— From wire reports

A loss for Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s governor is warning that the sweeping tax reform plan passed by congressional Republicans on Wednesday could deliver a “crippling blow” to the island’s already-fragile economy still reeling from the effects of major hurricanes. Gov. Pedro Rossello, a Democrat, is calling on lawmakers to rewrite a key part of the tax bill that he says might cause the island’s hefty manufacturing sector to contract, jeopardizing hundreds of thousands of jobs. The tax reform bill includes a new 12.5 percent tax on profits derived from intellectual property held by foreign companies — a move designed to compel those companies to move back to the United States. Puerto Rico is considered part of the United States in all realms except taxes. Companies based on the island are treated as if they were located in other Caribbean tax havens not under an American flag.

AT&T bonus — AT&T Inc., the phone carrier locked in a battle with the U.S. government over its Time Warner Inc. acquisition, lauded President Donald Trump and Congress for their tax-cut bill and said 200,000 U.S. workers will get a special $1,000 bonus to celebrate. The payout is part of an effort by corporate America to defy criticism that tax cuts for companies will benefit shareholders more than workers.

College endowments — Berea College in Kentucky uses its $1 billion endowment to cover tuition for all of its roughly 1,600 students. Because of that mission, Senate Republicans exempted the school from a proposal to tax the endowments of dozens of private schools. But that exemption was one of three provisions removed Tuesday from the federal tax overhaul because they violated congressional rules. So, Berea will once again join the list of schools that will see their tax burden rise under the GOP plan. The goal of the 1.4 percent excise tax was to prompt universities like Harvard and Yale to channel more of their huge endowments into financial aid and lower tuition. But that is not an issue at Berea.

The impact of the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in three decades will spread far and wide starting next year, highlighted by a cut in the corporate rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, fully allowable deductions for capital expenses and lower levies on repatriating overseas profits.

Here’s how the law will most likely affect various industries:

Real estate/homebuilders: Republicans firmed up late support for the overhaul by adding a measure that will provide a windfall to real estate investors like President Donald Trump. The change allows real estate businesses to claim a new tax break that’s planned for partnerships, limited liability companies and other so-called “pass-through” entities.

Technology: Tech stands to benefit from repatriation. U.S. companies are sitting on $3.1 trillion in overseas earnings, according to an estimate from Goldman Sachs. The largest stockpile belongs to Apple at $252 billion — 94 percent of its total cash. Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Oracle round out the top five, data compiled by Bloomberg show. One caveat is that the repatriation provision could generate a large tax bill. In Apple’s case, a 14.5 percent rate would equate to $36.6 billion in taxes.

Asset managers: Analysts expect the bulk of the tax savings to be spent on increasing dividends and share buybacks. That should push U.S. equity markets higher, increasing the value of investments held by asset managers.

Banks: The tax bill may boost 2018 earnings of big U.S. banks by an average of 13 percent, according to Goldman Sachs. Leading the way will be Wells Fargo (17 percent) and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (15 percent).

Morgan Stanley says the overhaul is a net benefit for U.S. banks because it will help them compete better with lower-taxed international rivals. Many provisions in the bill, including repatriation of overseas cash, could spur U.S. mergers and acquisitions that would boost investment banking. And banks’ wealth management units are likely to see more money rolling in because the bill reduces tax rates on the rich.

But a reduction on interest-expense deductions will weigh on earnings. That provision may also cause companies to borrow less.

Private equity: The reduction in corporate rates means companies should have more cash to fund acquisitions, which could increase the value of private equity-owned firms. There’s also likely to be more assets to buy. Many conglomerates have been holding onto non-core assets because they didn’t want to generate a big tax bill on the sale.

Autos: The industry’s biggest companies, including General Motors and Ford, will benefit from the rate cut and the reduction on levies for repatriating overseas profits, according to UBS. Big auto dealers are also poised to do well because they are focused in the U.S. and pay high tax rates.

Consumer products/retail: Retailers are primed to be big winners from the rate cut because many generate all, or at least an overwhelming majority, of their income in the U.S. and pay some of the highest tax rates of any industry.

Industrials: In machinery, trucking is likely to see the biggest impact, according to Jefferies. The corporate rate cut would give U.S. transportation companies of all sizes more money to upgrade their fleets with fuel-efficient vehicles. The same can’t be said for farming and its equipment suppliers like Caterpillar Inc. Farmers are struggling to be profitable at current crop prices, which means the corporate tax cut will have little impact on them. The overhaul could be a boon for aircraft suppliers, like Boeing and General Electric, because airlines need to upgrade their fleets, too.

Energy: Oil-and-gas companies will be big winners because they pay the second-highest effective tax rate of any sector, at 37 percent, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. But a number of oil explorers and equipment providers won’t benefit because their operations are unprofitable. The industry also benefits from a measure that opens a portion of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, which could generate $1 billion in revenue over a decade. The renewable-energy industry avoided taking a big hit by lobbying Republicans to keep a $7,500 electric-vehicle subsidy and a tax credit for wind-power production.

Hospitals and insurers: The bill is estimated to boost insurance companies’ profits by as much as 15 percent because they pay high rates, according Ana Gupte, an analyst at Leerink Partners. But the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate won’t help health insurers and hospitals, which are coping with the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the law.

— Bloomberg News

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