News Archive
National | Thu, Feb 14, 2013

NEW YORK - Billionaire Warren Buffett, the most closely watched investor in America, is putting his money in ketchup, agreeing to buy H.J. Heinz Co. for $23.3 billion in the richest deal ever in the food industry.

Cisco Systems Inc. forecast sales this quarter that missed analysts’ most optimistic projections, citing growth challenges in China and Europe and the prospect of lackluster government demand for networking equipment.

As I cruised down a New Jersey interstate in a late model Infiniti, a 1971 Buick Riviera “Boattail” floated alongside.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor took almost $2.1 million from a charity established by her late husband, the founder of Jack in the Box Inc., to finance a gambling addiction that cost her more than $1 billion, U.S. prosecutors said.

The head of the U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) downplayed a coming budget estimate that is expected to show the agency will need taxpayer aid for the first time since it was founded in the 1930s.

While American Airlines and US Airways announced plans to merge Thursday, it will be several months -- if not years -- before passengers see any significant impact.

Anheuser-Busch InBev changed the terms of its proposed $20.1 billion acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo Thursday in an attempt to push through a deal that federal regulators say will kill competition.

Claims for jobless benefits plunged last week, showing U.S. employers have little need to trim staff as demand improves.

General Motors has strung together a tidy three-year run of profits by making big dollars in its backyard.

CBS Corp.'s revenue and earnings grew in the final quarter of the year, but the results fell short of analysts' forecasts, sending shares down in after-market trading.

Renewed worries about Europe overshadowed an encouraging U.S. jobs report on Thursday, leaving major stock indexes roughly where they started.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, in a governance dispute with Walt Disney Co., will oppose the election of six directors, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger.

It was only a matter of time. With many of its debt-ridden euro partners in recession, Germany could only swim against the tide for so long.

U.S. Realtors and mortgage bankers say they hope President Barack Obama’s call for streamlined mortgage rules in his State of the Union speech will help them convince regulators not to set a strict minimum down payment for home loans.

The outlook for the U.S. job market is brightening after a government report showed a sharp drop in the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate oil rose for the third time this week as United Nations nuclear inspectors failed to reach a deal with Iran and fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits.

The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was unchanged for a second week, remaining near historic lows.

Merck & Co. has agreed to pay $688 million to settle two long-running lawsuits brought by investors who alleged the drugmaker delayed releasing bad news on its blockbuster cholesterol drugs to prevent a drop in sales.

So what exactly will U.S. President Barack Obama discuss with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the president visits the Middle East sometime in the next few months?

Coach's longtime CEO Lew Frankfort, who transformed what had been a small leather goods business into a global luxury brand, will step aside next year.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Brent crude futures traded near a three-day high after United Nations nuclear officials failed to reach a deal on inspections with Iran.

Paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorius was charged Thursday with the murder of his girlfriend who was shot inside his home in South Africa, a stunning development in the life of a national hero known as the Blade Runner for his high-tech artificial legs.

A judge in Texas has sentenced one of the last two defendants convicted for helping disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford bilk investors out of more than $7 billion in one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

Shares of CenturyLink Inc. fell more than 22 percent Thursday after the phone company shaved its dividend by 25 percent, saying it will use the cash instead to buy back $2 billion of its shares.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s central bank has a message for lenders: act now to stem surging credit growth or face further restrictions.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Options traders who piled into bullish HJ Heinz Co. bets before Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and 3G Capital agreed to buy the ketchup maker made almost $1.9 million on the wagers.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Dubai, the Persian Gulf sheikhdom with the tallest building and biggest shopping mall, plans to build a Ferris wheel that would beat New York’s attempt to set the world hight record with a Staten Island attraction.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- After losing court cases challenging state gun-control laws, the National Rifle Association in the mid-1990s set out to replace those making such rulings.

India's Tata Motors reported on Thursday a sharp drop of more than 50 percent in its quarterly net profit from the same period a year earlier.

Molson Coors Brewing Co. said Thursday its fourth-quarter net income dropped 65 percent, hurt by a higher tax rate and tough comparisons to an exceptionally strong year-ago period.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- PepsiCo Inc. said fourth-quarter profit rose 17 percent, helped by higher prices, and authorized a new plan to repurchase as much as $10 billion in stock as the world’s largest snack-food maker returns cash to investors.

Shares of Skechers USA Inc. rose almost 10 percent Thursday after the footwear company's fiscal fourth-quarter results beat analysts' estimates.

In the jigsaw puzzle of airline routes, American Airlines and US Airways are two pieces that fit together almost perfectly.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- All but five of Congress’s 255 Democrats and independents received campaign donations from postal worker union groups in the past six years, raising the political risk of Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s move to end Saturday mail delivery.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- R. Allen Stanford’s former chief accounting officer, Gilbert Lopez, 70, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping to conceal Stanford’s $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

Apache Corp. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income fell 45 percent, hurt by charges related to a drop in the value of its Canadian natural gas and oil properties and tax adjustments.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc. said they will follow through on orders for new Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS planes, rejuvenating fleets under a merger that creates the world’s largest air carrier.

Toyota says it will pay $29 million to 29 states and American Samoa as part of a settlement related to its safety recalls.

A German newspaper reports that Johnson & Johnson is recalling thousands of hip implants 2 1/2 years after a similar recall.

What happens to fish that swim in waters tainted by traces of drugs that people take? When it's an anti-anxiety drug, they become hyper, anti-social and aggressive, a study found. They even get the munchies.

US Airways CEO Doug Parker has landed the big merger he sought for years. Now the soon-to-be CEO of the new American Airlines has to make it work.

