Five fascinating business facts – Part 41
ExxonMobil, the world’s largest listed oil company, has reported earnings above analysts’ expectations for the third quarter on the back of higher oil and gas prices which helped the company shrug off the impact of Hurricane Harvey. Earnings per share are up 48 per cent at 93 cents for the quarter, compared to analysts’ average forecast of 87 cents and that was enough to see Exxon shares edging 0.4 per cent higher in pre-market trading Friday. Exxon has been struggling to revive profits after the collapse in crude prices that began in the summer of 2014 with its shares have dropping 8 per cent over the past five years compared to a 79 per cent rise for the S&P 500.
London has the lowest rate of start-up survival in the UK: only 50.1 per cent of companies formed in 2013 endured for three years, 3.6 percentage points below the national average. However, this poor rate is not necessarily due to adverse conditions for new companies in the capital. It is more likely because so many people try their luck in the city, according to Mark Hart, deputy director of the Enterprise Research Centre. Set up in 2013, the centre brings together a team of researchers based at Warwick and Aston business schools to investigate core themes linked to growth in small and medium-sized companies.
Demand for Apple’s new iPhone X exceeded initial supply within minutes of pre-orders opening on Friday for the hotly anticipated new device. Apple started taking orders for the $999 smartphone at midnight on Thursday California time (3am in New York, 8am in London on Friday), ahead of the device shipping out to customers and retail stores at the end of next week. Just 10 minutes after it first became available, customers placing orders were told they would have to wait as much as four more weeks to receive the device — a sign that initial stock had been rapidly exhausted.
Kenya’s dollar-denominated bonds fell by nearly half a cent on Friday after results of the presidential elections showed a low voter turn out dealing a blow to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s hopes for a decisive second-term mandate. The 2019 issue fell as much as 0.45 cents to 102.35 cents in the dollar while the 2024 bond lost the same amount to hit a low of 102.35 cents, according to Thomson Reuters data.
LafargeHolcim Ltd. Has begun talks with PPC Ltd. about combining its African assets with South Africa’s largest cement maker, a move that could challenge an existing offer from Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. The Swiss company is proposing a partial cash bid and a special dividend to shareholders, Johannesburg-based PPC said in a statement on Friday. LafargeHolcim is the world’s biggest cement maker and it plans to make a firm offer during the week starting Nov. 20, after completing a due diligence process. PPC shares jumped as much as 6.6 percent in early trade, the biggest gain in six weeks, valuing the company at $771m.
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