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MetLife (MET)

MetLife to Pay $1.5 Billion in Policy Dividends

MetLife, Inc. announced today that its life insurance subsidiary, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, approved an aggregate payment amount of approximately $1.5 billion in policy dividend payments to eligible life insurance policyholders for 2010.
The company says the dividend payout not only reflects MetLife`s financial strength and stability, but also its commitment to its policyholders today and for the future

Mar 17 · 11:11:00 AM · Source: Company Press Release
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by Larry Etter

Producer Price Index

Producer Prices Post Largest Fall In 7 months

Producer prices fell more steeply than expected in February as energy costs fell, giving the Federal Reserve leeway to hold interest rates exceptionally low for an extended period as it has promised. The Labor Department on Wednesday said the index for prices paid at the farm and factory gate fell 0.6 percent, the largest decline since July, after increasing 1.4 percent in January. Even excluding volatile energy and food costs, core producer prices rose just 0.1 percent last month.
Price producer price pressure is pretty moderate.

Mar 17 · 11:01:00 AM
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by Larry Etter


IBM Launches New Line of Servers

IBM today unveiled new System x servers that offer increased memory and can help improve efficiency to allow customers to better exploit virtualization and support more sophisticated workloads.
These new products mean IBM has completely revamped its line up of two-socket x86 servers

Mar 17 · 10:47:00 AM · Source: Company Press Release
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by Larry Etter

Whole Foods Market (WFMI)

Activists Say Whole Foods Bad for Planet

Reuters is reporting that at the Whole Foods Market shareholder meeting in Vancouver, BC, the Sustainable Supply Chain Coalition, an alliance of environmental groups, food activist organizations and labor unions, rallied today in support of four shareholder resolutions and called for a change in Whole Foods Market, Inc. and its supplier United Natural Foods Inc. unsustainable business practices. "I am concerned about Whole Foods' expansion into Canada," said Don McGill, Teamster Vice President, Canada. "Whole Foods workers do a great job but how can the Canadian workforce expect Whole Foods management to operate with respect for workers' rights when we have seen their violations in the United States?"
This could snowball, even if only from a PR standpoint. Having the teamsters against you is not a good thing.

Mar 9 · 12:04:00 PM · Source: Reuters.com
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by Rich Pike

Estee Lauder (EL)

Estee Lauder Launches Global Marketing Division

Cosmetics manufacturer and marketer The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. has created a new division, The Corporate Marketing Center of Excellence, aimed at boosting its global marketing efforts and driving traffic to its e-commerce sites. The company appointed Johnson & Johnson marketing executive Georgia Garinois-Melenikiotou, to oversee the division as senior vice president, corporate marketing, effective April 1.
In her new role, Garinois-Melenikiotou will oversee the corporate marketing team that supports Estee Lauder’s brand-specific marketers as well as its research and development and regional teams. She will lead efforts to strengthen consumer marketing effectiveness across the organization.

Mar 9 · 11:49:00 AM · Source: Internetretailer.com
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by Rich Pike

Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS)

Moody's upgrades Dr Pepper Snapple Debt

MarketWatch.com is reporting that Moody's Investor Service said Monday that it raised the long term debt rating of Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. to Baa2 from Baa3. The outlook is positive. The upgrade was due to "good business momentum and substantial improvement in financial metrics since DPSG's spin off from Cadbury in May 2008," Moody's said in a statement.
This can help Dr Pepper Snapple over time to reduce their borrowing costs.

Mar 9 · 11:45:00 AM · Source: MarketWatch.com
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by Rich Pike

Procter & Gamble (PG)

P&G Recalls Two Pringles Flavors

The Associated Press reported that Procter & Gamble Co. has recalled two versions of Pringles chips because of concerns about potential Salmonella exposure. Procter & Gamble Co. said the Cheeseburger and Taco Night versions of the snack are being recalled. The Company is offering replacement coupons or refunds. Procter & Gamble Co. says the two varieties represent only one-half of 1% of Pringles U.S volume and the recalled versions are only sold in the U.S. The Company says there have been no reports of illnesses.
This should be just a minor blip on the radar screen for P&G.

Mar 9 · 11:38:00 AM · Source: Reuters.com
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by Rich Pike

Frederick's of Hollywood (FOH)

Frederick's of Hollywood 2nd Qtr Results

Frederick’s of Hollywood today announced financial results for its fiscal 2010 second quarter and six months ended January 23, 2010. Net sales decreased 21.3% to $41,321,000 from $52,516,000. Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $2,617,000 compared to a profit of $1,278,000. Fiscal Six Months Ended January 23, 2010 Compared to Fiscal Six Months Ended January 24, 2009: Net sales decreased 17.4% to $78,529,000 from $95,081,000. Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $4,950,000 compared to a loss of $1,662,000.
The recession is definitely taking its toll on lingerie, which definitely fits into the highly discretionary category.

Mar 9 · 11:28:00 AM · Source: Company Press Release
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by Rich Pike

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