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Grubhub, Marriott International, Abbott Laboratories: Stocks That Defined the Week

By Francesca Fontana 

Grubhub Inc.

A takeover could be on the menu for Grubhub. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the meal-delivery company and Uber Technologies Inc. are discussing a deal that would unite them as the coronavirus pandemic sparks a surge in demand for their services. Uber, which operates a big meal-delivery unit known as Uber Eats and Grubhub are considering a deal that would value the company at roughly $6 billion. Grubhub shares soared 29% Tuesday.

Fox Corp.

Will there be a fall TV season? The Fox network released its schedule on Monday ahead of other major networks as the pandemic makes it difficult to forecast what broadcasters can put on the air in September. Fox Broadcasting Co., a unit of Fox Corp., had slightly more clarity than others, in part because some of its top shows like "The Simpsons" are animated productions that are able to make new episodes during the crisis. Advertisers typically commit to spending billions on network programming, and the sales pitch has gotten tougher for networks as viewers turn away from traditional television in favor of streaming services. Fox shares fell 1.4% Monday.

Marriott International Inc.

Hotels are slowly starting to reopen and global occupancy rates are leveling off, welcome news for lodging companies. Marriott International Chief Executive Arne Sorenson told investors Monday that travel demand has improved in Greater China and that lodging demand in most of the rest of the world appears to have stabilized, albeit at very low levels. In the past two weeks, occupancy in North America stood at around 20% at limited-service hotels, and Mr. Sorenson said that anemic occupancy levels are better than closures. He expects operations to break even at about 30% occupancy at longer-stay hotels and about 40% at full-service brands. Marriott shares lost 5.6% Monday.

Cisco Systems Inc.

Cisco is selling fewer switches and routers, but the shift to remote work could give the company a boost. Some customers said the shift to remote work had served as a "wake-up call" to update their technology, Chief Executive Chuck Robbins said Wednesday as the network-equipment giant reported a quarterly sales decline driven by lower sales at its core infrastructure-platforms business. Cisco is betting on a revenue boost from its videoconferencing-service Webex, which companies use to host virtual conference calls. The company extended a series of free offers and trials of Webex as companies moved to remote work during the pandemic. Cisco shares gained 4.5% Thursday.

FedEx Corp.

The coronavirus pandemic has created an unexpected peak season for FedEx. The delivery giant is trying to ease the strain by capping the number of items that about two dozen retailers can ship from certain locations, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The limits are similar to what the company does during Christmas and other busy shipping seasons. Many retailers have seen e-commerce sales surge since they were ordered to close thousands of their stores, unleashing a flood of packages into FedEx's delivery network. Customers with shipping limits include Kohl's Corp., Nordstrom Inc., and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. FedEx shares fell 0.2% Thursday.

Abbott Laboratories

Abbott is reeling from a disappointing grade on its coronavirus test. The Abbott ID Now, widely used to detect coronavirus in fewer than 15 minutes, missed nearly half of the positive cases detected by another common test, researchers at NYU Langone Health reported in a study posted online Tuesday ahead of formal publication. The White House has used the device to regularly test President Trump, Vice President Pence and other top officials, and Abbott said it has distributed about 1.8 million of the tests. Abbott said Thursday it will change the test's instructions for a second time, telling users that negative results are "presumptive" and should be verified with an alternative test for patients with signs of the virus. Abbott shares declined 1.8% Wednesday.

Qualcomm Inc.

The Trump administration is threatening to ignite another round of U.S.-China economic tensions with new export restrictions that would cut off Chinese telecom-equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. from overseas suppliers, making life more difficult for semiconductor makers like Qualcomm. The regulations stop foreign semiconductor manufacturers whose operations use U.S. software and technology from shipping products to Huawei without first getting a license from U.S. officials, essentially giving the U.S. Commerce Department a veto over the kinds of technology that Huawei can use. U.S. makers of semiconductors worry that the rules will slash their sales not only to Huawei but other Chinese firms. Qualcomm shares fell 5.1% Friday.

Write to Francesca Fontana at francesca.fontana@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 15, 2020 20:09 ET (00:09 GMT)

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