Martinne's Feed
Jan 17, 2013

Herbalife reports strong results, no bigger buyback

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Weight-loss products company Herbalife Ltd (HLF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) forecast fourth-quarter earnings above analysts’ estimates on Thursday but did not announce a bigger share buyback program as some analysts expected, and its shares were down in afternoon trading.

It also said it expects a temporary bump in expenses due to its fight with activist hedge fund manager William Ackman, who last month revealed a short position in the stock, calling the multi-level marketer a “pyramid scheme” because distributors earn more than 10 times as much from recruitment as from selling the company’s products.

Jan 17, 2013

Bimbo, Metropoulos vie for Hostess cake brands-sources

NEW YORK, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo
and a partnership between Apollo Global Management
and veteran food executive C. Dean Metropoulos are among
the leading candidates to buy Hostess Brands Inc’s snack cake
brands, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Hostess, maker of the iconic Twinkies and Ding Dongs, would
like to announce by Jan. 25 a so-called stalking horse bidder
that would set a baseline for an auction and guarantee a buyer,
said two other people familiar with the matter.

Dec 24, 2012

Axon moves ahead with plan to oust SandRidge board

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Hedge fund TPG-Axon Capital moved ahead with its effort to oust the board of U.S. oil and gas company SandRidge Energy Inc (SD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), saying it would file consent solicitation documents with U.S. regulators on Monday.

TPG-Axon, which owns 6.7 percent of SandRidge, said in its third letter to the company’s board, dated December 24, that it is giving shareholders a chance to “terminate your reign of value destruction”. It first revealed its plan last month.

Dec 20, 2012

Dealmakers look past winter, ‘fiscal cliff,’ for thaw

NEW YORK, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Perpetually optimistic
investment bankers are hoping a resolution to the U.S. “fiscal
cliff” and cheap, plentiful financing will fuel a rebound in
mergers and acquisitions in the spring of 2013 and set business
back on the road to recovery.

The high hopes come after a tough year for dealmakers, as
uncertainty about the euro zone, the U.S. presidential election
and deficit gave many CEOs cold feet. Global transaction volume
fell 3.7 percent this year to $2.357 trillion, according to
preliminary data from Thomson Reuters. The number of announced
deals fell 11 percent to 35,794, the data shows, its lowest
level since 2005.

Dec 19, 2012

Benckiser, aiming for coffee empire, buys Caribou, Peet’s

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A relatively unknown German holding company this week made its third move on a coffee company as it tries to assemble a juggernaut that can challenge chains like Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc (DNKN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Monday’s announcement by the tight-lipped private investment firm Joh. A. Benckiser that it would buy Caribou Coffee Company Inc (CBOU.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $340 million came less than two months after it bought Peet’s Coffee & Tea for $1 billion and raised its stake in D.E. Master Blenders 1753 (DEMB.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to 15 percent from about 12 percent.

Dec 19, 2012

Rocky Mountain says PST Capital offer has ‘issues’

Dec 19 (Reuters) – Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Inc
on Wednesday listed “numerous issues” with a supposed
takeover offer from PST Capital Group Ltd, indicating the bid
was likely bogus.

Rocky Mountain shares were flat in late-morning trade after
rising earlier on news of the offer, revealed on Tuesday in a
U.S. securities filing.

Dec 19, 2012

General Mills profit beats estimates, lifts outlook

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – General Mills Inc (GIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday but raised its full-year outlook only slightly as it sees higher ingredient costs, a higher tax rate and a possible currency devaluation in Venezuela.

The foods maker behind Cheerios cereal, Progresso soups and Haagen Dazs ice cream said it expects ingredient cost inflation at the high end of its 2 percent to 3 percent forecast due to the summer drought in the U.S. Midwest that pushed up prices for corn and other grains.

Dec 18, 2012

Chobani doesn’t rule out IPO, unsweet yogurt flavors

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Chobani Inc, the private firm behind the top-selling Greek-style yogurt in the United States, does not want to sell itself to a large company, but it has not ruled out an eventual public offering, or new yogurts with herb flavors.

Just before the opening of its third plant, Chief Executive Hamdi Ulukaya said he wants to stay independent, so the five-year-old company can “do what we love to do”. But an IPO is not out of the question.

Dec 17, 2012

Diamond Foods adjusted profit tops estimates

By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) – Diamond Foods (DMND.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported slightly better than expected adjusted profit for the first quarter on Monday, as reduced spending on promotions and advertising helped margins, and the snack food maker’s shares rose 1 percent in after-hours trade.

Diamond is trying to get past an accounting scandal that claimed the jobs of two top managers and caused its planned purchase of Pringles to fall apart. The scandal, involving improper accounting of payments to walnut farmers, also led to the restatement of financial results that wiped out $56.5 million in profit from fiscal 2010 and 2011.

Dec 17, 2012

In Newtown, an anguished debate over gun rights, controls

NEWTOWN, Connecticut (Reuters) – Two days after a gunman opened fire in a Connecticut elementary school, killing 26 people, several dozen parents and kids gathered in a circle at Newtown’s public library to decide how to make the most of the town’s sudden, tragic notoriety.

After several hours of anguished discussion about gun control, and of the responsibilities of parents and community members to prevent more bloodshed, Newtown United was born.