Check out the companies making headlines after the bell:
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Shares of FedEx fell more than 5 percent in extended trading Tuesday following the release of the logistic company’s disappointing third-quarter earnings and weak full year outlook. FedEx posted earnings per share of $3.03 on revenue of $17.01 billion. Wall Street estimated earnings per share of $3.11 on revenue of $17.67 billion, according to Refinitiv.
FedEx also slashed its full-year guidance for the second quarter in a row citing slowing global trade. For 2019, FedEx sees earnings per share between $15.10 and $15.90, compared to the estimated $15.97.
Shares of shipping company UPS also dipped about a percent.
Tencent Music shares fell more than 7 percent after hours Tuesday despite reporting strong fourth-quarter earnings. The Chinese music streaming company reported RMB 5.40 billion in revenue, topping Refintiv estimates of RMB 5.29 billion. Earnings per share were RMB 0.57, beating estimates of RMB 0.56.
Shares of Smartsheet surged more than 9 percent after the bell Tuesday based on strong fourth-quarter earnings. The software company posted revenue of $52.2 million, compared to the $49.8 million forecast by analysts. Smartsheet reported a loss of 7 cents. Analysts’ were expecting a loss of 14 cents.
Steelcase shares rose more than 7 percent percent in extended trading Tuesday after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The furniture company reported earnings per share of 29 cents on revenue of $912 million. Analysts expected earnings of 26 cents on revenue of $871 million.
Rod Rosenstein has long provided comfort to lawmakers and legal observers worried about President Donald Trump trying to meddle with the probe.
Robert Mueller’s longtime boss appears inclined to stick it out until the end after all.
Rod Rosenstein — the deputy attorney general who appointed the special counsel, signed off on all his major decisions and even spoke on behalf of the investigation at a news conference and in congressional testimony — is not ready to leave just yet, putting off his previously planned departure for at least a few weeks, a source familiar with his plans confirmed on Tuesday.
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It’s a decision that puts the Justice Department’s No. 2 official in a position to shepherd the politically charged probe to its long-awaited conclusion. Rosenstein has long provided comfort to lawmakers and legal observers worried about President Donald Trump trying to meddle with the inquiry, which is examining whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. The deputy attorney general assumed oversight of the investigation after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself because of the prominent role he played in Trump’s presidential campaign.
“It’s hard to believe that Rosenstein would leave with Mueller hanging,” said John Dean, the White House counsel in President Richard Nixon’s administration.
Initially, Rosenstein had signaled plans to stay at the Justice Department for only four to six weeks following William Barr’s mid-February arrival as attorney general. But with that timeline rapidly approaching this week, Rosenstein had yet to set a departure date. His decision to stay put a little longer was taken as yet another sign among a growing body of clues that the special counsel is indeed nearing the finish line.
Of course, Mueller could still outlast Rosenstein, who is on the verge of ending a three-decade government career that started during the George H.W. Bush administration. The special counsel remains under no deadline to finish his work and still has several outstanding pieces of business, including a trial against longtime Trump associate Roger Stone that isslated to begin in November.
Still, Rosenstein’s fluid departure timeline gives him a good chance at seeing Mueller through to a conclusion that seems increasingly imminent. In the last week, a Mueller spokesman hasconfirmed plans of two senior prosecutors to depart the special counsel’s office, and the FBI has alsosaid the lead senior agent working with Mueller left earlier this month to start another job supervising the bureau’s field office in Richmond, Va.
A senior Justice Department official familiar with Rosenstein’s initial plan said earlier this year that the deputy attorney general wasn’t linking his departure to the timing of Mueller’s report. The person insisted the deputy attorney general, who has withstood a barrage of criticism from Trump about the special counsel’s appointment, felt comfortable with Barr assuming the reins overseeing Mueller’s work and intended to step down once the attorney general had settled in.
During a February appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Rosenstein himself signaled confidence in the new attorney general and predicted that Barr would “do the right thing” when it came to one of his most pressing decisions: the public release of Mueller’s findings. Mueller is required to submit a report to the attorney general outlining his investigation. The attorney general has said he will then create a summary of that report for Congress and the public.
