Reddit, known for its message boards that became the go-to destination for day traders during this year’s meme stock frenzy, was looking at a valuation of more than $15 billion, Reuters had reported in September.
The company was valued at $10 billion in a private fundraising round earlier this year.
The San Francisco-based firm had retail investors flocking to its message boards for tips on trading GameStop Corp and other meme stocks.
Reddit had roughly 52 million daily active users and over 100,000 communities, or “sub-reddits,” as of October last year.
Its biggest investors include Fidelity Investments, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Tencent Holdings.
Reddit did not disclose the number of shares to be offered or the price range of the IPO in the statement.
(Reporting by Sonia Cheema; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
United Airlines cuts capacity forecast, flags cost pressure on Omicron turmoil
United Airlines Holdings on Wednesday trimmed its capacity forecast and warned of higher costs, after posting a smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, citing turbulence from the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The Chicago-based carrier said the latest wave of the health crisis has depressed near-term demand even as bookings for the spring and beyond remain strong.
United said its priority is to match capacity with demand. As a result, its 2022 capacity is now projected to be lower than in 2019, instead of growing 5% as estimated earlier.
It expects to restore 82% to 84% of pre-pandemic capacity in the quarter through March, with revenue recovering to just 75% to 80% of 2019 levels.
Costs this year are now expected to be higher than in 2019, instead of going down.
United’s shares declined about 2.5% to $43.31 in extended trading.
Rival Delta Air Lines last week forecast a current-quarter loss due to the Omicron variant’s impact on travel.
Winter storms and an increase in COVID-19 infections among employees have led to mass flight cancellations. In one day alone, nearly one-third of United’s workforce at Newark Liberty International Airport called in sick. Last week, the carrier said 3,000 employees were infected with the virus.
In response, carriers have cut their flight schedules and are offering crew members not scheduled to work incentives to pick up additional shifts and trips.
To ease staffing issues, United is offering its pilots premium pay through the end of the month.
The incentives and flight cancellations are further inflating industry costs, which have gone up in the past year with efforts to ramp up operations.
United estimated current-quarter costs to be 14% to 15% higher than in the same period in 2019.
Analysts at Jefferies said cost pressures are expected to be a “significant headwind” for the carrier.
United said its Boeing 777-200 planes equipped with Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines would begin to return to service in the current quarter.
It had to ground the wide-body jets after a United flight to Honolulu suffered an engine failure and made an emergency landing last year in Denver.
On an adjusted basis, the carrier reported a loss of $1.60 per share for the quarter through December, compared with a loss of $7.00 per share a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv, on average, had expected a quarterly loss of $2.11 per share.
Fourth-quarter revenue came in at $8.19 billion, compared with $3.4 billion a year ago, beating the consensus estimate of $7.97 billion.
United will discuss the results on a call with analysts and investors on Thursday morning.
(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Richard Chang)
World Bank chief takes swipe at Microsoft’s $69 billion gaming deal as poor countries struggle
World Bank President David Malpass on Wednesday criticized Microsoft’s $69 billion takeover of gaming developer Activision Blizzard as a questionable allocation of capital at a time when poor countries are struggling to restructure debts and fight COVID-19 and poverty.
Malpass said during a Peterson Institute for International Economics virtual event that more capital needed to flow into poor countries, but these flows have been disrupted by unusually easy monetary policies in developed countries.
He said he was struck by the scale of Microsoft’s acquisition deal for “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard. This dwarfed the $23.5 billion in cash contributions agreed in December by wealthier donor countries to the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries — about $8 billion annually over three years, he said.
“You have to wonder: ‘Wait a minute, is this the best allocation of capital?'” Malpass said of the Microsoft deal. “This goes to the bond market. You know, a huge amount of (capital) flows are going to the bond market.”
A very small portion of the developing world has access to such bond financing, while too much capital remains bottled up in advanced countries, especially in central bank reserve assets used to back long-term bond purchases, he added.
