Wal-Mart: Strong Sales, Weak Outlook
Wal-Mart's first-quarter earnings report sent a mixed message. The world's largest retailer reported a year-over-year 6.9 percent rise in earnings, to $3 billion, as international sales were strong and American shoppers flocked to the discounter in search of a break from high food and drug prices. But Wal-Mart's outlook for the second quarter isn't as bright. The company said it expects little, if any, growth at U.S. stores open at least a year.
Katy Marquardt explained Wal-Mart's legal battle over fees for its employees' 401(k) plans, and Michelle Andrews reported on the retailer's public-relations nightmare in a squabble over a former worker's medical costs.
Hewlett-Packard to Buy EDS
Hewlett-Packard has agreed to buy Electronic Data Systems for about $12.6 billion in cash, or $25 a share. EDS would be HP's largest acquisition since it merged with Compaq for $19 billion in 2002. The company is seen as a leader in information-technology services and would position HP to compete with IBM in that area. EDS was founded by former presidential candidate Ross Perot in 1962.
Airbus Reports More Delays
Airbus will deliver fewer superjumbo A380 jets than expected over the next three years. Production of the double-decker plane has been plagued by problems, with only four having been delivered so far to Singapore Airlines. A total of 192 A380s have been ordered by airlines such as Qantas and Emirates at a price of $300 million each. The plane fits 525 in a three-class configuration and is certified to seat up to 873 people. The A380 delays are a blow to Airbus in its competition with American aircraft maker Boeing, whose exports have been buoyed by the weak U.S. dollar.
Rick Newman of U.S. News wrote about how Boeing lost to Airbus's parent company, EADS, in a deal to update the Air Force's tanker fleet.