7 ways coronavirus is hitting corporate bottom lines – Daily News

on Mar4
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Here’s a quick summary of seven ways the coronavirus outbreak is impacting businesses across the globe. 

1. Profit cuts: Major corporations like Apple, Microsoft and Visa have already cut expectations. General Electric believes the viral outbreak could have a negative impact of about $300 million to $500 million on its first-quarter industrial free cash flow. Operating profit for the period could be hurt by about $200 million to $300 million.

2. Rationing:  Kroger Co., the nation’s biggest independent grocer, is placing limits on the number of certain products that customers buy as its shelves are cleared by people doing heavy stocking in preparation for any spread of the virus. “Due to high demand and to support all customers, we will be limiting the number of sanitization, cold and flu related products to 5 each per order. Your order may be modified at time of pickup or delivery,” the company said on its website. Amazon is warning same-day grocery customers that delivery may be limited. Target and Walmart are scrambling to replenish shelves with basics like canned goods, toilet paper and other household essentials, but have yet to announced rationing.

3. Travel restrictions: The International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings in Washington, D.C., along with those of the World Bank, will now be “virtual” to limit the risk from traveling. Starbucks converted its big annual shareholders meeting in hometown Seattle to a virtual only event due to concerns about the virus. The meeting will still be held on March 18 as originally planned. The party-like event which attracted 4,000 shareholders last year. Amazon has asked its 800,000 employees worldwide to postpone non-essential travel. F5 Networks Inc. postponed its analyst and investor in New York. The Global Gaming Expo Asia scheduled for later this month in Macao has been pushed back to the end of July.

4. Empty airplanes: The International Air Transport Association says that January had the slowest monthly year-over-year growth since April 2010, at the time of the volcanic ash cloud crisis in Europe that led to massive airspace closures and flight cancellations. “January was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the traffic impacts we are seeing owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, given that major travel restrictions in China did not begin until 23 January,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general.

5. Impacted workers: Amazon says one of its employees in Seattle has contracted the new coronavirus. “We’re supporting the affected employee who is in quarantine,” the online retailer said in a statement. Amazon said earlier this week that two of its employees in Milan, Italy have contracted the virus and are quarantined. Aflac announced Wednesday that a temporary worker at its call center in Kobe, Japan is infected with the virus. The individual had attended an event in Osaka where multiple participants also contracted the virus.

6. Layoffs: Finnish national carrier Finnair is planning temporary layoffs between 14 days up to one month for its entire staff based in Finland due to the economic impact caused by coronavirus to the airline’s operations. More than 6,000 Finnair employees will be affected.

7. Big picture: Kristalina Georgieva, head of the 189-nation International Monetary Fund, said the economic impact of the spreading coronavirus will be more serious than originally thought. The IMF’s forecast in January that the global economy would rebound to growth of 3.3% this year, up from 2.9% last year, is no longer expected, Georgieva said. “How far it will fall and how long the impact will be is still difficult to predict,” she said.

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