Archive for Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Business Briefcase

February 12, 2002


Heinz serves 'Funky Fries'

Kids went wild for green ketchup and slurped up purple. Just as grown-ups are getting comfortable with those unexpected hues, Heinz has more surprises on the way.

Chocolate fries with your burger?

Beginning in May, H.J. Heinz Co. will ship a new line of Ore-Ida frozen potato products called "Funky Fries" featuring five new shapes, colors and flavors, all intended to give kids even more say over their parents' grocery store lists.

The new products include french fries flavored with sour cream and chives, cinnamon-and-sugar "Cinna-Stiks," and "Crunchy Rings" basically Tater Tots with a hole in the middle. Then there's "Kool Blue," a sky blue, seasoned french fry, and brown, chocolatey "Cocoa Crispers," designed "for kids with a sweet tooth."

Heinz already dominates the frozen potato product market, getting 54 cents for every dollar in sales last year.

Investments: Nortel CFO resigns

Nortel Networks' chief financial officer resigned abruptly Monday amid questions about personal investments he made in a 401(k) retirement plan just ahead of corporate announcements that caused significant swings in the company's stock price.

Terry Hungle, who was named CFO late last year, allegedly transferred about $78,500 from a stock fund invested primarily in Nortel shares to a fixed income fund last March prior to the company's announcement that it would cut 5,000 jobs and would not meet reduced profit forecasts, Nortel said in a statement released after the close of markets Monday.

He then transferred $86,300 from the fixed income fund to the stock fund in December, when Nortel said it would lose less than expected during the fourth quarter, the company said.

On Campus: KU Career, Employment Fair set for Wednesday, Thursday

More than 100 employers will line up inside the Kansas Union this week to get close to more than 1,800 prospective employees.

Kansas University students will have the chance to participate in the the 12th annual Career and Employment Fair, set for Wednesday and Thursday on the fifth floor of the union.

Students will learn about opportunities for jobs and internships. A handful of companies including Sprint, Cerner and the U.S. General Services Administration will be locating prospects for personal interviews, to be conducted on campus Thursday and Friday.

Securities: Rates fall in T-bill auction

Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities fell in Monday's auction.

The Treasury Department sold $16 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 1.715 percent, down from 1.735 percent last week. An additional $14 billion was sold in six-month bills at a rate of 1.810 percent, down from 1.830 percent.

Both the three-month and six-month rates were the lowest since Jan. 22, when the bills sold for 1.670 percent and 1.735 percent respectively.

The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors 1.748 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,956.60, and 1.852 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,908.50.

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