Business News

Winners: Apple Beats and Northrup

It’s time for our monthly episode of Voyeurism, with all eyes on the fed.  The Fed is largely expected to keep interest rates unchanged today, but will there be anything for investors to digest in terms of the timing of an upcoming hike? Chairwoman Janet Yellen isn't scheduled to hold a press conference following the meeting, and officials won't be releasing updated economic projections, but the central bank's new policy statement could offer some clues. What to watch: References to global economic headwinds, slower domestic growth, inflation targets, and more hawkish dissent. (SA)
Northrop Grumman climbed almost 6% in after-hours trading yesterday after it emerged as the winner for the Pentagon's Long Range Strike Bomber program. The company beat out Boeing and Lockheed Martin for the $55bn contract. The aircraft are intended to cost a maximum $550m each in 2010 dollars. (WSJ)
Apple sold 48m iPhones in the three months to September, broadly in line with analysts' forecasts, but still beating Wall Street forecasts with earnings of $1.96 per share.  iPhone unit sales grew by 22 per cent year-on-year, with smartphone revenues 36 per cent higher, and sales in China up 99%.  The quarter includes just two days of sales of the latest iPhone 6S. (FT)

Finally, in merger news: Walgreens Boots Alliance has agreed to buy Rite Aid for $17.2bn in deal that unseats CVC Health as the largest pharmacy chain in the US.  It’s the latest expansion engineered by Walgreens billionaire chief executive Stefano Pessina, Walgreens will pay $9 for each Rite Aid share. Rite Aid's shares had soared 43 per cent to close at $8.78 after the merger talks were reported yesterday.  (FT)

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