McDonald's, Under Armour, Walt Disney: Stocks That Defined the Week
By Francesca Fontana
National Beverage Corp.
LaCroix is losing more of its fizz. Shares of the company that produces the flavored seltzer drink fell 11% Thursday after Coca-Cola Co. announced its own bubbly water brand called AHA. It's a late entry to the category popularized by LaCroix maker National Beverage Corp. But LaCroix has lost market share over the past year as new drinks crowd store shelves, including PepsiCo Inc.'s Bubly. Coca-Cola's new offering comes after a previous flavored seltzer line called Dasani Sparkling didn't gain traction.
McDonald's fired Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook because of his consensual relationship with an employee. The burger giant announced his firing Sunday, after the board voted Friday to terminate Mr. Easterbrook. He resigned from McDonald's board as well, writing in an email to McDonald's employees that he had violated company policy on personal conduct. McDonald's said Mr. Easterbrook would be succeeded immediately by Chris Kempczinski, the chain's U.S. president. McDonald's Corp. later said its top human-resources executive also left the company. Shares fell 2.7% Monday.
Under Armour Inc.
Under Armour shares fell nearly 19% Monday after the company confirmed it was the subject of a federal investigation into its accounting practices. On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission were examining the sportswear maker's revenue recognition practices and whether it shifted sales from quarter to quarter to make them appear stronger. After the Journal published the article, Under Armour said it is cooperating with investigators and that it began responding in July 2017 to requests for documents and information relating primarily to its accounting practices and related disclosures.
Xerox Holdings Corp. would like to hit 'print' on a purchase of HP, after making a cash-and-stock offer for the maker of personal computers and printers. The proposed deal, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, would join two household names that have been trying to retool their businesses as the need for printed documents declines. Both companies are in cost-cutting mode and a union could afford new opportunities to shed expenses -- to the tune of more than $2 billion, The Journal reported. The news lifted shares of both companies. HP shares gained 6.4% Wednesday, and Xeros gained 3.6%.
The footrace between Adidas and Nike is heating up. Adidas said in its latest quarterly report Wednesday that it has been growing sales around the world, but Nike Inc.'s rising dominance in shoe technology could put pressure on the German sportswear. For weeks, the sneaker industry has been focused on Nike's Vaporfly shoes, which have slashed race times for recreational runners according to running app Strava, powered two record-shattering marathons and reignited talk of footwear regulation in professional running. American depositary shares of Adidas fell 5.4%.
Walt Disney Co.
Disney has a new story to tell about its future. The company's hit movies, led by "The Lion King" and "Toy Story 4," once again helped drive strong quarterly results, but the company is largely looking beyond the theater to a new streaming service that launches next week. Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger has spent billions of dollars buying franchises, from the Avengers to Star Wars, that will soon be put to the test with the new Disney+. Overall, Disney's profit slumped by more than half to $1.05 billion, hurt by a sharp rise in costs stemming in part from the Disney+ production costs. Shares rose 3.8% Friday.
T-Mobile US Inc.
T-Mobile is dialing up a deep discount. The No. 3 carrier by subscribers unveiled a monthly data plan Thursday that starts at $15 as it responds to critics that its planned merger with Sprint Corp. will lessen competition. T-Mobile said it would sell phone plans with 2 gigabytes of high-speed data for $15 a month, one of the lowest entry-level prices from a major U.S. provider, if its Sprint takeover is allowed to proceed. The company previously charged $30 for its lowest-cost unlimited plan. AT&T Inc.'s prepaid Cricket service offers a similar 2GB plan for $30 a month, while Sprint's Boost charges $35 a month for 3GB. T-Mobile shares fell 1.1% Friday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at firstname.lastname@example.org