Entertainment: Fox disappoints Disney
Disney’s blockbuster Avengers: Endgame couldn’t keep the media giant from missing analysts’ expectations for the quarter, said Erich Schwartzel and Maria Armental in The Wall Street Journal. Disney paid $71.3 billion for the 21st Century Fox properties in March, but “Fox movies like X-Men: Dark Phoenix flopped, even as Disney’s own set records.” Disney CEO Robert Iger deemed this week’s earnings call with investors “among the most complicated in his 14-year tenure,” saying Fox’s studio performance was “well below” Disney’s goals. The Fox assets, however, remain key to Disney’s coming rollout of a $12.99-a-month home-streaming service.
Opioids: Drugmakers offer $10 billion to states
Three major pharmaceutical distributors this week proposed paying $10 billion to settle claims they helped fuel the opioid epidemic, said Jef Feeley in Bloomberg.com. McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen made the proposal in talks with a group of state attorneys general, who have accused the distributors of “ignoring red flags about the misuse of painkillers” and flooding states with 76 billion pain pills between 2006 and 2012. The states countered with a demand for $45 billion to cover costs in the public-health crisis. The distributors face almost 2,000 additional lawsuits brought by cities and counties.
Barneys: Bankruptcy for an iconic luxury retailer
Barneys is the latest major retailer to go bust, said Vanessa Friedman and Michael de la Merced in The New York Times. The luxury chain filed for bankruptcy protection this week. Once a “symbol of creative cool” filled with “racks of conceptual black,” it’s a victim of the retail decline, caught between slowing foot traffic and a rent increase—to $30 million a year—at its flagship New York store. The flagship will stay open as the chain shuts 15 of its 22 stores nationwide.
Procter & Gamble: Shaving woes from Gillette
Procter & Gamble is blaming “hirsute men” for an $8 billion write-down of its struggling Gillette brand, said Adam Rasmi in Qz.com. The consumer-products company beat earnings expectations last week, but said that the value of the 118-year-old Gillette had fallen significantly since P&G acquired it for $57 billion in 2005. The company said global currency devaluations were partly to blame, but it also pointed to “lower shaving frequency” in recent years “as social norms about shaving relax.” Gillette is also facing “new, lower-priced competitors like Unilever’s Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s.”