Business briefing

The daily business briefing: October 26, 2016

Apple reports first annual sales drop in 15 years, judge approves VW's emissions scandal settlement, and more

1

Apple reports first annual sales drop in 15 years

Apple reported its first annual revenue decline in 15 years after the market closed on Tuesday. Apple, the most valuable company in the world, said income in the just-completed quarter fell by 19 percent to $9 billion, or $1.67 a share. That's down from $11.1 billion or $1.96 a share in the same quarter last year, but just above analysts' expectations of $1.65 per share. The company's drop in revenue came mostly before the launch of the latest version of its dominant smartphone, the iPhone 7, which hit stores just before the quarter ended. Apple shares dropped by 2.8 percent in after-hours trading.

2

Judge approves VW emissions testing scandal settlement

A U.S. judge on Tuesday approved Volkswagen AG's $14.7 billion deal to settle its diesel emissions cheating scandal. The settlement with federal and California regulators — and the owners of 475,000 affected diesel cars — would be one of the largest corporate settlements in history. VW admitted last year that it installed software in diesel cars to help them beat exhaust emissions tests by appearing clean, even though they really emitted up to 40 times as much pollution as allowed. The German automaker — the world's second largest — said it would start buying back the cars in mid-November.

3

Brexit concerns to depress London housing prices next year

London property prices could fall by 5.6 percent in 2017 due largely to uncertainty about the U.K.'s exit from the European Union, according to the Center for Economics and Business Research, a consultancy. Across the nation, property values will rise by 6.9 percent this year but slow to 2.6 percent in 2017. "Nervousness and uncertainty are starting to show," said CEBR economist Kay Daniel Neufeld.

4

Chipotle sales fall more than expected

Chipotle Mexican Grill reported Tuesday that its same-store sales fell by 21.9 percent in the third quarter, which was more than expected. Analysts had forecast a drop of 18.7 percent as the company struggles to win back customers after a string of food safety problems that started with an E. coli outbreak in Oregon and Washington nearly a year ago. Chipotle has given away millions of free burritos, launched a loyalty program, and cranked out food safety ads, but posted four straight quarters of sales declines. In January, Chipotle's same-store sales fell by 36.4 percent. "While we're on the road to recovery, we're not satisfied," Chipotle co-chief executive Steve Ells said.

5

Toyota recalls another 5.8 million cars over Takata airbags

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that it was recalling 5.8 million more cars due to potentially faulty Takata airbag inflators. Some of the recalled parts were replacements in cars involved in a 2010 recall. The defective Takata inflators have been linked to 16 deaths worldwide, and resulted in the industry's biggest recall in history. Toyota's latest recall includes the Corolla, and the Vitz or Yaris subcompact hatchback model. It covers airbags installed in cars produced between May 2000 and November 2001, and April 2006 and December 2014. The affected cars include 1.16 million vehicles sold in Japan, 820,000 sold in China, and 1.47 million sold in Europe.

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