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Friday Papers: Amazon profit surge smashes forecasts

Friday Papers: Amazon profit surge smashes forecasts

Top stories

  • The Times: Amazon registered a record quarterly profit that was almost triple analysts’ forecasts on the back of strong cloud computing business; its shares jumped 7.4% yesterday.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank’s new chief executive has hinted at abandoning its long-term ambition of becoming a leading global investment bank by redefining “the core of our bank” by focusing on corporate clients in Europe.
  • The Daily Telegraph: TSB has announced that it would waive all overdraft fees and interest charges for retail and small business customers for April, in a bid to avoid an exodus of customers after IT problems sparked public outrage.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s overtures on full market access for the City to European Union were rebuffed again after the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier rejected British claims that the bloc desperately needs City of London.
  • Financial Times: Pakistani-American billionaire Shahid Khan has approached the Football Association to acquire London’s Wembley Stadium with a £600 million offer.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Facebook told British lawmakers it would radically overhaul political advertising rules to make them more transparent, after MPs slammed the social media giant for being a “morality-free zone”.
  • Financial Times: Insurer Legal & General's early-stage investment business is launching an affordable housing business, which will both develop and buy homes and manage properties for “affordable” rent built by other developers.
  • Daily Mail: Royal Dutch Shell reported a 42% jump in underlying quarterly profits to £3.8 billion during the first three months of the year amid rising oil prices.
  • Financial Times: Samsung Electronics has reported 53% surge in net profits in the first quarter thanks to strong demand for memory chips.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Better sales for rare disease drugs and a lower tax rate boosted Irish drugmaker Shire's profit by 47% to £395 million ahead of its takeover by Japanese rival Takeda.
  • Financial Times: Fiat Chrysler’s profits rose above its rival General Motors for the first time in any quarter as the Italian-US company posted a net profit of €1 billion ($1.2 billion) for the first quarter.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Clothing group N Brown shares moved 8% higher on the London Stock Exchange as the company saw its first quarter sales increase by 3.9%.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bad weather has boosted Danish renewable energy giant Ørsted, previously known as Dong Energy, which revealed a surge in earnings for the first quarter by 51% to 3.2 billion Danish kroner (£370 million).
  • The Daily Telegraph: Barclays suffered £236 million quarterly loss caused by increased provisioning for mis-sold payment protection insurance claims and a £1.4 billion settlement with the US Department of Justice.
  • The Times: Britain’s third-biggest housebuilder Taylor Wimpey's sales rate suffered as the cold weather knocked out nearly a month of building work in February and March.
  • Daily Mail: Carpetright is preparing to shut 81 stores, putting 300 jobs at risk, as a part of its restructuring.
  • The Guardian: Cold snap in March caused sales at Homebase plummet by 20% adding to the woes of the Australian-owned DIY chain.
  • Daily Mail: Poundworld is set to shut 100 stores across the UK putting around 1,500 jobs at risk, under a restructuring plan, known as a Company Voluntary Agreement.
  • The Times: Shares in the FTSE 250 motor and home insurer Hastings fell by 2.9% as the company announced higher than expected claims from motorists crashing in the snow and ice last month.
  • Financial Times: BP has appointed Helge Lund, the former chief executive of BG Group and Statoil, as its new chairman.
  • The Times: Shareholders speaking for nearly one third of the votes have refused to re-appoint Nigel Rudd as the chairman of Meggitt.
  • Financial Times: Investors in Scottish engineering company Weir have overwhelmingly voted to end its long term incentive plan, and halving the maximum equity awards for top executives.
  • The Times: US activist investors Sachem Head and Elliott Advisors will push Whitbread to break up Premier Inn and Costa Coffee faster than the two-year timeframe laid out by the company.
  • The Guardian: A new law on the EU’s audio-visual services directive means that Netflix, Amazon and other online streaming services will have to dedicate 30% of their output to TV shows and films made in Europe.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Titan Group owned by Christo Wiese, former chairman of Steinhoff, is suing the retail giant for £3.4 billion over cash injections made in 2015 and 2016.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A Greenpeace investigation claims that a supplier of palm oil with links to major brands including Unilever, Nestle, PepsiCo and Mars, has been destroying rainforests in a protected area of Papua, Indonesia.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Barclays; AVOID Kaz Minerals.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): BUY TR European Growth Trust.
  • Financial Times: Activist hedge fund Elliott Advisors has taken over British high street giant Waterstones, raising the possibility of another private sale or a stock market flotation in the medium term.
  • The Guardian: The merger of npower and SSE could lead to higher consumer energy bills and warrants further scrutiny, according to the competition watchdog.
  • Financial Times: Norwegian Air said it had set up a steering committee of its board and appointed banking and legal advisers as it had received “several inquiries” from unnamed suitors including British Airways.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Relief for Greece? The debt dilemma facing creditors.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Will the TSB chief pay the price for its online banking meltdown?
  • The Times (Comment): What we can all learn from the Swiss about life outside EU borders.

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