Rebellion at Standard Chartered as Senior Staff Push for New Leadership (WSJ)
Standard Chartered’s two largest shareholders, which collectively control 28% of the bank’s stock, are privately pushing for new leadership, say people familiar with the matter. Customers and regulators recently have told Standard Chartered executives and board members that they are increasingly anxious about the bank’s problems, people familiar with those discussions say. Compounding the problem, some senior executives are privately blunt about their desire for Mr. Sands to be pushed out by the board, leaving him with diminished support within the organization.
Alibaba Revenue Misses Estimates, Shares Tumble 8% in Pre-Market (Bloomberg)
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. revenue missed estimates as the e-commerce giant’s push into mobile curbed its advertising sales growth. The shares fell. Revenue was 26.2 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) in the third quarter, compared with the 27.6 billion-yuan average of 25 analyst estimates. Ads on mobile phones generate less money than on desktop computers because of smaller screens, and transactions on the Tmall platform grew at a slower pace, the Hangzhou-based company said Thursday.
Blackstone's Results Exceed Expectations (WSJ)
The New York firm reported a fourth-quarter profit of $551 million, or 90 cents a share, down from $621 million, or $1.05 a share, in the same period a year earlier. Blackstone’s fourth-quarter economic net income was $1.45 billion, or $1.25 a share, down from $1.54 billion, or $1.35 a share, a year earlier. Still, the result topped Wall Street’s estimates for the profitability measure, which includes unrealized gains as well as cash earnings. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters anticipated economic net income of 92 cents a share.
London gallery transformed into ball pit for adults (UPI)
A London design firm is promoting "the transformative power of play" by converting its gallery into an adults-only ball pit. The Pearlfisher Gallery said its Jump In installation contains 81,000 white balls and adult members of the public are being invited to "join us in an immersive winter art installation like no other." "Jump In! for an experience that promises to be a seasonal creative recharge," the firm said.
Deutsche Bank Posts a Profit, Upending Predictions of a Loss (Dealbook)
Deutsche Bank, the largest German bank, said on Thursday that it returned to profit in the fourth quarter of 2014, as revenue in the investment banking unit rose and the bank set aside less money to cover legal problems. Shares of Deutsche Bank rose 2.5 percent after it reported a fourth-quarter net profit of 441 million euros, or about $500 million, after a loss of €1.4 billion in the period a year earlier. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a loss for the latest quarter. Although the earnings were better than expected, Deutsche Bank managers acknowledged they were still far from meeting their goals.
Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest Levels Since 2000 (WSJ)
Initial jobless claims decreased by 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 in the week ended Jan. 24, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was the lowest level since April 2000. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 300,000 new claims.
Latest blows at headhunter CTPartners (NYP)
CTPartners, the Wall Street headhunting firm accused by former employees of sexual discrimination, lowered its profit guidance for the fourth quarter and all of 2014 late Wednesday because of an added $1.7 million in bonuses. The company, whose shares have fallen 48 percent in the past six months, also is withdrawing its earnings guidance for the first quarter and full-year 2015, it said in a statement.
Man Accused Of Urinating On Waitress (HP)
A waitress in Key West, Florida has a real reason to be pissed after a man allegedly urinated on her from a bar balcony early Saturday morning. Tia Cruz, 26, was talking with a customer at a bar called Rick's when she felt something wet on her body, according to The Smoking Gun. A fellow employee broke the news that what she thought was a few drops of tropical rain was actually a man urinating on her from a balcony above her. The alleged urinator, Orion Jones, 20, was chased throughout the bar complex by security personnel, KeysNet.com reports. When officers arrived, Jones was fighting bouncers on the ground.