Martinne's Feed
Mar 25, 2013

U.S. soda sales decline accelerated in 2012 -report

March 25 (Reuters) – The decline in U.S. sales of carbonated
soft drinks accelerated last year as more consumers reached for
alternatives, according to a leading beverage industry
newsletter.

Total sales volume fell 1.2 percent in 2012 to 9.17 billion
cases, according to Beverage Digest. That compares with declines
of 1 percent in 2011 and 0.5 percent in 2010.

Mar 22, 2013

Mondelez, PepsiCo shares up after report of Peltz stake

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Shares in top U.S. packaged food companies Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) jumped on Friday on speculation that they could merge, after a report that activist investor Nelson Peltz has taken stakes in each.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that Peltz had spent $2 billion on shares of the companies through his investment vehicle, Trian Fund Management. The paper speculated that Peltz could then push for a merger of the two companies.

Mar 22, 2013

Smithfield hires Goldman to weigh options -sources

NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) – Smithfield Foods Inc,
the largest U.S. hog producer, has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc
to help it weigh options after a key shareholder urged
the company to break up, according to four people familiar with
the matter.

Continental Grain, an agribusiness company which controls
about 6 percent of Smithfield, said in a letter earlier this
month that Smithfield should hire an independent bank to help it
analyze options including splitting into three companies,
instituting a cash dividend or bringing on new board members and
executives with new skills.

Mar 20, 2013

General Mills sees weaker quarterly earnings as costs rise

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – General Mills Inc (GIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) forecast a decline in quarterly earnings on Wednesday because of increased spending on in-store merchandising of its foods, which range from Cheerios cereal to Haagen Dazs ice cream.

The company, whose shares fell slightly in premarket trading, reported a higher-than-expected profit for the third quarter ended on February 24, but lifted its full-year outlook only slightly due to the higher costs this quarter.

Mar 14, 2013

Analysis: Many people curb spending in two-speed U.S. economy

By Martinne Geller and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – The Dow Jones industrial average is at an all-time high, the U.S. jobless rate has fallen to a four-year low and the housing market is seeing a recovery, but for many lower income and middle class Americans, the improving economy has yet to take hold.

Instead, they are anxious enough about higher gasoline prices and a payroll tax increase to slash their spending.

Mar 12, 2013

Hostess Cupcakes, Twinkies finds their savior

NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) – Dean Metropoulos may not be a
household name, but the food industry veteran’s reach extends
from the pantry to the refrigerator to the freezer.

Metropoulos, who works with his sons Daren and Evan, has
teamed up with longtime partner Apollo Global Management
to buy some snack cake brands from bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc
. Hostess said on Monday that their $410 million bid
was unrivaled, paving the way for the sale of Twinkies, Ding
Dongs and Cupcakes once a U.S. bankruptcy court approves.

Mar 12, 2013

Analysis: Many people curb spending in two-speed economy

By Martinne Geller and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – The Dow Jones industrial average is at an all-time high, the jobless rate has fallen to a four-year low and the housing market is seeing a recovery, but for many lower income and middle class Americans, the improving economy has yet to take hold.

Instead, they are anxious enough about higher gasoline prices and a payroll tax increase to slash their spending.

Mar 12, 2013

Many people curb spending in two-speed U.S. economy

March 12 (Reuters) – The Dow Jones industrial average is at
an all-time high, the U.S. jobless rate has fallen to a
four-year low and the housing market is seeing a recovery, but
for many lower income and middle class Americans, the improving
economy has yet to take hold.

Instead, they are anxious enough about higher gasoline
prices and a payroll tax increase to slash their spending.

Mar 8, 2013

Royal Caribbean cruise ship hit by virus; 108 sick

By Phil Wahba and Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd said on Friday that 108 people fell sick with a gastrointestinal illness believed to be a norovirus on its Vision of the Seas ship, which docked in Port Everglades, Florida, at the end of an 11-day trip.

The outbreak was the latest black eye for the cruise industry, trying to regain its sea legs after several high-profile mishaps.

Mar 8, 2013

Royal Caribbean cruise ship back in port with 108 sick

March 8 (Reuters) – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd said
on Friday that its Vision of the Seas ship arrived in Port
Everglades, Florida after 108 people fell sick with a
gastrointestinal illness believed to be caused by a norovirus.

Royal Caribbean shares were down 2.9 percent at $34.35 in
afternoon trading, while Carnival shares slipped 1.5 percent to
$35.69.