A spokesperson for Microsoft did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Malpass’ remarks.
His comments echoed a similar call last week for central banks to cut long term bond holdings to free up lending capital.
“That gets you into a situation where a huge amount of the capital is being allocated to already capital-intensive parts of the world — the advanced economies — building more and more on top of already heavily built infrastructure and real estate, for example,” Malpass said.
Meanwhile, a return to more normal global investment returns is needed to bring more financing capacity to small businesses in the developing world,” he said.
“In order to address the refugee flow, that malnutrition that’s going on, and so on, there has to be more money and growth flowing into the developing countries,” Malpass added.
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by David Gregorio and Sandra Maler)
COVID-19 antiviral pill on its way across Canada, as some hospitalizations dip – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Alanna Smith, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, January 19, 2022 2:47PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 19, 2022 5:07PM EST
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the first shipment of an oral COVID-19 pill is making its way across Canada but is no substitute for vaccination against the rapidly spreading virus.
The entire northern Quebec region of Nunavik is on “red alert” with more than half of its 14 Inuit communities struggling with high viral transmission.
Other provinces and territories are bracing for a peak in the pandemic’s fifth wave with hospitalizations beginning to level out.
The antiviral drug Paxlovid is meant to protect against hospitalization and death. Canada has purchased one million courses for delivery this year.
“It’s important to remember that this will be a powerful tool to continue to keep people from people getting extremely sick but it needs to be used right,” Trudeau said Wednesday.
“It’s not a replacement for getting vaccinated, for wearing masks, for staying safe, for keeping your distance.”
The Omicron variant-fuelled fifth wave appears to be peaking in some provinces, while others warn the worst is yet to come.
Quebec reported its lowest daily increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations with a rise of eight, bringing the total to 3,425 people in hospital. It also saw a slight decline in intensive care patients.
In Nunavik, a curfew is in effect and all non-essential public places are closed with private indoor gatherings banned.
Meanwhile, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said there are “glimmers of hope” that COVID-19 cases will peak this month with hospitalization and intensive care admissions to follow.
The province recorded a small dip in the number of people with COVID-19 in hospital to 4,132 patients from 4,183, as intensive care patients rose by eight to 589. Fifty-nine new deaths were also reported.
Many types of Ontario businesses continue to be closed under public health restrictions, but Premier Doug Ford said to expect a “positive” announcement on measures later this week.
In British Columbia, some businesses are eligible for a financial boost from the province as they are forced to stay closed for at least another month to curb COVID-19 spread.
Places such as event venues, bars and nightclubs that don’t serve meals can now apply for grants of up to $20,000. Businesses that have been able to reopen can claim up to half that amount.
Manitoba’s top doctor said Wednesday the Omicron wave could peak soon, as the province logged a slight increase in hospitalizations and intensive care cases.
“Looking at other jurisdictions … it would be reasonable to expect that peak in the near future if we maintain the same trajectory,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, adding “it’s a little early to consider.”
Meanwhile, Saskatchewan is bracing for a tide ofCOVID-19 hospitalizations and absences among workers until mid-February,while more than 1,600 volunteers have answered a call from New Brunswick for pandemic assistance.
A surge of hospitalizations and a shortage of health-care staff led New Brunswick to ask people to help with clinical or non-clinical work, such as vaccine administration.
Almost 350 workers were isolating Wednesday after testing positive for COVID-19. New Brunswick has a record 123 people in hospital with COVID-19.
Prince Edward Island announced new restrictions this week to protect its health system. Nova Scotia, meanwhile, was the only Atlantic province to return to in-person learning at public schools this week.
Alberta is seeing hospitalization rates rising to levels not seen since mid-October. As case rates continue to climb, one of its largest school boards is asking the government to open vaccine clinics in schools.
Edmonton Public Schools said more than 5,000 of its students were absent Tuesday due to COVID-19 – about five per cent of its total student population.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2022.
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