Martinne's Feed
Apr 25, 2013

Continental Grain heads toward Smithfield proxy fight

April 25 (Reuters) – Continental Grain Co, a large
shareholder in Smithfield Foods Inc, moved toward a
proxy fight with the meat company on Thursday, saying it will
seek shareholder support in connection with a turnaround plan it
says could lift Smithfield’s shares to $40 in three years.

In a presentation filed on Thursday with U.S. securities
regulators, Continental repeated its view that Smithfield should
split into three companies, use the proceeds to buy back shares,
restructure its business, and institute a dividend in line with
peers. It should also immediately add three new directors,
Continental Grain said.

Apr 18, 2013

PepsiCo first-quarter profit beats; stands by 2013 outlook

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday, as price increases helped margins, but the company stood by its full-year forecast as it invests in its business.

The maker of Pepsi sodas, Tropicana juices, Frito-Lay snacks and Quaker oatmeal has been boosting its advertising and marketing and cutting costs to improve performance, especially in its North American beverage business, which was losing market share to rival Coca-Cola Co (KO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Apr 18, 2013

PepsiCo 1st-qtr profit beats; stands by 2013 outlook

April 18 (Reuters) – PepsiCo Inc posted
better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday, as price
increases helped margins, but the company stood by its full-year
forecast as it invests in its business.

The maker of Pepsi sodas, Tropicana juices, Frito-Lay snacks
and Quaker oatmeal has been boosting its advertising and
marketing and cutting costs to improve performance, especially
in its North American beverage business, which was losing market
share to rival Coca-Cola Co.

Apr 16, 2013

Coca-Cola to return some distribution to U.S. franchisers

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Less than three years after spending billions of dollars to acquire most of its U.S. distribution operations, Coca-Cola Co (KO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is starting to sell it off again.

Getting out of the capital-intensive, low-return business of delivering bottles and cans of soda to stores, restaurants and vending machines will improve margins. That, and a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, sent shares of the world’s largest soft-drink maker up nearly 6 percent.

Apr 16, 2013

Coca-Cola profit surprises, announces U.S. bottler deal

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Coca-Cola Co (KO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a slightly higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday and announced a deal to unload some distribution territory to five independent U.S. bottlers, sending its shares up more than 5 percent in morning trading.

The move by the maker of Sprite, Fanta and Minute Maid is “a major step in the transformation of its U.S. production and distribution,” said Stifel Nicolaus analyst Mark Swartzberg.

Apr 15, 2013

J.C. Penney borrows $850 million to boost inventory

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has borrowed $850 million from its $1.85 billion revolving credit facility to help buy inventory as the department store operator revamps its business strategy after a failed turnaround.

The company said on Monday it will use the proceeds to fund its working capital needs and capital expenditures, including buying inventory as it overhauls its home goods department, an effort it expects to complete next month.

Apr 12, 2013

Germany’s JAB to buy Douwe Egberts firm in 7.5 billion euro deal

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – German investor Joh A Benckiser (JAB) is to buy the owner of Douwe Egberts coffee in a 7.5-billion-euro (6.3 billion pounds) deal to create a global hot drinks empire aimed at taking on market leaders Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) and Mondelez International (MDLZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research).

D.E Master Blenders 1753 (DEMB.AS: Quote, Profile, Research), the Dutch owner of Douwe Egberts coffee and Pickwick tea, said on Friday it had reached conditional agreement on a 12.50 euros per share cash takeover offer from a group of investors led by JAB.

Apr 12, 2013

Germany’s JAB to buy Douwe Egberts firm in $9.8 billion deal

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – German investor Joh A Benckiser (JAB) is to buy the owner of Douwe Egberts coffee in a 7.5-billion-euro ($9.8 billion) deal to create a global hot drinks empire aimed at taking on market leaders Nestle and Mondelez International.

D.E Master Blenders 1753, the Dutch owner of Douwe Egberts coffee and Pickwick tea, said on Friday it had reached conditional agreement on a 12.50 euros per share cash takeover offer from a group of investors led by JAB.

Apr 12, 2013

JC Penney hires Blackstone, Ackman willing to put up capital

NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) – Troubled J.C. Penney Co Inc
has hired Blackstone Group LP’s financial
advisory arm to explore how best to position the firm
financially, three sources said on Thursday, while key investor
William Ackman said shareholders were willing to put up more
capital.

The prospect of financial backing is likely to help soothe
investors rattled by the department store chain’s controversial
decision this week to let go Apple alum Ron Johnson as
CEO after a failed turnaround and bring back his predecessor –
whose leadership was also much criticized.

Apr 11, 2013

Ackman concedes J.C. Penney management mistakes, eyes future

NEW YORK (Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc board member William Ackman on Thursday acknowledged the shortcomings of the CEO he handpicked to turn around the retailer and said he was optimistic about the company and its future.

Speaking at a luncheon in New York, Ackman said Penney’s former chief executive Ron Johnson was not at the company’s Texas headquarters enough, since his family lives in California. Even though Johnson worked hard, Ackman said the lack of his physical presence “affected the morale of the home team.”