Briefs: U.S. airlines hanker for Havana; tasty results for Hormel
●● U.S. carriers including United Airlines and Southwest Airlines began scrambling for Havana routes, as Cuba and the U.S. signed an agreement that will pave the way for regular plane schedules between the two countries. The pact calls for as many as 20 daily flights to Havana. U.S. carriers have not flown directly to Cuba in more than 50 years. ●● Step aside, Spam. Shares of Hormel Foods surged more than they have in a decade, as the meat processor raised its annual forecast by 5 percent. The company said results were helped by several acquisitions, including Skippy peanut butter and Applegate Farms organic deli meats. The key to winning millennial shoppers, according to Hormel, is healthy fare that doesn’t require much preparation. ●● Bombardier said it would slash its workforce over the next two years, eliminating about 7,000 jobs as its C Series jets struggle to take off with customers. In the recent quarter, the planemaker reported a loss of $677 million. Sales in the period fell 16 percent, to $5 billion. ●● Alibaba disclosed that it purchased a 6 percent stake in Groupon, the long-struggling deals platform. Alibaba said it would be a passive investor primarily interested in sharing ideas about how U.S. and Chinese consumers shop. The company also owns a stake i n Amazon.com rival Jet.com. ●● Walt Disney named Channing Dungey president of ABC Entertainment, the first black person to lead a major broadcast network. Dungey, who helped develop shows such as Scandal, will need to reverse a 13 percent drop in viewers in the past year.
CEO Wisdom “We still believe that if you take the next 10 years there will be faster gross domestic product growth in Asia than anywhere else in the world.” ——Stuart Gulliver, group chief executive, HSBC
Bells began selling a $4 smartphone. The gadget, dubbed Freedom 251, has 8GB of storage and an Android operating system to run apps.