• Alibaba.com primed the market for its first stock offering with a bullish profit report. Yahoo! (YHOO), which owns about a quarter of the company, said revenue at the Chinese e-commerce giant surged 66 percent, to $3.1 billion, in the fourth quarter, while profit more than doubled, to $1.4 billion. Analysts say those numbers could push Alibaba’s value to $15 billion if it moves forward with a U.S. IPO this year.
• Credit Suisse Group (CS) began gathering e-mails to comply with a new state investigation into whether it helped some high-roller clients evade U.S. taxes. This latest inquiry came via a subpoena from New York’s Department of Financial Services. The bank already paid $196.5 million to settle a similar probe with the SEC. Meanwhile, Credit Suisse posted a 34 percent decline in quarterly profit as its investment banking business stumbled.
• Burberry (BRBY:LN) continued to look sharp as retail sales at constant exchange rates climbed 13 percent, to $1.6 billion, in the six months ended on March 31. The British fashion house is making progress in new categories, including fragrances and men’s accessories.
• Supplies of popular athletic shoes could get tighter soon. An estimated 30,000 workers are striking at the huge Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings (551:HK) factory in Dongguan, China, where 40,000 employees produce shoes for Nike (NKE), Adidas (ADS:GR), Puma (PUM:GR), and Asics (7936:JP). Workers want a 30 percent pay increase and better benefits.
• A debate over fracking is proving to be a gusher for Colorado newspapers and TV stations. Ads from drilling outfits such as Anadarko Petroleum (APC) and Noble (NE) are pouring in as the energy industry lobbies against at least 10 measures to curb the practice in the state.