Company News: U.S. Automakers, Zynga, Hulu, AIG, Retailers in Japan

A Pickup in Motown

• Detroit automakers continued to gain market share from rivals in May, aided by a surge in pickup sales. Ford’s F-Series sales rose 31 percent over last May, while General Motors’ Chevrolet Silverado pickup jumped 25 percent. The Ram truck, made by Fiat’s Chrysler, also saw sales rise 22 percent. A resurgence in homebuilding and the fracking boom are helping drive demand for trucks.

• Zynga, the social gamemaker, plans to cut 520 jobs, or 18 percent of its staff, this summer. It has struggled to attract players to games other than its flagship FarmVille series, sending Zynga’s average monthly users down 13 percent in the first quarter.

• At least seven bidders are circling Hulu, the TV and movie streaming service owned by Walt Disney, Comcast, and News Corp. Yahoo!, DirecTV, and two private equity firms are among those who submitted offers, with at least three bidding $1 billion or more, say people with knowledge of the process.

• American International Group is still too big to fail, only now it’s official. Regulators for the first time designated insurers as posing a risk to the financial system. The Financial Stability Oversight Council also identified Prudential Financial and General Electric’s capital unit as systemically important, meaning the three companies will be watched more closely by the Federal Reserve.

Photograph by AP Photo

• The weaker yen may crimp spending by Japanese travelers, who poured $16.6 billion into the U.S. last year. U.S. retailers with significant operations in Japan will also feel the pinch. Ralph Lauren expects the turmoil with the yen—along with other currencies—to shrink operating profit by $75 million this fiscal year.

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