Briefs: Aubrey Mc­clen­don’s crash; Aber­crom­bie looks natty

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Con­tents - By yy Kyle Stock

●●Aubrey Mc­clen­don, for­mer CEO of

Ch­e­sa­peake En­ergy, died in a car ac­ci­dent a day af­ter be­ing in­dicted on charges of rig­ging the price rice of oil and gas wells in Ok­la­homa. He was con­sid­ered a shale gas sa­vant, build­ing Ch­e­sa­peake from a wild­cat op­er­a­tion to a drilling em­pire with rights to 16 mil­lion acres in his home state. Be­fore the ac­ci­dent, Mc­clen­don, 56, called the al­le­ga­tions “wrong and un­prece­dented.”

●● Sports Author­ity filed for bank­ruptcy and said it would close al­most one-third of its 450 stores as it strug­gles to com­pete with Dick’s Sport­ing Goods, Wal­mart Stores, Tar­get, and on­line re­tail­ers. Its big­gest cred­i­tors in­clude Nike and Un­der Ar­mour. The com­pany ob­tained $595 mil­lion in bank­ruptcy fi­nanc­ing to get back in shape.

●● Mon­santo cut its profit fore­cast for the year, cit­ing sev­eral macroe­co­nomic chal­lenges, in­clud­ing a strong dol­lar and rel­a­tively low com­mod­ity prices. The seed and fer­til­izer gi­ant is also fac­ing a glut of generic glyphosate, a weed killer that long cul­ti­vated big prof­its for it.

●● Ap­ple at­tor­neys won a small bat­tle in their war over pri­vacy rights. A Brook­lyn judge ruled that the com­pany doesn’t have to help un­lock a drug dealer’s iphone, val­i­dat­ing months of court ar­gu­ments from the tech gi­ant. The rul­ing gives Ap­ple a valu­able win as it faces a sim­i­lar le­gal fight with fed­eral au­thor­i­ties.

●● Af­ter putting more clothes on its mod­els, Aber­crom­bie & Fitch posted its first same-store sales gain in more than three years for the quar­ter ended Jan. 30. Profit in­creased 33 per­cent in the pe­riod, to $58.9 mil­lion.

Star Wars ma­nia con­trib­uted to a 25 per­cent in­crease in sales for Lego last year. It sold 72 bil­lion bricks in 2015 and re­leased 350 prod­ucts, in­clud­ing a video game.

“For peo­ple un­der 35, their def­i­ni­tion of health is look­ing good in their underwear.” ——Mark Ber­tolini, CEO, Aetna

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