3M’s legal woes continue

3M’s legal woes continue

3M (MMM:NYSE) reached a $6 billion settlement with hundreds of thousands of veterans, but its legal troubles aren’t over yet.

The maker of Scotch tape and Post-it Notes on Tuesday announced the agreement, resolving hundreds of thousands of veterans’ claims that 3M sold defective military-grade earplugs that resulted in hearing loss. Tuesday’s disclosure confirmed an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal.

It’s not the only legal trouble facing the company. Thousands of people are suing 3M, alleging that products containing chemicals known as PFAS made them sick, and states have filed lawsuits claiming 3M and other companies contaminated their soil and waterways. In June, 3M agreed to pay up to $12.5 billion to resolve some of the litigation on these so-called forever chemicals.

3M shares gained 5.2% Monday and finished 1.57% higher for the week.

Falling demand for electronics hurts Best Buy’s sales

Best Buy’s (BBY:NYSE) sales keep falling as electronics demand loses its charge. The retailer had been bracing for a drop in revenue this year after a surge of pandemic-driven demand, though sales in the latest quarter fell less severely than expected.

“We continue to expect that this year will be the low point in tech demand after two years of sales declines,” Chief Executive Corie Barry said.

In 2020 and 2021, Best Buy saw revenue jump as homebound consumers set up work-from-home spaces. Now, shoppers are feeling the strain of higher debt and persistent inflation.

Best Buy shares rose 3.9% Tuesday and finished 1.89% higher for the week.

Crypto regulation setback boosts Coinbase shares

Shares of Coinbase (COIN:NASDAQ) received a boost after U.S. crypto regulation efforts suffered some setback in the week.

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission must reconsider crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments’ application to launch the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

The SEC has repeatedly rejected bitcoin ETFs from asset managers such as Fidelity Investments. Grayscale sued the SEC in 2022 after the agency denied its application.

Bitcoin and crypto-related assets surged on the prospect of the court ruling paving the way for broad investor access to the cryptocurrency.

Shares of Coinbase, jumped 15% Tuesday, and finished 4.6% higher for the week.

Bargain shoppers are spending less.

Dollar General (DG:NYSE) cut its outlook for the year, reporting slower sales and a growing glut of inventory as its shoppers pull back on purchases.

During the earnings call, Chief Executive Jeff Owen said customers are currently feeling financially constrained. Both Dollar General and rival Dollar Tree have said customers are spending money on less-profitable items like food and other essentials.

Owen said the discount retailer plans to whittle down unsold goods through markdowns heading into the holiday season and the second half of the year,

Dollar General shares plunged 12% Thursday, closing at their lowest level in years. The stock is down 15.3% for the week and has been cut nearly in half so far this year.

Walgreens searches for new CEO

Walgreens (WBA:NYSE) is in search of a new leader after its chief executive’s abrupt exit.

Rosalind Brewer stepped down as CEO of the drugstore giant less than three years after taking the helm, Walgreens said Friday. Board member Ginger Graham will take over as interim CEO.

Brewer was trying to revamp the company’s ailing drugstore business by expanding into healthcare, and acquiring primary- and urgent-care clinics. The chain also struggled with a drop-off in Covid business and chronic staffing shortages.

Walgreens also warned that it expects its annual earnings per share to come in at the low end of its forecast.

Walgreens shares lost 7.4% Friday and is down 7.7% for the week.