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CVS earnings helped by COVID test kits, longer flu season

Home COVID-19 tests at a CVS in New York.GABBY JONES/NYT


CVS earnings helped by COVID test kits, longer flu season

CVS Health thumped second-quarter expectations and hiked its full-year forecast as growing prescription claims and COVID-19 test kits sales countered a drop in vaccinations. A longer cough cold and flu season also brought in more business, as claims in CVS Health’s biggest segment, pharmacy benefits management, rose about 4 percent. Pharmacy sales at the company’s established drugstores climbed more than 7 percent. CVS Health’s overall revenue topped $80 billion, a jump of 11 percent, even as the company said COVID-19 vaccinations fell compared with the same period last year, when many people were still getting their initial rounds of protection from the virus. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Utah company wants to buy Jay Peak

A Utah-based resort company that owns several ski areas has made a bid to buy Jay Peak Resort, the Vermont ski resort that was rocked by a massive fraud case involving its former owner and president. The court appointed receiver who has been overseeing Jay Peak for more than six years is seeking court approval to sell it for $58 million to Pacific Group Resorts, Inc., which owns Ragged Mountain Resort in New Hampshire, Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Colorado, and Mount Washington Alpine Resort in Vancouver Island, British Columbia. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Robinhood laying off nearly a quarter of its workforce

Robinhood, the trading app that popularized one-click trading and helped fuel last year’s meme stock frenzy, said Tuesday that it was laying off about 23 percent of its workforce. Vlad Tenev, the chief executive of Robinhood, said in a blog post that the layoffs would affect employees across the company, especially those in operations, marketing, and program management roles. The announcement followed closely on the heels of cuts in April, when Robinhood laid off 340 workers, or about 9 percent of its employees at the time. Since then, Tenev wrote, further worsening of the economy, including inflation, and the crash of the crypto market, has “reduced customer trading activity and assets under custody.” The price of bitcoin has fallen by more than half this year, to about $23,000 per coin. The cryptocurrency rose as high as $66,000 in late 2021. — NEW YORK TIMES



Samsung latest to allow do-it-yourself repairs

Shattered screen? Bloated battery? After years of rigidity around repairs when gadgets break down, more and more consumer electronics companies are offering the option for people to fix those problems themselves, right at home. Samsung said this week that customers who want to try their hands at fixing gadgets can now buy genuine smartphone and tablets parts from repair resource website iFixit, as well as from Samsung’s Experience stores across the country. The push to make at least some of its gadgets more easily repairable comes amid a broader national conversation about the right to fix the products we buy, spurred mostly by heightened scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission beginning last year. Since then, Apple launched a self-service repair program of its own, while Google partnered with iFixit to offer tools and genuine parts to would-be tinkerers. — WASHINGTON POST


NYT adds 180,000 digital subscribers

The New York Times Co. added about 180,000 net digital-only subscribers in the second quarter of the year but generated less digital advertising revenue, it said Wednesday. The Times now has 9.17 million paid subscribers. It has a goal of 15 million by the end of 2027. The company reported $76 million in adjusted operating profit, 18 percent less than the same quarter last year. It generated total revenue of $555.7 million, an 11.5 percent increase from a year earlier. Digital subscriptions accounted for $238.7 million of that revenue, a 25.5 percent increase. The hit to operating profit was mostly from losses at The Athletic, the sports news website that the Times bought in February for $550 million. Adjusted operating losses at The Athletic were $12.6 million for this quarter, from April to June, down from about $19.4 million in the first quarter. — NEW YORK TIMES



Volvo to build battery factory

Volvo plans to build a “large-scale” battery-plant in Sweden to meet an expected surge in demand for electric trucks and buses. The Swedish manufacturer, which currently sources cells from Samsung SDI Co., said Wednesday it started a process to obtain approvals to set up its own production in the municipality of Mariestad. It didn’t disclose how much the factory would cost. The world’s second-biggest truckmaker plans to gradually increase capacity and reach large-scale series production by 2030. Volvo reiterated its target that at least 35 percent of its products should be electric by the same year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


BMW says new car orders are down from peak

BMW says new vehicle orders are retreating from high levels as inflation and higher interest rates hit consumers, making the company the first among major carmakers to turn more cautious. The Munich-based manufacturer sees vehicle orders normalizing toward the end of the year, particularly in Europe, it said Wednesday. Current order books are at an all-time high because of pent-up demand due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Starbucks doing well in US

Starbucks shares rose as a strong US performance and higher prices helped to offset lower traffic and sluggishness in China, where COVID-19 measures have sharply suppressed demand. The results reinforce the message found in recent reports from McDonald’s and Chipotle: Americans are still opening up their wallets to eat out — even if inflation is starting to erode purchasing power. Sales of $8.15 billion came in slightly above expectations in the fiscal third quarter that ended July 3, Starbucks said Tuesday in a statement. While US diners are still spending — with cold drinks being a particular standout — the Chinese market remains a source of uncertainty. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Meta execs decamp for London

Nick Clegg, Meta Platforms Inc.’s president of global affairs, has become the latest top executive from the social media giant to relocate to London. Clegg will split his time between California and London, which will be a base for traveling to represent Meta’s interests in government relations and policy, a spokesperson said. The head of Meta’s Instagram business, Adam Mosseri, will also move to London, which serves as the company’s largest engineering base outside of the United States. Alex Schultz, Meta’s head of marketing and analytics, has also relocated to the British capital, according to his LinkedIn profile. The UK has been striving to attract tech talent, and Meta’s location in King’s Cross was opened by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in 2022. The London offices house more than 4,000 employees including a team dedicated to Instagram. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



PayPal saved millions by cutting workforce

PayPal said restructuring costs tied to trimming its global workforce totaled $71 million in the second quarter. The job cuts will ultimately save the payments giant about $260 million this year, including approximately $100 million in stock-based compensation, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday. PayPal is looking to the staff cutbacks as a way to reduce expenses and satisfy investors, who have punished the firm’s shares in recent quarters. — BLOOMBERG NEWS