Business Digest: Germany to Tesla: Stop using ‘autopilot’



AUTOMAKERS

Germany to Tesla: Stop using ‘autopilot’

FRANKFURT, Germany — German authorities are telling electric automaker Tesla to stop using the term “autopilot” for its driver assistance system, saying it is misleading.

The transport ministry confirmed in an email that a letter to that effect had been sent to the company, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif.

It appears to be the first time that Tesla has been ordered by a government entity to stop using the word autopilot to describe the driver assistance system.

Autopilot is Tesla’s array of driver assistance features such as lane maintenance and traffic-aware cruise control.

One person was killed in Florida in May when a Tesla Model S with the system on hit the side of a truck.

Tesla said that “Autopilot operates in conjunction with the human driver to make driving safer and less stressful” and that the company was clear with customers that they had to pay attention at all times.

RETAIL

Supervalu to sell Save-A-Lot for $1.37B

Supervalu said Monday that it is selling its Save-A-Lot supermarket chain for $1.37 billion to Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp.

The deal is expected to close before the end of January.

Supervalu, based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, distributes grocery items to supermarkets and provides other services to them. The company also owns the Shop ‘N Save and Cub Foods chains. There are more than 1,300 Save-A-Lot grocery stores.

Supervalu first announced plans to sell off Save-A-Lot last year to focus on growing its distribution business. Supervalu says it signed a five-year deal with Save-A-Lot to provide cloud technology, as well as payroll, finance and merchandising technology services. The company said it will use some of the money from the sale to pay down debt.

Shares of Supervalu Inc. rose 3.8 percent to $5.20 before the stock market opened Monday. Its shares are down about 30 percent in the last 12 months.

AIRLINES

United beats Wall Street earnings forecasts

CHICAGO — United Continental Holdings Inc. on Monday reported third-quarter earnings of $965 million.

The Chicago-based company said it had profit of $3.01 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $3.11 per share.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $3.05 per share.

The airline posted revenue of $9.91 billion in the period, also topping Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $9.88 billion.

United shares have dropped 7.5 percent since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Monday, shares hit $53.03, a decrease of 8 percent in the last 12 months.

FINANCE

Bank of America’s profits rise 6%, beat estimates

Bank of America’s third-quarter profits rose nearly 6 percent from a year earlier, helped by strong results in investment banking and trading, as well as lower expenses.

The consumer banking giant said Monday it earned $4.45 billion after paying dividends to preferred shareholders in the three months ending in September, up from $4.178 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The per-share figure rose to 41 cents versus 38 cents a year ago, easily beating the 34 cents per share analysts were expecting, according to FactSet.

BofA’s consumer banking division earned $1.81 billion in the quarter, up from $1.76 billion from a year earlier. While revenue was relatively flat year over year, largely due to lingering effects of near-zero interest rates, BofA was able to cut expenses from $4.711 billion in the third quarter 2015 to $4.37 billion this quarter.


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