Groupon names co-founder CEO, reports strong quarter

Groupon named co-founder Eric Lefkofsky as CEO on Wednesday, replacing Andrew Mason, who was fired from the online deals site in February amid growing concerns about its financial performance.

Lefkofsky had served as Groupon’s chairman and half of the office of the chief executive, along with Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis, since Mason was ousted. Leonsis will now serve as the company’s chairman.

Groupon also reported strong second-quarter results on Wednesday, sending shares sharply higher in after-hours trading.

The company booked a loss of $7.6 million, or 1 cent per share, in the April-to-June period. That’s down from earnings of $28.4 million, or 4 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2012.

Zillow’s stock drops 7.7% on news of quarterly loss

Zillow, operator of the largest real-estate information website, dropped the most in three months after reporting a second-quarter loss on higher costs related to advertising and acquisition-related compensation.

Zillow fell 7.7 percent to $83.73 at the close in New York. The shares have more than tripled this year, compared with a 19 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

The net loss for the period ending June 30 was $10.2 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with a profit a year earlier, Zillow said in a statement Tuesday.

Excluding share- based compensation expenses, the company posted a profit of 1 cent, beating the average analysts’ forecast for a loss of 11 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Zillow faces increased competition from Trulia and other providers of real-estate listings amid a U.S. housing- market recovery.

‘Lone Ranger,’ ABC costs leave Disney’s profit flat

Walt Disney Co., the world’s largest entertainment company, said third-quarter profit was little changed amid costs to market the box-office disappointment “The Lone Ranger” and shrinking revenue at ABC television.

Net income rose to $1.85 billion, or $1.01 a share, from $1.83 billion, or $1.01, a year earlier, Burbank- based Disney said Wednesday in a statement. Profit came to $1.03 a share excluding items, compared with the $1.01 average of 30 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Given the number of headwinds we faced, we are very pleased with the financial results we delivered,” Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said.

Disney expects to record a loss this quarter of as much as $190 million on “The Lone Ranger,” which cost $225 million to make and has produced less in worldwide sales.

Walmart will pay OSHA fine, improve worker conditions

Walmart has agreed to improve safety conditions for employees who use trash compactors and cleaning chemicals at more than 2,800 stores as part of a settlement agreement with the Labor Department.

The retail giant has also agreed to pay a $190,000 fine to fix hazards discovered during an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection at a store in Rochester, N.Y.

The agreement announced Wednesday covers 2,857 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in 28 states that follow federal OSHA standards. The 22 states that operate their own OSHA inspection programs could negotiate similar agreements.

–From news service reports