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July 20, 2014

B&G Foods and Google are big market movers

Filed under: marketing, technology — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 9:04 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Friday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market:

NYSE

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), down 74 cents to $3.83

The semiconductor maker reported second-quarter financial results below expectations along with lower-than-expected guidance.

B&G Foods Inc. (BGS), down $1.20 to $29.62

The food and household goods maker reported second-quarter profit below Wall Street expectations and lowered its full-year outlook.

Knoll Inc. (KNL), up $1.18 to $18.15

The furniture and accessories company reported a boost in second-quarter profit and revenue, exceeding Wall Street expectations.

Key Energy Services Inc. (KEG), down $1.34 to $7.03

The oil well and energy services company revised its second-quarter financial outlook and now expects to report a loss.

Nasdaq

Google Inc payday loans. (GOOG), up $21.35 to $595.08

The Internet giant reported a boost in second-quarter revenue and profit, despite an extended slump in advertising prices.

Skyworks Solutions Inc. (SWKS), up $6.53 to $52.87

The semiconductor company reported third-quarter profit above Wall Street expectations and set better-than-expected guidance.

Gentiva Health Services Inc. (GTIV), up $2.49 to $17.96

The home health company rejected a partial stake offer from Kindred Healthcare and said it received a buyout offer elsewhere.

RealPage Inc. (RP), down $4.74 to $16.68

The rental property management software company cut its revenue outlook citing weak leasing activity and low vacancy rates.

Source

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July 17, 2014

300 vials labeled influenza, dengue found at lab

Filed under: Canada, finance — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 3:36 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The same federal scientist who uncovered forgotten vials of smallpox earlier this month also found over 300 undocumented vials at the same lab, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

FDA officials say the vials list the names of other contagious viruses and bacteria, including dengue, influenza and rickettsia. Previously the government only announced it had recovered six glass vials of smallpox dating from the 1950s.

The freeze-dried smallpox samples were found in a building at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, that has been used by the Food and Drug Administration since 1972.

The find was disturbing because for decades after smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, world health authorities said the only known samples left were safely stored in super-secure laboratories in Atlanta and in Russia.

Source

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July 12, 2014

Isle of Capri stock falls after company announces job changes

Filed under: Uncategorized, management — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 6:48 am

Stock in Isle of Capri took a beating Friday, a day after the Creve Coeur-based gaming company announced job shuffles in the executive suite.

Analysts interpreted the moves as a signal that a company sale, rumored for weeks, might be off.

Kim Noland, director of high yield research at Gimme Credit, an independent research service on corporate bonds, noted recent media reports that Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. was considering a bid for Isle.

But in a research note Friday, she said the departure of Dale Black, Isle’s chief financial officer, “to pursue other interests,” and the appointment of Eric Hausler, the chief strategic officer, as CFO, “suggests a sale may not be as close as reported.”

Isle stock fell Friday to $8.69, down nearly 14 percent from Thursday’s close of $10.05.

Among other job changes Isle announced Thursday was the appointment of Robert Goldstein, the board’s vice chairman, as the board’s non-executive chairman.

Noland said the Goldstein family, which owns 40 percent of Isle, has been reported to have solicited purchase bids through a banker.

GLPI is a real-estate investment trust spun off last year by Penn National Gaming. Noland pointed out that as a REIT, GLPI would need to find an operator for Isle’s portfolio of properties in different states in an outright sale agreement cash advance loan no fax.

Isle is a regional gaming company with 15 casino properties in seven states. Its Missouri casinos are in Boonville, Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville and Kansas City.

Isle’s spokeswoman declined to discuss the job shuffles but pointed out the statement from Virginia McDowell, Isle’s chief executive, that the changes will streamline company operations and save $2.5 million annually.

At least one analyst, Robert Shore of Union Gaming Group, indicated that too much could be made of Isle’s job shuffles.

“We do not view changes, namely the change at CFO, as a negative development,” Shore said in a report Friday.

Black is “amply succeeded” by Hausler, who has 15 years of relevant experience, Shore wrote.

