Business Highlights

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO


Apple reports iPhone sales down, 1st revenue drop since 2003

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple says quarterly revenue fell for the first time in more than a decade, as iPhone sales slipped. That's putting more pressure on the world's most valuable public company to come up with its next big product.

Apple sold more than 51.2 million iPhones in the first three months of 2016 — while racking up $10.5 billion in quarterly profit. That was more than many analysts expected, but still fewer than the 61 million iPhones sold a year earlier.

The company is battling perceptions that its latest iPhones aren't dramatically different from previous models, as overall smartphone sales are slowing around the world.


Twitter's destiny: staying small? Not so fast, say investors

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter gets lots of grief from investors because it hasn't taken over the world the way Facebook did in terms of amassing users.

Things got worse on Tuesday, when Twitter reported dismal user figures — 310 million, up from 305 million a year ago but down from 320 million in the fourth quarter. That makes it about one-fifth Facebook's size.

While Twitter's per-share earnings beat Wall Street's expectations, revenue fell short. And Twitter's already-clobbered stock fell in after-hours trading.


Stung by low oil prices, Exxon loses 'AAA' rating from S&P

NEW YORK (AP) — Low oil prices have helped cost Exxon its pristine "AAA" credit rating from Standard & Poor's, a label it held for over six decades.

The top "AAA" credit rating from S&P means a company's debt is the safest possible investment. Now only two other U.S. corporations are rated triple-A by S&P: consumer and medical products company Johnson & Johnson and technology company Microsoft Corp.

S&P said Tuesday that it lowered Exxon's rating one notch to "AA+" because of slumping oil prices and the "large dividend payments" the oil giant makes to shareholders. The credit-rating agency said Exxon is more likely to pay dividends than save money or reduce its debt. Exxon had held the "AAA" rating since at least 1949, S&P said.


Mitsubishi Motors says false mileage tests done since 1991

TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the Japanese automaker that acknowledged last week that it had intentionally lied about fuel economy data for some of its models, said an internal investigation found such tampering dated back to 1991.

President Tetsuro Aikawa told reporters Tuesday the probe was ongoing, suggesting that more irregularities might be found. Aikawa said so much was unknown that it's uncertain what action the company will take. He said he didn't know why employees resorted to such tactics to make mileage look better.


Prince's sister says musician had no known will

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prince's sister believes the superstar musician didn't have a will and has asked a Minnesota court to appoint a special administrator to oversee his multimillion-dollar estate, according to court documents filed Tuesday that could signal a looming fight over Prince's assets.

Tyka Nelson, Prince's only surviving full sibling, said in the court filing that immediate action was necessary to manage Prince's business interests following his death last week.

The documents don't estimate how much his estate may be worth, but Prince made hundreds of millions of dollars for record companies, concert venues and others during his career.


DuPont reports sales down 6 percent on strong dollar

Chemicals giant DuPont Co.'s sales fell 6 percent as the strong dollar and lower volumes weighed on its first-quarter earnings.

The company earned $1.23 billion, or $1.39 per share, up from $1.03 billion, or $1.11 a share, for the same period in 2015. It put the negative impact from the strong dollar at 4 percent of its decline in sales, with lower volumes accounting for 2 percent.

DuPont revised upward its earnings forecast for 2016, saying it anticipates less impact from currency fluctuations in coming months.


Procter & Gamble 3Q results mixed, sales decline

NEW YORK (AP) — Procter & Gamble's fiscal third-quarter results were mixed, as earnings rose even though sales fell on weakness in categories such as grooming and beauty and a strong dollar.

For the three months ended March 31, the company — whose brands include Bounty, Charmin and Crest — earned $2.75 billion, or 97 cents per share. A year earlier it earned $2.15 billion, or 75 cents per share.

Removing certain items, earnings were 86 cents per share. This topped the 82 cents per share analysts polled by FactSet expected.


Chipotle posts first quarterly loss after food scares

NEW YORK (AP) — Chipotle posted its first quarterly loss as a public company following a series of food scares.

The Mexican food chain said sales fell 29.7 percent at established locations during the first three months of the year. Chipotle is trying to bounce back after an E. Coli outbreak and norovirus cases that have sent sales plunging.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. lost $26.4 million, or 88 cents per share, for the quarter. Revenue fell to $834.5 million. Wall Street expected sales of $867.8 million. Both measures fell short of analyst expectations.


Senate hearing into Valeant includes top hedge fund investor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate lawmakers investigating price hikes by the embattled drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals will also question one of the company's leading investors, hedge fund manager William Ackman.

The Senate Aging Committee holds its third meeting on drug prices on Wednesday, responding to escalating costs that have squeezed patients and strained health care budgets across the country.

The committee previously announced that it would question outgoing Valeant CEO Michael Pearson, who pioneered the company's business model of buying cheap drugs and hiking prices. The committee said Tuesday it will also question Ackman, a billionaire activist investor who has been one of Valeant's leading champions on Wall Street.


Chobani giving employees shares in company

NEW YORK (AP) — Chobani says it is giving its employees an ownership stake in the privately held company.

The Greek yogurt maker says the shares being distributed would amount to 10 percent of the company's future value in the event of a sale or initial public offering. It says each of its approximately 2,000 full-time employees will receive shares based on their role and time spent with the company.

Chobani says CEO and founder Hamdi Ulukaya is meeting with employees this week to tell about the plan in person.


The Dow Jones industrial average added 13.08 points, or 0.1 percent, at 17,990.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3.91 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,091.70. The Nasdaq fell 7.50 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,888.28.

The price of benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped $1.40, or 3.3 percent, to $44.04 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained $1.26, or 2.8 percent, to $45.74 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 5 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $1.57 a gallon. Heating oil added 4 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $1.33 a gallon. Natural gas fell 3 cents to $2.03 per 1,000 cubic feet.