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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 1:00 am

Briefs

Rising since IPO, stock for Beyond Meat falls

News services

NEW YORK – The price for a share of Beyond Meat almost tripled on the first day of trading in May, and that was just a taste of what was to come.

By the end of the day Monday, the stock had gained an additional 30%. But Tuesday, Wall Street got a case of heartburn after two analysts from JPMorgan – a lead underwriter of its initial public offering – sounded the alarm, saying the company's valuation had grown too big too fast. By midday, the stock slumped 22%, its biggest one-day sell-off to date.

To put that loss into perspective, it means shares of Beyond Meat are up 430% since the IPO just over a month ago. It is that pace that brought a downgrade to “neutral” from JPMorgan's Ken Goldman and James Allen.

Comcast fined over hidden monthly fee

Comcast must pay a $9.1 million fine and refund thousands of customers for breaking Washington state's consumer protection law more than 445,000 times, a judge ruled last week.

A Washington superior court judge ruled Thursday that Comcast charged tens of thousands of state residents for its “Service Protection Plan” without their consent.

Comcast charged $5.99 per month for the plan that allowed customers to avoid charges for certain service visits. Between 2011 and mid-2016, Comcast earned more than $85 million in gross revenue from Washington alone in monthly fees for the protection plan, according to the Washington state attorney general's office.

More than a third of Washington customers enrolled in the plan by phone were signed up without consent between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2016, the judge found. In addition, Comcast failed to disclose the plan's recurring charges to customers, according to the lawsuit filed in August 2016.

Boeing orders drop as 737 scrutinized

With the 737 Max jet still grounded after two deadly crashes, deliveries of new Boeing jets are falling far behind last year's pace.

Boeing said Tuesday it delivered 30 commercial airliners during May, down from the 68 it made in May 2018. Deliveries of 737s plummeted from 47 a year ago to just eight last month. All eight were an older model of 737, call the NG.

Boeing is still building Max jets in Washington state, but they are being parked for now.

The Chicago-based company has 4,550 unfilled orders for the Max but stopped deliveries after regulators around the world grounded the plane following crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. It's working on changes to flight-control software implicated in the crashes.

Wholesale prices barely rise in May

U.S. wholesale prices rose just 0.1% in May, another sign that inflation remains under control.

The Labor Department says the increase last month in its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, was half April's 0.2% increase. The entire gain in May came from a 0.3% increase in the wholesale price of services. Goods prices fell 0.2%.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, wholesale prices rose 0.2% in May from April and 2.3% from May 2018.