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    - Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] will invest $1 billion in India in the next nine months, as the online taxi-hailing company looks to expand its services in its biggest market outside the United States. Uber said it would use the additional investment to improve operations, expand beyond the 18 Indian cities where it now operates, and develop new products and payment solutions.

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    Paul Singer's $27 billion hedge fund Elliott Associates is worried about Europe's prospects and is bracing for fresh market turbulence. In a letter to investors dated July 23 and seen by Reuters on Thursday, the New York-based firm told clients that it has returned 2.8 percent in its Elliott Associates, L.P. and 2.2 percent in its Elliott International Limited.

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    World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) set out last year to completely rework its business model — and maybe change the way people watch sports in the process.The company launched a bold gambit: Selling subscriptions to an online streaming service for $10 a month, a fraction of the $45 to $60 WWE has traditionally charged for a fight on pay-per-view.WWE posted loss after loss as the upstart online service, WWE Network, got underway. Its stock tanked.But the company on Thursday showed signs that the model is working, adding more paid online subscribers than Wall Street expected and turning a second-straight quarterly profit, if a modest one. It now makes more from Web subscribers, which reached 1.2 million during the quarter, than it ever did from pay-per-view, WWE’s chief executive Vince McMahon told investors.That helped the WWE bring in $5.1 million, or 7 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared with a loss of $14.5 million during the same period last year. Its shares jumped surged 20 percent to $19.80 by Thursday afternoon.“The growth of [the] network demonstrates our ability to transform our legacy pay-per-view business into a global subscription business with high growth potential,” George Barrios, WWE’s chief financial officer, told investors.[WWE cuts ties with Hulk Hogan amid report that he used slurs]WWE making headway in the video streaming business is helping reshape the media and entertainment industries as consumers increasingly shed their cable contracts. Even Disney’s chief executive Bob Iger this week suggested that sports giant ESPN (DIS) will one day have an online subscription service.WWE was ahead of most of the industry in pushing online, analysts said. “I think you could describe it as bold or risky, or both,” said Daniel Moore, an analyst at equity research firm CJS Securities. “Clearly, Vince McMahon’s been a risk-taker for 30 years, so the company — and the company’s culture — is not afraid of being entrepreneurial and going out.”During the second quarter, WWE also managed to pass a test posed by investors: Would online subscribers drop the service after the WWE’s marquee event, WrestleMania, in March? That would indicate that fans were treating the Web service like a low-cost pay-per-view purchase, not a long-term subscription service, indicating questions about its ability to grow long-term.About 100,000 subscribers canceled their online subscriptions after the fight, but that was fewer than some analysts had feared.Despite its recent success, it is still unclear how far the company can take its subscription service — and how big it can make the fan base, said Bradley Safalow, founder of investment research firm PAA Research.It has, for example, nearly 7 million subscribers on YouTube (GOOG) and 4 million viewers on its USA Network show “Raw.” But WWE is not nearly as popular as it was in the late ’90s and early 2000s, when star wrestlers such as the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin dominated the ring on a regular basis.It will need to find a new crop of superstars to bring back the big audiences and keep growing in the long term, no matter how they’re watching, Safalow said.McMahon said the company is investing in new programs to grow its audience and keep fans watching. WWE is planning new shows for the online network, he said, including a reality show that follows up-and-coming wrestlers and “Camp WWE,” an animated comedy series a la “South Park.”“They have really thrown everything and the kitchen sink at it,” Moore said. “They’re basically saying, let’s get people to try it, and hopefully we can get them hooked.”






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    World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) set out last year to completely rework its business model — and maybe change the way people watch sports in the process.The company launched a bold gambit: Selling subscriptions to an online streaming service for $10 a month, a fraction of the $45 to $60 WWE has traditionally charged for a fight on pay-per-view.WWE posted loss after loss as the upstart online service, WWE Network, got underway. Its stock tanked.But the company on Thursday showed signs that the model is working, adding more paid online subscribers than Wall Street expected and turning a second-straight quarterly profit, if a modest one. It now makes more from Web subscribers, which reached 1.2 million during the quarter, than it ever did from pay-per-view, WWE’s chief executive Vince McMahon told investors.That helped the WWE bring in $5.1 million, or 7 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared with a loss of $14.5 million during the same period last year. Its shares jumped surged 20 percent to $19.80 by Thursday afternoon.“The growth of [the] network demonstrates our ability to transform our legacy pay-per-view business into a global subscription business with high growth potential,” George Barrios, WWE’s chief financial officer, told investors.WWE making headway in the video streaming business is helping reshape the media and entertainment industries as consumers increasingly shed their cable contracts. Even Disney’s chief executive Bob Iger this week suggested that sports giant ESPN (DIS) will one day have an online subscription service.WWE was ahead of most of the industry in pushing online, analysts said. “I think you could describe it as bold or risky, or both,” said Daniel Moore, an analyst at equity research firm CJS Securities. “Clearly, Vince McMahon’s been a risk-taker for 30 years, so the company — and the company’s culture — is not afraid of being entrepreneurial and going out.”During the second quarter, WWE also managed to pass a test posed by investors: Would online subscribers drop the service after the WWE’s marquee event, WrestleMania, in March? That would indicate that fans were treating the Web service like a low-cost pay-per-view purchase, not a long-term subscription service, indicating questions about its ability to grow long-term.About 100,000 subscribers canceled their online subscriptions after the fight, but that was fewer than some analysts had feared.Despite its recent success, it is still unclear how far the company can take its subscription service — and how big it can make the fan base, said Bradley Safalow, founder of investment research firm PAA Research.It has, for example, nearly 7 million subscribers on YouTube (GOOG) and 4 million viewers on its USA Network show “Raw.” But WWE is not nearly as popular as it was in the late ’90s and early 2000s, when star wrestlers like the Rock and the Undertaker bounced around the ring.It will need to find a new crop of superstars to bring back the big audiences and keep growing in the long term, no matter how they’re watching, Safalow said.McMahon said the company is investing in new programs to grow its audience and keep fans watching. WWE is planning new shows for the online network, he said, including a reality show that follows up-and-coming wrestlers and “Camp WWE,” an animated comedy series a la “South Park.”“They have really thrown everything and the kitchen sink at it,” Moore said. “They’re basically saying, let’s get people to try it, and hopefully we can get them hooked.”