“He is also a highly skilled communicator with the investment community and acutely focused on maximizing shareholder value,” Shore added. “Further, we would not speculate one way or another on the impact of these changes to the likelihood of whether or not the company will be sold.”

Source

July 10, 2014

More ‘headline-grabbing’ corporate deals expected

Filed under: business, marketing — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 4:04 pm

LONDON (AP) — More “headline-grabbing” acquisitions are likely over the coming year as businesses take advantage of a period of improving economic growth and cheap financing.

That’s the conclusion of a survey by business consulting firm EY, which says the value of takeover deals announced in the first half of 2014 struck its highest level since the end of the boom years in 2007.

In its half-yearly update of corporate activity, EY said Thursday that the value of deals rose by 50 percent from the same period the year before to $1.7 trillion. Not since the global financial crisis first erupted, prompting companies to batten down the hatches, has the value of deals been that high.

For years, big mergers and acquisitions have been notable for their absence as companies stocked up on cash reserves to weather the global economic storms. Pursuing M&A was very much a secondary consideration for boards round the world.

The latest EY figures confirm change is afoot. From the planned $67 billion tie-up between Comcast and Time Warner, and AT&T’s $67 billion deal with DirecTV to Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ $55 billion hostile approach for botox maker Allergan, the last few months have seen a flurry of high-value corporate activity. Facebook even announced its biggest ever acquisition with a proposed $19 billion takeover of WhatsApp.

EY, which sourced data from Dealogic, said the next 6 to 12 months should continue to provide the “ideal window of opportunity” for businesses to pursue more deals. It said high equity valuations, low interest rates and cheap debt, as well as high cash levels built up during the years of retrenchment, have provided a favorable environment for deal-making low fee payday loans.

Those favorable conditions may fade as major central banks start raising interest rates as the global recovery gathers pace. In the U.S., expectations are for rates to start rising in 2015, potentially increasing the cost of financing deals.

“Leading companies will look to do smart and strategic M&A before the current deal climate changes, so we can expect more large, headline-grabbing acquisitions to come,” said Pip McCrostie, EY’s global head of M&A.

Though high in value, EY said the number of mergers and acquisitions remains low, with businesses seemingly looking for big, transformative deals.

Most of the M&A deal-making is happening in developed economies, such as the U.S., Britain and France, as executives think they are less risky options now that their economies are growing again. Though U.S. economic growth suffered a big setback in the first quarter due to bad weather, it’s poised to grow relatively strongly over the rest of the year. And the 18-country eurozone is growing consistently, albeit at a modest pace.

“Emerging high-growth and frontier markets will always be attractive in terms of investment, but safe and secure modest growth is attracting the most investment as the global economy moves into a new phase,” said McCrostie.

Source

July 2, 2014

Japanese Firms See Inflation Taking Root in BOJ Boost - Bloomberg

Filed under: online, term — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 12:49 pm

(Corrects sixth paragraph to show that inflation at highest since 1991.)

Japanese companies forecast sustained price gains, providing support for the Bank of Japan

June 30, 2014

EU slashes mobile data roaming fees by 55 percent

Filed under: business, online — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 9:41 pm

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union says the surcharges for surfing the Internet on mobile devices while traveling across the 28-nation bloc will be more than halved.

The European Commission says the new cap on the so-called roaming fees will be effective starting Tuesday, just in time for the summer holiday travel season.

It said Monday the price cap for one megabyte of data use will be lowered to 20 euro cents (27 dollar cents) from 45 cents — a 55 percent drop. Phone calls and text messaging services across national borders are also getting cheaper by about 25 percent payday loans direct lenders.

The bloc’s executive Commission — keen on being seen as helping the EU’s 500 million consumers — started cracking down on the fees in 2007 and seeks to abolish them altogether by 2016.

Source

June 29, 2014

Maple Leafs draft William Nylander:

Filed under: finance, small business — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 7:21 am

PHILADELPHIA—Newest Maple Leaf William Nylander knows better than most teenagers what it’s like to be in the NHL.

