Orbital Sciences crashes in after hours trading, the FTC sues AT&T over "throttling," and Facebook 3Q revenue is up 59 percent. Read about these and more of the morning's top business news stories.
Orbital Sciences Loses Market Value Following Explosion
Following an explosion of one of its rockets Tuesday, Orbital Sciences lost $266 million in market value as shares of the Dulles, Va.-based maker of rockets and space systems fell nearly 15 percent in after hours trading. An unmanned Antares rocket headed for the International Space Station to deliver supplies exploded six seconds after launching. No injuries were reported.
Dial L for Lawsuit: FTC Sues AT&T
The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint Tuesday against AT&T Mobility Inc. charging that the company failed to adequately inform smartphone customers who were promised unlimited data it would reduce data speeds if they went over a certain amount of data use in a billing cycle. The practice, known as throttling, would slow their ability to open web pages or watch streaming video. About 3.5 million consumers have been affected, according to the complaint filed in a San Francisco federal court. Some customers, the agency said, had data speeds slowed by nearly 90 percent. AT&T denied misleading its customers.
Facebook 3Q Revenue Grew 59 Percent
Topping Wall Street projections, Facebook Inc. grew revenue by 59 percent in the third quarter. Facebook said Tuesday revenue in the three months ended Sept. 30 totaled $3.2 billion, compared to $2.02 billion in the same period a year ago. Facebook shares, up roughly 47 percent his year, were flat. The world’s No. 1 social network saw strong demand this past quarter for its mobile ads, which represented two-thirds of Facebook's advertising revenue, up from 49 percent of ad revenue in the year-ago period. The total number of monthly Facebook users reached 1.35 billion in the third quarter, with 864 million users accessing the service every day.
No Trick: Consumer Confidence Up in October
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased in September, rebounded in October to 94.5, up from 89.0 the previous month. The Present Situation Index edged up from 93.0 to 93.7 last month, while the Expectations Index increased sharply to 95.0 from 86.4. Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was moderately more favorable in October than in September. Their view of business conditions was mixed; while the proportion saying conditions are “good” inched up from 24.2 percent to 24.5 percent, those claiming business conditions are “bad” also increased slightly, from 21.2 percent to 21.7 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the job market improved moderately, with the proportion stating jobs are “plentiful” increasing marginally from 16.3 percent to 16.5 percent, and those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declining slightly from 29.4 percent to 29.1 percent.
Taco Bell Unveils Mobile Ordering App
Taco Bell unveiled a mobile app that lets customers order and pay on their smartphones and then drive in and pick up their food, USA TODAY reports. Outback Steakhouse, too, Meanwhile, Outback on Tuesday announced plans to roll out an industry-first online reservations tool for mobile, iPad or laptop that shows real-time waits for seating at every Outback in the country and lets the user get a place in line. New technologies are driving the $683 billion restaurant industry like never before, as restaurant chains try to engage customers increasingly accustomed to using their devices to expedite everyday activities. A majority (some 56 percent) of consumers ages 45 to 64 recently have used technology options in restaurants.
Autonation Puts Brakes on Selling Recalled Cars
Autonation announced Tuesday it won't sell used cars being recalled for exploding air bags due to conflicting advice from automakers and lack of direction from the government. Ten automakers have recalled more than 12 million cars with air bags made by parts supplier Takata Corp. The air bags can inflate with too much force, blowing apart metal canisters and sending shards flying at drivers and passengers. Four people reportedly have died due to the problem. Dozens of models made by BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota dating to the 2001 model year are covered by the recalls. AutoNation, a 277-franchise chain located in 15 states, won't sell any of the cars if they are being recalled under supervision of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.