WASHINGTON/DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tough talk by the United States on Iran sanctions is butting up against oil economics. Eight countries can temporarily keep importing Iranian oil without defying the restrictions set to go into effect next week. Top U.S. diplomat Mike Pompeo says the aim is still to go to zero. With a domestic election and Saudi Arabia in a mess, it’s a way to keep acting tough while limiting the risk of oil price spikes.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The New York attorney general wants Exxon Mobil to pay. After several years investigating the company’s communications with shareholders, Barbara Underwood unveiled a suit that claims the $340 billion oil giant has misled investors about how climate change regulation would affect its business. Shareholders weren’t dupes, though. Their revolt last year forced the company to start addressing the issue. Legal heat should prod Exxon's owners to demand more than baby steps.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Company bosses' shelf lives are getting shorter. Thomas Falk is stepping down as chief executive at Kimberly-Clark after 16 years, following in the recent footsteps of longstanding bosses at PepsiCo and Campbell Soup. It’s a sign of accelerating executive turnover at consumer-goods and industrial companies.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Nike is putting a politically divisive foot forward. The sneaker group will feature Colin Kaepernick, the first U.S. National Football League player to kneel in protest during the national anthem, in its “Just Do It” 30th anniversary ad campaign. Companies often shy away from politics, but in the commoditized sneaker trade, it’s a risk worth taking.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Campbell Soup’s lukewarm sales pitch is begging for a real cook. The $12 billion canned food and snack company is trying to sell its fresh and international brands while stepping up cost cuts on its stagnant core business. It is leaving the door open for a sale, but that’s unlikely to appease activists like Third Point’s Dan Loeb.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - The failure of Saudi Aramco’s $2 trillion initial public offering is more a beginning than an end. On Wednesday Reuters reported that Aramco had called off the deal – which had yet to officially launch – and disbanded its army of investment bankers. They’ve been spared the need to sell an overambitious deal to unwelcoming markets. But there are plenty more Saudi deals to be done that advisers will hope can be more easily executed.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Pinterest is taking a mature approach to stock-market listings. The scrapbooking site founded and run by Ben Silbermann is one of the last social networks to tap the public markets for cash, but may do so through an initial public offering in mid-2019, CNBC reported recently. It’s probably worth $13 billion, a tad more than after a fundraising last year.
DALLAS, HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Wynn Resorts is tossing three women into an escalating boardroom brawl, adding Betsy Atkins, Dee Dee Myers and Wendy Webb as independent directors. The $21 billion casino giant is trying to move beyond a sex scandal involving founder Steve Wynn. But his ex-wife Elaine Wynn wants a full overhaul. With a battle brewing, the new additions had best come ready to rumble.
HOUSTON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Policy tensions are curbing spirits that should be soaring in the U.S. energy sector. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will break bread with U.S. shale producers at an industry confab in Houston, Texas, this week, a sign of American wildcatters’ influence on the global market. But infrastructure bottlenecks and President Donald Trump’s new tariffs threaten to prevent drillers from taking full advantage of their clout.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - JAB and its partners are taking a gulp from 3G Capital’s fountain. They’re merging Keurig Green Mountain, the coffee-pod outfit it took private in 2016 for $14 billion, with publicly traded Dr Pepper Snapple. It’s reminiscent of how the Warren Buffett-backed architects of Kraft Heinz operate.