Company News: EBay, PayPal, Netflix, Ford, PepsiCo, Zalando
• EBay said it would spin off PayPal by the end of 2015, as a handful of new electronic payment offerings vie for U.S. consumers. The decision is a validation of sorts for activist investor Carl Icahn, who’s been lobbying for the split for the past year. Faster-growing PayPal is on pace to overtake the auction platform in total revenue by 2018.
• Netflix said it would break into the moviemaking business with a sequel to the 2000 hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The film will be produced by the Weinstein Co. and shown on Imax screens in August 2015 while simultaneously streaming on Netflix. Some theater owners, including Regal Entertainment, eager to protect the traditional window between a theatrical release and home viewing, said they won’t show the film.
• Ford lowered its profit forecast, as it struggled to gain traction in emerging markets and grappled with a rising repair bill for the almost 4 million vehicles it’s recalled this year. The carmaker said its operating margin will fall to between 8 percent and 9 percent, from 11 percent.
• In a bid to shore up slumping soda sales, PepsiCo introduced a new cola that uses stevia, a plant-derived sweetener, to cut calories. The product, dubbed Pepsi True, will be sold exclusively on Amazon.com for the time being.
• German Web retailer Zalando made a lackluster debut as a public company. With $2.3 billion in sales last year, the retail business, modeled after Zappos, is one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies. Demand for the IPO was strong, but the stock swooned 11 percent on its first day of trading.
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