Allergan plans to buy back $10B in shares, posts 1Q profit


Allergan to buy up to $10b of its stock

Allergan will buy back up to $10 billion in stock following a swing to a first-quarter profit on a strong surge in sales of key drugs, including the wrinkle and muscle spasm treatment Botox. The share buyback plan is contingent on the sale of the drug developer’s generics unit to Teva, which is expected to close by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the company is consolidating its executive team under current CEO Brent Saunders. The announcement came as the Dublin-based company swung to a first-quarter profit of $255.7 million, or 47 cents per share, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Job postings in March at an eight-month high

US employers posted the most open jobs in eight months in March, but total hiring slowed, providing a mixed picture of the labor market. Job openings jumped 2.7 percent to 5.76 million, the most since September, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That may point to better hiring in the coming months. The number of available jobs rose in manufacturing; professional and business services, which includes engineering and management consulting; and government. Yet hiring slowed to 5.3 million from 5.5 million. That suggests employers became more reluctant to fill open positions, possibly because of slower economic growth from October through March. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Watson to hunt hackers

Watson, IBM’s computer brain, has a lot of talents. It mastered ‘‘Jeopardy!,’’ it cooks, and even tries to cure cancer. But now, it’s training for a new challenge: Hunting hackers. On Tuesday, IBM Security announced a new cloud-based version of the cognitive technology, dubbed ‘‘Watson for Cybersecurity.’’ In the fall, IBM will be partnering with eight universities, including MIT, to help get Watson up to speed by flooding it with security reports and data. The plan as of now is for Watson to process up to 15,000 documents about digital security a month — including everything from blog posts to videos — so that it can get a feel for the sometimes esoteric terminology of the cybersecurity world. — WASHINGTON POST



Amazon launches platform for video creators

Amazon has launched a self-publishing platform for video creators, a move that could make money for the company and budding filmmakers in the same way YouTube has created a community of online celebrities. Amazon Video Direct, which kicked off Tuesday, shares money with video creators through the method they choose: ads, subscriptions, rentals, or simply by the number of hours streamed to tens of millions of subscribers of Amazon Prime, its two-day shipping service. Amazon keeps about half the revenue, or if the video is restricted to Prime, it pays a set fee of 15 cents per hour viewed in the United States. Several production companies made videos available Tuesday including Baby Einstein, Pro Guitar Lessons, and Conde Nast. The service allows creators to publish videos in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, and Austria. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


EBay, FedEx team up to clean out closets

EBay Inc. and FedEx Corp. are teaming up to make it easier for new customers eager to sell their unwanted smartphones, designer handbags, and golf clubs on EBay’s online auction site during spring cleaning season. Sellers can drop off items worth at least $25 at more than 1,600 FedEx stores around the country and get help listing them on EBay’s online marketplace under a new arrangement announced Tuesday. EBay and FedEx share a commission ranging from 20 percent to 40 percent on each sale, while sellers pay nothing up front. — BLOOMBERG



Lumber Liquidators continues to struggle

Losses worsened at Lumber Liquidators during the first three months of its fiscal year and sales declined for a fifth straight quarter as the flooring company spent heavily to put behind it damaging reports of potentially dangerous and illegal products from China. The company will contribute $26 million and a million of its shares to a settlement fund to resolve a related class action. That follows an announcement last month that the Toano, Va., company would pay $2.5 million to settle allegations that some of its products violated California’s air-safety standards. Last year, it paid $13.2 million in fines and pleaded guilty to environmental crimes for importing China-made flooring that contained timber illegally logged in eastern Russia. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Walmart sues Visa over chip-enabled debit cards

Walmart is suing Visa Inc., charging the payment network is not allowing the retail giant to let customers verify chip-enabled debit card transactions with what it believes is a more secure method: personal identification numbers. In a suit filed in New York State courts Tuesday, the Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter says Visa is forcing the retailer to allow customers to use a signature when they use the chip-based debit cards. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says in an e-mail statement to the Associated Press the suit is about ‘‘protecting our customers’ bank accounts’’ when they use their debit cards at the store. It’s also more costly. Walmart pays about 5 cents more to Visa for each signature transaction than it does for the so-called PIN transactions. Visa declined to comment. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Uber drivers in New York affiliate with union

Uber announced an agreement Tuesday with a prominent union to create an association for drivers in New York that would establish a forum for regular dialogue and afford them some limited benefits and protections — but that would stop short of unionization. The association, which will be known as the Independent Drivers Guild and will be affiliated with a regional branch of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union, is the first of its kind that Uber has officially blessed, although Uber drivers have formed a number of unsanctioned organizations in cities across the country. The agreement is Uber’s latest attempt to assuage mounting concerns from regulators and drivers’ groups about the ride-hailing company’s labor model, which treats drivers as independent contractors. That model helps Uber keep its labor costs low, but it excludes drivers from coverage by most labor and employment laws, such as those that require a minimum wage and overtime. — NEW YORK TIMES


Disney earnings fall short

Disney reported quarterly earnings Tuesday that fell short of forecasts, and announced it is discontinuing its Disney Infinity line of video games. The company based in Burbank, Calif., said it had second-quarter earnings of $2.14 billion, or $1.30 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $1.36 per share. The adjusted results, which exclude the $147 million charge — or 6 cents per share — for shutting the Infinity division down, fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.40 per share. Disney shares tumbled 6 percent in after-hours trading after the results were released, taking them into negative territory for the year. — ASSOCIATED PRESS