The 18-year-old Swedish forward, son of former NHLer Michael Nylander, basically grew up in the locker rooms of some of the teams his dad played for. And last year in Sweden, he played with his dad against men, proving his worth as the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Nylander said moments after donning a Maple Leafs sweater for the first time.

Nylander was born in 1996 in Calgary and more or less grew up in North America as his dad played for the Flames before stops in Tampa, Chicago, Washington, New York and Boston. The family returned to Europe when William was 14.

“I grew up around the rink,” said Nylander, who credits his father for his development. “Going on the ice early, working on small things like stickhandling, shooting before practice.”

Some say he’s the fastest player in the draft. One independent scout told the Star, however, that Nylander is a bit of a risk, that he might feel a sense of entitlement, but is also a “game-breaker (who) has a chance to be a very slick player.”

In other words, he has an awful lot of upside in a draft that, by the time the Leafs picked, was beginning to thin out. If Nylander and Halifax sniper Nicolaj Ehlers weren’t available at No. 8, the Leafs were prepared to trade down or out of the first round. As it turned out both players were still there.

“He is the most talented player in the draft,” Nonis said of Nylander. “I don’t think it’s a risky pick. An issue for him is size (five-foot-nine, 170 pounds), but he’s grown a lot. In terms of foot speed, puck skills, he’s got all that. For him, it’s going to be about hard work, getting stronger.”

Nonis said he’d heard Nylander has an attitude, but doesn’t think it’s a problem faxless pay day loans.

“He thinks he’s good enough to play a significant role on a men’s pro team,” said Nonis. “Some people have a problem with that. To me, I have no issue if he can back it up with his play.”

The winger is in a unique position: He’s a free agent in Europe. If he doesn’t make the Leafs out of training camp, they can elect to send him to the AHL, something they couldn’t do with a Canadian player, or back to Sweden if a team will take him, or to an OHL team.

“That is up to the team,” said Nylander. “My goal is to play in the NHL. If not, go back to Sweden or the AHL.”

Nyalnder was named the best forward at the 2014 under-18 world championship after leading all players in assists (10) and points (16) in seven games. Nonis saw him there and was impressed with how Nylander played the Canadian and American teams, who had targeted him with physical play.

“Against Canada when things were difficult, when they ran him a little bit, one of the things we looked for was: Would he shrink?” said Nonis. “That wasn’t a factor at all. He played as hard against the U.S. and Canada as anyone else. He was trying to prove a point, that he’s not a kid who’s going to be intimidated.”

Nylander had seven points in 22 games with Modo of the Swedish Hockey League in 2013-14, and played with his father for part of the season on loan to second division Rogle, where he scored eight points in 18 games.

Nonis said Nylander will get every chance to make the team in training camp, but didn’t get anyone’s hopes up.

Source

June 27, 2014

Sodexo cafeteria workers regain health coverage

Filed under: business, small business — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 4:13 pm

WASHINGTON • A giant food service company unexpectedly reversed course Thursday after bumping thousands of college cafeteria workers from its health plan earlier this year and pointing a finger at President Barack Obama’s overhaul.

Sodexo’s experience could serve as a cautionary tale for other employers trying to pin benefit reductions on “Obamacare.” The company’s cutbacks fueled a union organizing drive and campus protests.

Julie Peterson, Sodexo’s vice president for benefits, said the company will make changes for next year to restore eligibility for many of those affected.

“We think that overall this is going to result in about the same number of employees being eligible as in the past,” Peterson said. The latest shift grew out of a regular review of company policy, she added.

“We’ve realized we can change the way we are determining eligibility and still remain competitive in the market,” Peterson explained.

Among those who lost their coverage through Sodexo this year was Julie Pemberton, a cashier at Curry College, a liberal arts institution near Boston.

Pemberton puts in more than 40 hours a week during the academic year. She’s paying over $200 a month more in premiums since she switched to a plan from the Massachusetts health insurance exchange.

