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The impact of spreading virus on businesses and economy

ALTERED EXPECTATIONS: General Electric Co. General Electric believes the viral outbreak could have a negative impact of about $300 million to $500 million on its first-quarter industrial free cash flow. Operating profit for the period could be hurt by about $200 million to $300 million. GE said that the expectations are incorporated into its full-year 2020 outlook.

NXP Semiconductors N.V. says its first-quarter revenue expectations are being reduced, citing the potential impact of the virus. The company foresees revenue being lowered by $50 million to $150 million. The company said the $50 million impact is what it's seen so far, and that the upper range of $150 million is estimated on seeing a return to weakness in the coming weeks.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

F5 Networks Inc. postponed its analyst and investor event due to the virus outbreak. The company was scheduled to hold the event in New York on Tuesday.

F5 said in a statement that it felt “hosting a large group event drawing participants from many regions is not appropriate at this time." The company said it will announce a new date for the event as soon as possible.

F5 has also postponed Agility, its annual user conference, which was previously planned for March 16 –19 in Orlando, Fla.

Organizers said Wednesday that Global Gaming Expo Asia, originally scheduled to be held on May 19-21 in Macao, a special Chinese region, will now be held at the end of July.

The “outbreak and related travel and commercial restrictions make those preparations too difficult to hold the show as originally planned,” the organizers said. More than 13,000 people attended last year’s expo.

CLOSE TO HOME: Amazon says one of its employees in Seattle has contracted the new coronavirus. “We're supporting the affected employee who is in quarantine,” the online retailer said in a statement.

Amazon said earlier this week that two of its employees in Milan, Italy have contracted the virus and are quarantined.

Amazon has asked its 800,000 employees worldwide to postpone non-essential travel. It is also conducting some job interviews on video conference calls instead of in its offices.

Aflac announced Wednesday that a temporary worker at its call center in Kobe, Japan is infected with the virus. The individual had attended an event in Osaka where multiple participants also contracted the virus.

The company said it's continuing to monitor the recovery of the infected individual, who is being instructed to refrain from coming into the office.

Aflac said its Kobe call center operations remain unaffected and its operations in Japan are continuing to run normally.

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