Kimberly Redmond | |

UnitedHealth Group reported a drop in fourth quarter earnings, a decline the health insurance company partially attributed to COVID-19-related care costs.

On Wednesday, the Minnesota-based company reported a quarterly profit of $2.21 billion, a 37% decrease, but ahead of Wall Street's expectations. On a per-share basis, UnitedHealth's net income was $2.30 per share, or $2.52 after one-time adjustments.

Reuters | |

Procter & Gamble Co raised its full-year sales forecast for a second time on Wednesday as the consumer products giant benefited from a sustained high level of demand for its home care and cleaning products due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company’s shares rose 1% before the opening bell after the Cincinnati-based conglomerate also said it would buy back up to $10 billion worth of shares in fiscal 2021, compared to $7 billion to $9 billion it expected earlier.

Reuters | |

Morgan Stanley posted an about 57% rise in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, as the Wall Street bank’s trading business benefited from coronavirus-induced volatility in financial markets.

Net income applicable to common shareholders rose to $3.27 billion, or $1.81 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $2.09 billion, or $1.30 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of $1.27 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Kimberly Redmond | |

China’s antitrust regulator approved Cisco Systems' acquisition of Acacia Communications, just days after the deal almost fell apart.

On Tuesday, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said it granted conditional approval for the $4.5 billion dollar merger, saying that the companies must ensure fair market competition and continue supplying certain products without discrimination or unreasonable terms. 

Kimberly Redmond | |

Chinese automaker Geely plans to partner with tech company Tencent Holdings to further develop smart car technologies, including intelligent cockpits and autonomous driving capabilities.

Geely Holding Group, whose brands include Volvo, Lotus and Lynk & Co, said Tuesday they’ll also work with Tencent to fully digitize all aspects of an automotive product’s lifestyle, from development to manufacturing to after-sales service.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Supermarket chain Aldi has unveiled plans to make sure all of its employees have easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Tuesday, the discount grocer, which has more than 2,000 stores across the U.S., announced it will provide stipends to motivate employees to get inoculated.

Besides covering vaccination costs, Aldi will give up to four hours of paid time off – two hours per dose of the vaccine – to all hourly workers, while salaried employees will be offered “scheduling flexibility” in order to get vaccinated.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Although Halliburton ended 2020 with a nearly $3 billion loss for the year after demand for drilling work dried up during one of the worst oil busts in decades, company executives are hopeful they’re on the cusp of a rebound.

In its fourth-quarter earnings report released Tuesday, the Houston-based energy service firm said it had a net loss of $235 million, or $0.27 per share, during the last three months of 2020.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Bank of America posted lower-than-expected fourth quarter revenue and earnings that barely met expectations despite a nearly $1 billion bottom-line boost from releasing some of the cash it had set aside for loan losses. () 

In its report released Tuesday, the second-largest bank in the U.S. said revenue for the final three months of 2020 came in at $20.1 billion, 10% below the end the same period in 2019 and short of the $20.6 billion forecast by Wall Street analysts.

Reuters | |

Self-driving car maker Cruise and majority shareholder General Motors Co said on Tuesday they would partner with Microsoft Corp to commercialize driverless autonomous vehicles.

Microsoft will join General Motors, Honda Motor Co and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of Cruise to $30 billion.

Cruise will use Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, for its self-driving vehicles.

Reuters | |

Goldman Sachs Group Inc dwarfed estimates with a 153% jump in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, powered by another blowout performance at its core bond trading and underwriting business and an uptick in merger and acquisition activity.

The bank’s net earnings applicable to common shareholders rose to $4.36 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from $1.72 billion a year ago. Earnings per share rose to $12.08 from $4.69 a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of $7.47 per share on average, according to the IBES estimate from Refinitiv.