By Francesca Fontana
Domino's Pizza Inc.
Some U.S. companies are ready to hire but can't find enough workers. Domino's Pizza is trying to make driver jobs more attractive in part by getting drivers more deliveries per hour, while chicken company Pilgrim's Pride Corp. expects to pay out more than $40 million this year to retain workers and compete for new ones. Domino's shares rose 3% Thursday.
Kraft Heinz Co.
Kraft Heinz is pouring it on as customers demand more ketchup. The food giant said on Thursday that it is expanding manufacturing capacity for some of its best-selling foods, including the coveted condiment and macaroni and cheese, which remain in high demand a year into the coronavirus pandemic. Kraft Heinz said its profit and revenue for the latest quarter topped expectations, as cost cuts and higher prices offset the effect of higher shipping and commodity costs. Kraft Heinz shares gained 3.9% Thursday.
DraftKings is betting big on the media business. The digital sports-betting company agreed to pay at least $50 million over three years to distribute a popular sports and pop-culture podcast hosted by former ESPN host Dan Le Batard. DraftKings is looking to make money on the deal, which was reported Tuesday, by selling advertising and sublicensing the podcast to radio stations and other audio providers. The company wagers that radio shows and sports recaps will drive additional customers to its betting products. Earlier in April, DraftKings said it hired former Verizon Communications Inc. executive Brian Angiolet to set the strategy for its media business. DraftKings shares lost 0.2% Tuesday.
United Parcel Service Inc.
United Parcel Service delivered better-than-expected revenue despite supply-chain woes.
Small and midsize businesses drove gains in the U.S., outpacing larger customers' growth rate for the third consecutive quarter. Chief Executive Carol Tomé, a former Home Depot Inc. finance chief and longtime UPS board member, is focusing on cutting costs and reining in spending while raising shipping rates and getting more business from higher-margin customers such as smaller businesses and the healthcare industry.UPS, like its rival FedEx Corp., has been handling a surge in e-commerce orders during the Covid-19 pandemic as customers shop from home. UPS shares rose 10.4% Tuesday.
Ford Motor Co.
Ford expects rough terrain ahead. The auto maker on Wednesday posted $3.3 billion in net income, its highest quarterly result in years, but warned the financial toll from the continuing global computer-chip shortage will likely worsen. The company said the lack of semiconductors will force it to cut second-quarter production, but it expects the situation to improve after June. The chip supply problems are impairing an otherwise favorable backdrop for Ford to accelerate a turnaround plan from Chief Executive Jim Farley. Pent-up demand for cars, federal stimulus and continued low interest rates have driven shoppers back to dealerships in recent months. Ford shares fell 0.5% Wednesday.
McDonald's customers are flocking to the company's latest chicken sandwich. The fast food giant said on Thursday that its new menu items helped it beat sales expectations in the U.S., while business abroad remained volatile because of shifting Covid-19 restrictions. Sales of new chicken sandwiches introduced in February are outpacing those of previous versions and beating expectations despite rising competition, McDonald's said. In recent months, the company also has introduced meals in collaboration with celebrities such as the musician Travis Scott and rolled out a spicy-nuggets promotion to increase sales. McDonald's shares added 1.2% Thursday.
Big tech keeps getting bigger. Amazon reported record quarterly profit Thursday, capping a blockbuster earnings season for the world's largest technology companies. Profits for the e-commerce giant in the year since the pandemic started exceeded $26 billion, more than the previous three years combined. Amazon, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Microsoft Corp. all reported significant gains in profits and revenue (see B5), underscoring how the pandemic put them increasingly at the center of daily life around the world. Amazon shares lost 0.1% Friday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires