Netflix 2018 quarter one earnings: Company beats expectations with 7.4 million new subscribers

Aggressive expansion of new original content seems to have paid off
Netflix continued its run of growth with a first quarter of 2018 that yielded a better-than-anticipated 7.4m new subscriptions.
The company’s all-important indicator of paid subscriptions increased beyond its own forecast, suggesting that the streaming service’s aggressive strategy of adding new original content has paid off.
It reaped some $3.6 bn (£2.5bn) in revenue in the first quarter of the year, according to a newly released earnings report, an increase of 43 per cent over a year ago.
Read more How Netflix’s foreign language content is helping to fight xenophobia Netflix withdraws from Cannes film festival over new rule change Netflix is hiring professional binge watchers to rate their shows Netflix’s stock price has soared this year, avoiding the sharp declines that have hit the technology industry. Shares rose more than six per cent in after-hours trading following the earnings report’s release.
Analyst..

Trump Picks Monetary Expert for No. 2 Job at Federal Reserve

Trump Picks Monetary Expert for No. 2 Job at Federal Reserve Photo Richard Clarida, a former Treasury official and a monetary expert, is President Trump’s nominee for the No. 2 post at the Federal Reserve. Credit Reuters WASHINGTON — President Trump will nominate Richard Clarida, a Columbia University economist and former Treasury official in the George W. Bush administration, for the second-ranking job at the Federal Reserve, the White House said on Monday.
Mr. Clarida is a monetary policy scholar whose expertise would complement the background of the Fed chairman, Jerome H. Powell, who is not an academically trained economist. His nomination was widely expected. If confirmed by the Senate, he would join Mr. Powell and John C. Williams, the incoming president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in the leadership troika for America’s central bank.
The White House also said on Monday that Mr. Trump would nominate Michelle Bowman, the Kansas bank commissioner, for a seat on the Fed ..

Car insurance prices fall as whiplash injury claims are curbed

Premiums drop nearly £60 this year alone
Car insurance prices have fallen for the first time in three years, partly thanks to plans to crack down on claims for whiplash injuries.
Premiums have dropped by an average of 7 per cent – or £59 – in the first three months of the year, according to research by Confused.com. Prices fell 2 per cent – or £13 – in 12 months after rising in the last quarter last year.
The insurance portal said a government bill to curb the number and cost of whiplash claims was already leaving drivers better off.
Read more Car insurance claims surge 50% as drivers battle snow and ice Going to the wrong car insurance comparison site could cost you £300 Car insurers sidestep EU law to charge men and women differently UK's top spot for 'crash for cash' car insurance claims revealed Men are now paying an average of £810 for cover, and women £715, the survey showed.
Last month the justice secretary, David Gauke, unveiled plans to set a cap on whip..

Now activists want Costa cut free of Whitbread but are they good for the market and UK plc?

Elliott Advisors and short term activistists like it can only make hay because traditional institutional investors are so lazy
Time to put a dose of caffeine in your shares by spinning off Costa Coffee. That's what Whitbread has been told by activist investors.
Their arrival on the scene has already provided a shot of espresso. The company, which also owns Premier Inn, was the belle of the stock market's ball after it emerged that Elliott Advisers had taken a prominent position in the company, mostly through the use of derivatives.
Elliott's rationale? There isn’t much overlap between the two sides, which would do better as more focussed standalone businesses with their own boards and their own listings.
Read more Limited-edition Costa coffee-infused beer launched by Whitbread Costa Coffee, Premier Inn sales boost Whitbread results Whitbread could suffer if coffee is no longer our cup of tea You can certainly make a case for that and Whitbread's shares have..

WPP: Will it unravel now Sir Martin Sorrell is gone?

Uncertainty surrounds the future of the advertising giant, which Sir Martin could decide to compete against
Is WPP in its current form a viable business without its founder, CEO and driving force Sir Martin Sorrell?
We’re about to find out.
The company is an agglomeration of more than 400 separate firms whose activities range from advertising to public relations, to market research, to marketing.
Read more WPP shares drop 6% after Sir Martin Sorrell's departure The business world needs more bosses like Martin Sorrell Sir Martin Sorrell quits as WPP boss after misconduct allegations People might have speculated about the potential value that could be delivered through carving bits out when he was in charge, but it was never going to happen.
Sir Martin endured the odd reverse at the hands of his investors, notably over the eye popping pay packages he and his executives enjoyed, but most of the time he was able to swat his critics aside, including when they expressed unhap..

What's behind Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin pulling the pub giant off social media?

It's a rich irony given that the way Mr Martin expresses his views could easily be said to encourage the very sort of troll he takes aim at
Wetherspoons arch Brexiteer boss Tim Martin has created quite the social media storm with the news that he is pulling the company and its 900 pubs off social media.
Before you start cheering, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the irony that positively drips from the company’s statement explaining the rationale for the decision.
“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion,” Mr Martin opined, stating that he doesn’t believe abandoning a promotional tool most businesses have leapt upon will affect his trade.
Read more Why Wetherspoons really shut down its social media accounts JD Wetherspoon to close social media accounts over online abuse JD Wetherspoon posts rise in profits but warns of tough year ahead The statement also cited “rec..

ECB asks Deutsche Bank to work out costs of winding down its investment bank

Germany’s largest lender has been looking into the potential impact of an exit from investment banking for some time
The European Central Bank has asked Deutsche Bank to work out how much it would cost to wind down its investment banking operations.
Germany’s largest lender has been looking into the potential impact of an exit from investment banking for some time. Now officials from the ECB’s supervisory division have said they must be presented with forecasts of how the plan would affect other parts of Deutsche Bank, Reuters reported on Sunday.
Deutsche is understood to be the first bank to be asked by the ECB to undertake the task, which is expected to take months to complete.
Read more Deutsche Bank sacks chief executive John Cryan after years of losses The news comes after Deutsche Bank signalled a change in direction by naming Christian Sewing, previously head of the retail banking division, as the replacement for John Cryan as chief executive.
Mr Cryan was sacked after t..

Average UK house price hits £305,732 as London property market continues decline

The average UK house price rose to a record high of £305,732 this month, according to the latest figures from Rightmove, but London property values continued to fall.
The average asking price was up 0.4 per cent between March and April for the UK overall, which was a 1.6 per cent increase compared to this time last year.
Read more Average UK house price rose to a record high in first quarter of 2018 Brexit to end London house price boom The 10 UK areas where house prices rose the most in 2017 However, the actual selling price being achieved nationally is 96.7 per cent of the asking price, meaning an average difference of more than £10,000 based on the average price of £305,732.
Meanwhile, sellers in the capital are achieving on average just 95.6 per cent of the asking price, which translates to a difference of more than £27,000 on the new seller average asking price of £628,039 in London.
“Home buyers are seeing average asking prices at their highest ever level with upwards pr..