WALL STREET

Scrapbooking site Pinterest files for IPO

Digital scrapbooking site Pinterest on Friday filed for an initial public offering of stock.

It follows a similar filing with securities regulators earlier this month by ride-hailing company Lyft. Also expected to sell stock to the public in the coming weeks: Lyft rival Uber and messaging app Slack.

Pinterest said in its filing that it intends to list itself on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol “PINS.” The company hasn’t yet said how many shares it is selling in the IPO or how much money it intends to raise.

The San Francisco-based company had revenue of $756 million and a loss of $63 million last year. Pinterest allows people to search for and “pin” images as inspiration for fashion, interior design, travel and more.

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The company said it has more than 250 million users each month, and users have saved more than 175 billion pins since the site was launched.

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Pinterest has raised nearly $1.5 billion in the private markets and was last valued at $12.3 billion in 2017, according to PitchBook Data.

— Associated Press

ENERGY

Loans finalized for nuclear reactors

The U.S. Energy Department on Friday finalized up to $3.7 billion in loan guarantees to finance construction of two reactors at the delayed Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia.

The financing for Vogtle, the first nuclear power plant to be licensed and begin construction in the United States in more than three decades, was first announced in 2017.

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The decision brings the federal government’s total in loan guarantees for Vogtle to $12 billion, some of which was provided in 2014 and 2015, under the Obama administration.

Up to $1.67 billion will go to Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co.; up to $1.6 billion will go to Oglethorpe Power, and up to $415 million will go to three subsidiaries of the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.

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The reactors at Vogtle are years behind schedule, and the construction cost has soared to $20 billion or more.

Critics of subsidies slammed the loan guarantees, saying that taxpayers would foot the bill if Vogtle fails.

— Reuters

HOUSING

Existing-home sales surged in February

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rebounded in February to the fastest pace in almost a year, topping estimates and snapping a three-month streak of declines to offer a robust indication that the housing market is stabilizing after last year’s slump.

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Contract closings rose 11.8 percent, the most since 2015, from January’s pace to a 5.51 million annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. The median sales price climbed 3.6 percent from a year earlier.

The strong gain, driven by single-family homes, indicates that the lowest mortgage rates in a year, resilient consumer sentiment and the Federal Reserve’s vow to stay patient on interest-rate hikes are helping stabilize housing markets after sales tumbled in 2018.

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Single-family home sales jumped 13.3 percent to a 4.94 million pace amid strong gains in the South and West. The pace of condo sales was unchanged at 570,000.

At the current pace, it would take 3½ months to sell all the homes on the market, compared with almost four months in January; Realtors see anything below five months of supply as a tight market.

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— Bloomberg News

Also in Business

Papa John's has a new pitchman: Shaquille O'Neal. The chain says the basketball Hall of Famer will appear on TV commercials and promote Papa John's in other ways. He will also join the company's board of directors and invest in nine of its restaurants in the Atlanta area. Papa John's International says it will pay O'Neal more than $8 million in cash and company stock for a three-year endorsement deal.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration declined to approve a drug developed by Sanofi SA and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals intended for use with insulin in patients with Type 1 diabetes, the companies said on Friday. The decision comes about two months after an FDA advisory panel failed to reach a consensus over whether the once-daily oral drug, sotagliflozin, should be approved as an add-on to insulin therapy.

— From news services

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