Coffee giant’s sales jump but profits barely move; job vacancies reach a record high |

Starbucks records record sales as costs rise

NEW YORK — Starbucks’ sales hit record highs in its fiscal second quarter, but its profits were hurt by rising labor and ingredient costs.

The coffee company, which welcomed former CEO Howard Schultz last month as interim chief, said on May 3 that revenue rose 15% to a record $7.6 billion during of her 13-week term, which ended on April 3. estimates.

But net profit rose only 2% to $674 million. Starbucks adjusted earnings of 59 cents per share were below expectations of 60 cents.

Starbucks announced a $1 billion investment in employee wages and benefits last fall, with a plan to raise wages for American workers to at least $15 an hour by this summer. Schutz said Tuesday the increases will give stores the workers they need to meet customer demand.

Employers post a record 11.5 million openings

WASHINGTON — Employers posted a record 11.5 million job openings in March, further evidence of a tight labor market that has encouraged millions of American workers to seek better-paying jobs and contributed to the biggest surge in inflation in four decades.

A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in March, a sign they are confident they can find better pay or working conditions elsewhere.

Layoffs, which hovered around 1.8 million a month before the pandemic hit the economy in early 2020, rose to 1.4 million in March from 1.35 million in February, the Bureau of Labor reported. Statistics on May 3.

The US labor market is booming. Employers have created an average of more than 540,000 jobs per month over the past year. The Labor Department is expected to report on Friday that the economy generated an additional 400,000 new jobs in April, according to a survey by data firm FactSet. It would mark a 12th straight month of record hiring at 400,000 or more.

Airbnb loss shrinks, revenue doubles

NEW YORK — Airbnb is taking advantage of the rebound in travel.

The accommodation booking company said on May 3 that although it lost $19 million in the first quarter, it was much better than the $1.2 billion loss it suffered in the same quarter l last year.

Airbnb says bookings are up and revenue is nearly double 2021 levels, up to $1.51 billion. The loss was lower than analysts’ expectations and revenue was slightly above Wall Street forecasts.

Pfizer’s first quarter profit soars and revises its forecast

NEW YORK — Sales of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and treatment pushed the drugmaker well above expectations in the first quarter, as profits rose 61% to $7.86 billion.

Comirnaty coronavirus vaccine generated more than $13 billion in sales and Paxlovid treatment added another $1.5 billion as the company’s revenue increased 77% from last year’s quarter, when vaccine sales continued to rise and the treatment had yet to debut.

Total revenue was $25.66 billion, beating expectations of $24.1 billion.

Pfizer also revised its 2022 earnings forecast to reflect a change in accounting policy. He now expects adjusted earnings of $6.25 to $6.45 per share. That’s down a penny at both ends of the range from its previous forecast.

Analysts expect earnings of $7.14 per share.

CEO quits after Alzheimer’s drug flop

NEW YORK — Biogen is looking for a new CEO less than a year after launching its largely unsuccessful Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm.

The company said on May 3 that current CEO Michel Vounatsos will continue to lead the company until his successor is appointed.

Aduhelm hit the market as the first new drug for Alzheimer’s disease in nearly two decades. But although the company cut the price in half, Aduhelm’s rollout was disastrous. Last month, Medicare became the latest insurer to restrict coverage.

Biogen said Tuesday it would essentially stop marketing the drug to focus on more promising treatments.

Ga. sets $1.5 billion in aid to electric vehicle maker Rivian

ATLANTA — Georgia state and local governments will give Rivian Automotive $1.5 billion in incentives to build a 7,500-job, $5 billion electric vehicle plant. That’s according to documents the company and the state signed this week.

This is by far the largest incentive program Georgia has ever offered to a company. Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said the size of the set was “appropriate” for the largest industrial announcement in state history.

Rivian hopes to innovate as early as this summer and begin production in Georgia in 2024. The plant has been beset by opposition from residents east of Atlanta who say Rivian will ruin their rural quality of life.

BP profit renews UK call for windfall tax

LONDON – BP posted its highest quarterly profit in more than a decade on the back of soaring oil and gas prices, renewing calls for a UK government tax on the windfall profits of energy companies to help struggling households with rising energy bills.

The British energy giant said underlying profit more than doubled in the first three months of the year to $6.2 billion. But he reported a net loss of $23 billion after accounting for the cancellation of his stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft during the war in Ukraine.

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