Movers: Exxon Earnings, Time Inc. and the U.S. Economy

Movers: Exxon Earnings, Time Inc. and the U.S. Economy

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But there were also signs of weakness in the quarter. The company’s United States exploration and production division recorded a loss of $18 million, and earnings in the company’s chemicals business fell by $184 million, a drop of more than 13 percent. — CLIFFORD KRAUSS

Time Inc. Won’t Sell Itself

Time Inc., the home of Sports Illustrated, People and Time magazines, has decided not to sell itself, ending a monthslong bidding process that could have signaled the end of an era for a company that was once the country’s most storied magazine publisher.

In recent months, five parties, including the Meredith Corporation, the publisher of Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle, had expressed interest in buying Time Inc. in its entirety, according to people familiar with the bidding process. But in March, one party, an investor group led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. and the media executive Ynon Kreiz, suddenly dropped out, raising questions about the sale of Time Inc, which had rejected an offer of at least $18 a share from Mr. Bronfman’s group late last year. SYDNEY EMBER

The U.S. Economy Is Off to Slow Start in 2017

The rate of change in the gross domestic product, based on quarterly figures adjusted for inflation and seasonal fluctuations.


0.7%

first  ⤺ quarter initial

0.7%
first  ⤺ quarter initial

The Commerce Department on Friday provided its first statistical snapshot of the American economy in the first quarter, the gross domestic product estimate:

• The economy barely grew, expanding at an annual rate of only 0.7 percent.

• The growth was a sharp decline from the 2.1 percent annual rate recorded in the final quarter of last year. It was the weakest quarterly showing in three years.

• Consumption, the component reflecting individual spending, rose by only 0.3 percent, well below the 3.5 percent rate in the previous quarter.

The economy’s weakness reflected new caution among consumers. Other sectors like housing and business investment turned in a stronger showing, but not enough to offset factors like weaker retail sales.

Most experts believe the economy is picking up speed now, with Wall Street looking for growth at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the second quarter. But initial hopes have been proven repeatedly to be too rosy — just two months ago, economists predicted that first-quarter growth would be roughly 2 percent. — NELSON D. SCHWARTZ

Also Moving: The Cloud Lifts Tech Earnings

• The moneymaking machines at the core of Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are notably different. But in their quarterly earnings reports on Thursday, the three said cloud computing was growing faster than their larger, older businesses.

• Don’t forget to read the DealBook Morning Agenda.

Barclays Chief Apologizes (Again)

James E. Staley, the Barclays chief executive, will receive a formal reprimand and take a pay cut, the bank said.

Credit
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

James E. Staley, the Barclays chief executive, offered another apology to investors on Friday about a “mistake” that led to an inquiry by British regulators into his treatment of a whistle-blower.

Barclays said this month that it was being investigated after Mr. Staley sought last year to uncover the identity of a whistle-blower who sent two anonymous letters about Tim Main, who worked with Mr. Staley at JPMorgan and who was hired by the Barclays chief to join the British bank.

Directors at Barclays have said they will formally reprimand Mr. Staley and make a “very significant compensation adjustment” to his bonus after the inquiry.

“I made a mistake,” Mr. Staley said on a conference call with journalists on Friday. “I was trying to protect a vulnerable colleague, but I should have left the organization to handle it. I’ve accepted the judgment of the board. We are cooperating fully with the regulatory investigation.”

On Thursday, Institutional Shareholder Services, a prominent proxy adviser, said that, because of concerns over the inquiry, investors should refrain from voting or abstain when Mr. Staley comes up for re-election to the bank’s board at the annual meeting next month.

The apology came as Barclays reported that its first-quarter profit declined 56 percent. — CHAD BRAY

More Good News for European Banks

The generally positive momentum for lenders in Europe in the first quarter continued on Friday as the Swiss bank UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland reported their results.

Profit at UBS rose 79 percent in the quarter, driven by gains in its investment banking and wealth management operations. Shares of UBS were up about 2 percent in early trading in Switzerland on Friday.

The Royal Bank of Scotland returned to a profit in the quarter, a positive sign for its chief executive, Ross McEwan, as he seeks to turn round the lender.

The quarterly profit was the lender’s first since the third quarter of 2015. The bank has reported annual losses for the past nine years, but says it expects to be profitable in 2018.

Shares of R.B.S. rose about 2 percent in early trading in London on Friday. — CHAD BRAY

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