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Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, World Wrestling Entertainment: Stocks That Defined the Week -- WSJ

The Wall Street Journal · 01/06/2023 18:04

By Francesca Fontana

Amazon.com Inc.

The new year started with a string of corporate layoffs. The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon's layoffs will now affect more than 18,000 employees and focus on its corporate ranks, exceeding the e-commerce giant's earlier projections. Meanwhile, business-software provider Salesforce Inc. on Wednesday said it would lay off 10% of its workforce, and the online styling company Stitch Fix on Thursday announced cuts of 20% of salaried jobs as its chief executive stepped down. Amazon shares ended 2.4% lower Thursday.

Tesla Inc.

Tesla lost speed as 2022 came to an end. Elon Musk's electric-car maker didn't meet its initial goal of increasing annual deliveries by 50% or more last year, capping a year during which the stock suffered its worst annual performance. Demand for its vehicles appeared to soften and Covid-related production disruptions persisted. Meanwhile, Mr. Musk's involvement with Twitter Inc., which he acquired in a deal valued at $44 billion, has frustrated many investors. The Tesla chief executive has liquidated more than $39 billion worth of Tesla stock since the shares peaked in November 2021, linking some of those sales to Twitter. Tesla shares dropped 12% Tuesday.

Silvergate Capital Corp.

The implosion of FTX triggered a run at one of the crypto market's top banks. Silvergate raced to cover $1.8 billion in withdrawals during the meltdown of exchange platform FTX, forcing the firm to sell assets at a steep loss. FTX and other companies controlled by its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, accounted for about $1 billion of the bank's deposits. Silvergate plans to pare back some business to ride out the downturn, having laid off 40% of its staff and shelved plans to launch its own digital currency. The bank said it remains committed to crypto and has the funding to handle a "sustained period of transformation." Silvergate shares plunged 43% Thursday.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

Walgreens is under the weather. The drugstore chain said sales fell in its latest quarter, as it faced shrinking demand for Covid-19 vaccines and tests. In an effort to replace lost revenue, Walgreens is seeking to hire more pharmacists and build up its burgeoning healthcare business. Chief Executive Roz Brewer told analysts that she is confident the company can make up for the declines by improving sales at its U.S. drugstores and through recent acquisitions of primary- and urgent-care clinics. Thousands of the company's drugstores have been operating with reduced hours amid a shortage of pharmacists. Walgreens shares lost 6.1% Thursday.

Conagra Brands Inc.

Conagra expects to serve up higher prices this year. The maker of Healthy Choice frozen meals and Slim Jim expects inflation to moderate in coming months, but company officials said further price increases for its products could still be in store. Conagra reported strong quarterly results and increased its outlook for fiscal 2023 after the company continued to raise prices to stave off inflation and supply-chain pressures. Price increases and a shift in the mix of products it sold helped boost revenue, while sales volumes fell as customers balked at the price hikes. Conagra shares rose 3.4% Thursday.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.

Is it curtains for Bed Bath & Beyond? The battered home-goods chain is preparing to file for bankruptcy within weeks after the company came up short on sales during the critical holiday season, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Earlier that day, Bed Bath & Beyond warned that it might file for bankruptcy protection and that it has substantial doubt it can stay in business after enduring another quarter of deep losses and slumping sales. Chief Executive Sue Gove said inventory constraints weighed on the results, as reduced credit limits recently prevented the company from adequately stocking its stores. Bed Bath & Beyond shares plummeted 30% Thursday.

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.

The former leader of World Wrestling Entertainment wants to get back in the ring. Vince McMahon, the company's majority owner who retired last year amid a misconduct probe, plans to return and pursue a sale of the business. Mr. McMahon said Thursday he told the company that he is electing himself and two former co-presidents and directors to the board. The move to reinstate Mr. McMahon and the others will require three current directors to vacate their positions. The board previously rebuffed Mr. McMahon, who retired as WWE chief executive and chairman last July amid a board investigation of sexual-misconduct claims against him. WWE shares increased 17% Friday.

Write to Francesca Fontana at francesca.fontana@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 06, 2023 18:04 ET (23:04 GMT)

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