1. Business
  2. Morning briefing
February 18, 2020

Medtronic posts earnings / Roger Stone in pre-sentencing hearing / ECOFIN talks tax avoidance

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Tuesday morning briefing. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Medtronic posts earnings

Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device company, is due to post its third-quarter 2020 financial results today.

Wall Street analysts predict that Medtronic will post sales of $7.81bn and full-year revenues of $33.06bn.

The company sells devices ranging from insulin pumps to therapy management software. Recently its shares hit a 52-week high of $119.84.

Despite generating most of its sales in the US, it is headquartered in the Republic of Ireland for tax purposes.

Roger Stone in pre-sentencing hearing

Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Donald Trump, appears in a telephonic pre-sentencing hearing for obstructing the Muller inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

In November 2019 he was found guilty of covering up his attempts to find out more information about WikiLeaks’ release of damaging emails about Hilary Clinton, as well as making false statements and witness tampering.

Stone’s sentencing recommendation was recently downgraded, prompting allegations of political interference.

On 12 February Trump acknowledged on Twitter that Attorney General Bill Barr had intervened in the case and congratulated him for “taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought”.

ECOFIN talks tax avoidance

Economics and finance ministers of EU members meet to discuss tax avoidance and economic governance.

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), which covers a number of EU policy areas, also works with the European Parliament to prepare the EU’s budget.

It comes ahead of wide-ranging proposals to be announced on Wednesday to rein in Big Tech, which will cover areas from data markets to artificial intelligence.

Today’s meeting takes place at 10:10am local time in Brussels, Belgium.

Monday’s Highlights


Tobias Ellwood: Five Eyes should develop Huawei alternative

From dark stores to drones, what’s next for on-demand delivery?

Five new startups to watch in 2020: From rental to construction