LA Times to be sold, Disney to expand Star Wars, Snap soars on first-ever earnings beat

Here’s a look at some of the companies the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today.

A California biotech billionaire has agreed to buy The Los Angeles Times for $500M from Tronc (TRNC). The deal also includes the San Diego Union Tribune and other titles in the California news group. This comes at a turbulent time for the newspaper, which has seen three editors in the past six months. Ross Levinsohn has been reinstated as LA Times CEO. He agreed to take an unpaid leave of absence last month following the disclosure of sexual harassment allegations against him while he worked at other companies.

Disney (DIS) is on the move after posting quarterly profits that beat Wall Street’s estimates but sales that were shy of expectations. Strong attendance at its theme parks, especially its new Avatar land, offset a decline at its ABC network. Disney also announced it’s expanding the “Star Wars” universe by hiring both of HBO’s Game of Thrones creators to produce a new series.

Snap’s (SNAP) stock is soaring on its first ever earnings beat. The parent company of Snapchat added 8.9 million daily active users in its fourth quarter. The company also reported 90% of Snap Ads were bought through its new auction system, proving to investors that it’s new ad sales method is successful and profitable.

Apple (AAPL) is teaming up with China’s Alibaba (BABA). The tech giant will now accept Baba’s mobile payment app Alipay in stores across China. The deal comes as Apple tries to grow its business in the world’s second largest economy. Apple’s own Apple Pay has struggled to gain a foothold in China.