In recent weeks, some of Rosenstein’s friends and former colleagues said they nonetheless envisioned him itching to stay around to put a bow on the Mueller investigation he launched.
“I can see him being the type of person that feels enough responsibility or ownership over this probe that he quite purposefully sticks around until it hits,” said James Trusty, a former Justice Department prosecutor and longtime Rosenstein friend.
But Trusty added that Rosenstein wouldn’t overstay his welcome, either.
“He’s also a big believer in orderly transition, and he doesn’t have the type of ego that thinks he’s irreplaceable,” he said.
Many ex-prosecutors say they suspect that Rosenstein might be staying on not just to bless a Mueller report, but also to sign off on some other critical decisions on cases that have swirled around the special counsel’s investigation.
Prosecutors are believed to still be considering false-statement charges against former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was accused in an inspector general’s report of providing inaccurate information about his role in disclosures of information to the media. McCabe denied the allegations, but he was fired with Rosenstein’s concurrence one year ago.
And Greg Craig, the White House counsel under President Barack Obama, has come under scrutiny from prosecutors over his involvement in the illegal Ukrainian lobbying scheme organized by Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman.
Craig’s former law firm, Skadden Arps,avoided foreign lobbying charges by paying $4.6 million to the Justice Department and agreeing to implement safeguards against future violations. But the deal did not resolve the potential criminal liability of individuals, and Manhattan authorities recently handed the investigation back to federal prosecutors in Washington, according to a recentNew York Times report.
Craig, who has not been publicly charged, has denied wrongdoing.
Justice Department officials haven’t said what specific matters are keeping Rosenstein on, but one aide said Tuesday that Barr — whose first stint as attorney general ended with the arrival of the Clinton administration in 1993 — has appreciated and relied on Rosenstein’s guidance on the current slate of issues and cases facing the department.
As Rosenstein prepares to leave the department, the longtime prosecutor has been on something of a farewell tour. Some of his recent public comments could offer suggestions on how the investigation he’s supervised will play out.
At the February CSIS event, Rosenstein defended the “structural independence” inside the underlyingJustice Department special counsel regulations. Specifically, he pointed to a provision requiring the attorney general to submit a second report to Congress detailing any actions Mueller proposed that his supervisors overruled.
But the deputy attorney general also warned that the fierce desire for insight into Mueller’s inner workings could create a bad precedent, cautioning that it’s historically not been the Justice Department’s business to air people’s behavior if it doesn’t reach the level of an indictment.
“If we aren’t prepared to prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt in court, then we have no business making allegations against American citizens,” Rosenstein said. “I know there’s a tension there between the desire to be more transparent and let everybody know what we’re doing and the desire to ensure the government, through its work, is not unduly tainting anybody.”
Rosenstein made a similar argument in amemo he authored that Trump initially used to justify firing FBI Director James Comey. One passage in particular faults Comey for chiding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her aides for being “extremely careless” in their handling of classified material on personal email servers, despite deciding not to charge anyone in the case.
Trump’s dismissal of Comey later became part of a Mueller investigation into whether the president obstructed justice, given Trump’spublic admission that he wanted Comey gone to relieve the pressure of the Russia case, which had initially been in the FBI’s hands. Rosenstein’s role in the incident led some legal experts and Trump backers to argue that he should have recused himself from managing Mueller’s investigation.
Rosenstein’s other public speeches have offered similar windows into his thoughts about the Trump era, although he often also seems unwilling to acknowledge the president’s frequently expressed contempt for the American justice system. Even friendly audiences are sometimes dumbfounded by the Justice Department veteran’s insistence that Trump is a stalwart supporter of the legal system.
Attendees from Washington’s legal establishment welcomed Rosenstein’s repeated assurances that the Justice Department was being managed independently of political considerations, but during a reception following the speech, several friends and former colleagues of Rosenstein’s expressed puzzlement at what they regarded as his implausible defense of Trump.
