A Delaware judge on Monday approved a settlement in a shareholder lawsuit challenging Google Inc.’s plans for a stock split that includes issuing a new class of nonvoting shares. The stock split is designed to ensure that co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin retain control of Google. The two own about 15 percent of Google’s outstanding stock, but they hold 56 percent of shareholder voting power. Google argued that by creating a new class of nonvoting shares, the company can continue to reward employees with stock without undermining the voting power of Page and Brin.
Burger King’s third-quarter net income surged as it sharply reduced its restaurant expenses, mostly because of the refranchising of company-owned restaurants, and the fast-food provider continued to grow overseas. The Miami company’s performance topped analysts’ estimates. It also raised its quarterly dividend. Burger King Worldwide Inc. has been revamping its business since it was purchased in 2010 by 3G Capital, a private investment firm run by Brazilian billionaires. The company has been selling more restaurants to franchisees in a bid to reduce overhead costs. For the three months ended Sept. 30, the chain earned $68.2 million, or 19 cents per share. A year earlier it earned $6.6 million, or 2 cents per share.
The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy existing homes fell in September to the lowest level in nine months, reflecting higher mortgage rates and home prices that have made purchases more costly. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 5.6 percent last month from August to a reading of 101.6. The decline pushed the index below its year-ago level, the first time that’s happened in nearly 2 1/2 years.
U.S. factories barely boosted their output in September, adding to other signs that the economy was slowing even before the government shutdown began Oct. 1. The Federal Reserve said Monday that manufacturing production rose only 0.1 percent. That’s down from a 0.5 percent gain in August, which was slightly lower than previously reported. Auto plants increased output in September, but the gain was offset by declines at makers of computers, furniture and appliances.