Morning Business Memo:
A big milestone for the world’s largest social network. Facebook says it now has more than one billion users each month. The announcement was made this morning in a status posting by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “If you are reading this thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you,” he said with a hint of humor. “Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.” Facebook says its one billion users have been responsible for 1.13 trillion “likes,” 219 billion photos and 17 billion location check-ins.
Most CEOs act as cheerleaders for their companies. Not Meg Whitman. The Hewlett-Packard boss delivered a grim outlook for her company that sent its shares into a tailspin. HP’s market value dropped more than $4.3 billion with the share price plunging 13 percent after her remarks in San Francisco for analysts and investors. A Silicon Valley pioneer, Hewlett-Packard (HP) is the world’s largest seller of personal computers and printers. Whitman expects a sharp drop in company profits over the next 12 months and says the problems are so severe it might be 2015 before sales begin to accelerate. Whitman bluntly said she inherited a bloated company that hasn’t been innovating quickly enough. “There are no silver bullets to solve our challenges she said.” Some analysts were surprised by the depth of the problems Whitman outlined, but others called her candor refreshing.
Many American consumers have not only cut spending since the recession, they’ve paid a lot more attention to the health of their household budgets. A new report has positive news about delinquent credit card bills – there are fewer of them. The American Bankers Association says the percentage of bank-issued credit cards that were 30 days or more overdue fell to an 11-year low in the second quarter.
Oil prices rose slightly today on global futures markets after the biggest one-day drop since early May. Light crude is now at just over $88 a barrel. The price fell nearly 4 percent yesterday. Gas prices are still well up on where they were a year ago but with the cost of crude come down sharply gasoline should follow. Motorists in California now pay an average of over $4.20 a gallon for regular mostly because of refinery and pipeline problems.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio ABCNews.com twitter.com/daviesabc