Apple U.S. Investment, Goldman Loss, Airbus A380 Saved: CEO Daily for January 18, 2018
Here are the details:
- Apple will invest $30 billion in the U.S. and create 20,000 new jobs. Much of the new investment will be in data centers.
- The company will make about $38 billion in one-time tax payments as it brings home some of the $250 billion it has in cash stashed overseas.
- All told, the company says it will spend $350 billion in the U.S. in the next five years.
- The company also said it will open a new campus, but didn’t say where—joining Amazon in triggering bids by cities eager for the honor.
It’s hard to know how much of this spending in the U.S. would have occurred even without the tax cut. But it’s still an encouraging sign that companies feel the need to show they are investing in America. Investors also applauded, bidding up the stock 1.7% in the belief the investments will enable the company to increase stock buybacks and dividends without criticism.
Separately, Apple also said it is giving $2,500 stock bonuses to most of its 125,000 employees. That’s a generous reaction to the tax cut, but it’s probably also a useful retention scheme in an economy where unemployment has fallen to 4.1%. The intensifying battle for talent in the U.S. is the topic of February’s cover story in Fortune magazine, which you can read online this morning here and here.
More news below.
No Pain, No Gain
Early on in Donald Trump’s presidency, investors deemed Goldman Sachs to be among the biggest winners. But those gains aren’t completely painlessly. On Wednesday, the banking giant recorded its first quarterly loss since 2011 due, in part, to a one-time $4.4 billion charge stemming from the tax bill Trump signed into law last month. Fortune
Flying to the Rescue
Airbus warned, just days ago, that production of its double-decker A380 may end without a new big order. “We are still talking to Emirates but quite honestly they are the only one that has the ability in the marketplace to take a minimum of six a year for a period of eight to 10 years,” Airbus’s top salesperson, John Leahy, said at the time. Emirates flew to the rescue today, ordering 20 of the planes in a $16 billion deal, with a retained option for 16 more. Fortune
China Goes Boom
China’s economy grew 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2017, faster than expected, according to official data out today. It was spurred by a rebound in the industrial sector, a resilient property market and strong export growth. For all of 2017, the world's second-largest economy grew 6.9% year-over-year, beating the government's target of 6.5% and marking the first annual acceleration for the economy since 2010. Reuters
A Second Look
After facing pressure from U.K. lawmakers who were unsatisfied with its initial probe, Facebook is expanding its investigation into possible Russian interference ahead of the 2016 Brexit vote. The social network—along with Twitter—previously said it unearthed minimal use of its platform in Brexit as compared to the Russian misinformation campaign before the U.S. presidential election. In a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday, Facebook vowed to have a second look. Bloomberg
Around the Water Cooler
Grit Is the New MBA
The latest buzzword among hiring managers? Grit. In an effort to find job candidates whose accomplishments fall outside conventional rubrics, employers are placing added value on life experiences and personal qualities, like courage, resilience, and creative problem-solving. Ellen McGirt dives into the trend in Fortune's latest issue. Fortune
A Tight Turnaround
Two years after the emissions scandal threatened to destroy Volkswagen, the German automaker is more profitable than before. Plus, it has a $25 billion plan for electric cars. The Financial Times examines what went so right with the company's restructuring. Financial Times
H&M's Damage Control
Earlier this month, H&M was slammed for advertising a black child model in a hoodie that read, "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle," with celebrities and pundits panning the Swedish retailer as racist. H&M has now announced a new diversity manager, citing the hiring as proof that its commitment to inclusiveness is genuine. Fortune
Where Kmart Is King
As Kmart parent Sears Holdings continues to shutter stores and grapple with poor sales, a 100,000 square-foot Kmart in Guam is the chain's unicorn. It is by far the retailer's busiest, thanks to the island's isolation and its proximity to Asia, which makes it a retail mecca for tourists seeking an authentic American shopping experience. Wall Street Journal