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Jazztel Investor Eyes Higher Bid

The Wall Street Journal - 29 min 44 sec ago
Alken Asset Management, the second-biggest shareholder of Jazztel, said it won't sell its shares to Orange unless the French company sweetens its €3.33 billion offer for the Spanish broadband provider.
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General Mills misses as competition weighs on U.S. sales

Reuters - 37 min 3 sec ago
(Reuters) - General Mills Inc reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue as the maker of Cheerios cereal and Betty Crocker cake mixes lost further ground to cheaper store-branded foods amid rising demand for alternative breakfast options.
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CMO Today: Budweiser Pushes Back at the NFL

Here’s your morning roundup of the biggest marketing, advertising and media industry news and happenings. Send tips, suggestions and complaints to [email protected] Click here to read CMO Today in your email inbox daily. ADVERTISERS PUSH NFL INTO ACTION: The conventional wisdom in the media landscape is that, if there is one organization that holds an immense amount of power, it is the National Football League. Football is king in America. Plus, at a time when TV viewers are shifting to video-on-demand and online video, networks and advertisers alike need sporting events in order to capture live viewers. Nevertheless, the NFL is facing some rare advertiser pushback in the wake of its handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal, WSJ reports. AB InBev, whose Budweiser brand is about as American as football itself, said it was “not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code.” Now, it  isn’t like Budweiser is pulling ads from the NFL. And it is very doubtful they will. Still, given the NFL’s clout in the ad marketplace, it is noteworthy that brands are saying anything at all (Pepsi and Procter & Gamble’s CoverGirl also spoke out). It is also a reflection of the major drop in consumer sentiment the NFL has seen related to its handling—or mishandling—of a series of player incidents.
WHAT’S IN A NAME: Media companies have a whole bag of tricks at their disposal to court advertisers. But for the country’s largest radio broadcaster, Clear Channel Media Holdings Inc., the latest strategy is a little more bold: a name change. Clear Channel is changing its name to iHeartMedia Inc., in reference to its digital radio arm, iHeartRadio, WSJ reports. CEO Robert Pittman is hoping the new name will better reflect where the company is headed, rather than where it’s been (a “clear channel” is reference to a category of AM radio stations). Moves like this aren’t unprecedented. Mr. Pittman, saw doors open when his former employer, Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company, became MTV Networks. But it remains to be seen whether advertisers will enjoy this new tune. PUBLICIS SHAKES THINGS UP: Ever since Publicis Groupe’s near merger with Omnicom Group crumbled, the ad world has been waiting for some sort of announcement about the future of the company. Now we know. CEO Maurice Lévy will stay in charge until early 2017, beyond when he had originally planned, WSJ reports. In addition, Publicis restructured top management and decided to reorganize its digital operations. Digital ad firm Razorfish will merge with Rosetta, CMO Today reports. The shake-up highlights the digital struggles Publicis has seen (Razorfish, for example, lost its Microsoft business). Mr. Lévy has made investment in digital a major priority, and wants its digital business to make up half of its revenue by 2018, versus 38% last year. CRUEL SUMMER: TV ratings this summer have been, in one word, “terrible.” That is according to MoffettNathanson Research analyst Michael Nathanson, who noted the serious decline in broadcast and cable ratings in a new research note to clients, CMO Today reports. Just how bad was it? Aggregate prime time broadcast ratings were down 5.1% in August, while cable dropped 9.8%, which Mr. Nathanson called “shocking.” What gives? Well, Mr. Nathanson says that either Nielsen’s measurement model is seriously malfunctioning, or consumer behavior has “dramatically changed.” Indeed, Mr. Nathanson told CMO Today that viewers have been increasingly drawn to delayed viewing on DVR or video-on-demand, not to mention streaming services such as Netflix. Live sporting events provide the last real draw for live viewing, says Mr. Nathanson. Moreover, he predicts that networks reliant on reruns and scripted programs will continue to lose viewing share to those with sports programming. ELSEWHERE: Apple’s video introducing its new iPhone went viral after the campaign launched, CMO Today reports… The Interactive Advertising Bureau tries to stamp out online ad fraud, CMO Today reports… Retailers may see a boost in holiday sales, CMO Today reports… Gawker Media is moving to a big new office as the company continues to expand, reports Re/code… The Economist tries to bolster digital ad sales with an engagement measurement, CMO Today reports… Meet the 12 ordinary people who beat brands to their own Twitter handle, Adweek reports. Follow us on Twitter: @wsjCMO, @digitalshields, @mvpeers, @VranicaWSJ, @JackMarshall, @nftadena, @perlberg.
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U.S. consumer prices post first decline in 16 months

Reuters - 41 min 50 sec ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in nearly 1-1/2 years in August and underlying inflation pressures were muted, which could lessen the urgency for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
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U.S. Steel Canada Files For Bankruptcy

huffingtonpost.ca - 42 min 39 sec ago
HAMILTON -- U.S. Steel Canada, citing years of operating losses, has filed for court-supervised protection to give the company a chance to restructure in hopes of being able to better compete in the North American steel industry.

