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Finance News - part 8

Google, Citi Finance Breakthrough Wind Project

Google, Citi Finance Breakthrough Wind Project

FINANCE

  • Citi and Google invest $314 for two phases of project
  • AWEC will nearly double the power of current largest US wind farm
  • Alta to power 450,000 homes after completion

Google and Citi are investing money toward what is being called the largest wind project in America: The Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) in California will have the capacity of 1,550 megawatts, nearly double the capacity of the current largest US wind farm.

The financing agreement is structured so that investors purchase phases of the project and lease them back to Terra-Gen Power, also known as a leveraged lease. Citi and Google currently hold leases for two phases of the wind project, though Citi has also financed several phases of the project totalling roughly 570 megawatts.

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Walmart Revamps Share Plan, Pricing in US

Walmart Revamps Share Plan, Pricing in US

FINANCE

  • Walmart establishes $15 billion share repurchase plan
  • Focus on keeping prices low with deals and cost-cutting to attract consumers, encourage spending beyond essentials
  • Walmart ranks 6 in list of top 500 retail chains for year-over-year growth

In an effort to overcome two years of decreased sales, Walmart is trying multiple means to garner customer sales: The store is offering a $15 billion share repurchase in an attempt to correct the business in the United States. The buyback plan will be equivalent to about 8% of Walmart's $189 billion market capitalization.

Buyback plans are usually put in place when a company's stock is believed to be undervalued, and Wal-Mart stock has recently been underperforming; however,  it was up 6.3% in early June according to Reuters.

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VisionChina in Control of China Subway Advertising

VisionChina in Control of China Subway Advertising

FINANCE

  • VisionChina Media announces contract extensions in Guangzhou and Shenyang; new contract in Shenzen
  • VisionChina will have over 15,000 advertising screens in Guangdong Province subway stations

VisionChina Media announced on Thursday the renewal of exclusive contracts to advertise on Guangzhou's subway system and the Shenyang bus network.

One of China’s main outdoor digital advertising networks, VisionChina, will continue on for another five years in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, where it will broadcast its mobile television advertising network on the city’s five subway lines. It will also take over three new lines that are being added to cater to increasing commuter numbers.

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Nestle Unlikely to Buy General Mills

Nestle Unlikely to Buy General Mills

FINANCE

  • Speculation surrounding Nestle's intentions regarding General Mills end
  • Only about 14% of General Mills business is of interest to Nestle
  • If Nestle had bought General Mills, sales could have reached $40 billion

Nestle is unlikely to buy General Mills because it is not fully interested in General Mill's markets and revenue growth is too low.

Only a small portion, about 14% of the General Mills business, such as Haagen Dazs ice cream and frozen pizza, could be of interest to Nestle. The sales pace for Nestle is not in line with General Mills, whose slow growth does not suit the Nestle strategy.

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Sears Reports Surprising Loss in First Quarter 2011

Sears Reports Surprising Loss in First Quarter 2011

FINANCE

  • Sears reported an unexpected loss in sales, falling 3.4%
  • Poor customer service is blamed on the decreased sales
  • Kmart sales fell by 1.6%

Sears reported a larger than expected quarterly loss, which is blamed on the company's focus on cutting costs and increasing profit - rather than a focus on providing a better combination of merchandise and an improved shopping experience for its customers.

Sales in the first quarter fell 3.4% to $9.71 billion.

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Pfizer On Track To Meet 2011 Financial Goals

Pfizer On Track To Meet 2011 Financial Goals

FINANCE

  • Pfizer has no plans to release a standout drug in 2011, but expects to reach financial goals
  • Pfizer to give more accountability to research scientists, use collaborations to minimize risk and gain access to new technology
  • Pfizer to lose exclusive patent on Lipitor, but shares are expected to increase due to new rheumatoid arthritis drug Tofacitinib

Despite the fact that Pfizer does not have any imminent plans to release a blockbuster drug in 2011, according to Pfizer CEO Ian Read, the company will still likely reach its financial goals this year.

Pfizer is perhaps best known for developing the popular cholesterol drug Lipitor. The US-based pharmaceutical company plans to reach revenue of $65-$67 billion dollars with per-share earnings of about $1.09-$1.24. As the less-than-stellar economy continues to affect the pharmaceutical industry, Pfizer will also continue to promote its products in Spain.

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Sara Lee Eyes Marata for Bigger Stake in Brazilian Coffee

Sara Lee Eyes Marata for Bigger Stake in Brazilian Coffee

FINANCE

  • Sara Lee is reported to be in talks with Brazilian coffee maker Marata
  • Sara Lee already owns 22% of the Brazilian coffee market
  • Brazil is the second-largest coffee market in the world behind the US

US food company Sara Lee is in negotiations to buy Brazilian coffee, tea and juice maker Marata, a Brazilian newspaper said on Wednesday.

According to financial paper Valor Economico, sources close to the two companies confirmed the discussions for the buyout of Marata, also reporting that Sara Lee was open to the idea of a merger.

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ArcelorMittal Experiences a Surprise Profit Gain in the Steel Production Industry

ArcelorMittal Experiences a Surprise Profit Gain in the Steel Production Industry

FINANCE

  • First quarter profit for ArcelorMittal is at $2.58 billion
  • Demand from auto industry despite higher prices for ore may account for rise in profit
  • Raw material prices are anticipated to increase due to growing demand

Steel giant ArcelorMittal experienced a first quarter profit, prompting the company to shore up its iron-ore and coal mines. Earnings were reported as $2.58 billion.

The company's earnings surpassed analyst estimates that the company would reach an average of $2.39 billion, Bloomberg reports. The rise in earnings has been attributed to demand from the automotive industry.

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BP-Rosneft Oil Agreement Fails

BP-Rosneft Oil Agreement Fails

FINANCE

  • BP unable to reach agreement with AAR and Rosneft to gain access to oil reserves in Russia
  • Deal involves Rosneft taking 5% of shares from BP, with BP getting 9.5% of shares from Rosneft
  • AAR half owner of joint venture TNK-BP in Russia; says agreement breaks exclusivity contract

Oil Giant BP is trying to come to an agreement with its Russian partner Alfa Access Renova (AAR) and Rosneft over a deal to exchange shares. Although the deadline expired on May 16, 2011, BP is still trying to set the deal in motion, which would allow the British oil leader to tap into lucrative oil reserves in Russia.

AAR, however, has an existing contract stating its exclusivity with BP, and took its complaints to court in February of this year – and won. AAR recognizes the benefits of the current deal and wishes to continue talks as long as the existing agreement is not broken.

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Investment May Boost Ore Industry in Newfoundland and Labrador

Investment May Boost Ore Industry in Newfoundland and Labrador

FINANCE

  • More than $1 million invested in ore
  • Investment in microscope will enhance ore analysis
  • Mineral industry has predicted $4.7 billion shipment value for 2011

The Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland Labrador and the Iron Ore Company of Canada have invested more than $1 million in ore.

The investment has allowed Memorial University of Newfoundland to acquire a Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope, which will enable researchers to identify minerals, and enhance them after the minerals have been mined.

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