Lockheed Martin’s Growth Driver: CEO Daily
U.S.-China tension may be hurting most global companies, but for Lockheed Martin, it’s a reason to grow. “The threats are accelerating, they are getting more complex, and it’s important for us to be investing,” CEO Marillyn Hewson told Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit yesterday. “China and Russia are very significant threat countries. They have been investing in their military. We are helping our customer (read: U.S. Government) to be able to stay ahead of that.”
Asked about the President’s 2016 Twitter attack on the company for excessive prices, she said with diplomatic aplomb: “It’s important when you are working with your customer that you are able to align with their method of communication. “
Also on the MPW stage was new Best Buy CEO Corie Barry. Barry got the best (intentional) laugh of the day with this line: “People ask me, ‘What’s the biggest surprise about being CEO?’ For me, it’s been the amount of feedback you get … and how many places you get it.”
More coverage from MPW here.
Also yesterday, Just Capital, funded by hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, released its annual survey on what stakeholder measures Americans want companies to prioritize. Top priority: “Pay workers a fair wage based on job level, qualifications, and experience.”
More news below.
Tesla's posting of its first profit in nearly a year saw the company's share price leap by 20%. Analysts thought Tesla's Q3 results would include a 24-cent loss per share; instead, earnings per share were $1.86. It seems Elon Musk's job cuts and restructuring have borne fruit. Fortune
Microsoft's earnings per share in the last quarter came to $1.38, up from $1.14 a year before. That and revenues (up 13.6% to $33.06 billion) beat analyst estimates, and the driver appears to be Microsoft's cloud business, whose revenues were up more than a third. Wall Street Journal
Google has strongly denied accusations that a tool it installed on all its workers' computers was designed to clamp down on dissent in the company. The tool automatically reports employees who schedule calendar events with over 100 workers or over 10 rooms. Google claims it's an attempt to cut down on calendar and event spam. Some workers think it's all about spotting attempts at organization. Bloomberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled for six hours yesterday by the House Financial Services Committee. Some representatives were left dissatisfied by his answers about the contentious Libra cryptocurrency project, and said they hadn't learned anything new. Committee Chair Maxine Waters said she can't support the Libra plan. But Facebook's share price went up 2% on the testimony. CNBC
AROUND THE WATER COOLER
Climate change is causing major concerns for reinsurers such as Swiss Re—not as a future challenge but as a present financial shock. In the last two years, Swiss Re has had to pay out far more than its models had predicted. So how is it dealing with the situation? For one thing, it's pulling back from insuring or investing in coal-related companies. Fortune
Daimler lifted European shares this morning with an 8% rise in Q3 operating profit. The Mercedes maker saw its own share price rise by 5.4% on the results. However, it warned of rising legal provisions in the context of diesel litigation. Reuters
Germany's nomination of economist Isabel Schnabel for its seat on the European Central Bank's executive board could signal a chance to repair the Germany-ECB relationship. Observers hope the academic will be able to explain the ECB's actions to a German audience that has been frequently annoyed with the ECB's stance—Angela Merkel's three previous picks for the role came from the Bundesbank or German politics, and none completed their term. Yahoo Finance
A rare #MeToo story from the U.K., where strict libel laws have largely suppressed such revelations: Lawrence Jones, the CEO of cloud provider UKFast and one of the country's richest people, has been accused of sexually assaulting two female employees in the past decade. Other former employees have also accused him of sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct. Jones denies the allegations. Financial Times