Nissan Expects a Record $4.5 Billion Loss: Live Business Updates


Credit…Samuel Aranda for The New York Times

Nissan said on Tuesday that it expected to make an annual operating loss of $4.5 billion in fiscal year 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic puts pressure on its attempts to reboot its struggling business.

The announcement came as the Japanese automaker reported its results for the three-month period that ended in June. Operating profit during the period, when much of the world’s economies were in lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus, plunged $1.46 billion compared with the same period a year ago, with automobile sales dropping by nearly 48 percent.

The results followed an annual loss of $385 million in fiscal year 2019.

If Nissan’s projections for the fiscal year prove accurate, the 2020 annual loss would be the largest for the company since it was pulled from the edge of bankruptcy by its former chief executive and chairman, Carlos Ghosn, nearly two decades ago.

Nissan has been struggling to reinvent itself since the 2018 arrest of Mr. Ghosn on charges of financial wrongdoing. He has maintained his innocence and fled Japan late last year, saying he would not be able to find justice there.

Mr. Ghosn’s era was marked by an attempt to increase market share at the cost of profits and quality, executives say. Now Nissan has said it plans to retrench and rebuild its business by focusing on its alliance with French automaker Renault, cutting costs, producing fewer cars and focusing on introducing new vehicles to a lineup that has long been criticized as stale.

Credit…Bryan Woolston/Reuters

The Remington Arms Company, one of America’s oldest and largest gun manufacturers, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after years of litigation and a loss of investors took a heavy toll on its finances.

The Chapter 11 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Decatur, Ala., is the company’s second restructuring in two years. Remington has been in search of potential buyers and had been in talks with Navajo Nation to acquire it out of bankruptcy, but the negotiations collapsed in recent weeks.

The filing by the company comes as demand for firearms is down, despite a recent uptick in sales during the coronavirus pandemic.

But a slump in gun sales is not what drove Remington to file for bankruptcy, said Adam Winkler, a professor at the U.C.L.A. School of Law who specializes in gun policy.

“Remington’s problem is mostly a problem of Remington mismanagement and not a reflection of larger trends in the gun world,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to see a whole bunch of gun companies going under now.”

In 2012, 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and Remington faced a fierce public backlash after it was reported that the company had manufactured the AR-15-style rifle used by the gunman. Families of the victims sued the company, and Remington took on debt to pay legal fees and to buy out investors who wanted to divest. That debt would follow the company for years.

U.S. stock futures drifted on Tuesday and global stocks were mixed as investors awaited a slew of corporate earnings results and the details of a new federal stimulus bill.

Futures for the S&P 500 wavered between gains and losses, signaling a flat open on Wall Street. European stocks were mostly lower, after Asian markets closed mostly higher.

The price of gold briefly hit a new record of $1,980 an ounce before dropping lower.

Investors on Tuesday will get more answers from the pharma companies Amgen and Pfizer on the status of their coronavirus vaccine candidates as the companies report their earnings. Pfizer shares were up more than 2 percent in pre-market trading.

The vaccine progress update comes as coronavirus cases continue to surge in parts of the United States. On Monday, Texas became the fourth state (after California, New York and Florida) with more than 400,000 known cases reported. As the pandemic rages on, investors are watching Washington lawmakers try to negotiate another round of stimulus payments for businesses and individuals, with current enhanced unemployment benefits set to expire on Friday. Democrats and Republicans still need to reconcile their vastly different proposals.

Credit…Airbnb

Lawmakers are set to grill Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, as well as his counterpart at Amazon, Facebook and Google, in a hearing on Wednesday as part of a yearlong antitrust inquiry. They are investigating how Apple wields its control over its App Store and the companies like ClassPass and Airbnb that do business there.

After Airbnb and ClassPass began selling virtual classes because of the pandemic, they say Apple tried to collect its commission on the sales. But Apple said that it was not trying to generate revenue — though that is a side effect — but instead was trying to enforce a rule that has been in place since it first published its app guidelines in 2010.

Jack Nicas and David McCabe explain the importance of the fight:

Apple’s disputes with the smaller companies point to the control the world’s largest tech companies have had over the shift to online life brought on by the pandemic. While much of the rest of the economy is struggling, the pandemic has further entrenched their businesses.

With millions more employees working from home, Amazon and Google are selling more online cloud space, with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud revenue soaring in the first quarter of the year that included the start of the pandemic. Facebook and YouTube, which is part of Google, some of the internet’s largest gathering places, had traffic surge as people couldn’t socialize in person.

And Apple has brought in more revenue from its online-services business, mostly on the back of its App Store, while its Macs, iPads and iPhones have become even more important tools.

Airbnb and ClassPass are not the only ones. Many companies and app developers complain that Apple forces them to pay its commission to be included in the App Store, which is crucial to reaching the roughly 900 million people with iPhones.

  • As coronavirus cases surge across the country, MGM Resorts International said on Monday that it would not restart live entertainment events before Aug. 31. The company also expects to lay off the majority of employees working in the entertainment division on that day, according to July 27 letter sent to employees.

  • Regal Cinemas, the No. 2 movie theater chain in the United States, consisting of 7,128 screens in 42 states, pushed back its planned reopening until Aug. 21. Regal, owned by Cineworld of Britain, had previously said it would start relighting marquees on Friday. But studios have since postponed release plans for new films. The No. 1 theater chain, AMC, said last week that it hoped to reopen in “mid to late August.”

  • The supermarket chain Albertsons reported on Monday that it had seen a boost to its bottom line since the pandemic hit. Sales were up by 21 percent, reaching $22.8 billion, with digital sales more than tripling. The company earned about $586 million during the first quarter of 2020, compared with $49 million during the same period last year.



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