Regulators Are Fed Up With Food-Delivery Fees

American consumers have been forced to eat food-delivery costs sometimes nearly as big as the meals themselves. Regulators are fed up. In addition to new laws boosting compensation and benefits for delivery drivers, restaurant protections such as pandemic-related commission caps have been proliferating at the city and state levels. Consumer protections could be next. New laws have been costly for delivery players that have been struggling to generate consistent profits lately. On its third-quarter conference call, Uber , which owns and operates Uber Eats, suggested it wouldn’t absorb all of the added costs related to the passage of Proposition 22 in […]

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Poshmark’s Stock Price More Than Doubles in Market Debut

Poshmark Inc.’s stock more than doubled in its trading debut Thursday, reflecting a soaring market for public offerings and expectations that demand for secondhand goods sold online will grow after the economy returns to more normal conditions. Shares of the online marketplace focused on used merchandise opened at $97.50, according to FactSet, above the company’s initial public offering price of $42. That better-than-targeted IPO price valued the company at more than $3 billion, up from a $1.25 billion valuation in 2019. Private companies have been looking to cash in on robust demand from investors for new listings. Companies raised more than […]

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Affirm Shares Skyrocket in Trading Debut

Shares of Affirm Holdings Inc. surged in the company’s trading debut Wednesday. The buy-now, pay-later fintech firm, trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol AFRM, jumped as high as $103 shortly after it began trading around midday, far above its initial offering price of $49. The enthusiastic reception for Affirm shares could indicate that 2021 will be similar to 2020. That was the most lucrative year on record for public offerings in terms of money raised, driven in part by the success of companies like DoorDash Inc. that have benefited during the pandemic from the stay-at-home economy. Still, extreme first-day pops […]

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WSJ News Exclusive | MGM Seeks to Buy Ladbrokes Owner Entain

MGM Resorts International MGM 1.03% is seeking to buy British gaming company Entain ENT -1.56% PLC, according to people familiar with the matter, in the latest move by a casino operator to double down on the red-hot online-gambling business. MGM recently made an offer to buy the owner of the popular British gambling brand Ladbrokes, which has a market value of about $9 billion, the people said. The offer, which would have a substantial stock component, comes after an earlier, roughly $10 billion all-cash overture was rebuffed. The new bid comes with financial backing from the MGM’s largest shareholder, IAC/InterActiveCorp. IAC […]

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Lessons From a Crazy Year in Financial Markets

Here is something many investors would have found difficult to believe during March’s stomach-churning selloff: 2020 would turn out to be a stellar year for the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is at a record. The market for initial public offerings is flourishing. Just weeks ago, home-rental startup Airbnb Inc. made a stock-market debut so stunning that its chief executive was briefly left speechless on live television. These are things that would be easy to imagine in boom times. But 2020 has been anything but that for the world outside Wall Street. The cold reality is that the market’s […]

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New California Law Could Spoil Some Growth for Food-Delivery Platforms

Just how valuable has restaurant selection been to delivery platforms’ growth over the past year? We could soon find out. A California bill is set to require third-party delivery platforms to have stated agreements in place with merchants to deliver food orders starting Jan. 1. The bill will effectively end the growth-strategy platforms including DoorDash and Postmates have historically employed to rapidly augment their delivery footprints. Delivery platforms will have to remove so-called unpartnered food merchants, or those with which they don’t have a stated agreement, from their apps in California. Without an agreement, a delivery platform can list a restaurant’s […]

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Japan Plays Catch-Up in Venture Capital as Rivals Boom

TOKYO—As the world’s two biggest economies, the U.S. and China send scores of startups to the public markets—some at jaw-dropping valuations—yet Japan, at No. 3, has been lagging far behind. The Japanese government wants to kick its startup scene into higher gear, but it won’t be easy. The country’s star initial public offering in technology this year, and one of the biggest in recent years, is online marketing-tool developer Plaid Co., whose opening trade on Dec. 18 gave it a valuation of around $1.1 billion. Meanwhile, Airbnb Inc. opened this month at a valuation of $102 billion, the largest in a […]

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Booking Investors Should Have More Reservations

Stock-market froth has spilled over even into decades-old technology mainstays. Online travel agent Booking Holdings BKNG -0.65% has erased all of its losses this year in the stock market and has kept rising, even as its actual business remains deeply challenged. Booking is currently trading at a 20-year valuation peak in terms of enterprise value to forward sales, even though Wall Street analysts expect its revenue to fall 55% this year and not recover to 2019 levels until 2023. Initiating coverage of Booking with an “underperform” rating, AB Bernstein analyst Richard Clarke observed that the stock appears to be trading on […]

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Investors Risk Over-Ordering Restaurant Stocks

A dark winter for the dining industry hasn’t scared off stockholders in restaurant chains. But a roaring spring is needed to validate that faith. Darden Restaurants said Friday that sales volumes have slowed significantly as the fall has progressed. Comparable sales fell about 22% from a year earlier at its Olive Garden locations for the week ending Nov. 8; the decline accelerated to about 33% for the week ending Dec. 13. Tougher coronavirus restrictions help explain the falloff: 92% of company restaurants had at least some permitted dining room capacity for the entire week in early November and that figure has […]

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