Good morning again. Shari Kulha here with the top business stories. But first, whatever device you’re reading this on, you have Robert Noyce to thank. Noyce was awarded a patent on April 25, 1961 for the integrated circuit, which made possible the miniaturization of electronics. He became known as the unofficial Mayor of Silicon Valley (yes, it was around back then), and went on to found Intel and to become a lobbyist for the industry. And these are the five stories I’m lobbying for you to read this morning:
THE OTHER TWO SOLITUDES
Ottawa’s efforts to find consensus on major projects have failed to gain traction, Jesse Snyder reports, and in fact have created tensions. Fierce opposition to fossil fuel development and potentially insurmountable challenges for oil and gas producers has everyone on edge. Ottawa’s support of Trans Mountain contrasts with the Liberals’ mantra that Canada “doesn’t have to choose between the economy and the environment.” Says University of Ottawa senior fellow Michael Cleland: “We are operating in a world with two competing and contradictory narratives: one of climate change … and the realities of the Canadian energy economy.”
Seems Restaurant Brands International has had it with the “purposely negative tone” coming out of the dissident franchisees’ association at Tim Hortons. As Hollie Shaw reports, the corporate bosses have launched a plan to boost the chain’s reputation — including a “Winning Together” slogan — after sales fell in the latest quarter, the sixth in a row. While RBI posted stronger-than-expected earnings, they were the result of better sales at its Popeye’s and Burger King units. Revenue at Tim’s grew but comparable sales were tepid as customer counts are said to be dropping.
AT IT AGAIN
Despite President Trump’s tweets about high oil prices yesterday, in which he blamed OPEC for forcing them up, there’s the inconvenient truth that one of the major factors propping them up is U.S. foreign policy. As Joe Chidley writes, to start, there’s the sanctions related to Venezuela and Iran. It’s hard to see Trump doing much to stop oil prices from being high, Chidley says. “To do that, he would have to abandon two planks of his administration’s foreign policy — which, as much as they distort market forces, are probably more important to the U.S. than even cheaper gasoline.”
Barrick Gold is shifting its focus to growth as it looks to replenish its project pipeline after years of debt reduction. Nevada and the Dominican Republic mines are next in its sights. While it produced just over a million ounces this quarter, because of many years of reduced production, it may lose its title as the world’s largest gold producer even if it meets its current targets. First-quarter net income was off 300% from a year ago. And, as Gabe Friedman reports, the company says it will no longer sell assets to reduce its billions of dollars of debt.
TRUCK TO TRUNK DELIVERY
Amazon has a new plan to beat porch thieves: Package delivery to your parked car. It started yesterday, and will roll out in 37 U.S. cities first. By linking an app from Amazon to the vehicle’s so-called connected car service, such as General Motors’ OnStar system or Volvo Car Group’s On Call service, customers can have the delivery placed in the trunk or back seat. Currently, members of Amazon Prime can have packages delivered into their home, but as an analyst said, “I’m sure many consumers would prefer to have their car trunk opened remotely by a third party than their front door.”