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Chinese firm joins Walmart in venture

Walmart Inc. and online Chinese retailer JD.com are making a joint investment of $500 million in a grocery delivery company that serves 200 Walmart stores in 30 Chinese cities.

Walmart contributed about $320 million to the investment in Dada-JD Daojia. The Chinese company delivers goods from supermarkets with the aid of a smartphone app. It has about 20 million monthly active users.

"By working with strong partners and investing in digital capabilities, we will create easier and more convenient shopping experiences for our customers," Wern-Yuen Tan, Walmart China's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement Thursday.

The investment deepens Bentonville-based Walmart's online presence in China, where it has more than 400 stores. Walmart sold its e-commerce business in China in 2016 but invested $50 million in JD.com that same year. That allowed Walmart to sell products in China online as well as in its stores.

-- Serenah McKay

Uniti reports net loss of $3.6M in quarter

Uniti Group, a real estate investment trust based in Little Rock, on Thursday reported a net loss of $3.6 million, or 3 cents per share, on $247.3 million in revenue for the second quarter of 2018.

For the same period last year, the company reported a loss of $16.4 million, or 11 cents per share, on income of $213 million.

Uniti shares rose 45 cents, or 2.5 percent, to close Thursday at $18.43 per share.

Kenny Gunderman, Uniti's president and chief executive officer, also announced a $31 million acquisition and 20-year leaseback agreement with CableSouth Media LLC for 607 miles of fiber-optic strand across Arkansas Louisiana and Mississippi. When the deal closes, likely in the next quarter, Uniti said it will have exclusive use of 9,000 fiber-strand miles adjacent to its own fiber footprint. Annual cash rent will be $2.9 million initially, with a fixed annual increase of 2 percent, the company said.

Gunderman also said Uniti has signed a lease with an unidentified company with expected annual revenue of $5 million.

As of June 30, Uniti owns 5.4 million fiber miles, about 770 wireless towers, and other communications real estate.

-- Stephen Steed

Arkansas Index rises 1.97, ends at 451.28

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, gained 1.97 to 451.28 Thursday.

"Equities eased lower as late afternoon selling moved the S&P 500 Index lower for a second-straight day," said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 08/10/2018

Print Headline: Chinese firm joins Walmart in venture Uniti reports net loss of $3.6M in quarter Arkansas Index rises 1.97, ends at 451.28

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