Rosenstein sometimes peppers his remarks with as many as half a dozen mentions of Trump and his agenda, making a conspicuous show of public alignment with the White House while defending the Justice Department’s autonomy in specific cases. The deputy attorney general also isn’t bashful about sharing views that seem likely to win favor in the Oval Office.
Just last week, he delivered a speech that unmistakably embraced some of Trump’s polarizing rhetoric on immigration.
“America is a great nation that does not need walls to keep its citizens from leaving, like the Soviet Union,” Rosenstein told new immigration judges. “We build walls only to protect ourselves and enforce our rules.”
Other observers have marveled at Rosenstein’s willingness to pay tribute to Trump even in the aftermath of the public attacks from the president. Last month, for example, Trump suggested that Rosenstein took part in an attempted coup that amounted to treason.
“Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “He was fired for lying, and now his story gets even more deranged. He and Rod J. Rosenstein, who was hired by Jeff Sessions (another beauty), look like they were planning a very illegal act, and got caught. This was the illegal and treasonous ‘insurance policy’ in full action!”
Just a week later, Rosenstein delivered his CSIS speech, where he again turned to an obscure Trump proclamation to assert the president’s devotion to the rule of law.
“As the president recognized, law provides the framework for freedom,” Rosenstein declared.
“I’m very confident that when we look back in the long run on this era in the Department of Justice, we will be proud of the way the department has conducted itself and the president will deserve credit for the folks that he appointed to run the department,” the deputy attorney general said.
Perhaps the only certainty is that few, if any, prior seconds-in-command at the Justice Department have had their words scrutinized as much as Rosenstein.
“I can’t imagine too many other deputy attorneys general where Ben Folds writes a song about them,” said Trusty, Rosenstein’s friend.
President Donald Trump heads to Ohio Wednesday embroiled in a fight with General Motors and the United Auto Workers over the closing of GM’s Lordstown plant. But his attempts to save manufacturing jobs have battered the auto industry and could erode his loyal base in the Midwest.
Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum have cost Ford and GM about $1 billion each. GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra cited the tariffs in November when she announced the 14,000 job cuts that included the Lordstown plant’s shuttering. Potentially making things even worse, Trump is now weighing new tariffs on foreign automobiles that could threaten hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. jobs.
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“The reality is auto tariffs would put Ohio into a recession,” said Dan Ujczo, a Columbus-based international trade lawyer who has been closely studying the impact of recent trade actions on Ohio companies.
Ultimately, that could jeopardize Trump’s support in the Mahoning Valley and other blue-collar Great Lakes regions that voted for him in 2016.
“He’ll lose those the second he puts auto tariffs on,” Ujczo said. “These people understand you can’t cut off your nose to spite your face.” According to a Morning Consult tracking poll, Trump’s approval rating in Ohio has fallen 19 percentage points since January 2017.
While Trump is focused on exhorting GM not to shutter the Lordstown plant, where it makes the compact Chevrolet Cruze model, the industry’s economic reality is much more complicated.
Trump’s simple formula of demanding that specific plants should stay open doesn’t account for the sophistication of the global auto industry. The auto making supply chain is global; foreign companies build cars in the U.S. but with some foreign-made parts. Likewise, cars made abroad often contain American parts. And automakers move workers from plant to plant as demand for different kinds of autos shifts.
GM says the Ohio plant is closing because demand has softened for the Cruze; the company says it is talking to workers about relocating to other facilities.
It’s unusual for any president — especially a Republican one — to tell private manufacturers how to run their businesses. “There’s a school of thought that these decisions are best left to the companies and the unions,” said Marick Masters, director of the labor studies program at Wayne State University in Detroit.
It’s even more unusual for a president to blame a labor union for a plant closing. Dave Green, president of the United Auto Workers local at Lordstown, appears to have infuriated Trump Sunday when he said on Fox News that Trump’s 2018 tax cut incentivized imports. Or perhaps Trump was irritated at Green for letting the press know in February that he’d written the president about the Lordstown closing in July 2018 and received no reply.
