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Over $400M Robinhood Stock Linked To Sam Bankman-Fried, Dell Eyes Reducing Dependence On China, Walgreens Swings To Quarterly Loss: Top Stories Today


$465M Of Robinhood Stock Linked To Sam Bankman-Fried To Be Seized By Justice Department

  • The U.S. Department of Justice is working to seize $465 million worth of Robinhood Markets Inc (NASDAQ:HOOD) shares associated with Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the collapsed FTX cryptocurrency exchange.
  • The prosecutors are not considering the 56 million Robinhood shares to be a part of the bankruptcy estate, U.S. Attorney Seth Shapiro told Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey, reported Reuters.
  • According to Shapiro, competing claims to the Robinhood shares could be settled in a forfeiture proceeding.

You Can Soon Send Facebook Memes Directly To Your Friend's Instagram DM — Here's What We Know

  • Meta Platforms Inc.'s (NASDAQ:META)  Facebook is apparently working on making private sharing between friends more accessible.
  • On Thursday, social media commentator Matt Navarra took to Twitter to share an update stating that Facebook is "leaning into private sharing with friends."
  • Navarra's post was accompanied by a screenshot that showed an additional button on a meme post — "Send in Instagram Direct Message."

Binance US's Proposed $1B Deal For Voyager Digital Hits SEC Roadblock

  • Binance.US' proposed $1-billion purchase of beleaguered cryptocurrency platform Voyager Digital Ltd (OTC:VYGVF) is facing a limited objection from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  • The SEC said that the Changpeng Zhao-led company's purchase agreement doesn't contain details on its ability to close the deal. The regulator sought more information on the company's business operations.

Apple's Key Supplier Foxconn's December Revenue Falls Over 12%

  • Largest contract electronics maker Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (OTC:HNHPFFoxconn's December revenue dropped 12.3% year-on-year to NT$629.34 billion.
  • Foxconn said revenue for December was better than expected and that a "gradual recovery" at its Zhengzhou plant had contributed to "double-digit growth" in revenue for its smart consumer electronics business compared to November.
  • Foxconn said production at the factory in China "basically returned to normal" in December.

Equinor, RWE Partner On Hydrogen Supply Chain To Help Germany Ease Out Coal Dependency

  • Equinor ASA (NYSE:EQNR) has partnered with the German energy company RWE AG (OTC: RWEOY) to develop large-scale value chains for low-carbon hydrogen jointly.
  • The partners aim to replace coal-fired power plants with hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants in Germany.
  • They will also build a low-carbon and renewable hydrogen production in Norway to be exported to Germany through pipelines.

Sony, Honda Unveil EV Prototype' Afeela' With Qualcomm Technology

  • Sony Group Corp (NYSE:SONY) has unveiled the prototype of its electric vehicle brand, Afeela, which it built along with Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE:HMC).
  • Sony Honda Mobility launched the prototype at the Las Vegas CES 2023 technology trade show.
  • Afeela's exterior features a "Media Bar," which allows intelligent mobility to express itself to surrounding people using light, enabling interactive communication between mobility and people.

British Retailer Next Raises Profit Guidance As Christmas Sales Comfort

  • British clothing company Next Plc has raised its profit forecast following better-than-anticipated sales in the Christmas period.
  • The company noted that the strength of demand for cold weather products in December was partly a result of pent-up demand from an unusually warm October and November.
  • Next anticipates the cost price inflation on like-for-like goods to peak at around 8% in the Spring Summer season, which will ease to 6% in the second half.

Walgreens Swings To Quarterly Loss As Lower Sales, Opioid Settlement Take A Toll

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc's (NASDAQ:WBA) Q1 FY23 sales decreased 1.5% Y/Y to $33.4 billion, up 1.1% on a constant currency basis, beating the consensus of $32.83 billion.
  • Adjusted EPS reached $1.16, down 29.9% on a constant currency basis, reflecting higher COVID-19 vaccine volumes, beating the consensus of $1.13.
  • The company swung to an operating loss of $6.2 billion compared to an operating income of $1.3 billion a year ago. Operating loss in the quarter reflects a $6.5 billion pre-tax charge for opioid-related claims and litigation.

