Spirit Airlines names new chief executive
Ben Baldanza, who led the industry push for more and more airline fees, is out as CEO of Spirit Airlines. The low-cost carrier based outside Fort Lauderdale, Fla., announced Tuesday that Robert L. Fornaro, who led discount carrier AirTran before its sale to Southwest Airlines, will take over as CEO immediately. Spirit gave no explanation for the change except to say that Baldanza recently moved his family to the Washington, D.C., area. Baldanza has led Spirit since 2006 after joining the airline in 2005 as chief operating officer. Fornaro was appointed to Spirit's board of directors in May 2014 and has more than 35 years' experience in senior leadership and advisory roles, Spirit said.
Several airlines raise their fares by $6
Several U.S. airlines are raising base round-trip fares on domestic flights by $6, the first large-scale increase since June. JPMorgan Chase analyst Jamie Baker said Delta Air Lines began boosting prices on Monday and was quickly matched by Southwest Airlines. Both airlines confirmed the report. American, United, JetBlue and Virgin America also said on Tuesday that they matched the increase. The increase could be rolled back, but that's unlikely with support from so many airlines. However, airlines constantly run sales and tinker with prices, reducing the effect of broad fare hikes.
Netflix extends deal with DreamWorks
Netflix's online video service will feature more series and movies from DreamWorks Animation as part of a contract extension with the studio. The expanded licensing agreement announced Tuesday will allow Netflix to showcase several new DreamWorks series, including "Trollhunters," a fantasy created by acclaimed movie director Guillermo del Toro. Netflix secured the rights to DreamWorks programming everywhere in the world but China. Financial terms weren't disclosed. The deal will give Netflix Inc. more video likely to appeal to children, an audience segment that has played an important role in its service more than doubling in size to 69 million subscribers during the past three years.
Eli Lilly's forecast misses expectations
Eli Lilly dropped a lower-than-expected 2016 forecast on Wall Street after wrapping up a year in which its stock soared above the broader market. The drugmaker said Tuesday that it expects adjusted earnings in the new year to range between $3.45 and $3.55 per share, excluding charges like deal integration costs. It predicted revenue of between $20.2 billion and $20.7 billion. Analysts forecast, on average, earnings of $3.65 per share on $21.36 billion in revenue, according to FactSet. Lilly's outlook came after the maker of the insulin Humalog topped analyst expectations for the first three quarters of 2015 and bumped up its annual forecast for that year in October. Lilly reaffirmed on Tuesday that forecast for adjusted 2015 earnings of between $3.40 and $3.45 per share.
Chairman of Yum Brands to retire in May
Yum Brands Inc. Chairman David Novak will retire in May, ending a three-decade career with the restaurant giant.
The Louisville, Ky., company said Tuesday it plans to name one of its board members to succeed Novak at its annual meeting in May. Novak, 63, began his tenure with the company in 1986 as the marketing chief for Pizza Hut when the chain was still owned by PepsiCo. When PepsiCo spun off KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in 1997, Novak became vice chairman and president of the new company. He was named CEO of Yum Brands in 1999 and chairman in 2000. Greg Creed was named CEO last year. Yum plans to split off its China business later this year.