Business news briefs
A leaner Toyota Motor roared back to health in its fourth quarter as a weaker yen and brisk sales in North America tripled its net income from a year earlier. The results, Toyota's strongest in five years, offered the latest evidence the automaker is shaking off the effects of some of the biggest crises of its 75-year history.
Freddie Mac posts
big 1Q profit
Mortgage giant Freddie Mac earned $4.6 billion from January through March, helped by a stronger housing market. The government-controlled company has turned a profit in the past six quarters. Freddie said it will pay a dividend of $7 billion to the U.S. Treasury next month and requested no additional federal aid for the fourth consecutive quarter.
News Corp 3Q
beats the Street
News Corp. beat Wall Street's forecast for the January-March quarter, helped by growing revenue from pay TV networks including Fox News Channel and FX, and the hit 20th Century Fox movie "Life of Pi." The company controlled by billionaire Rupert Murdoch also said it benefited from raising its stake in satellite TV company Sky Deutschland.
Wendy's takes a
value menu hit
Wendy's is trying to reinvent itself as a purveyor of higher-quality fast food. The problem is that its competitors are aggressively promoting cheap eats and stealing away customers. The company, known for its Frosty shakes, reported a first-quarter profit that met Wall Street expectations. But sales fell short of Wall Street's hopes.
House OKs bill
on overtime pay
The Republican-led House on Wednesday approved a measure that would give private sector workers the option of trading overtime pay for extra time off weeks or months later. The bill, approved on a 223-204 vote, would allow employees who work more than 40 hours a week to save up to 160 hours of earned time off for future use.
FDA probe triggers
The FDA warned doctors and pharmacists to avoid drugs made by a Florida specialty pharmacy called The Compounding Shop, due to potential safety problems uncovered by health inspectors. Several compounding pharmacies, which mix custom formulations of drugs, have been inspected in the wake of a fungal meningitis outbreak last year tied to contaminated drugs.
Coca-Cola says it will make lower-calorie options and clear calorie labeling more widely available globally, intensifying a push against critics who say its drinks pack on the pounds. The company, which makes Sprite and Minute Maid, already offers diet drinks in most markets. But there's no consistency in availability, particularly in emerging markets such as China and India.