Company News: Movie Studios, Cooper Tire, Homebuilders, Hertz, Revlon

Hollywood defies box office gravity; Cooper Tire & Rubber abandons a buyout deal; and more

• A strong slate of December releases pushed Hollywood studios to a record-setting box office haul in 2013. Total domestic ticket sales were about $11 billion, topping last year’s record of $10.8 billion. Attendance was flat, but 3D offerings stretched the average ticket price to $8.05. Iron Man 3 was the box office winner, with $409 million in North American sales. Sleeper hits such as Gravity also made 2013 a standout year.

• Cooper Tire & Rubber abandoned a long-delayed $2.5 billion buyout deal with India’s Apollo Tyres after analysts expressed concern about how much debt the Mumbai-based company would have taken on in the deal. Both sides have taken their claims to Delaware courts, blaming the other for not living up to its side of the deal.

• The forecast is bright for U.S. homebuilders such as PulteGroup and D.R. Horton. An index of home prices in 20 major cities climbed 13.6 percent in October vs. a year earlier, the largest 12-month gain in almost eight years. Prices have climbed as the number of foreclosed properties continues to fall.

• Hertz Global Holdings adopted a poison pill to thwart a potential takeover. Directors at the car rental giant cited “unusual and substantial activity” in the market for Hertz shares. The company has gained momentum since its purchase in July of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group

• Cosmetics maker Revlon will end operations in China and eliminate almost 1,000 beauty advisers in a bid to cut costs. Sales in China, which account for just 2 percent of Revlon’s revenue, have been declining.

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