Whatever the specific provocation, Trump tweeted Sunday that “Democrat UAW Local 1112 President David Green ought to get his act together and produce,” then followed up with a tweet that noted GM’s Barra “blamed the UAW Union” for the shutdown, prompting an angry retort from the UAW: “Corporations close plants, workers don’t.”
Trump’s previous efforts to intervene in vehicle plant closings have resulted in tepid gains at best.
Trump lashed into Ford during the 2016 campaign for shipping jobs to Mexico, then claimed credit in early January 2017 when Ford, in an unrelated move, announced that it would create 700 jobs in Michigan to build electric and self-driving cars — while simultaneously expanding two plants in Mexico.
Trump was similarly irate in June 2018 when Harley-Davidson said it would offshore an unspecified number of jobs to offset the impact of European tariffs imposed in retaliation to Trump’s steel tariffs. Trump was so furious that he said he’d support a boycott of Harley-Davidson, prompting the company’s steepest sales drop in nearly a decade.
Trump’s protectionist policies are cutting into profits for automakers, even though they employ far more workers than the steel and aluminum industries the tariffs are designed to protect.
Overall, the auto and auto parts manufacturers in the United States employ more than a million workers, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By comparison, steel manufacturing employed roughly 81,000 workers in 2017, and workers in aluminum factories totaled nearly 13,000 the same year.
The U.S. aluminum industry has added only 100 jobs since the tariffs went into effect, while the steel industry increased employment by 6,200, according to the White House Economic Report of the President released Tuesday.
Trump’s visit Wednesday to the Joint Systems Manufacturing plant in Lima, Ohio, could prompt the president to reaffirm his national security rationale for steel and aluminum tariffs. That may be a good talking point at a factory that builds military tanks, but probably not at the Ford engine plant just up the road. Trump is using the same national security justification as he weighs tariffs on foreign automobiles and auto parts.
“Metal prices are the highest they are compared to anywhere else in the world where cars are made,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the nonprofit Center for Automotive research.
Supporters of Trump’s tariff policies say the actions are necessary to get long-term changes to China’s unfair trade practices and meaningful concessions from trade negotiations. Consistent job growth in the manufacturing sector is also fueling the argument by some that the tariffs are having a marginallyfavorable effect on the economy at large.
Still, uncertainty caused by steel and aluminum tariffs and the threat of auto tariffs has contributed to asteep decline in industry investment since 2017, according to Dziczek. Average quarterly auto-industry investments fell to about $2 billion, after averaging nearly double that during President Barack Obama’s presidency.
Despite that, the foreign automakers who would be targeted by the tariffs are bolstering manufacturing in the U.S. with investments in auto plants across the Midwest and South.
While some companies like GM are shedding jobs, Fiat Chrysler last month announced plans to expand production of SUVs in Michigan, adding 6,500 jobs by 2021. Toyota announced last week said that it would increase investments in its U.S. operations with the addition of 600 new jobs by 2021.
Japanese car companies have increased U.S. employment by more than 27 percent since 2011, according to a recent study commissioned by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. That amounts to 92,000 American workers employed directly by Japanese companies and 355,000 workers employed by dealer networks.
Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp., said the threat of tariffs on the basis of national security “really makes me sad.”
“Regardless of the direction we go, we will never leave the United States. We will stay here,” Toyoda said March 14 at an event hosted by The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.
International trade makes it difficult to distinguish between what’s truly American and what’s truly foreign. An American-made Ford Fusion, observed Reed College economist Kimberly Clausing, is arguably less “American” than a Japanese-made Honda Accord, because only 20 percent of the Fusion’s parts are American made, compared to 80 percent of the Accord’s.
Even when 80 percent of a car’s component are American-made, the Michigan-based Center for Auto Research calculates, a 25 percent tariff on imported auto parts would increase by nearly 4 percent the price of a $35,000 car.
“Trump doesn’t seem to understand that the automobile production process involves intensely global supply chains,” Clausing said.
Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – Hundreds of protesters clashed with Indian security forces in parts of Indian-administered Kashmir after police said a man detained over a security investigation died in police custody.