Roku Launches Premium Smart TV To Boost Ad Revenue By Tapping Streaming Audience

  • Roku Inc (NASDAQ: ROKU) launched a premium Roku TV OLED TV, reflecting its focus on working with leading TV brands to offer TVs a best-in-class streaming experience at affordable prices.
  • Roku is the primary streaming hub for many Americans as a dominant maker of streaming boxes and dongles. Its operating system also powers many smart TVs.
  • Roku faced growing competition in recent years from companies in the streaming industry.
  • Roku derives most of its revenue from advertising. Roku sells all ads viewed on its streaming service, the Roku Channel.


Nikkei Asia

Dell Eyes Reducing Dependence On China – India, Latin America Likely To Be Beneficiaries, Analysts Say

  • Dell Technologies Inc (NYSE:DELL) told suppliers to significantly reduce the amount of other "made in China" components in its products to diversify its supply chain amid concerns over U.S.-China tensions.
  • Dell's goal is to have all chips used in its products produced in plants located outside China by 2024.
  • Dell also asked suppliers of other components like electronic modules, print circuit boards, and product assemblers to help prepare capacity in countries beyond China, like Vietnam.


Wall Street Journal

This Legacy Company Is Now Top US Automaker Ahead Of Toyota: What You Should Know

  • The year 2022 was tough for automakers as they had to contend with supply chain challenges and softening consumer demand.
  • Industry-wide auto sales fell 8% year-over-year to 13.7 million vehicles in 2022.
  • This marked the lowest number since 2011. Sales have come back notably from the 17 million+ mark seen for five years that preceded the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Might Be First Pharmacy To Dispense Abortion Pills, Others To Follow

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) is reportedly the first major national pharmacy chain to say it plans to dispense the abortion pill under the FDA's new rules.
  • Other companies that may follow suit include CVS Health Corp (NYSE: CVS) and Rite Aid Corp (NYSE: RAD).
  • Tuesday, the FDA said it would allow pharmacies to offer abortion pills, mifepristone, in the U.S. Pharmacies must complete a form for certification to distribute the abortion pills. 
  • Any pharmacy to become certified to dispense mifepristone, an FDA-approved medication for use up to 10 weeks in pregnancy.

Irish Watchdog Penalizes Meta By €390M For User Privacy Violation

  • Ireland Data Protection Commission (DPC) penalized Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META) €210 million for breaches of the GDPR relating to its Facebook service and €180 million for violations of its Instagram service.
  • The inquiries concerned two complaints about the Facebook and Instagram services, each raising the same fundamental issues on 25 May 2018, the date the GDPR came into operation.
  • Suppose a significant number of people opt out of ads powered with that behavioral data. In that case, prices for Meta's advertising could fall by 10% – 20% in a worst-case scenario, wiping 12% – 25% from the company's valuation, Morningstar analyst Ali Mogharabi wrote.



ACI Worldwide Mulls Potential Sales To Private Equity

  • ACI Worldwide Inc (NASDAQ:ACIW) is reportedly discussing a potential sale with private equity firms.
  • The payments-software provider said it is working with financial advisers as it fields takeover interest. One of the people said there's no certainty ACI will reach a deal due to shaky leveraged financing markets. 



Samsung's Consumer-Products Chief And Analysts Expect Demand Headwinds To Improve From Second Half

  • Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd (OTC:SSNLF) consumer-gadgets Vice Chair and co-CEO Han Jong-hee hoped the current industry downturn that affected the company's profit trajectory would begin to improve in the second half of 2023.
  • Analysts expect Samsung to report 7.18 trillion South Korean won ($5.64 billion) in operating profit in the December quarter, down 50% Y/Y. However, some analysts are more bearish than the consensus.
  • The pessimism stemmed from a rapid fall in NAND and DRAM memory prices due to demand softness for the products like PCs.
  • Analysts expected a rebound in earnings in the second half of 2023 "along with an improving memory cycle and recovery in mobile demand."

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