Alibaba Group Holding’s revenue accelerated in the second quarter on strong gains in its mobile business, providing investors with what may be the final glimpse of the Chinese e-commerce company’s financials before its expected landmark market debut.
Alibaba, whose IPO could be the largest ever by a technology company, said mobile revenue was roughly a third of its total transaction volume in the quarter ended June 30, up from 27.4 percent in the first three months of the year. Revenue in the second quarter increased 46 percent year-on-year, to $2.54 billion.
“The results are very positive overall for the forthcoming IPO and I think you can see valuations to head north of $200 billion as we go through the IPO process,” Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said.
Alibaba, expected by some to price its IPO as early as next week, will have a roadshow next month.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday concluded that
FedEx Ground drivers in California and Oregon are employees and not independent contractors, and can therefore pursue their claims of unpaid wages and benefits under state and federal labor laws.
The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, sitting in Portland, Ore., reversed a lower court’s ruling and would allow the drivers working for FedEx Ground, a subsidiary of FedEx, to move forward with their lawsuits. The appeals court noted that the claims brought by the California and Oregon drivers are among similar cases filed against FedEx in approximately 40 states.
FedEx said on Wednesday that it will challenge the decision.
Although FedEx uses an operating agreement that says its drivers are independent contractors, the appeals court panel noted that the drivers wear FedEx uniforms and drive company-approved vehicles. It also said that
FedEx tells them what packages to deliver and where and when to deliver them.
● A federal judge ordered PricewaterhouseCoopers to face a $1 billion lawsuit claiming that its bad accounting advice was a substantial cause of the October 2011 bankruptcy of MF Global Holdings, a brokerage run by former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan said PwC’s advice on “repurchase-to-maturity” transactions through which Corzine bought $6.3 billion of European sovereign debt affected how MF Global implemented its strategy and in turn contributed to its alleged losses. Caroline Nolan, a PwC spokeswoman, said, “We respectfully disagree” with the decision to let the case go forward.
● Time Warner Cable suffered a massive network outage due to suspected human error that cut Internet services for several hours to some 11 million businesses and residences across 29 states. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) ordered the state’s Department of Public Service to investigate the disruption as it reviews Time Warner’s planned merger with Comcast.
● A federal judge rejected Apple’s attempt to block the sale of several older Samsung smartphones that copied features in the iPhone. The rebuff comes nearly four months after a jury awarded Apple $119 million in damages for Samsung’s infringements on technology used in the iPhone. Apple wanted U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose to issue an order that would have prevented future U.S. sales of nine Samsung phone models. Koh refused, saying Apple hadn’t adequately proven Samsung’s intellectual theft had hurt its sales.
● General Motors said it is moving production of the next-generation Cadillac SRX crossover SUV from Mexico to a factory in Spring Hill, Tenn. The company also announced that it will add production of some small gasoline engines to the Spring Hill complex. The additions will bring more jobs to Spring Hill, but a spokesman would not give specifics on how many would be added to the sprawling former Saturn facility about 40 miles south of Nashville.
● Federal regulators voted to require financial firms that sell securities backed by loans, such as the kind that fueled the 2008 financial crisis, to give investors details on borrowers’ credit records and income. The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted the rules for securities linked to mortgages and auto loans on a 5-to-0 vote. The commissioners also imposed new conflict-of-interest rules on the agencies that rate the debt of companies, governments and issues of securities.
— From news services
● 8:30 a.m.: Second-quarter gross domestic product, weekly jobless claims.
● 10 a.m.: Weekly mortgage rates, pending home sales index for July.
● Earnings: Abercrombie & Fitch, Dollar General.