The former Stelco Inc, which U.S. Steel bought in 2007, has recorded a loss from operations in each of the last five years for an aggregate operating loss of about $2.4 billion since 2009, the company and its parent, U.S. Steel, said in statements issued after markets closed on Tuesday.

"The company has obtained a court order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act," U.S. Steel Canada said.

The order provides a stay of certain creditor claims against during the CCAA process and appoints Ernst and Young as monitor.
Under the CCAA process, U.S. Steel Canada will carry on business as usual while it develops and implements a comprehensive restructuring solution, the company said.

In a separate announcement issued by U.S. Steel from its Pittsburgh headquarters, the company said it had agreed to provide the Canadian operation with $185 million (about US$165 million) of secured debtor-in-possession financing to support current operations through the end of 2015.

"Despite substantial efforts over the past several years to make U.S. Steel Canada profitable, it is clear that restructuring U.S. Steel Canada is critical to improving our long-term business outlook, Michael McQuade, president and general manager of U.S. Steel Canada, said in a statement.

"Operational changes, cost reduction initiatives and streamlining of operations cannot on their own make it competitive in the current environment. Entering CCAA was the only responsible course of action under the circumstances and it was taken only after all other options were thoroughly explored."

McQuade said that for the restructuring to be successful, the process will require "a commitment from all relevant stakeholders to pursue innovative solutions that will create a restructured business that can compete in the North American market for the long term."

"We are grateful for the continuing support of our customers, suppliers and employees at this time and look forward to working together to develop an appropriate solution for the benefit of stakeholders," he added.

William Aziz of Blue Tree Advisors II Inc., as chief restructuring officer effective immediately.

The CCAA filing was among three major strategic moves announced by the parent company on Tuesday, including a decision not to proceed with an expansion at its iron ore pellet operations in Keewatin, Minn., and to forgo further development and construction of the carbon alloy facilities at Gary Works in Gary, Ind.

It addition to continued operating losses, it noted that the Canadian operation also represented about $1 billion of the parent company's consolidated employee benefits liability as of June 30.

"We know this was not an easy decision for U.S. Steel Canada's independent directors," company president and CEO Mario Longhi said, adding that the move would allow U.S. Steel Canada to continue to operate while exploring restructuring alternatives.

"We believe these actions will provide longer term stability for U.S. Steel's employees, suppliers and customers," he said.

U. S. Steel Canada, with operations at Lake Erie Works and Hamilton Works, has the capability of producing approximately 2.6 million tons of steel annually and employs about 2,000 people.

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Auxilium jumps, steelmakers active in premarket trade

Reuters - 45 min 50 sec ago
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Auxilium Pharmaceuticals shares surged in brisk premarket trading Wednesday, a day after receiving an unsolicited offer from Endo International.
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US consumer prices fall 0.2 per cent in August, first drop in 16 months, as energy costs dip

huffingtonpost.ca - 50 min 1 sec ago
WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer prices edged down in August, the first monthly drop since the spring of 2013, as gasoline, airline tickets and clothing prices all fell. It was the latest evidence that inflation remains under control.The Labor Department says consumer prices edged down 0.2 per cent last month following a tiny 0.1 per cent gain in July. It was the first decline since a similar 0.2 per cent drop in April 2013. Core prices, which exclude energy and food, were unchanged in August, the first time there hasn't been an increase since October 2010.Over the past 12 months, overall prices and core prices are both up a modest 1.7 per cent. These gains are well within the 2 per cent annual increase for inflation that the Federal Reserve considers optimal.
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U.S. current account gap narrows in the second quarter

Reuters - 51 min 39 sec ago
Washington (Reuters) - The U.S. current account deficit unexpectedly narrowed in the second quarter, supported by a partial reversal of a large equity disinvestment that had occurred in the previous quarter.
Categories: News

Consumer Prices See First Decline Since April '13

Fox Business - 53 min 4 sec ago
Prices for consumer goods fell for the first time in a year and a half in August and underlying inflation pressures were muted.
Categories: News

