1. Ghosn released again after posting second bond in two months
Japanese authorities released former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn after he posted a $4.7 million bond. It was the second time in two months that the once-powerful auto executive had been allowed to leave a Tokyo jail after being arrested on allegations of financial crimes. Prosecutors had fought Ghosn's release, arguing that he could tamper with evidence or witnesses. The district court judge ruled against prosecutors and ruled that Ghosn, who led the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, could be released. Under the terms of his bail, Ghosn must live in his Tokyo apartment and avoid contact with anyone involved in the investigation.
2. Report: Uber to reveal IPO terms with lowered expectations
Uber Technologies is scheduled Friday to reveal the terms of its initial public offering of stock, and people familiar with the matter told Reuters the ride-hailing giant will seek a valuation between $80 billion and $90 billion. The IPO pricing of $44 to $50 per share would put Uber's value near the $76 billion it reached last year in a round of private fundraising, far short of the $100 billion-plus valuation Uber once expected. The downshift came after smaller rival Lyft saw its shares drop after its IPO last month. Even at the lower pricing, Uber would raise up to $9 billion, giving it the biggest IPO since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's 2014 debut.
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3. Amazon reports strong profits and plan to cut delivery times
Amazon reported first-quarter earnings Thursday that smashed expectations despite revenue that was precisely in line with analysts' estimates. The online retail giant reported earnings per share of $7.09, compared to the 4.72 estimated by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. Revenue came in at $59.7 billion, just as analysts expected. Amazon's cloud computing services also brought in just what Wall Street expected, $7.7 billion. Amazon's stock rose by as much as 2 percent after hours following an announcement that Amazon planned to speed up shipping to its Prime customers, getting them packages in one day instead of two. The spending necessary to make that happen could erode future profits.
4. Microsoft stock surge lifts market value to $1 trillion
Microsoft on Thursday became the third company to reach $1 trillion in market value, after its shares surged by 5 percent to $131.37. Microsoft's stock went on a tear after the software giant reported quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations on Wednesday. Revenue came in at $30.6 billion, compared to analysts' average estimate of $29.84 billion. Sales rose by 14 percent as the company's push into public cloud computing continued to pay off with more large businesses shifting their servers and data storage to Microsoft's Azure platform. Only Apple and Amazon have previously hit a $1 trillion market cap.
5. Avengers: Endgame opens with records in sight
Avengers: Endgame opened in the U.S. with Thursday previews as film-industry analysts predict the Marvel sequel will surpass Avengers: Infinity War's opening weekend of $257 million. Many have predicted the film will gross between $260 million and $270 million in what would be the biggest domestic opening in history, with some estimating North American debut ticket sales of $300 million. Only six movies in history have achieved a domestic opening greater than $200 million. With the movie opening in 4,600 theaters in North America, it will have the widest release ever. Endgame is expected to rake in $850 million to $900 million in its global debut, possibly even topping $1 billion. The film already has smashed records for pre-sold tickets.
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