Morning Business Memo:
A controversial stock split by Google will allow Sergey Brin and Larry Page lifetime control of the company they founded16 years ago. Google announced a two for one stock split, which creates a new class of nonvoting shares. Investors would receive one share of the nonvoting stock for each share they now own. The split will cut the price of each share in half. The creation of such a large block of nonvoting shares is believed to be a first for a big U.S. publicly traded company. Some investors may be unhappy about the change. The move came as Google announced a 61 percent jump in first quarter profits.
The stock market had its best day in a month Thursday. The Dow rose 181 points, clawing back some of its losses in recent days. Stock futures are down this morning.
Barnes and Noble appears to be the big loser in the government’s antitrust case against Apple and book publishers. Amazon is likely to gain new customers for the Kindle as it slashes e-book prices on best-selling titles. Barnes and Noble shares fell more than 6 percent Thursday. The bookseller has placed a big bet on its Nook e-book reader.
China’s torrid economic growth fell to its lowest level in nearly three years in the first quarter. The world’s second largest economy grew at an annual rate of 8.1 percent - down from 8.9 percent in the previous quarter. China’s boom has been an engine of growth for Asia and the global economy. A slowdown may add to concerns that the global expansion is losing steam.
Was it an affair that led to the resignation of Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn? The Wall Street Journal says Best Buy is looking into whether its former CEO misused company funds while involved in an alleged relationship with a 29-year-old female employee.