Stocks are ending little changed on Wall Street as a slowdown in Europe's economy overshadowed an encouraging report on the U.S. jobs market.

Billionaire Warren Buffett remains happiest while hunting for deals like Thursday's $23.3 billion acquisition of the maker of Heinz ketchup his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is helping finance.

A Tiffany & Co. subsidiary is suing Costco, claiming the wholesale club operator has been selling engagement rings wrongly labeled “Tiffany” rings.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. were asked by a federal judge to agree to freeze their smartphone patent dispute scheduled for trial next year while they separately appeal an August verdict in an earlier case.

Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co. said Thursday that it expects to take $200 million to $275 million in one-time charges related to the devaluation of Venezuela's currency this year, the biggest charge a company has disclosed related to the devaluation.

A merged American Airlines and US Airways will carry more passengers around the world than any other, but even the biggest airline flying doesn't need eight hub airports on the ground.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Time Warner Inc. is considering a deal that would send most of its magazines to Meredith Corp., according to a person familiar with the talks, putting titles such as People and Entertainment Weekly in the hands of the Iowa-based publisher of Better Homes and Gardens.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- T. Rowe Price Group Inc. is losing the manager and two analysts for its best-performing equity mutual fund over the past five years.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Tata Motors Ltd., India’s biggest automaker, posted profit that missed analyst estimates as costs climbed and increased demand for its lower-priced Evoque model cut earnings at the Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. unit.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Tiffany & Co. sued Costco Wholesale Corp. in New York claiming the retailer sells counterfeit Tiffany diamond engagement rings at discount big-box prices not befitting the mystique of its iconic blue-box.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite- TV provider, fell the most in more than four months after the company said it’s taking a $160 million charge this quarter to account for Venezuela’s decision to devalue its currency.

once a day is enough.

Networking technology company Brocade Communications Systems Inc. said Thursday it took a loss in its fiscal first quarter because of a $78 million charge related to a change in California's tax laws.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- As Warren Buffett puts as much as $13 billion into the purchase of HJ Heinz Co., the world’s fourth-richest man is relying on three other billionaires to make the deal work.

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama bypassed Congress and issued an executive order to boost U.S. cybersecurity while telling lawmakers they still must act to further strengthen the nation’s computer defenses.

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s government has agreements to buy 47 commercial properties in the heart of quake-damaged Christchurch as the city center enters the rebuild phase, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co., announcing its third-straight profitable year after bankruptcy, said fourth- quarter earnings rose 65 percent to $1.19 billion while Europe weighed down the results.

PepsiCo's net income rose 17 percent in the fourth quarter on higher prices and strength in Latin America.

The changes to the 2013 Civic came quickly after the 2012 Civic _ a new, ninth-generation version -- debuted to criticism from reviewers and consumers about cheap-looking materials and plain styling.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- A gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk climbed as the recession in the euro-area deepened with the worst performance in almost four years.

Cardinal Health is spending about $2 billion to acquire the medical supplier AssuraMed to extend its reach to patients receiving care at home.

Tamagotchi is re-hatching as an app.

British food safety officials say six horse carcasses that tested positive for the equine drug bute may have entered the human food chain in France.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Fewer Americans than projected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, indicating an improving outlook for the labor market.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries pared gains after a goverment report showed fewer Americans than projected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week.

Meredith Corp., the publisher of magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens and Fitness, is in early talks with Time Warner Inc. about buying several magazines from it, including People, InStyle and Real Simple, according to published reports.

President Barack Obama's Democratic allies in the Senate are unveiling legislation to avoid a looming set of sharp, across-the-board spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic agencies in just two weeks.

DirecTV, the country's largest provider of satellite TV services, beat Wall Street estimates for the fourth quarter, propelled by business operations as well as asset sales and one-time tax benefits.

Whole Foods' stock slid nearly 9 percent Thursday following the natural grocery store chain's disappointing fiscal 2013 forecast.

Phoenix officials say they hope the planned merger of US Airways and American Airlines will eventually mean more international flight connections for the city's Sky Harbor International Airport.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Consumer confidence in the U.S. climbed last week to the highest level in a month as improving labor and real-estate markets eased the burden of a higher payroll tax.

World stock markets were mixed Thursday, as disappointing news about German economic growth cut short an Asian rally, while U.S. markets recovered somewhat on improved unemployment claims figures.

Pope Benedict XVI hit his head during his March 2012 trip to Mexico, The Vatican said Thursday, but denied the accident had any “relevant” role in his resignation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday warned foreign-funded organizations against “meddling” in the country's affairs.

The College of the Holy Cross has received the single largest gift in school history, $25 million the alumnus donor wants to be used to build a performing arts facility.

Russia may suspend its lease for some facilities at the Baikonur space complex in Kazakhstan, opening the way for its joint administration by the two countries, a senior Russian space official says.

Politicians called for peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban on Thursday, as the group killed 18 people in a pair of bombings in the country's northwest on a police post and a vehicle carrying anti-Taliban militiamen.

A pretrial hearing in the Sept. 11 war crimes case started Thursday with an angry outburst from one of the defendants complaining about searches of his cell by guards at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Adding weight to its announcement of a nuclear upgrade, Tehran has shown high-level U.N. officials high-tech equipment positioned at its main uranium enrichment site meant to vastly accelerate output of material that can be used for both reactor fuel and atomic arms, a senior diplomat said Thursday.

only to then face an hours-long bus ride or other travel hassles to finally get back home.

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Senators agreed on a path toward confirmation of Chuck Hagel as U.S. secretary of defense, after Republicans said they will drop opposition to acting on the nomination once lawmakers return from a weeklong break.

Thu, Feb 14, 2013