Breakfast Briefing

United Airlines stock falls significantly.

April 11, 2017

Tesla - again we’re talking about the electric car maker, with news that it’s valuation has now eclipsed that of General Motors. Despite its comparatively small scale of production, investors are said to be looking at the potential this company holds - a solid reminder of the fact share prices attempt to reflect the value of a company in the future, not where it stands right now.

Robert Walters - the recruitment company, has seen a record start to the year, although it’s North America that has been the most active division of the company. However, even the UK, with employers dogged by the spectre of Brexit, have seen a notable upturn in financial services recruitment activity.

JD Sports - may have picked up market share from rival Sports Direct last year and this seems to have been reflected in today’s figures. Profits were up 80% for the year on a revenue increase of just 33%. European expansion continues apace and although the company has been criticised - like Sports Direct - for working conditions in its central warehouse, at least so far the company is doing a good job of mitigating these concerns.

United Airlines - was the subject of some rather unfavourable publicity yesterday after a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight to make room for staff to travel. Although shares actually rose yesterday, they did then fall notably. What happen next will be worth watching. Just how hard will the airline have to work to convince passengers that they won’t be the next ones to be dragged off a flight they have a ticket for? The airline sells on average $100 million dollars worth of tickets every day - slowing sales for just a matter of days will have the potential to deliver material hit on the company’s profitability.

Australia - the government is under pressure from the miner Rio Tinto to cut its levels of corporation tax, saying that otherwise it may have to reduce investment and make job cuts. This is a situation faced by governments the world over - do you look to attract more business at a lower rate of tax? Or demand that these companies pay their way? On the basis Rio Tinto has grown rich from physically selling Australia’s mineral assets to other countries, these calls are likely to be met with some resistance.