Business

Apple, Exxon Mobil, Rivian: the actions that marked the week


Apple Inc.

AAPL -1.84%

Big Western companies are pulling out of Russia. Apple on Tuesday said it stopped selling iPhones and other products in Russia, saying it was “deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” Ukraine’s deputy prime minister on Feb. 25 asked chief executive Tim Cook to stop providing products and services, including access to the App Store, to Russia. Other companies that have taken similar action include Ford Motor Co.

F -4.26%

and Dell Technologies Inc.

Apple shares gained 2.1% on Wednesday.

Focus on video communications Inc.

ZM -3.69%

Returning from the desktop can slow Zoom’s connection. The company’s sales growth faltered in the fourth quarter, signaling that demand for its video conferencing app is no longer as entrenched in daily life as it was at the start of the pandemic. Zoom’s performance soared when Covid-19 treatments were largely unavailable and much of the world operated on virtual platforms as people stayed indoors. As Covid-19 conditions improve and competitors such as Microsoft Corp.

MSFT -2.05%

and meta-platforms Inc.

Facebook -1.43%

battling for market share, Zoom looked for ways to increase its growth. Its bid to acquire nearly $15 billion of contact center company Five9 Inc.

in September was blocked by selling shareholders. Zoom shares lost 7.4% on Tuesday.

Exxon Mobil Corp.

XOM 3.76%

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has fueled a surge in oil over the past week. On Wednesday, U.S. crude prices hit more than $110 a barrel for the first time since 2014 as refiners refused to buy Russian oil, cutting global energy supplies. Rising oil prices could further boost inflation across the US economy. American oil giants like Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp.

stand to benefit from rising energy prices, even as they strive to break away from Russia. Exxon announced on Tuesday that it was halting operations of a multibillion-dollar oil and gas project in Russia and would no longer make investments in the country, following similar moves by European counterparts BP. PLC and Shell PLC. Exxon shares rose 1.7% on Wednesday.

Kroger Co.

KR 6.97%

Shoppers crave more affordable meals. Kroger said Thursday that its streak of strong sales and earnings continued into the latest quarter, thanks to U.S. consumers eating more at home. Executives said shoppers were cooking more meals at home because it was cheaper to do so than dining out and they were turning to lower-cost store brands. Food prices have been rising for months, with manufacturers raising prices to offset rising costs and sellers like Kroger passing those increases on to consumers. Price increases for meat and groceries were the highest, and Kroger executives expect inflation to moderate in the second half. Kroger shares added 12% on Thursday.

best buy Co.

BBY -3.67%

Best Buy is trying to recover from a holiday hangover. The electronics retailer reported lower sales for the holiday quarter from the same period a year ago, when at-home consumers splurged on TVs and other electronics. The company expected inventory constraints, but shortages were worse than expected, especially in areas that include popular holiday gifts such as cellphones and computers. While Best Buy expects revenue to decline in its current fiscal year, the company expects sales to rebound to $56.5 billion by 2024, above expectations of Wall Street. Shares of Best Buy rose 9.2% on Thursday.

Rivian RIVN -6.91%

Automotive Inc.

Rivian reversed a sharp price increase. The electric vehicle startup’s chief executive, RJ Scaringe, apologized in a letter Thursday for applying higher prices to existing orders for its electric trucks and SUVs. The increase was put into effect earlier in the week as the company tried to cope with rising parts and material costs, but Mr Scaringe said Rivian made a mistake applying them to existing orders. . The company will now honor original prices for customers who ordered a vehicle before Tuesday’s increase, which added about 20% to the price of certain model configurations. For some customers, the hike translated into a premium of $10,000 to $20,000. Rivian shares slid more than 13% on Wednesday and fell another 5% on Thursday.

sweetgreen Inc.

SG 25.43%

Workers are returning to offices, and so are their office salads. Sweetgreen announced better-than-expected results and outlook, boosted by higher prices and the return of workers to their physical workplaces. The company, which went public in November, said sales were improving at Sweetgreen’s urban stores, particularly in midtown Manhattan. Sweetgreen also raised prices by 6% earlier this year as it seeks to pay rising wages and other costs and food, including avocados. The company said it hoped to open at least 35 new restaurants this year, while construction delays and supply chain issues weighed on the chain’s new openings. Shares of Sweetgreen jumped 25% on Friday.

Write to Francesca Fontana at [email protected]m

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