“I’m actually looking for a new apartment because this is just draining any savings I have,” said Pemberton. “I can’t just keep paying and paying and paying.”

UNITE HERE, a labor union trying to organize Sodexo workers, said the company’s initial cutback was facilitated by what it calls a loophole in federal regulations carrying out the health law’s employer coverage requirement.

The Obama administration responds that the employer, not the health care law, was to blame.

French-owned Sodexo is a multinational service company with U.S. headquarters in Maryland. It operates many college cafeterias and also provides other campus services. In January, Sodexo reclassified some of its workers as part-time by averaging their hours over a 52-week calendar year. That affected about 5,000 of its 133,000 U.S. employees.

Sodexo said it was acting to align itself with the health care law, which requires that employers with 50 or more workers offer coverage to those averaging at least 30 hours per week, or face fines.

Company official Peterson said Thursday that for benefits purposes, the company will now credit campus employees during the summer break with the hours they would have worked during the academic year.

The UNITE HERE union says federal rules require colleges and universities to essentially do the same thing for their faculty employees. But those rules don’t apply to contractor employees in cafeterias low fee pay day loans.

“There is nothing in there that says contract workers are protected,” said union spokesman Ethan Snow.

At least one college that examined the issue agreed with the cafeteria workers. Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, recently amended its contract with Sodexo to require that the employees be offered coverage.

“Sodexo’s classification system was not consistent with the practices of other vendors, or with Earlham’s policies,” said Sena Landey, vice president for finance at the Quaker-founded liberal arts institution.

Landey said it looks like a slip-up on the part of federal regulators.

“I just don’t understand why you would benefit faculty and not those on the lower end of the pay scale,” Landey said. “I don’t see the logic in it.”

The Treasury Department, which enforces the health law’s employer coverage requirement, declined requests for an interview. Spokeswoman Erin Donar said in a statement:

“Nothing in the Affordable Care Act requires an employer to eliminate health coverage for any employees or penalizes an employer for offering health coverage to all employees. An employer that eliminates health coverage is doing so by choice, not by requirement.”

The mandate that larger employers provide health coverage is one of the most complicated parts of the health care law. Lawmakers intended it mainly as a safeguard against companies shifting their traditional responsibility for health insurance to taxpayers.

But employers across a range of industries have cited the mandate as justification for everything from limiting workers’ hours to scaling back coverage for spouses. Supporters of the law saw the requirement will have a negligible impact, since more than 90 percent of larger employers already provide coverage.

Originally scheduled to take effect this year, the mandate has been delayed twice. Companies with 100 or more workers must comply starting next year, while businesses with 50 to 99 employees have until 2016. Smaller companies are exempt.

The law also requires individuals to carry insurance or risk fines, and that provision took effect this year.

On another issue, Sodexo and the White House are allies. This spring, the company earned official recognition by pledging to add more nutritious options to its vending and K-12 lunchroom programs in support of first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity.

Source

June 24, 2014

In Yellen We Trust: That’s the Bond Mantra as Inflation Is Dismissed - Bloomberg

Filed under: Canada, news — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 10:21 am

As the Federal Reserve works to extricate itself from the bond market, its influence over debt investors is only increasing and boosting the chance of a soft landing for Treasuries.

While the Fed scales back the unprecedented stimulus that has inundated the world

June 16, 2014

Blue Jays beat Orioles to split series

Filed under: business, money — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 7:41 am

BALTIMORE—J.A. Happ pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Dioner Navarro had three hits and two RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Sunday for a split of the four-game series.

Edwin Encarnacion also had three hits for the Blue Jays, who had totalled 15 runs in losing six of their previous eight games. The AL East leaders came to town with a 4 1/2-game lead.

Adam Jones homered and Nelson Cruz had three hits and his major league-leading 56th RBI for the Orioles.

Happ (6-3) gave up one run, seven hits and no walks in six-plus innings. He had lost two of his previous three starts, yielding 12 earned runs over 17 2/3 innings. Casey Janssen got four outs for his 12th save.

Source

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