The daily business briefing: April 3, 2017
Tesla reports record quarterly deliveries, U.K. leaders balk at discussing Gibraltar in Brexit negotiations, and more
Tesla reports record deliveries in first quarter
Electric car maker Tesla on Sunday reported that it delivered a record 25,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2017, marking a 69 percent increase from a year ago. The company also said it expected to match the figure in the second quarter, giving it 47,000 to 50,000 deliveries in the first six months of the year. A little more than half of the first-quarter sales were Model S sedans, and a little less than half were Model X sports utility vehicles. The performance put the company back on track after deliveries fell by 9 percent in the last quarter of 2016 due to transport delays.
U.K. leaders balk at discussing Gibraltar in Brexit negotiations
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Monday that the sovereignty of Gibraltar would not change as part of Britain's exit from the European Union. British leaders bristled after the EU on Friday released draft negotiation guidelines saying the status of the British outpost on the tip of the Iberian Peninsula would have to be approved by Spain, which has long claimed Gibraltar as its own. Over the weekend, a former leader of British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party said the U.K. would be willing to defend Gibraltar as it did the Falkland Islands off Argentina 35 years ago. Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said his government was surprised to see British leaders "losing their cool" over Gibraltar. Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders called for calm, saying, "You can now see how difficult the divorce is."
Imagination Technologies shares drop after Apple moves on
Shares of British chip designer Imagination Technologies plunged by nearly 70 percent early Monday after Apple said it would stop using the company's chips in the next two years. Imagination shares closed up Friday at $3.38, but dropped to $1.06 on Monday after the news broke, hitting their lowest level since 2009. Apple currently uses Imagination Technologies chip technology in iPhones, iPads, and iPods, but says it is developing its own design "to control its products." Imagination said Apple has not shown how it can do that "without violating Imagination's patents, intellectual property, and confidential information."
Conagra recalls some Hunt's Chili Kits
Conagra Brands announced Sunday that it is recalling "a limited amount" of its Hunt's Chili Kits because of the possibility of salmonella contamination. Conagra said that there had been no reports of people getting sick from eating the product, but that the company was cooperating with the Food and Drug Administration because there could be salmonella in an ingredient in the chili-seasoning packets in the kits. The recall covers 44.8-ounce kits with "best by" dates of April 4, April 5, and May 1.
Eurozone unemployment reached 8-year low in February
Eurozone unemployment fell in February to its lowest level since mid-2009, although it remained very high, especially in some countries in southern Europe, according to data released Monday by The European Union's statistics agency. The jobless rate in the 19 countries that use the euro edged down to 9.5 percent from 9.6 percent in January. The decline was the latest in a series of reports indicating modest economic improvement in the region early this year. The employment picture in the eurozone has been improving slowly since the regional economy started growing again in 2013 after years of recession, but joblessness remains high in many countries. Italy's rate was 11.5 percent in February despite modest job creation, and Spain's was 18 percent.