Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2001

Business briefcase for Thursday

October 11, 2001

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The J.M. Smucker Co., which makes a wide variety of jams, jellies and other foods, is acquiring the Jif peanut butter and Crisco cooking oil brands from Procter & Gamble Co. for $1 billion in stock.

Investors found it a tasty combination, pushing both stocks higher.

The deal also will include the Jif and Crisco manufacturing plants in Lexington, Ky., and Cincinnati. Smucker management said it plans to retain all employees at those plants.

Smucker, based in Orrville, Ohio, said the deal will eventually almost triple its annual earnings and double annual sales to $1.3 billion.

INTERNET

Yahoo reports earnings loss

Third-quarter earnings at Yahoo met Wall Street expectations Wednesday, pleasing investors who sent the stock higher in after-hours trading.

The stock move came even as the Internet bellwether warned it would fall short of analysts' fourth-quarter revenue estimates and said it was considering further job cuts.

The earnings report was being studied closely because it was one of the first from a major Internet company since last month's attacks.

In the three-month period ending Sept. 30, Yahoo had its fourth straight quarterly net loss $24.1 million, or 4 cents a share, on revenue of $166.1 million.

MANUFACTURING

Weak markets push

Goodyear to cut jobs

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said Wednesday it plans to lay off 1,400 employees, or 5 percent of its manufacturing work force, at five U.S. plants this month because of weak tire markets.

The layoffs are in addition to the 8,000 layoffs the Akron, Ohio-based company announced earlier this year, said Goodyear spokesman Chuck Sinclair. Most of those layoffs came from Europe, Asia and Latin America.

COFFEE

Starbucks goes public in Japan

Having won over tea-drinking Japanese to frappuccino, Starbucks' Japanese joint venture prepared for further expansion here by going public Wednesday.

Starbucks Coffee Japan shares opened at $664 and finished at $581 on the Nasdaq Japan market for startups on the Osaka Securities Exchange. It had offered 280,000 shares which were priced at $531 each.

Seattle-based Starbucks plans to use $46 million from its proceeds from the initial public offering for opening and renovating stores and $33 million to repay debts.

UTILITIES

Falling wholesale costs cut

natural gas bills in Lawrence

Lawrence residents will save about $8 this month on their natural gas bills, a spokesperson for Kansas Public Service said Wednesday.

The company, which provides natural gas service for 30,000 customers in Lawrence, is paying wholesale prices of $2 per 1,000 cubic feet, said Larissa Long, a company spokesperson. That's down from $5 per 1,000 cubic feet a year ago.

The savings mean that the average residential customer in town will pay $20.35 for natural gas in October, down $8.11, or 28 percent, less than a year earlier, Long said.

Gas commodity costs account for about 60 percent of a customer's bill, she said.

DISASTER RELIEF

Chili's to donate profits

MORE: www.dineforamerica.com

A Lawrence restaurant will join in a nationwide "Dine for America" effort to raise money for disaster relief.

Chili's Grill & Bar, 2319 Iowa, will donate 100 percent of profits generated from orders Thursday to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The money is intended to help disaster and recovery efforts from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Pizzeria Uno Chicago Bar & Grill, 3333 Iowa, also plans to donate a portion of its profits from a future date.

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