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GM keeps running all shifts at plant

General Motors is reversing course at Wentzville Assembly plant, even as it continues to experience high worker absenteeism by a fearful workforce as coronavirus cases surge in the surrounding community.

On Monday, GM was supposed to be in the process of idling its third shift at the factory located near St. Louis. The move would have meant some of the 1,250 people on that shift would be reassigned to other shifts or some would be put on furlough.

But GM says it will now continue to run the factory on three shifts by shuffling staff, including possibly transferring some Michigan workers to Wentzville, Mo.

"We have a plan in place that will enable Wentzville to keep operating on three shifts. It's been a challenging time to accommodate people who were not returning to work due to concerns about COVID-19," said GM spokesman Dan Flores. "The new operating plan will include GM transfers from other locations and that certainly will help. Any transfer is handled in accordance with the terms of the union contract."

 

Starbucks sales plunged by 38%

Starbucks says it's seeing steady recovery as its stores reopen, but it expects the impact of the new coronavirus to last well into the fall.

The coffee giant said Tuesday that revenue in its fiscal third quarter plummeted 38% to $4.2 billion. That was still ahead of Wall Street's forecast of $4 billion, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

The Seattle-based company said 97% of its company-operated stores around the world are now open, including 99% of stores in China and 96% in the U.S. But some franchised locations remain closed, especially at airports and on college campuses.

Global same-store sales were down 40% for the April-June period, beating analysts' forecast of a 42% drop. Starbucks said it expects global same-store sales to be down in a range of 12% to 17% in its fiscal fourth quarter and for the full year.

Starbucks reported a net loss of $678 million for the third quarter, down from a $1.4 billion profit a year ago. Adjusted for one-time items, the company lost 46 cents per share. That was far better than the 59-cent loss analysts forecast.

 

Visa profits cut 23% as spending slows

Credit card processing giant Visa Inc. said its fiscal third quarter profit fell by 23% from a year ago, undercut by the world's consumers and businesses dramatically slowing their spending as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Visa said it earned a profit of $2.37 billion last quarter, down from $3.1 billion from a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the company earned $1.07 a share in the quarter in the latest quarter.

Visa's business model — taking a small percentage of every transaction that runs on the Visa network — is highly susceptible to fluctuations in how consumers and businesses spend money. As economies shut down in March, April and May due to the pandemic, consumers spent less money on gas, eating out for lunch and dinner, movies or any other activities that required being outside.

That was a direct hit to Visa's bottom line. Spending on Visa's network worldwide was down 10% on a constant-dollar basis for the quarter ending June 30. The total number of transactions on the network was down 13% from a year earlier.

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