Hollywood Moguls Remark on Weakness in Europe, Ford’s Latest Recall: Consumer Biz Update

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The idea of an economically challenged Western Europe was heard repeatedly at the 40th annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York this week, as a number of big-name industry execs again stressed their commitment to driving further into international markets and further developing their businesses overseas. Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes commented that, “We’re seeing very strong international growth for our networks,” Although  Europe is seeing “a little bit of a headwind.” President and Chief Executive Philippe Dauman of Viacom (NYSE:VIA) said of Europe, “It’s a still challenging environment. Southern Europe is still bad,” with economic trends there being “very difficult.”  On a brighter note The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE:DIS) Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said that Latin America and Canada are the conglomerate’s largest growth opportunities abroad.

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Shares of Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) gain more than 5 percent on the day on chatter that Coty is returning with a takeover bid. The latter pulled back an offer for $24.75 per share earlier in 2012.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) recalls around 19,000 brand-new Fusion midsize cars in order to repair defective headlights, marking the second recall in a week’s time for the Fusion and the sixth recall of a new Ford vehicle within the past five months. The present problem is that the reflectors in the low-beam lights on the 2013 Fusions may become hazy over time and thus reduce the brightness.

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