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Wayfair’s revenue soars during the pandemic

Associated Press


Wayfair’s revenue soars during the pandemic

Quarantines, it turns out, can be good for Wayfair Inc., the Boston-based online seller of home furnishings. The company’s stock surged nearly 24 percent Tuesday, to close at $165.88 a share, after it reported that net revenue rose 19.8 percent in the first quarter, to $2.3 billion. The company’s string of net losses continued, this time to the tune of $286 million for the quarter, compared to $200 million in the same quarter a year ago. But judging from the share price increase, investors seemed less worried about the widening loss and more interested in betting that Wayfair might end up becoming one of the few corporate winners in the pandemic. — JON CHESTO



Wendy’s runs out of hamburgers as shortage takes hold

Hundreds of Wendy’s restaurants have run out of hamburgers. Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States, is limiting the amount of ground beef and pork that customers can buy at some stores. And Costco, where shoppers typically buy in bulk, has placed a three-product cap on purchases of fresh beef, poultry, and pork. Over the last month, dozens of meatpacking plants across the country have shut down because of coronavirus outbreaks, raising concerns about the country’s meat supply. On Monday, nearly one in five Wendy’s restaurants — a total of 1,043 locations — were completely sold out of beef products, including burgers, according to analysis by the financial firm Stephens, which examined the online menu at every Wendy’s in the United States. — NEW YORK TIMES


United Airlines to cut managerial and administrative jobs

United Airlines will cut at least 30 percent of its managerial and administrative jobs when government restrictions lift in October, bracing for a prolonged travel slump in the age of COVID-19. In addition to cutting the roughly 3,500 positions, the company will require that management and administrative employees take 20 days off without pay between May 16 and Sept. 30 to help pare costs, Kate Gebo, executive vice president of human resources, said in an internal memo Monday. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Norwegian says it may not survive to sail another day

Norwegian Cruise Line, one of the world’s largest cruise companies, said on Tuesday that there was “substantial doubt” about its ability to survive the coronavirus pandemic. Norwegian acknowledged the dire situation in a securities filing announcing that it was seeking $650 million in new financing. The global shutdown of the cruise industry has strained the finances of all three major cruise companies — Norwegian and its two main rivals, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean — forcing them to borrow money at high interest rates. — NEW YORK TIMES


Gold’s files for bankruptcy

Gold’s Gym International Inc. sought court protection from its creditors, unable to keep up with debt payments after the prolonged shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The gym operator filed for bankruptcy in Dallas, listing as much as $100 million in assets and liabilities, according to court papers. Gold’s blamed the bankruptcy on the pandemic, which forced its fitness studios to shut. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


California sues Uber and Lyft over classification of drivers

California’s attorney general and a coalition of city attorneys in the state sued Uber and Lyft on Tuesday, claiming the companies wrongfully classified their drivers as independent contractors in violation of a state law that makes them employees. The law, known as Assembly Bill 5, requires companies to treat their workers as employees instead of contractors if they control how workers perform tasks or if the work is a routine part of a company’s business. At least 1 million gig workers in the state are affected by the law, which is supposed to give them a path to benefits like a minimum wage and unemployment insurance that have been traditionally withheld from independent contractors. — NEW YORK TIMES



Airbnb laying off a quarter of its workforce

Airbnb is laying off 25 percent of its workforce as it confronts a steep decline in global travel due to the new coronavirus. In a letter to employees, CEO Brian Chesky said the company is letting 1,900 of its 7,500 workers go and cutting businesses that don’t directly support home-sharing, like its investments in hotels and movie production. Chesky said departing employees will receive at least 14 weeks of their base pay. US employees will continue to receive health care coverage for a year.


Hertz gets a last-minute reprieve to avoid bankruptcy

Hertz reached an 11th-hour pact with lenders to give the struggling rental-car company more time to rework its debt and extend a grace period on payments it has missed related to leasing vehicles. The forbearances and waivers give the company until May 22 to “develop a financing strategy and structure that better reflects the economic impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Hertz said in a regulatory filing. The rental-car company had been talking with some of its creditors about how to ease its burden without going through bankruptcy, and the company was preparing to file for Chapter 11 court protection if needed, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked for anonymity to discuss the confidential talks. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Twitter wants users to watch language

Twitter Inc. will ask users to watch their language as part of a new test to clean up parts of its service. When someone replies to another user’s post, Twitter may prompt them to reconsider their response if it includes slurs, epithets, or swear words, a company spokesperson said. Twitter has tried for years to clean up its site, which can be full of hate speech and slurs. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Capitol One to keep employees working from home until after Labor Day

Capital One Financial Corp., potentially setting a standard for the US financial industry, plans to keep most of its employees working at home at least four more months as it waits for the coronavirus pandemic to ebb. The lender’s offices in the United States, Canada, and the UK will remain shut to all non-essential staff at least through the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 7, chief executive Richard Fairbank wrote in an internal memo. He promised employees that the McLean, Va.-based firm will give them at least six weeks’ notice once it decides to reopen those sites. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Fiat Chrysler lost $1.84 billion in the first quarter

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday reported a first-quarter net loss of 1.7 billion euros ($1.84 billion) due to a steep decline in car sales during the coronavirus pandemic. The Italian-American carmaker has withdrawn full-year earnings forecasts due to the volatility of the economic situation provoked the virus, which includes stalled production and shuttered dealerships. Fiat Chrysler confirmed it remained committed to full merger with French carmaker PSA Peugeot, which it aims to complete by early 2021. — ASSOCIATED PRESS