Rizwan Asad Pandit, a 29-year-old chemistry teacher, was arrested as part of “terror case investigation”, the police said in a statement on Tuesday. “The person died in police custody,” the police said, adding an investigation into the cause of his death was under way.
Pandit’s family condemned his death as a “cold-blooded murder” as crowds gathered in the southern Pulwama district in protest. Security forces fired tear gas at protesters as authorities suspended internet services in the region.
Mubashir Asad, Pandit’s brother, said police arrested Pandit at his home in the Awantipora village late on Sunday night. “They said he would be released soon. My brother was not involved in anything. This is a cold-blooded murder,” he said.
Tensions in Kashmir, a region claimed by both India and Pakistan, have been high since a suicide bombing killed 42 Indian soldiers in the Pulwama district in February.
New Delhi blamed Islamabad for harbouring the armed group, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) that claimed responsibility for the attack, and launched a retaliatory air raid inside Pakistan, a move that brought the nuclear-armed neighbours to the brink of war.
India also banned the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) political party in Kashmir and arrested some 300 of the group’s leaders and activists.
A senior police official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Rizwan was detained over the Pulwama attack. “We had some information that he knew how to make explosives and suspected his role in the recent attack,” the official said.
Following Rizwan’s death, separatist leaders in Indian-administered Kashmir called for a shutdown in the region.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the separatist umbrella All Parties Hurriyat Conference, denounced Rizwan’s death in a post on Twitter, saying: “The brutal killing once again exposes the helplessness, vulnerability, and insecurity to the lives of Kashmiris as the impunity of the authorities keeps rising,” he said.
Rights groups claim hundreds of people detained by Indian security forces following a 1989 armed revolt have died in state custody, although there are no official figures.
Yet, no one has been brought to justice for such deaths, said Khurram Parvez, a human rights activist.
While custodial deaths have not been common in recent years, Rizwan’s death “adds to the more than 70,000 killings, more than 8,000 enforced disappearances, as well as thousands of torture and sexual violence cases” in Indian-administered Kashmir over the past three decades, he said.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence from Britain, two of them over Kashmir.
Rebel groups in Indian-administered Kashmir have for decades battled troops and police, demanding independence or a merger of the Himalayan territory with Pakistan.
One Wall Street firm is recommending its clients buy Lyft weeks before that’s even possible.
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The second-most popular ride-hailing app is gearing up to list on the Nasdaq at the end of March. According to its regulatory filing, Lyft expects to be valued at $20 billion.
Montana- based firm D.A. Davidson isn’t waiting until shares, which will trade under the symbol “LYFT,” are ticking away to recommend getting in. Tom White, senior research analyst at the firm initiated coverage with a “buy” rating and a $75 price target on company. The arch-rival to Uber is expected to price between $62 and $68 per share.
White cited the start-up’s ability to chip away at Uber’s dominance in recent years. Lyft has upped its market share from 22 percent of the market, to 39 percent over the past two years.
While it has benefited from a series of public relations and operational stumbles at its main competitor Uber, Lyft is “deftly maximizing the benefits by aggressively differentiating its brand/mission around socially-conscious values and corporate responsibility,” White said.
White is also bullish on the total addressable market for personal transportation, which he said U.S. consumers are spending $1.2 trillion on annually.
“On-demand services have already disrupted traditional ownership models in sectors like entertainment/computing,” White wrote in a note to clients after the closing bell Tuesday. “The continued population migration to cities and the rising costs of personal car ownership will further drive adoption of “Transportation as a Service” (TaaS) models over the coming years.”
Lyft released its long-awaited IPO prospectus in early March, showing that much like Uber, it’s losing money. The San Francisco-based company lost $911 million on $2.1 billion in revenue last year, according to the filing. Lyft expects sales to grow faster than its losses.
Still, there’s plenty of enthusiasm for the IPO across Wall Street. According to a Reuters report Tuesday, the public offering is already oversubscribed based on investors’ commitments. This would make it likely the ride-hailing startup could exceed a $23 billion valuation, according to the report, which cited people familiar with the matter. The company’s roadshow is already underway.
