Business Briefs – February 9, 2016

Companies Lose Billions Buying Back Their Own Stock

NEW YORK (AP) — If you think your stocks are doing poorly, check out the performance of some of the most sophisticated investors, the ones with more knowledge about what’s going on inside businesses than anyone else: companies that buy their own shares. The companies losing money on these bets are down a collective $126 billion over the past three years, a decline of 15 percent. The group includes 229 companies in the Standard and Poor’s 500 index.

Energy Agency Says Gasoline Will Average Under $2 in 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) – For the first time since 2004, U.S. drivers are expected to pay an average of less than $2 a gallon for gasoline, the government said Tuesday.

They can thank the huge glut of oil around the globe. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its monthly short-term energy outlook that regular gasoline will average $1.98 a gallon nationwide in 2016. The last time oil averaged less than $2 for a full year was 2004.

Global Volume Up for Coke, Though Diet Coke Fizzles

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca Cola’s global soda volume rose in the fourth quarter, even as Diet Coke continued to suffer declines.

The world’s largest beverage maker said Tuesday that worldwide unit case volume for soda, which reflects average daily sales, rose 2 percent in the final three months of last year.

Deutsche Bank Shares Hit as Markets Fret Over European Banks

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The CEO of Deutsche Bank reassured employees and markets that the company’s finances were “rock-solid” as Europe’s banks took another beating in the stock market Tuesday.

Shares in Germany’s biggest lender are down 23 percent since it reported a 6.8 billion euro ($7.5 billion) loss for 2015.

The bank’s sagging shares reflect converging factors that are undermining bank shares across Europe. Banks in the 19 countries that use the euro have some 1.9 trillion euros in loans that aren’t being paid back on time.

Nation’s Second-Largest Food-Service Firm Files to Go Public

NEW YORK (AP) – The nation’s second-largest food-service distributor has filed papers for an initial stock offering.

U.S. Foods Holding Corp., based in Rosemont, Illinois, said Tuesday it plans to raise $100 million in the IPO, although the amount was listed to calculate fees and will likely be revised.

In its filing, U.S. Foods said it has about 25,000 workers and annual sales of $23 billion. It reported a net loss of $73 million last year.

The filing comes several months after a judge blocked plans by larger rival Sysco Corp. to acquire U.S. Foods for $3.5 billion.