Trump Plaza winds down casino, hotel

philly.com - 55 min 57 sec ago
ATLANTIC CITY - The epic swoon of Atlantic City continued Tuesday as the Trump Plaza was put out of its stained-carpet, squeaky-revolving-door, no-room-service, center-of-the-Boardwalk misery, as its dedicated hospice workers dealt a final hand of blackjack.
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Toronto stock market set to open little changed; markets await Fed announcement

huffingtonpost.ca - 1 hour 12 sec ago
TORONTO - The Toronto stock market looked set to open flat on Wednesday, as traders wait for news from the U.S. Federal Reserve to see if there are any plans to raise interest rates before the middle of next year.The Canadian dollar was up 0.01 of a cent to 91.17 cents US.U.S. futures were tepid with the Dow Jones industrial futures losing two points to 17,052, the Nasdaq futures dropping 5.5 points to 4,067.27, with the S&P 500 futures slipping 0.75 of a point to 1,998.98.Markets are waiting for the Fed's announcement Wednesday afternoon on whether it will signal that interest rates will go up sooner than the middle of next year. For some time, the Fed has reassured markets that rates will stay where they are for a "considerable time.'' Traders will look to see if the Fed drops those two words and takes a more hawkish tone on rates.The other major event that traders are watching is Thursday's Scottish referendum on independence. Polls show the yes and no camps neck and neck, with undecided voters expected to decide the outcome of the vote.Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada said it will continue its hands-off approach on influencing the Canadian dollar, saying the markets determine the level of the loonie. Governor Stephen Poloz said Tuesday that targeting the exchange rate will do more harm than good and would see the bank lose its ability to pursue an independent monetary policy.U.S. Steel Canada has filed for court-supervised protection to give it a chance to restructure to better compete in the North American steel industry. The former Stelco Inc, which U.S. Steel bought in 2007, has recorded operating losses in the last five years for about $2.4 billion, the company and its parent, U.S. Steel, said in statements after markets closed on Tuesday.The company has obtained a court order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. Under the CCAA process, U.S. Steel Canada will carry on business as usual while it restructures.The Manitoba government says more than 370 permanent jobs will be created by the opening of two new mines by Hudbay Minerals (TSX:HBM) in northern Manitoba. The Lalor mine, located 13 kilometres west of Snow Lake, contains gold, zinc, copper and silver. The Reed copper mine, near Snow Lake, Man., is a joint venture of Hudbay and VMS Ventures Inc.In corporate developments, Sony expects its annual loss to rise to $2 billion and has cancelled dividends for the first time in more than half a century after writing down the value of its troubled smartphone business. Sony has cited intense competition, especially from Chinese rivals. For the first time since going public in 1958, the Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate cancelled dividend payments for the half- and full-year.On the commodity markets, the October crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was down 24 cents to US$94.64 a barrel.December bullion was down 40 cents to US$1,236.3 an ounce and December copper was down two cents to US$3.13 a pound.
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Activist Wants DuPont Split in Two

Fox Business - 1 hour 4 min ago
Activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management LP, among the biggest shareholders in DuPont , has called on the chemical conglomerate to separate its high-growth businesses from those that generate strong cash flows.
Categories: News

FedEx Profit Jumps 24%

The Wall Street Journal - 1 hour 14 min ago
FedEx Corp. said its fiscal first-quarter profit jumped 24%, as the package-delivery giant reported higher revenue in its ground, freight and express operations.
Categories: News

McDonald's Coffee Challenging Tim Hortons In Grocery Stores

huffingtonpost.ca - 1 hour 16 min ago
As Tim Hortons continues the process of merging with Burger King, another fast food behemoth is making inroads on the coffee giant's own turf.

McDonald's is set to make its McCafé coffee available in Canada's grocery stores starting Sept. 29, the company announced in a Tuesday news release.

"There is no better way to connect with Canadians than with a great cup of coffee," McDonald's Canada president and CEO John Betts said in a prepared statement.

The company plans to offer McCafé Premium Roast in ground coffee and in single-serve formats that can be made with Tassimo and Keurig machines, the news release said.

McDonald's Canada's move represents a challenge to Tim Hortons which, though it has sold single-serve original and decaf coffee in grocery stores since June, had plans for a wider rollout in supermarkets by the end of 2014, Global News reported.

And there's plenty of market share up for grabs.

The Canadian Coffee Association reported last year that 78 per cent of coffee drinkers consumed the beverage at home while 37 per cent drank it elsewhere.

When it comes to brewing, 53 per cent of Canadians prefer a drip coffee maker, while 25 per cent like single-serve machines.

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Categories: News

Sony Deepens Loss Estimate on Struggling Smartphones

Fox Business - 1 hour 18 min ago
Sony Corp on Wednesday sharply deepened its net loss estimate and said it would not pay a dividend this fiscal year for the first time since it listed in 1958 after it was hit by a massive impairment charge for its struggling smartphone division.
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Lennar's Profit Tops Expectations

The Wall Street Journal - 1 hour 19 min ago
Lennar Corp. said its fiscal third-quarter profit jumped 47% as higher prices and deliveries drove an increase in revenue.
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Lennar posts higher-than-expected profit as home sales rebound

Fox Business - 1 hour 22 min ago
Lennar Corp, the second largest U.S. homebuilder, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as it sold more homes at higher prices, and its shares rose about 6 percent in premarket trading.
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Dow stocks with the most upside left

USA Today - 1 hour 24 min ago
Wall Street analysts still see Dow stocks with big upside        
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