Vroom Vroom…Tesla’s Near-Perfect Day

May 9, 2013 8:06am

Morning Business Memo…

Tesla Motors just had a day that most companies can only dream of. Its Model S electric car scored a very rare near-perfect rating from Consumer Reports. The rave came as Tesla turned its first-ever profit: $11.2 million for the latest quarter. That came after a $90 million loss in last three months of 2012. Tesla’s stock price jumped more than 16 percent yesterday. Consumer Reports praised the Model S for its “pinpoint” handling and quiet, well-crafted interior. The 99 out of 100 point score puts the new Tesla way ahead of other high-priced rivals. The influential magazine doesn’t love all electric cars, and said the competing Fisker Karma was “plagued with flaws.” Compared with Detroit’s big three, Tesla is a tiny niche player, but its sales are revving up. Tesla starts delivering the Model S to Europe in this summer and predicts global demand will hit 30,000 cars.

Coca-Cola is expanding global distribution of its low-calorie drinks, saying it will put calorie counts on the front of its packaging. The beverage giant plans to “ramp up global efforts to counter criticism its sugary drinks are fueling obesity,” reports The Wall Street Journal. The company says it will not market sodas to kids under 12. “Coke already has moved aggressively to try and fend off critics in the U.S., launching television advertisements earlier this year arguing soda shouldn’t be singled out for weight gain and encouraging Americans to have ‘fun’ burning calories through physical activity, ” says the Journal. The company announced new grants for “active” lifestyle programs in its home state of Georgia.

Wrigley says it is taking a new caffeinated gum off the market temporarily as the Food and Drug Administration investigates the safety of added caffeine. The company said Wednesday that it has stopped new sales and marketing of Alert Energy Caffeine Gum “out of respect” for the agency. The FDA said it would investigate added caffeine in foods just as Wrigley rolled out Alert late last month. A stick of the gum is equivalent to half a cup of coffee.

A new report says fewer homes entered the foreclosure process or were repossessed by lenders last month. Listing firm RealtyTrac says home repossessions nationally fell 20 percent in April from the previous month and were down 32% from a year earlier. A decline in foreclosures is more positive news for the housing market.

Is there light at the end of the long dark tunnel for Greece? After the economy tanked and unemployment soared Greece’s finance minister is being more upbeat about eventual recovery. He says in an interview broadcast today that signs of recovery should begin next year. He says unemployment, now at 27 percent, would take a bit longer to recover.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesabc

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