International

Coronavirus Update: US Cos See Impact, China Begins To Reopen For Business

Coronavirus update

Facebook has cancelled its annual F8 developers' conference over concerns about the coronavirus, reports said. More specifically, the social media company cancelled the in-person component, which it would have held in San Jose, CA. There might still be video presentations on offer, though, along with live-streamed and local presentations.

In lieu of the conference, officials have decided to donate $500,000 to organizations trying to make the tech world more diverse — double the normal amount.

Best Buy has seen a decline in revenue from uncertainty in the manufacturing world because of the coronavirus, but the company is prepared, said CEO Corie Barry, according to CNBC. She added that dealing with similar uncertainties around tariffs has prepared the company to handle rocky situations, and it was working around difficulties in sourcing and inventory availability. Barry did not say which items have been lower in availability, but the company said that the factor in not naming those items were competitive reasons.

Best Buy's Q4 revenues beat expectations because of strong sales in headphones, mobile phones and tablets, among other items.

Peloton might benefit from the quarantine effects of the virus, as at-home workouts may increase. This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told American citizens to start watching out for signs of the virus that has killed thousands overseas. Americans were warned to watch for disruptions in daily life, including time off from work and school, and cancellations of events, such as sports, concerts and business meetings.

Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham & Company, theorized that Americans may to start to feel uncomfortable with going out to the gym. Peloton — which offers at-home, internet-connected workout solutions — could become a more viable alternative in the eyes of many, she said. Peloton also has an app that people can buy as a monthly subscription, which added 149,000 new subscribers during the quarter, the company said in a report.

Starbucks said that 85 percent of its Chinese stores are now open, after the coffee chain had to shutter more than half of its 4,000 stores in the country, due to the virus outbreak, Reuters reported. CEO Kevin Johnson said the company was seeing the beginnings of a recovery in the region.

Chinese authorities noted that the number of new deaths in the country was 29 on Thursday (Feb. 27) — the lowest day's count since Jan. 28. There were 433 new cases of the coronavirus in the country, as opposed to 586 in other nations. The virus has killed almost 2,800 people in total thus far.

While shares in payment giants like Mastercard, Visa and PayPal were down, Square has emerged as a lone outlier in that field, with its shares surging around 10 percent per day, CNBC reported. Many companies in the field have taken a financial hit due to decreasing travel because of the coronavirus. However, Square has not succumbed to that. The Jack Dorsey-helmed company does much of its business inside the U.S., and is less reliant on travel dollars.

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