Talking Points

TALKING POINTS

Property owners along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway to help pay for its upkeep

PARKS

Property owners along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway to help pay for its upkeep

Property owners along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway have agreed to help pay for the downtown park’s upkeep. The owners of 41 out of 50 mostly large buildings lining the 17-acre park from Causeway Street in Bulfinch Triangle to Kneeland Street in Chinatown have voted to endorse a Business Improvement District that will charge them a small property tax to pay for maintenance, improvements, and events. Organizers expect the district will raise $1.6 million in its first year, according to documents filed with the Boston City Council. That will supplement city and state funding for the park and money raised by the nonprofit Greenway Conservancy. An effort to create the BID, the second taxing district of its kind in Boston, began last summer after Governor Charlie Baker said the state — which has long paid much of the park’s budget — needed to cut its contribution. The Boston City Council must vote to approve the BID before it can be launched. — TIM LOGAN

ENERGY

Company behind Northern Pass project asks for rehearing, offers financial sweeteners

The company behind the Northern Pass hydropower project is offering to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to ease concerns that it would negatively impact local communities, businesses, and tourism in New Hampshire. Eversource New Hampshire president Bill Quinlan said the company on Wednesday submitted a request from the Site Evaluation Committee to rehear the $1.6 billion project that was set to deliver hydropower from Canada to customers in southern New England through a 192-mile transmission line in New Hampshire. Regulators rejected the project earlier this month over concerns about potential negative impacts. The committee has 10 days to approve or reject the rehearing request. As part of the request, Eversource said it is offering up to $300 million in reductions to low-income and business customers in the state. It also is offering to allocate $95 million from a previously announced $200 million community fund — $25 million to compensate for declining property values, $25 million for economic development, and $25 million to promote tourism in affected areas. Another $20 million would fund energy efficiency programs. It is proposing to switch to a less invasive digging method in laying down the transmission lines that would go through the town of Plymouth, where businesses have complained about potential disruptions. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

RETAIL

TJX earnings rose
in fourth quarter

TJX Cos. reported higher fourth-quarter earnings and said it will boost its dividend and buy back up to $3 billion of stock during the next fiscal year, sending its shares up 7 percent. The parent of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and other ‘‘off-price’’ stores reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $877.3 million and a 4 percent increase in comparable store sales, or sales in stores open at least a year, an important metric retailers use which excludes the effect of new or closed stores. TJX reported $677.9 million in net income for the same period last year. On a per-share basis, the Framingham-based company earned $1.37. That beat the average estimate of $1.28 per share, based on a survey of 11 analysts by Zacks Investment Research. TJX posted revenue of $10.96 billion in the period, surpassing Street forecasts of $10.79 billion. TJX shares closed up $5.37 at $82.68. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

STREAMING MUSIC

Spotify files for listing on the NYSE

Advertisement

Spotify on Wednesday filed a prospectus for its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, an indication of the imminent arrival of one of the most anticipated technology stocks in years, and a sign of the maturation of the streaming market that has turned around the long-struggling music industry. The filing states that Spotify’s shares will be traded under the ticker symbol SPOT, but gives no indication of timing. A spokesman for the company declined to comment. Instead of a traditional initial public offering, Spotify will, as expected, pursue a direct listing of its shares, an unusual process in which no new stock is issued — and therefore no money is raised. — NEW YORK TIMES

MARKETING

Pizza Hut replaces Papa John’s
in NFL deal

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

So long Papa John’s, hello Pizza Hut. The NFL announced a multiyear marketing deal with Pizza Hut on Wednesday, one day after the league and Papa John’s said that they mutually agreed to cut ties. The league’s relationship with Papa John’s frayed last year when the pizza maker’s founder John Schnatter criticized NFL leadership over national anthem protests by players. The Louisville-based Papa John’s says it will remain in football through marketing deals with 22 of the league’s 32 teams. Pizza Hut said its marketing partnership with the NFL will begin with the league’s April 2018 draft in Arlington, Texas, just miles from the pizza restaurant’s headquarters in Plano. Pizza Hut is owned by Yum Brands Inc. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

INVESTMENT

Ackman ends fight against Herbalife

One of the longest and most colorful battles in Wall Street history is over. Bill Ackman has almost entirely exited his position in Herbalife, ending a short-selling campaign that lasted more than five years, according to a person familiar with the matter. The move follows a steady rise in the shares of a company that he repeatedly called an illegal pyramid scheme and vowed to destroy. Ackman had already signaled that he was stepping back from his fight against Herbalife, which sells weight-loss shakes and vitamins.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS

INDUSTRY

GE continues
its slide

Talk about a year to forget for General Electric. The beleaguered manufacturer is on pace to clinch its 12th consecutive monthly decline with shares closing out February below where they started. The S&P 500 index rose in 10 of those months. The yearlong decline is the longest losing streak on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg that goes back to 1971. The 12-month tally of GE shareholder losses: $135 billion. Chief executive John Flannery, who took the helm in mid-2017, is cutting costs and reshaping the portfolio to try to pull GE out of one of the worst slumps in its 126-year history. The Boston-based company has faced myriad challenges, from flagging demand for industrial equipment to a Securities and Exchange Commission probe of its accounting. The slide started as cash-flow problems emerged under former CEO Jeffrey Immelt, and only got worse after Flannery slashed the dividend and revealed poor earnings. Shares fell 2.7 percent to $14.11 Wednesday.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS

DIETING

New Weight Watchers program gives it an edge over Nutrisystem

Weight Watchers International’s new Freestyle program, which lets members eat as many beans and eggs as they like, is giving it an edge over rival Nutrisystem Inc. The weight-loss company backed by Oprah Winfrey posted stronger-than-expected earnings last quarter — and gave an upbeat forecast for the coming year — after the Freestyle rollout attracted more customers. That sent the stock up as much as 10 percent to $77 on Wednesday. Nutrisystem, meanwhile, is facing headwinds after a marketing flop during the key diet season. Advertising that ran after the New Year’s holiday was hurt by lower ratings on CNN and Fox News. — BLOOMBERG NEWS