Meanwhile the biggest player in the market, Uber, is reportedly looking to kick off its own IPO offering next month in a deal valuing the San Francisco-based company at $120 billion. Other Bay-area tech firms Airbnb and Slack have have also signaled plans to go list in the U.S. this year.
There are risks though. White cited uncertainty around its long-term margins, risks associated with its positioning in autonomous driving technology, and the “fluid” regulatory legal landscape for the ride-sharing industry.
“We question Lyft’s competitiveness when it comes to scaling its own autonomous driving system (primarily due to relative lack of scale and a late start,) but believe LYFT’s “platform” play for other autonomous driving players can help afford LYFT some time to either perfect/scale its own technology or secure a long-term partner,” White said.
“Raheem was only saying what we all say in the dressing room,” said Rose, 28.
“It’s sad really but he’s 100% spot on with what he said,” Tottenham defender Rose told BBC Sport before England begin their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign against the Czech Republic on Friday and Montenegro on Monday.
“The stick he used to get from the media was bang out of order. When he put the [Instagram] post up about the media we were all over the moon with that because we all agree. Fair play to Raheem.”
Sterling’s much-publicised social media post pointed to headlines about team-mates Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden buying houses.
The headline referring to Adarabioyo focused on how he spent £2.25m on a property “despite having never started a Premier League match”, while one on Foden said the midfielder had bought “a £2m home for his mum”, later adding he had “set up a future”.
Sterling has also drawn media scrutiny for a tattoo of a rifle on his leg, which he says refers to his late father, who was killed in Kingston, Jamaica.
“One of the few positive things about social media now is you have a voice and you can influence people,” Rose added.
“Now it’s not just boys in the dressing room talking about the media targeting Raheem, the general public have now seen it. We hope it changes but it doesn’t affect Raheem in any way, which we are all grateful for.”
Racial abuse ‘will not be solved overnight’
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the first time for the opening two Euro 2020 qualifiers. The 18-year-old faced alleged racist abuse while playing for Chelsea at Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League on Thursday.
Rose has previously said he had become “numb” to racial abuse and had “no faith” in football’s authorities to challenge it.
“I was only reading this morning about what Callum had gone through,” Rose added. “It will not be solved overnight.
“There will be one or two further cases in the future before we get to a solution. I wouldn’t like to say I don’t have faith in the authorities to deal with it as that would be worrying but it is sad. I hope Callum has not been affected by it and if ever he needs to talk, I’m here.”
He now says the timing of making the issue public shortly before the World Cup proved “uncomfortable” but praised the way Southgate supported him.
“It was one of the best thing I’ve done,” Rose added.
“Looking back I would have maybe said something after the World Cup. For a short space of time the focus was on me and I was a bit uncomfortable with that.
“The messages and support I received was amazing. I probably wish I had done it sooner than I did, but I did it and I’m happy.
“Gareth was brilliant. He always is whenever I speak to him. We went for a walk on the morning it came out and he just gave me some advice. All through the World Cup he was checking on me. When I’m not with the squad I am in contact with him.”
The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 disaster has not only sparked conversations about aviation safety, but prompted a furious debate over how Western media outlets covered it. Some observers, such as The Atlantic’s Hannah Giorgis, noted the tragedy was reported unevenly, focusing more “on non-African passengers and organisations.” This despite the fact that nine Ethiopians and 32 Kenyans were killed – the most victims from any nation.
Kenyan writer and political cartoonist Patrick Gathara added that media organisations forget there is no such thing as an “African story”, saying that any effort to compress the lives and experiences of millions of Africans and thousands of cultures “will always say more about the prejudices and laziness of the journalist than about his subjects.”
Many felt that prejudice was on display when one international news anchor erroneously stated that Africa’s most successful airline had a “poor safety record.”
So how does coverage of the crash fit within a broader Western media narrative that often covers the continent using racist and colonialist tropes? We ask a panel of east Africans.