Top Headlines - part 50

Wal-Mart Launches Buy Online, Pay Cash in Store For US Shoppers

Wal-Mart Launches Buy Online, Pay Cash in Store For US Shoppers

BUSINESS

  • Only 15% of purchases made by Wal-Mart target audience paid for by credit card
  • Wal-Mart first major retailer to offer “pay-in-cash” option for online purchases
  • 25% of US households have little or no access to credit cards, bank accounts

US retail giant Wal-Mart Stores has introduced a new payment option to cater to more of its customers: shoppers on Walmart.com can now “pay with cash” instead with credit cards or debit cards.

The new payment option was tested in a handful of US stores before being launched nationwide. Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Walmart.com, says: "We are going to touch a segment of the American public who hasn't been able to participate online without going through a lot of hoops."

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US Food Chain PF Chang Bought For $1.1 Billion

US Food Chain PF Chang Bought For $1.1 Billion

FINANCE

  • PF Chang saw price increases drive away customers
  • PF Chang marks largest food chain acquisition since Burger King was purchased in 2010 for $3.3 billion
  • Buyout latest in series of restaurant chains purchased by investors

PF Chang’s China Bistro Inc, the largest US full-service Asian restaurant operator, has agreed to a takeover by private equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP for $1.1 billion.

PF Chang’s accepted the deal after four quarters of slumping sales, where the chain had difficulty competing against competitors that offer both quality food items and low prices.

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Mobile Phone Shipments: Samsung Takes Top Spot From Nokia

Mobile Phone Shipments: Samsung Takes Top Spot From Nokia

BUSINESS

  • Samsung registers highest profit since 2008 with sales 36% higher over Q1 last year
  • Together Samsung and Nokia hold 48% of smartphone market
  • Global smartphone shipments forecast to grow 33%

After 14 years in the top spot, Finland’s Nokia has been replaced by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. as the world’s largest mobile phone maker, according to recent research from by private industry firms.

Nokia previously took the top position from Motorola Mobility Inc.

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Global Automotive Leaders Chrysler, Volvo and Fiat Start 2012 with A Bang

Global Automotive Leaders Chrysler, Volvo and Fiat Start 2012 with A Bang

BUSINESS

  • Chrysler Q1 net profit of over $470 million best result in 13 years
  • Fiat announces 10-fold jump in Q1 profit to over $498 million
  • Volkswagen reports $4.2 billion profit, nearly double its 2011 first quarter profit; plans to launch production in China
  • Honda Q1 profit up by over 60% from 2011 to $883 million

As the global automotive market rebounds, manufacturing leaders Chrysler, Fiat and Volkswagen recently announced significant increases in first quarter profits: Chrysler’s net profit of over $470 million is its best result in 13 years; Fiat, having increased its stake in Chrysler to over 58% in early 2012, reported a 10-fold jump in profit to over $498 million; and Volkswagen’s $4.2 billion profit is almost double its 2011 first quarter profit.

With an over 11% increase in customer deliveries to 2.2 million vehicles, Volkswagen outclassed other automotive companies globally, particularly in Russia. Meanwhile, Chrysler has recovered nicely from 2009, when it needed a government bailout to survive, with a 39% increase in first quarter sales this year.

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Amgen Buys Turkish Pharma Company For $700 Million To Target Emerging Markets

Amgen Buys Turkish Pharma Company For $700 Million To Target Emerging Markets

BUSINESS

  • Amgen currently markets two products in Turkey
  • Deal to offer both companies strategic edge in acquiring new markets
  • Turkish market for pharmaceuticals expanding as its economy grows; Turkey third-fastest growing country among Group of 20

The world’s largest biotechnology company Amgen has purchased close to 96% of Turkish Mustafa Nevzat Pharmaceuticals for nearly $700 million as part of its goal to expand into emerging markets.

The deal, which has been approved by both Amgen and MN Pharmaceutical senior management boards, creates a company capable of expanding regionally and attracting new markets. In a statement released to the press, Amgen said the purchase will boost its image in Turkey and is part of a broad international expansion strategy.

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Shell Inks $1.8 Billion Deal for Cove Energy

Shell Inks $1.8 Billion Deal for Cove Energy

BUSINESS

  • Shell acquisition of Cove represents significant opportunity to enter hydrocarbon market in Mozambique and Kenya
  • Vast gas reserves in East Africa could make it a key natural gas industry player
  • Shell to increase East Africa exploration budget by 35% to $5 billion

Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to a $1.8 billion deal for the buyout of gas exploration company Cove Energy as it pushes to gain access to huge gas reserves in East Africa.

Shell’s Exploration and Production subsidiary upped an earlier bid by 10% for the Mozambique-focused natural gas explorer, which recommended that the Anglo-Dutch oil giant match an offer from Thai state-run PTT Exploration and Production.

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Nestle’s Winning $11.9 Billion Bid Buys Pfizer’s Infant Nutrition Unit

Nestle’s Winning $11.9 Billion Bid Buys Pfizer’s Infant Nutrition Unit

BUSINESS

  • Nestle bid beats out Groupe Danone and Mead Johnson Nutrition for Pfizer Infant Nutrition Unit
  • Pfizer’s infant nutrition unit generates 85% of revenue from developing countries
  • Baby food market expected to grow 10% annually through 2016

The world’s largest food company Swiss-based Nestle SA is buying Pfizer’s infant nutrition unit for $11.9 billion, once given the green light from antitrust regulators.

Nestle beat out an $11 billion offer by Groupe Danone, and Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. also bid unsuccessfully. The deal is approximately 19.8 times greater than the unit’s 2012 estimated pretax profit.

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China Mobile Brings 4G To Hong Kong

China Mobile Brings 4G To Hong Kong

BUSINESS

  • China Mobile becomes second 4G operator in Hong Kong alongside Australian company Telstra
  • China Mobile hopes 4G technology will help secure contract to sell Apple iPhone
  • China Mobile posted Q1 2012 net profit up 3.5% over 211

China Mobile has begun its foray into the 4G market with the launch of next-generation high-speed data services in Hong Kong.

China Mobile, which is the world’s largest mobile phone carrier by subscriber base, has also begun testing wireless data technology in mainland China, with hopes pinned on having its service up and running within two years.

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Coca-Cola Keeps Hold On Global Leadership

Coca-Cola Keeps Hold On Global Leadership

BUSINESS

  • Coca-Cola volume up 9% in Russia, India, Middle East, Africa
  • North America remains growth market for Coca-Cola
  • Coca-Cola producing smaller-sized beverage to offset rising costs

Coca-Cola Co is maintaining its leadership in the global soft drink market by growing its global reach to target emerging markets and adding smaller drink sizes to its product offering.

The company reported better-than-expected results for first quarter 2012, recording 8% net profit growth. Volume was also up 9% in Russia, India, the Middle East and Africa. North America was slightly behind, with volume growing 2%. 

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UK Retailer Tesco Spending $1.6 Billon To Revamp Image

UK Retailer Tesco Spending $1.6 Billon To Revamp Image

BUSINESS

  • Tesco holds 30% market share in UK but profit slipping compared to competitors
  • $1.6 billion investment to be used to remodel 430 supermarkets, re-label Value product line, introduce 2,000 new products, and increase products available online
  • Tesco plans to add 20,000 new jobs by 2013

Tesco, Britain’s largest retailer, will spend $1.6 billion revamping stores to win back market share.

Tesco currently holds 30% of the UK retail market but recently has found profit slipping compared to competitors J Sainsbury Plc., William Morrison Supermarkets Plc. and Asda, which is owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

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