Martinne's Feed
Jun 17, 2013

Big investor urges Smithfield breakup over buyout

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Starboard Value LP revealed a major stake in Smithfield Foods Inc on Monday and urged the world’s largest pork producer to explore a breakup rather than go ahead with a planned $4.7 billion takeover by Chinese meat company Shuanghui International.

The activist investor, now Smithfield’s (SFD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) biggest shareholder with a 5.7 percent stake, said Smithfield might be worth “well in excess” of the $34 per share offered by Shuanghui (1241.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) if it split into hog production, pork and international units and shopped the businesses separately.

May 21, 2013

Herbalife hires PwC as new auditor, shares up

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Herbalife Ltd (HLF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday it has engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP PWC.UL as its auditor, replacing KPMG in the wake of alleged insider trading.

Shares of the nutritional products company rose 4 percent in afternoon trading, as the engagement of an auditor is often seen as lending credibility to a company’s financial statements.

May 20, 2013

Campbell Soup beats Street estimate, raises outlook

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Campbell Soup Co (CPB.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and raised its full-year forecast on Monday on improved sales, sending its shares up 2.5 percent in premarket trading.

The world’s largest soup maker said net income rose to $181 million, or 57 cents per share, in the fiscal third quarter ended April 28, from $177 million, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier.

May 9, 2013

Texas-born Tito’s Vodka takes off aboard United flights

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – A small-batch vodka made in Austin, Texas, has found its way onto one of the world’s biggest airlines.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka, created by geologist and geophysicist Bert “Tito” Beveridge, is now the exclusive vodka supplier to United Airlines, the companies are set to announce on Friday.

May 9, 2013

Green Mountain ups outlook, expands Starbucks deal

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (GMCR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), maker of Keurig single-serve brewers and K-Cups, raised its full-year earnings outlook on Wednesday after a better-than-expected second quarter and said it had expanded its relationship with Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), sending its shares up almost 16 percent after hours.

The new 5-year agreement, which replaces one first signed in 2011, triples the number of Starbucks drinks to be sold in K-Cups with the addition of Seattle’s Best and Torrefazione Italia coffees, Teavana teas and Starbucks cocoa.

May 8, 2013

Green Mountain posts higher profit, expands Starbucks partnership

May 8 (Reuters) – Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc
reported quarterly earnings on Wednesday that blew past
Wall Street estimates, and raised its full-year outlook, helped
by strong sales of its K-Cup packages.

The maker of Keurig single-serve brewers and the K-Cups that
go with them also said it had expanded an agreement with
Starbucks Corp, ending speculation that Starbucks might
walk away from their partnership following the expiration of
certain Green Mountain patents and the launch of Starbucks’ own
single-serve brewer.

May 8, 2013

Oreo maker Mondelez raises earnings outlook on tax benefit

May 7 (Reuters) – Packaged foods maker Mondelez
International Inc posted slightly better-than-expected
quarterly results on Tuesday and raised its full-year earnings
forecast due to a benefit from a tax item, but said it was
keeping some of that benefit in reserve to guard against future
market volatility.

Quarterly revenue beat Wall Street estimates for the first
time since Mondelez separated last year from Kraft Foods Group
Inc and took with it snacks like Oreo cookies and
Cadbury chocolate and the international business of Maxwell
House coffee.

May 7, 2013

Mondelez raises earnings outlook on tax benefit

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted quarterly earnings on Tuesday that were slightly better than expected and raised its full-year earnings forecast due to a benefit from a tax item.

The newly independent maker of Cadbury chocolates and Oreo cookies said net income was $568 million, or 32 cents per share, in the first quarter. That was down from $813 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier, before the company separated from Kraft Foods Group Inc (KRFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

May 3, 2013

Constellation Brands sees no change in beer pricing plan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Constellation Brands Inc (STZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has not yet decided whether to raise prices on beers like Corona Extra and Modelo Especial later this year, but its chief financial officer said the pricing strategy should be no different than before despite the change in ownership.

“We’ll see what happens with market share and commodity costs and all that kind of stuff. But we don’t really see a big change in the beer-pricing strategy from history,” CFO Robert Ryder told Reuters on Friday.

May 2, 2013

Maker’s Mark mistake fuels big Beam profit

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – A public relations disaster pumped up Beam Inc’s (BEAM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) first-quarter profit.

Sales of Maker’s Mark soared 44 percent after the company announced it would lower the alcohol content in its bourbon because of a limited supply of whiskey.