Vectren Names New Board Leader, Details Earnings

Hasbro, which sells Transformers, as well as Star Wars and My Little Pony figures, paid a typical worker about $74,000 last year. Meanwhile, for Mattel — maker of American Girl dolls, Ghostbusters action figures and Barbies — the figure was closer to $6,300.

The numbers for Hasbro and Mattel highlight two distinct business models, at least for now. More than three-quarters of the 35,280 people who work for Mattel are employed outside the U.S. Most work in manufacturing plants, many of them in low-wage regions in Asia, including China. Mattel said in its proxy filing that its median employee is a factory worker in Malaysia.

By contrast, Hasbro, which is based in Pawtucket, R.I., said it employed about 5,400 people on Dec. 31, or not quite a sixth of Mattel’s head count. A little more than half worked in the U.S. Hasbro makes little itself and therefore doesn’t own the factories that make its toys and doesn’t employ the workers operating those factories, even if it pays them indirectly through its contract manufacturers. That means the lower-wage factory employees don’t pull Hasbro’s median wage down.

THE DAY AHEAD

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and

 Wells Fargo & Co. are among the companies slated to report earnings today.

CFO JOURNAL EXCLUSIVE

Brexit dampens job market in the City of London. Uncertainty around the U.K.’s exit from the European Union is continuing to dampen hiring in the City of London, the heart of the U.K.’s banking industry, writes CFO Journal’s Nina Trentmann.

The number of available jobs in the banking & financial services sector declined by 14% to 5,145 in March compared to 5,985 in February and by 37% compared to the prior year month, according to the Morgan McKinley Employment Monitor.

The number of applicants seeking employment in the financial services industry decreased by 22% to 5,459 in March compared to February when 6,973 professionals were searching for a job in the sector. Year on year, the number of applicants declined by 44%, according to the study.

CORPORATE NEWS

Herbert Diess presents a new model at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland last month.
Reuters

Volkswagen ousts CEO. 

Volkswagen AG’s board ousted Chief Executive Matthias Müller and replaced him with Herbert Diess, who quietly orchestrated a boardroom coup while he was rebuilding the company’s namesake brand.

Facebook doesn’t expect revenue impact over privacy concerns. 

Facebook Inc. doesn’t expect the recent uproar over its users’ digital privacy to affect sales significantly, a top advertising executive for the global social-media platform said.

Broadcom board approves stock buyback plan. Broadcom Ltd.’s board authorized buying back up to $12 billion in shares over the next 18 months, a move that comes after its deal to take over

 Qualcomm Inc. fell apart.

BlackRock attracts nearly $57 billion of new investor cash. 

BlackRock Inc. pulled in nearly $57 billion in new investor cash in the first three months of the year, with its massive exchange-traded fund business attracting the bulk of that money.

Hearst takes full ownership of Fitch Group. Media conglomerate 

Hearst Corp. is becoming the sole owner of

Fitch Group, buying the remaining 20% stake in the credit-ratings information provider for $2.8 billion.

Amazon.com Inc.’s rivals fear they will lose out on Pentagon contract. The U.S. Defense Department will release a revised list of requirements in the coming days for a hotly contested, multibillion-dollar contract to move the Pentagon’s data into the cloud, and it says it won’t give in on a central demand: awarding the business to a single winner.

London Stock Exchange appoints new CEO. London Stock Exchange Group PLC on Friday appointed a 20-year veteran of 

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as its new chief executive, filling a crucial leadership gap following the abrupt departure of former CEO Xavier Rolet.

U.S. investors pile into fundraising round for Ant Financial. Investors outside China are helping to drive up the valuation of billionaire Jack Ma’s financial-technology business. U.S.-based private equity firms 

General Atlantic and 

Silver Lake Partners are planning to invest in Hangzhou-based

Ant Financial Services Group, according to people familiar with the matter.

Wynn Resorts in early talks to sell casino project to MGM. 

Wynn Resorts Ltd. has been in talks to sell its partially built Boston-area casino project to rival

MGM Resorts International, people familiar told the WSJ, as Massachusetts regulators continue their investigation into the company’s handling of sexual-misconduct allegations against founder Steve Wynn.

Hostess Brands names new CEO. Twinkies and Ding Dongs maker

Hostess Brands Inc. has named a veteran consumer packaged-goods leader as its next president and chief executive starting next month.

Delta finds revenue in credit cards and upgrades. 

Delta Air Lines Inc. is banking on branded credit cards, repairing jets and plusher passenger amenities to drive growth.

Rite Aid shareholders sour on Albertsons deal. Some

Rite Aid Corp. shareholders plan to oppose a merger with grocer

Albertsons Cos. that they believe undervalues the struggling pharmacy chain.

Former CEO of Alaska telecom firm accused of fraud. The former chief executive of Alaska telecommunications company

Quintillion Networks LLC has been arrested after federal prosecutors accused her of forging contracts to induce firms to make more than $250 million in investments.

Tech IPO market shows signs of warming. A recent burst of successful technology listings has led some richly valued companies that were content to dwell in the private markets to take steps toward going public.

