Briefs The Force Awakens
●● The Star Wars force proved strong for Walt Disney and Hasbro. The latest chapterr in the space opera pushed profit at Disney’s filmlm unit up 86 percent, to $1 billion in the quarterter ended on Jan. 2. Star Wars action figures helped ed Hasbro sales rise 13 percent, to $1.5 billion, in the he quarter ended on Dec. 27. ●● India blockeded Facebook’s free Internet app as part of a hotly tly debated ruling in favor of net neutrality. Thee government was concerned that Facebook would prioritize ze some online content. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement he was disappointed, but the company won’t give up on a plan to blanket the country with free Web service. ●● Zenefits CEO and co-foundero-fou Parker Conrad resigned after the company came under fire for lax compliance with state insurance rules. The health-insurance brokerage tapped Chief Operating Officer David Sacks to replace him. Once a venture capital darling, Zenefits recently hired an accounting firm to conduct a third-party review of its insurance licensing procedures. ●● Bonuses are outpacing business at Alibaba. In the nine months through December, the Chinese e-commerce giant said share- based compensation jumped 37 percent and revenue increased 31 percent. Alibaba’s workforce grew only 6 percent last year. ●● Shares of U.S. utilities and coal mining outfits rose as the Supreme Court put on hold federal regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. More than 24 states joined the energy industry in blocking the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. The estimated market for legal U.S. marijuana in 2016—a 24 percent increase from the previous year. About 80 percent of the trade rade is from medical sales.
HTSmaller servings are paying off for As the company pitched mini-cans and 8-ounce bottles in the recent quarter, its sales volume fizzed up 3 percent.
CEO Wisdom “Anytime a story breaks, we’re e responding right away, because misinformation gets out there, and people think, well, that is the gospel.”