Priceline (PCLN) posts higher profits, (AMZN) in another dispute and General Motors (GM) facing another lawsuit

Bourbon & Bayonets / Monday, August 11th, 2014

Markets were heading slightly higher on Monday morning after Priceline Group (PCLN) announced a rise in profits. The online travel site said that they had higher than expected quarterly profits, which was partially attributed to a rise in hotel and airline bookings. Net profits were up to $576.5 million, or $10.89 per share during the second-quarter, which was up from the $437.3 million, or $8.39 per share at this time last year. Revenue was up 26% to $2.12 billion. Inc. (AMZN) shares were moving higher after the company was reportedly stopped certain Disney movie preorders while a dispute rises with Hachette. The company is, what appears to be, in another contract dispute with publisher Hachette Book Group. Physical copies of certain films were not available to pre-order yesterday on Movies included were ones such as “Malificent” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The digital pre-orders were still available. The recent argument between the two companies has been over the price that Amazon can charge for e-books. Hachette is the fourth-largest U.S. book publisher. Hachette’s CEO Michael Pietsch, said, “Both Hachette and Amazon are big businesses and neither should claim a monopoly on enlightenment, but we do believe in a book industry where talent is respected and choice continues to be offered to the reading public.”

Shares of General Motors (GM) were relatively flat on Monday after it was announced that the company would be facing a claim that it covered up the ignition switch that was linked to the death of a woman in Georgia. The vehicle giant lost a bid to dismiss the lawsuit. The family of Brooke Melton, filed a lawsuit against GM. Melton’s vehicle slipped into accessory mode back in 2010 and her car made impact with another, the lawsuit said. Her parents had already sued the company in 2013 for $5 million. There has been new evidence emerging amidst massive 2.6 million-vehicle recall, which led to a federal investigation. The new lawsuit is saying that GM covered up evidence about the problem. The lawyer for the Melton’s said, “This will allow the Melton’s to finally get the answer to their questions of who at GM knew about the defects in Brooke’s car, why she was never told about the design change with the ignition switch and who participated in the decision to conceal evidence during their previous case.”

That’s all for today,

Warren Gates, Normandy Research

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