Company News: Netflix, Polaris Industries, SAC Capital, J.C. Penney, Six Flags
• Netflix has streamed another earnings hit to Wall Street. The company reported a surge in customers signing up to see its burgeoning lineup of original programs; its third-quarter profit increased fourfold from a year earlier, to $31.8 million, beating analysts’ expectations. In the U.S., the company topped HBO with 29 million subscribers.
• Polaris Industries’ relaunch of Indian Motorcycle, a long-idle brand it resurrected, is sputtering. Polaris said motorcycle revenue slid 6 percent in the third quarter, after its new Indian models hit dealerships. The problem was largely rival Harley-Davidson, which logged a 15 percent sales gain in its most recent quarter and increased its U.S. market share to slightly more than 50 percent, thanks in part to the introduction of a new bike line.
• SAC Capital Advisors is retrenching amid a federal insider-trading investigation. Steven Cohen’s hedge fund is laying off six portfolio managers and shutting its London office by the end of the year. SAC investors have asked to withdraw about $5 billion of the $15 billion or so the firm had at the start of the year.
• J.C. Penney has clarified its arrangement with Martha Stewart. In an amended partnership, the department store said it would carry Martha Stewart-branded home goods until 2017 and stop making products at the crux of a Macy’s lawsuit over rights to Stewart’s wares. Investors were relieved, but Macy’s said it would not drop its suit.
• Six Flags Entertainment is still haunted by a July roller coaster death. In the most recent quarter, sales and profits fell below expectations, as crowds steered clear of the park in Arlington, Tex., where the tragedy occurred.