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In brief


BANKING

Moody’s raises outlook on U.S. banks

Moody’s Investors Service has raised its outlook for the U.S. banking industry for the first time in five years, citing the improving economy and banks’ stronger balance sheets.

The rating agency said in a report issued Tuesday that sustained economic growth and a better jobs picture will help banks over the next 12 to 18 months. Moody’s raised its outlook for the industry to “Stable” from “Negative.” It had been “Negative” since 2008, the year the financial crisis struck.

Moody’s said that after a year of reducing losses from soured loans and building cushions against losses, banks are in a better position to handle any future economic downturn.

It said the most likely scenario pushing the outlook back to negative would be a slackening of banks’ credit standards. ASSOCIATED PRESS

INVESTING

Netflix shares sink on ‘Arrested Development’ reviews

The hoopla surrounding the return of “Arrested Development” on Netflix’s Internet video service has dissolved into a letdown on Wall Street.

Netflix’s stock fell more than 6 percent Tuesday as investors reacted to critics’ mixed reviews of the first new “Arrested Development” episodes since the Fox broadcast network canceled the series seven years ago.

Netflix Inc. released all 15 episodes of the resurrected “Arrested Development” at the same time early Sunday.

Analysts insist it’s still too early to tell whether “Arrested Development” will be a hit or a flop.

Netflix had 29.2 million U.S. subscribers in March. The Los Gatos, Calif., company is hoping positive buzz about “Arrested Development” will help add as many as 880,000 more customers by the end of June.

The stock closed at $214.19, down $14.55. ASSOCIATED PRESS

EARNINGS

Tiffany reports higher 1Q profit

Tiffany & Co. reported a 3 percent increase in first-quarter net income, fueled by solid sales improvement across the regions, particularly in Asia.

The results, announced Tuesday, beat Wall Street expectations, and its shares briefly rose to their highest level in almost two years in morning trading.

Tiffany is a barometer of luxury spending so the latest results show the resilience among affluent shoppers despite economic challenges around the globe.

The high-end jewelry company known for its blue boxes earned $83.6 million, or 65 cents per share, for the period ended April 30. That’s up from $81.5 million, or 64 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding costs tied to staff and occupancy cuts, earnings were 70 cents per share. This easily beat the 53 cents per share analyst expected.

Revenue for the New York company rose 10 percent to $895.5 million from $819.2 million, topping Wall Street’s $855.7 million estimate.

Sales increased 9 percent globally to $895 million.


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