Business Briefs – December 21, 2016

FedEx Earnings Miss Expectations As Expenses Rise

NEW YORK (AP) – FedEx reported second-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street expectations as the shipping company’s expenses soared.

FedEx reported net income of $700 million, or $2.59 per share, for the most recent quarter. Earnings, adjusted to remove the costs related to its recent acquisition of TNT Express, were $2.80 per share. That’s far below the $2.91 per share that analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 20 percent to $14.93 billion, beating the $14.91 billion that analysts expected.

Gov’t Probes Rollaway Issue Like Malfunction Blamed In Yelchin Death

DETROIT (AP) – The U.S. auto safety agency has opened an investigation into complaints that another 1 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles can roll away after the owners shift transmissions into park, a problem similar to the one being blamed in the death of actor Anton Yelchin.

The investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers Fiat Chrysler’s top-selling vehicle, the Ram 1500 pickup, from the 2013 to 2016 model years, as well as the 2014 to 2016 Dodge Durango SUV. The rollaway complaints are similar to those that prompted the recall of 1.1 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and other vehicles earlier this year, although those vehicles have different shifters.

U.S. Probes Complaints of Engine Fires in Tiny Smart Cars

DETROIT (AP) – U.S. safety regulators are reviewing eight complaints that the engines in tiny Smart Fortwo cars can catch fire.

The investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 43,000 of the two-seat cars from the 2008 and 2009 model years.

The agency said in documents posted Tuesday that in six cases, owners saw smoke, the check engine light, or heard an unusual noise before seeing flames. The other two fires weren’t observed until the cars were stopped. All eight owners told the agency that flames rapidly engulfed the cars. No injuries have been reported.

Maker of Signal Says App Is Being Blocked in Egypt

CAIRO (AP) – An encrypted messaging app often used by journalists and activists in Egypt has been blocked by authorities, its maker said late Monday.

Signal’s owner, San Francisco-based Open Whisper Systems, said that it had investigated complaints over connectivity issues from Egyptians and “have confirmed that Egypt is censoring access to Signal.”

The group that it would begin “deploying censorship circumvention” in the coming weeks.

It was not immediately possible to reach Egyptian officials for comment on the alleged ban Tuesday. Communications disruptions aren’t unusual in Egypt, a country which drew global attention after a nationwide internet blackout in 2011.