Martinne's Feed
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.

Dec 16, 2012

Connecticut town seeks solace in church; Obama due

, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Worshippers filled Sunday
services to mourn the victims of a gunman’s elementary school
rampage that killed 20 children and six adults with President
Barack Obama due to appear later at an interfaith vigil to help
this shattered Connecticut town recover.

Twenty-year-old gunman Adam Lanza shot his way into the
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday morning,
firing away at students at staff with the civilian version of a
powerful military rifle. Victims were hit multiple times and at
least one was shot 11 times, authorities said.

Dec 12, 2012

Wal-Mart CEO says “fiscal cliff” affects U.S. shoppers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A large portion of American consumers now know about the “fiscal cliff” and a sizeable number of them expect the debate over it to curb their holiday spending, according to the chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

In the week before last month’s U.S. presidential election, only 25 percent of its core U.S. shoppers knew what the term “fiscal cliff” meant, CEO Mike Duke told a gathering on Tuesday in New York.

Dec 7, 2012

Canada’s Jamieson Laboratories in takeover talks-source

NEW YORK, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Canadian vitamin maker Jamieson
Laboratories is in advanced talks to sell itself in a takeover
that is expected to be announced in the near future, a source
directly familiar with the matter said on Friday, continuing a
spate of deals in the nutrition industry.

It was not immediately clear how much the deal would be
worth or who the acquirer would be, but privately-held Jamieson
has annual revenue of about $250 million and earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around
$30 million, said the source, who declined to be identified as
the talks are confidential.

Dec 5, 2012

Dukkah, cajeta, katsu: coming soon to foods near you?

NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Dukkah on your snack crackers?
Cajeta in your stir-fry? These international ingredients are
among the flavor trends that McCormick & Co Inc thinks
will be hot a few years from now.

According to its 2013 “Flavor Forecast,” the U.S. spice
company identified certain trends and flavor combinations it
thinks can have wide use for its customers, which range from
packaged food and beverage makers, to fast food and restaurant
chains and retailers.