Company News: Apple, Bank of America, Citigroup, Cerberus, Amazon, MattelBy
• Apple tapped Burberry Chief Executive Officer Angela Ahrendts to revitalize its retail efforts. The position, which had been open for more than a year, was expanded to include Web sales. Ahrendts, 53, is credited with turning around Burberry in her seven years at its helm, with her efforts leading to a fourfold increase in its stock price. She will be succeeded at the British fashion house by Creative Director Christopher Bailey. Burberry shares slid 9 percent on the news.
• Cooling demand for bonds and mortgage refinancing is putting a chill on U.S. banks. Bank of America and Citigroup reported results that fell short of expectations as fixed-income trading flagged and rising interest rates hamstrung mortgage sales. Buoyed somewhat by shrinking loan-loss reserves, BofA reported a $2.5 billion profit for the recent quarter, while Citi said income hit $3.2 billion in the period.
• Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm focused on distressed assets, is sniffing around BlackBerry. It signed a nondisclosure agreement that would allow it to look at the books of the troubled smartphone company. It is mulling a bid for the entire operation.
• Amazon.com is weighing a plan to take on Apple in the gadget business. The e-commerce giant has been in talks with HTC to develop its own line of phones. The handsets would be aimed at customers of its Prime service and serve as another portal for Amazon’s instant video offerings.
• Mattel is heading into the holidays with momentum. The toymaker’s profit in the recent quarter surged 16 percent, to $423 million, on strong demand for American Girl and Monster High dolls. Even its Barbie business got a bump.
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