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Nov 27, 2012

ConAgra finally wins Ralcorp in $5 bln store-brand food bet

Nov 27 (Reuters) – ConAgra Foods Inc sealed a deal
to buy Ralcorp Holdings Inc for $5 billion, more than a
year and a half after first bidding on it, turning the maker of
Chef Boyardee pasta into the top U.S. producer of store-branded
foods.

ConAgra said on Tuesday it will pay $90 per share in cash, a
premium of 28 percent to Ralcorp shares’ closing price on
Monday.

Nov 26, 2012

Retail stocks slip, holiday sales boost seen fleeting

NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Investors shrugged off images
of massive lines at stores over the four-day Thanksgiving
weekend and focused on concerns that any strength at the
traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season will be
fleeting, sending many retailers’ shares down on Monday.

The National Retail Federation said sales for the four days
from Thanksgiving to Sunday rose 12.8 percent from the same
period last year, well above the 4.1 percent gain the trade
group expects for the whole season.

Nov 26, 2012

Investors yawn at Black Friday numbers as worry remains

NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Investors shrugged off images
of massive lines at stores over the four-day Thanksgiving
weekend and focused on concerns that any strength at the
traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season will be
fleeting, sending many retailers’ shares down on Monday.

The National Retail Federation said sales for the four days
from Thanksgiving to Sunday rose 12.8 percent from the same
period last year, well above the 4.1 percent gain the trade
group expects for the whole season.

Nov 26, 2012

US retail stocks muted after strong holiday sales start

NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters) – U.S. retail stocks were off to
a weak start on Monday as questions about the strength of
consumer spending and fears about the “fiscal cliff”
overshadowed an apparently strong Black Friday kickoff to the
holiday shopping season.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Macy’s Inc,
which analysts said did well over the weekend, were down because
investors see those stocks as proxies for the overall economy,
given the wide breadth of the retailers’ customer bases, said
Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand.

Nov 23, 2012

Early start to U.S. “Black Friday” shopping frenzy

NEW YORK/BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota, Nov 23 (Reuters) – The U.S.
shopping frenzy known as “Black Friday” kicked off at a more
civilized hour, with some shoppers welcoming decisions by
retailers such as Target Corp and Toys R Us Inc
moving their openings earlier into Thursday night.

While the shift was denounced by some store employees and
traditionalists as pulling people away from families on
Thanksgiving (held on the fourth Thursday of November), many
shoppers welcomed the chance to shop before midnight or in the
early hours of the morning.

Nov 23, 2012

Early start to “Black Friday” shopping welcomed by some, not all

NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The shopping frenzy known as “Black Friday” kicked off at a more civilized hour welcomed by some shoppers this year, with retailers like Target Corp and Toys R Us moving their openings earlier into Thursday night.

While the shift was denounced by some store employees and traditionalists as pulling people away from families on Thanksgiving, many shoppers welcomed the chance to shop before midnight or in the wee hours of the morning.

Nov 23, 2012

“Black Friday” on Thursday kicks off U.S. holiday shopping

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. shoppers took advantage of retailers offering a Thursday night start to the traditional post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping season, lining up at stores to get deals on electronics and other items or to just see what the fuss was about.

This year, Target Corp joined Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Gap Inc in being open at least part of the day on Thursday and some retailers will be open throughout the day, a trend that began to take hold in 2011.

Nov 22, 2012

Twinkies maker Hostess wins court OK to close

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hostess Brands Inc won permission from a U.S. bankruptcy judge on Wednesday to begin shutting down and expressed optimism it will find new homes for many of its iconic brands, which include Twinkies, Drake’s cakes and Wonder Bread.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, authorized current management, led by restructuring specialist Gregory Rayburn, to immediately begin efforts to wind down the 82-year-old company, a process expected to take one year.

Nov 22, 2012

Twinkies bakers say they’d rather lose jobs than take pay cuts

/NEW YORK, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Enough is
enough, say bakery workers at Hostess Brands Inc.

After several years of costly concessions, the Bakery,
Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM)
authorized a walk-out earlier this month after Hostess received
bankruptcy court approval to implement a wage cut that was not
included in its contract.

Nov 21, 2012

Twinkies maker facing end, but life seen for brands

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hostess Brands Inc on Wednesday appeared headed toward a liquidation, though its lawyers and advisers expressed optimism that they will find new homes for many of its iconic brands, which include Twinkies, Drake’s cakes and Wonder Bread.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, held a hearing to consider initial approval of the 82-year-old company’s plan to wind down over the next year.