Business Briefs – January 23, 2018

Tesla Proposes Big Payout If Musk Meets Lofty Goals

DETROIT (AP) — Elon Musk is known for his bold predictions on electric and self-driving cars. Now his pay could depend on whether those predictions come true. Under a new all-or-nothing pay package, Musk would remain at Tesla Inc. for the next decade and see his compensation tied to ambitious growth targets.

CEO Says Company Working to Stop ‘Tide Pod Challenge’

NEW YORK (AP) — P&G says it’s working to stop the “Tide Pod challenge,” a social media-fueled trend in which teenagers eat single-load laundry detergent packets. Poison control authorities have warned of a spike in teenagers eating the detergent pods, which it says can cause seizures and even death. CEO David Taylor called the trend “dangerous” and says the company is working with social media companies to remove videos of people biting into the pods.

Hope, Fear as Puerto Rico Moves To Privatize Power Company

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — One of the largest public utilities in the U.S. might soon be up for sale, but many wonder who would want to buy a power company that is $9 billion in debt and has an infrastructure nearly three times older than the industry average. Concerns also are growing about whether plans to privatize Puerto Rico’s power company will translate into more affordable electric bills and better service, with people saying they cannot afford another financial blow as they try to recover from Hurricane Maria.

United Beats Street 4q Forecasts

CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines is reversing a long slide in average prices and increasing its profit. The company says it earned $580 million in the fourth quarter of last year, a 46 percent increase from a year ago despite higher fuel prices. The results beat Wall Street’s expectations. Like its rivals, United is benefiting from strong demand for travel, which is filling more seats.

Johnson & Johnson Loses $10.7B After Sweeping US Tax Changes

NEW YORK (AP) – Johnson & Johnson posted a rare quarterly loss, a whopping $10.71 billion, due to a $13.6 billion charge related to last month’s U.S. tax overhaul.

While the loss was expected and the company’s adjusted results beat Wall Street expectations, shares fell more than 4 percent, an unusually big swing for the health care giant.

On Tuesday, J&J reported a big jump in sales, but that was offset by sharply higher spending on production, marketing, administration and research, partly due to one-time charges.

The $13.6 billion charge is for a tax payment on years of accumulated foreign earnings, now being brought back to the U.S., that amount to more than $66 billion, Chief Financial Officer Dominic Caruso said in an interview.

About $18 billion of that was held in cash and was taxed at 15 percent, while the remainder was taxed at a low 8 percent rate.