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    Pacific Rim trade ministers neared the final spurt of negotiations on an ambitious free trade pact on Thursday, but differences over farm exports and monopoly periods for next-generation drugs were preventing them from reaching an elusive final deal.

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    By Wallace Witkowski and Sue Chang, MarketWatch. Expedia shares surge on earnings beat. LinkedIn Corp. shares swung from a big jump to a big loss the extended session Thursday after the social network for professionals topped Wall Street expectations on adjusted earnings for the second quarter.

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    Still hoping for the day airlines let all customers check bags and make reservation changes for free? Forget it, said United Continental Holdings Inc's Chief Executive Jeff Smisek at an industry lunch on Thursday, defending airlines even as they reap billions in profit and face federal probes into pricing practices.

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    Cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc. (FEYE) beat earnings expectations Thursday as the company's fast-growing revenue helped losses narrow, but the financial executive who has overseen the company's rapid rise is departing for a startup. FireEye (FEYE) reported a net loss of $133.6 million, or 87 cents a share, on sales of $147.2 million, with losses falling to 41 cents a share after adjustments for share-based compensation and other factors. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected adjusted...

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    If you want to understand why oil is back below $50 a barrel and likely headed much lower once summer ends, start with PetroChina' s stock prices. Mainland-listed shares in China's national oil champion are up 27% so far this year, while their Hong Kong-listed equivalents are down 9%. The former have, of course, been juiced by Beijing's desperate measures to prop up the mainland stock market.

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    Expedia Inc (EXPE) on Thursday posted a second-quarter profit above analysts' expectations and announced a larger dividend as travel bookings grow, sending its shares up more than 7 percent in after-market trade. Expedia (EXPE), which became the world's largest online travel services company by bookings in the first quarter, earned $449.6 million in the second quarter.

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    Hanesbrands (HBI) stock is falling 4.36% to $32.65 in after-hours trading on Thursday following the release of the apparel maker's second quarter financial results today. The Winstom-Salem, NC-based company reported second quarter net income of $265 million, a 15% increase over the same period last year, or 50 cents per diluted share on revenue of $1.52 billion.

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     Expedia (EXPE) shares are rallying by 7.14% to $114.50 in Thursday's after-hours trading as the online travel company reported strong fiscal 2015 second quarter earnings results. For the latest quarter, the company posted earnings of 89 cents per share on revenue of $1.66 billion. Analysts had expected the company to post earnings of 85 cents per share on revenue of $1.66 billion.

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     Western Union shares are up 0.96% to $19.20 in after-hours trading on Thursday after the company released its second quarter earnings results this afternoon. The Englewood, CO-based company reported second quarter net income of $189.3 million, or 41 cents per share on an adjusted basis, on revenue of $1.38 billion.

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    Expedia Inc. (EXPE) said Thursday it earned $450 million, or $3.38 a share, compared with 67 cents a share a year ago. Revenues rose to $1.66 billion from $1.5 billion a year ago, in line with Wall Street expectations. Adjusted for one- time items, the Bellevue, Wash. company earned 89 cents a share in the quarter.

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    By Devika Krishna Kumar and Yasmeen Abutaleb. - Facebook Inc reported quarterly revenue that beat forecasts but its profit fell 9 percent as the social media company sharply increased spending to boost mobile revenue and future growth. Expenses will grow 55 to 60 percent in 2015 from last year, including an 82 percent jump in the second quarter to $2.77 billion, it added.

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    Electronic Arts Inc (EA) raised its full-year profit and sales forecasts, counting on the upcoming launches of "Star Wars: Battlefront" and "Need for Speed" titles, but the forecast fell short of analysts' estimate. The video game publisher's shares fell more than 3 percent in trading after the bell on Thursday.

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    * 2nd qtr loss widens to $67.7 mln from $1 mln. * Revenue $711.7 mln vs est $680.1 mln. * Adj profit 55 cents/shr vs est 30 cents. * Shares fall after-hours. By Devika Krishna Kumar and Kshitiz Goliya.