The daily business briefing: July 29, 2016

Google-parent Alphabet reports strong ad sales, the Bank of Japan unveils stimulus expansion, and more

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(Image credit: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images)

1. Google profits rise on strong ad sales

Google parent company Alphabet reported a 24 percent jump in quarterly profit thanks to strong ad sales. Revenue reached $21.5 billion, beating analysts' expectations by $750 million. Alphabet posted its results after trading closed on Thursday, a day after another internet giant, Facebook, also reported strong ad sales. Both companies benefited from a surge in internet use by smartphone users, which helped them sell more ads to companies targeting their users. Alphabet shares rose by two percent in after-hours trading.

The New York Times The Wall Street Journal

2. Bank of Japan stimulus falls short of expectations

The Bank of Japan announced Friday that it was expanding its economic stimulus by doubling its exchange-traded fund (ETF) purchases. The central bank has faced pressure from the Japanese government and investors to take bolder steps to boost the economy. The new measures fell short of expectations, and Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock index fell by nearly two percent. The Bank of Japan left a key interest rate unchanged at 0.1 percent. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said further action was possible depending on conclusions from a comprehensive review it is conducting of the impact of current stimulus measures.

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3. Amazon shares rise as profit gains continue

Amazon reported its fifth straight quarter of profit gains on Thursday, signaling progress from investments in its network to fulfill customer orders. The Seattle-based online retailer's profit increased to $857 million, or $1.78 per share, from $92 million, or 19 cents per share, a year earlier. The company's stock gained two percent in after-hours trading on the news. Amazon's earnings for the quarter did not include the take from Prime Day, a massive July 12 sale for the tens of millions of subscribers to Amazon's Prime service.

The Washington Post

4. CBS says sales of shows offset declining TV ad sales

CBS Corp. on Thursday reported quarterly earnings of $3.29 billion, narrowly beating analysts' expectations. CBS, owner of the most-watched U.S. TV network, said its earnings rose to 93 cents a share, exceeding analysts' estimates of 86 cents per share. CBS benefited from rising licensing deals for Star Trek and sales of other shows to other broadcasters, which offset declining TV ad sales. A 44 percent increase in fees paid by affiliated TV stations also helped. CBS stock, which is up by 15 percent this year, edged higher.


5. Oracle to acquire cloud-computing company NetSuite for $9.3 billion

Oracle announced Thursday that it would buy cloud-computing company NetSuite for $9.3 billion in cash. The deal amounts to a 19 percent premium over NetSuite's Wednesday closing price. Oracle is trying to catch up to rivals such as Microsoft and Amazon by making a rapid shift to cloud services. NetSuite was co-founded by Oracle executive chairman Larry Ellison, who is the biggest shareholder in both companies. Cowen & Co. analyst J. Derrick Wood said in a research note that Ellison could face a "high degree of litigation" if the price appears higher than those paid in similar acquisitions.

USA Today The Wall Street Journal

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.