REGULATION

Rescue workers attend the scene where a Tesla electric SUV crashed into a barrier on U.S. Highway 101 in Mountain View, Calif., March 25, 2018.
Reuters

Tesla, safety agency duel over fatal-crash probe. U.S. federal safety investigators and 

Tesla Inc. broke into an open feud over the probe of a fatal crash involving the auto maker’s semiautonomous driving system, with dueling explanations emerging for the Silicon Valley company’s departure from a formal agreement in the inquiry.

Disney required to make offer for all of Sky if Fox deal proceeds. U.K. regulators said Thursday that 

Walt Disney Co. must make an offer for all of 

Sky PLC, the British broadcaster, if its proposed acquisition of assets from 

21st Century Fox Inc. proceeds.

Appeals court skeptical of Mulvaney’s ability to lead CFPB. An appeals court appeared skeptical Thursday that the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could independently run the bureau given his other role as head of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

Cap on mini-IPOs to stay at $50 million. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week declined to increase the $50 million offering cap for so-called Regulation A+ sales, according to a letter released by two SEC commissioners who wanted it raised.

SEC to propose stricter broker standards. Regulators next week are set to propose stricter rules aimed at preventing biased advice from skewing recommendations that stockbrokers provide to their clients.

‘Soup Nazi’ company’s ex-CFO gets nine months prison for tax evasion. The former chief financial officer of a company that licensed the name and recipes of the chef who inspired the tyrannical “Soup Nazi” character on the TV comedy “Seinfeld” was sentenced to nine months in prison on Thursday for tax evasion, Reuters reports.

ECONOMY

U.S. President Trump waves as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., April 5, 2018.
Bloomberg

White House plans to escalate trade pressure on China. The Trump White House, confident that its hard-line strategy is succeeding, is planning to ratchet up the pressure on China by focusing on new tariffs and threatening to block Chinese technology investment in the U.S., according to officials familiar with the strategy. This comes as

China’s trade imbalance with the U.S. worsened sharply in the first three months of the year.

Trump asks advisers to study rejoining pacific trade pact talks. A little over a year after withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Donald Trump has asked his top economic advisers to study the possibility of re-entering the trade pact negotiations.

Eurozone trade surplus widens. The eurozone’s trade surplus with the rest of the world widened in February as a sharp drop in imports chimed with other recent signs of weakening domestic demand, reports MarketWatch.

ECB officials worried about trade wars, euro’s strength. The European Central Bank is fretting about the risk of trade wars and a stronger euro just as data suggests the eurozone’s long-awaited economic recovery is losing speed.

Powerful forces seen restraining U.S. pay growth. U.S. wage growth is set to pick up modestly in the coming years, but economists think pay raises are being depressed by powerful forces — sluggish productivity gains, an aging population and overseas competition—that could persist despite low unemployment.

U.S. weekly jobless claims hold below 300,000 for longest streak on record. Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., decreased by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 233,000 in the week ended April 7, the Labor Department said. This means claims have now held below 300,000 for 162 consecutive weeks, cementing the longest streak for weekly records dating back to 1967.

CFO MOVES

Lennar Corp.

, the Miami homebuilder, named

Diane Bessette chief financial officer. She succeeds Bruce Gross, who was elected chief executive officer. Ms. Bessette will also retain her position as company treasurer, a role she’s held since 2008. Previously she served as controller from 1997 to 2008. Compensation details were not immediately available.

Cisco Systems Inc., the San Francisco networking-gear maker, named

Mark Garrett to its board of directors. Mr. Garrett recently retired as CFO of Adobe Systems Inc. Mr. Garrett will receive standard non-employee director cash and equity compensation prorated for the remaining portion of the year ended at the company’s 2018 annual meeting of shareholders. This includes a pro-rata portion of the $75,000 annual retainer for his service and a pro-rata portion of a stock grant valued at $215,00. If appointed to serve on any committees, he would receive fees of $2,000 per committee meeting attended, according to company filings.

THE WEEKEND READER

Every weekend we select a handful of in-depth articles we think are worth a bit of your time, either because they peel back the layers on a compelling business story, or somehow make us look at business in a different light.

Russia’s trade with the West surges even as sanctions mount. Trade has surged between Russia and its main Western antagonists even as relations have deteriorated, raising questions about the long-term impact of economic sanctions on Moscow, reports the WSJ.

Why many women leave Microsoft. 

Microsoft Corp. employs fewer women, as a portion of its U.S. workforce, than it did back in 2001. The Seattle Times digs into court filings, internal documents and interviews with employees to reveal a culture of casual sexism, a male-dominated hierarchy slow to change and poor resolution of grievances.

Instagram looks like Facebook’s best hope. The photo sharing social platform has a younger audience, is growing users in North America, and few users in America know it is owned by Facebook.

 Bloomberg Businessweek explains why the parent company could one day depend on Instagram for its longevity.

The Morning Ledger from CFO Journal cues up the most important news in corporate finance every weekday morning. Nina Trentmann contributed to today’s Ledger. Send tips, suggestions and complaints to the editor:

 kimberly.johnson@wsj.com.

Source : https://blogs.wsj.com/cfo/2018/04/13/the-morning-ledger-pay-disclosure-rules-underscore-business-strategies/

2670