rusal, the world’s second-biggest aluminum producer, said Thursday that CEO Alexandra Bouriko and seven directors had resigned. The company also warned that the US sanctions, which were announced last month, could make it tough for it to pay back its debts. Rusal, which produces 7% of the world’s aluminum, has been under intense pressure following the sanctions, which…

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GE is shrinking its empire but not fixing its debt crisis

John Flannery is on a mission to clean up General Electric’s debt mess by further shrinking the conglomerate’s empire. The GE CEO has promised to sell about $20 billion of businesses — and use the proceeds to pay down debt. GE made progress on that goal on Monday by unloading GE Transportation, the 111-year-old rail division, in an $11 billion merger with rival Wabtech (WAB). GE also recently agreed to sell a health-care business for $1 billion. GE has been…

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In the Comcast-Disney battle, is Brian Roberts outflanking Bob Iger?

Three of the world’s most influential media executives are trying to outduel one another for a chance to define the future of the media industry. Where Comcast (CMCSA) and Disney’s (DIS) battle for Fox ends up is anybody’s guess. Here’s where things stand right now: Comcast this week said it is mulling an offer for the major film and TV assets owned by 21st Century Fox (FOXA). The bid isn’t yet official. But if Comcast forges ahead, it could threaten…

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Netflix is now worth more than Disney and Comcast

Netflix officially rules the media world. The streaming company is now worth more than Disney and Comcast. Shares of Netflix (NFLX) were up Thursday even as Disney (DIS), Comcast (CMCSA) and the broader market fell. Netflix’s market value is now $153.1 billion. Disney’s market cap as of Thursday afternoon was $152 billion. Netflix passed Comcast on Wednesday. The cable giant is now valued at about $145.5 billion. Netflix has added millions of subscribers around the globe for the past few…

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How Starbucks will train its staff to be less biased

Starbucks has planned an elaborate racial bias training session for its employees. On Tuesday afternoon, May 29, workers at each location will break into small groups to learn together. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, Chairman Howard Schultz and musician and activist Common will serve as virtual guides. Employees will talk about their own experiences, and watch a film about bias. The company explained that each store will get a tool kit to help guide the trainings. The session will focus on…

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Exxon pledges to slash greenhouse gas emissions

ExxonMobil, a frequent target of climate activists, is pledging to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s largest public oil company on Wednesday detailed plans to cut methane emissions by 15% by 2020. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that scientists blame for contributing to global warming. Exxon (XOM) further pledged to cut flaring by 25%, led by significant reductions at the company’s operations in West Africa. Flaring, the burning of excess natural gas at oil wells, is a…

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Companies have spent a stunning $2 trillion on mergers so far this year

Merger mania is back with a vengeance this year. Companies have announced more than $2 trillion in deals so far in 2018. That’s a record pace for merger activity, topping the deal volume from the first few months of 2007, according to Thomson Reuters. And if this keeps up, merger activity should easily pass the all-time annual record of $4.7 trillion in deals set in 2015. The acquisitions span the globe — and various industries. • Health insurer Cigna (CI)…

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Dow sinks 250 points after Trump cancels North Korea summit

President Trump’s decision to cancel an historic summit with North Korea rattled Wall Street. The Dow lost as much as 250 points, or about 1%, on Thursday after the White House scrapped the June 12 meeting in Singapore. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell nearly 1% apiece. The sudden decision dashed hopes among investors for the end of nuclear saber-rattling between the United States and North Korea. The stock market has been “suffocated” by a steady stream of geopolitical headlines…

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Best Buy’s strong sales leave Wall Street wanting more

Best Buy has proven once again that it’s possible for a brick-and-mortar retailer to do well even in a world increasingly dominated by Amazon and online commerce. The electronics retail chain said its outlook is strong after it posted strong first-quarter sales and profit Thursday that topped Wall Street’s forecasts. But shares of Best Buy (BBY) fell about 7% in early trading on the news. Best Buy chief financial officer Corie Barry noted during a conference call with analysts that…

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