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• On July 23 Ryanair DAC, the Irish budget airline, reported a 20 percent drop in profits for Second Quarter 2018. Nothing went right for Ryanair in the quarter from staff strikes that led to flight cancellations and the worst week of stoppages in Ryanair’s thirty-year history to the summer heatwave which engulfed Europe and resulted in people choosing to stay at home rather than travelling to warmer climates. Further, a higher oil price weighed on Ryanair’s margins. Ryanair’s share price fell 6.4 percent on the day.
• On August 9 German based Adidas AG, the world’s largest sports company, announced that sales for Second Quarter 2018 grew by ten percent fueled by the football World Cup. Adidas also grew profits by 20 percent despite making significant marketing investments as the company managed to persuade more customers to check out through higher margin online business. Adidas’s stock rose 8.6 percent on the day.
• On August 13 Bayer AG, the German chemical company and the owner of US agricultural firm Monsanto Company, lost a lawsuit after a jury in the San Francisco Superior Court ruled that two of Monsanto’s herbicides presented a danger to consumers and that the company knew, or should have known, the potential risks. Monsanto will have to pay $289 million in one of the cases which can open the floodgates for as many as 5,000 similar claims. Bayer’s shares plummeted 10.8 percent following the court ruling.
• On August 31 Coca-Cola Co. agreed to buy the UK chain Costa Coffee for £3.9 billion from Costa’s current owner Whitbread PLC. Whitbread bought Costa in 1995 for £19 million when the brand had 39 shops. Today, Costa has more than 3,800 locations in 32 countries. For Coca Cola, hot beverages was one of the few segments of the total beverage landscape where the company did not have a global brand. Whitbread’s shares rallied 14.3 percent in London trading on the day.
• On September 24 after several bids and counterbids, Comcast beat 21st Century Fox to acquire 61 percent stake in British broadcaster Sky for $39 billion. Comcast made the highest bid for Sky in a rare auction process, seemingly because UK regulators were frustrated with the back and forth with neither side making its best and final offer. Sky’s shares rose 8.6 percent in London trading after the announcement.
• On September 25 German car maker Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) said that the company now expects to make a lower profit this year as US China trade war weighs in on demand for cars. BMW is the biggest exporter of cars from US to China. The company also blamed higher costs to get its engines ready for new European emissions regulations. BMW’s shares dropped 5.4 percent after the announcement.