Jump in Whopper sales can’t lift Burger King

Rising Whopper sales failed to translate into bottom-line dollars for Burger King Holdings Corp. in the fiscal second quarter, the fast-food chain said Thursday.

The nation’s No. 2 hamburger chain reported that profit fell and missed Wall Street’s expectations by 4 cents per share due to the effect of a stronger dollar.

The company said the currency translation hurt profit by 5 cents per share in the quarter, which ended Dec. 31. The company earned $44 million, or 33 cents per share, a 10.2 percent dip from earnings of $49 million, or 36 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had expected Burger King to earn 37 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue rose 3.4 percent to $634 million from $613 million.


Reports of new rules boost financial stocks

Financial stocks rebounded Thursday after reports surfaced that the government may move to alter, or even suspend, accounting rules that force banks to value assets at current market prices.

Morgan Stanley was among the sector’s biggest advancers, climbing $1.18, or 5.4 percent, to close at $23.19, after earlier falling as low as $21.52.

On Thursday, reports that the Treasury Department could tweak or even suspend the rules as part of its overhaul of the remaining bailout package pushed depressed bank stocks higher.

Bank of America Corp. jumped 14 cents, or 2.98 percent, to end at $4.84, after earlier falling as much as 20 percent.

Citigroup Inc. shares gained 4 cents, or 1.15 percent, to close at $3.53. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advanced $4.88, or 5.55 percent, to $92.85.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. gained $1, or 3.47 percent, to $29.83, while U.S. Bancorp rose 82 cents, or 5.79 percent, to $14.99. JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 50 cents, or 2.08 percent, to $24.54.

Wells Fargo & Co. bucked the trend, falling $1.18, or 6.78 percent, to $16.27.

Gates money manager talks with AutoNation

Cascade Investment LLC, a money manager for billionaire Bill Gates, has been holding talks with the management of AutoNation Inc. and may also seek discussions with other shareholders.

Discussions with investors may concern “the strategic direction” of AutoNation and “opportunities to enhance shareholder value,” Cascade said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Cascade and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust own a combined 21.6 million shares, or 12.2 percent, of AutoNation, the largest publicly traded car retailer in the U.S.

The filing said Cascade and the Gates Foundation acquired their holdings “for investment purposes only,” terminology that is usually used when an investor doesn’t plan a takeover.

Cascade and the foundation each purchased 50,000 additional shares during the past 60 days, the filing said.


Flier adds technology to recognize speech

American Airlines says customers who call for flight information will get it faster because of speech-recognition technology that it is adding to its service for frequent travelers.

The system is geared to save the airline money by reducing the need for employees to handle calls.

American said Thursday that the “Remember Me” system will recognize phone numbers and greet customers by name if they’ve signed up under American’s frequent-flier program, AAdvantage. They can list up to three phone numbers from which they’ll call the airline.

If the customer is booked on a flight that day, the system will offer gate and flight information without prompting, the airline said.

Official raises concerns over big music merger

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal raised concerns about a possible merger of live-music companies Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. and Live Nation Inc., and said he may start an investigation.

Blumenthal said Thursday that has talked with “several” other state attorneys general about an investigation, he said. Ticketmaster and Live Nation may announce a combination as soon as next week, said two people with knowledge of the discussions.

They requested anonymity because the talks are private.

Ticketmaster’s possible combination with Live Nation, the largest concert promoter, has drawn criticism after the company’s handling of sales for Bruce Springsteen’s latest tour.

Fans trying to buy tickets for Springsteen’s tour this week were directed by Ticketmaster’s main Web site to a company-owned Internet reseller, where prices were hundreds of dollars above face value.


Downbeat jobs news sends Treasurys up

Longer-term Treasury prices rose Thursday after the government revealed more troublesome jobs market statistics.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 0.16 points to 107, and its yield fell to 2.90 percent from 2.91 percent late Wednesday.

The 30-year bond rose 0.47 points to 114.56, and its yield was unchanged from Wednesday at 3.68 percent.

Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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