Two Wisconsin families accept payment from General Motors for deaths caused by faulty ignition switches, and U.S. Bank will pay refunds for improper credit card charges. Here are the key stories of the day for Sept. 26, 2014.
Families Accept GM Payments
Two families from Wisconsin have decided to accept settlement payments from the General Motors Ignition Switch Compensation Fund. They are to receive payments for deaths that occurred in 2006. The mother of Amy Rademaker and the family of Natasha Weigel, who were killed in the same accident, have agreed to accept payment in exchange for dropping all legal claims related to the deaths that occurred in a Chevy Cobalt. "No amount of money can bring my daughter back," Margie Beskau, mother of Amy Rademaker, told CNBC. "But I'm ready to be done with this." The amounts of the settlements were not disclosed, but GM offered at least $1 million plus $300,000 payments for surviving spouses or children.
Nike Share Prices Runs Past Expectations
Nike reported better than expected earnings per share, sales and global future orders in the first fiscal quarter of 2015. The company reported earnings of $1.09 a share versus estimates of 88 cents a share. The revenue total was $7.98 billion, exceeding expectations of $7.84 billion. "Fiscal year 2015 is off to a strong start. Our connection to consumers and ability to innovate, combined with our powerful global portfolio, is a complete offense," Mark Parker, President and CEO of Nike, said in a statement. In the year-ago period, the company reported earnings of 86 cents a share. Revenue increased 15 percent with growth in nearly every product category.
Blackberry Posts Narrow Quarterly Loss
The news was not good for Blackberry, but it was not as bad as expected, as it posted a narrow quarterly loss with revenues falling short of expectations. The company posted a second-quarter loss of 2 cents a share, compared to a loss of 47 cents per share in the year-earlier period. Revenue decreased to $916 million from $1.57 billion one year ago. Blackberry earlier this week unveiled its new smartphone called Passport, but the $599 item has received mixed reviews for its shape and incompatibility with popular apps.
U.S. Bank Issues Refunds
U.S. Bank is the latest credit card company to agree to issue refunds for charging for products customers did not receive. The bank is refunding about $48 million in a settlement with the federal government. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the agreement Thursday with U.S. Bank, the sixth-largest bank by assets. About 420,000 customers will receive refunds for credit monitoring products for which they were charged but did not receive. The Minneapolis based company will also pay $9 million in penalties. Other banks nipped for similar moves were Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, while the CFPB has taken similar actions against American Express, Discover and Capital One.
U.S. GDP Jumps
The Commerce Department Friday said the Gross Domestic Product jumped at a 4.6 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the fastest growth in more than two years. The last time the GDP moved that well was in the fourth quarter of 2011, and it suggests a faster pace of business spending and better export growth than estimated. The data for the third quarter report indicates that there is continued momentum in the manufacturing, trade and housing markets, so that current estimates for the third quarter are at a 3.6 percent growth rate. The economy actually contracted in the first quarter of the year at a 2.1 percent rate. The only area that did not report growth was in consumer spending.
All Chicago Flights Grounded
A fire at a Chicago-suburban Federal Aviation Administration building grounded all flights at O’Hare and Midway airports Friday morning. NBC News reported that the fire might have been arson, with sources saying that it may have been set intentionally. The FAA location is in Aurora, which is 40 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, but operates FAA systems for both airports. Firefighters were called to the Chicago Terminal Radar Approach immediately and no casualties were reported.