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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:
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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:
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by Rich Pike

Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS)

Moody's upgrades Dr Pepper Snapple Debt 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:
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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:
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by Rich Pike

Coca-Cola (KO)

Soda Sales in Schools Drops Sharply

The main trade association representing Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., and other beverage companies plans to release a report Monday showing that sales of soda and other drinks in U.S. secondary schools have dropped sharply since 2004, in a sign that efforts to improve nutrition in schools are progressing. Sales volume of beverages shipped to schools from bottlers fell 72% between the first semester of the 2004-05 school year and the first semester of the current academic year, according to the report, which was compiled for the American Beverage Association by economic research firm Keybridge Research LLC. The report showed a 95% decline in sales volume of full-calorie soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola, and a 94% decline in juice drinks. Full-calorie soft drinks accounted for just 6.8% of beverage volume shipped to schools last semester, while they made up 40% of the product mix in 2004.
This is great news for the health of kids in the country. I wouldn't worry too much about the sales decline for Coke and Pepsi - over time they will figure out how to sell more healthier drinks in the schools.

Mar 8 · 1:20:00 PM · Source: Wall Street Journal
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by Rich Pike

BJ's (BJ)

BJ's 4Q and FYE 2010 Results

BJ's today reported net income of $55.1 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended January 30, 2010. For the full year 2009, the Company reported net income of $132.1 million, or $2.42 per diluted share, compared to $2.28 per diluted share for 2008.
For the fourth quarter ended January 30, 2010, total sales increased by 9.4% to $2.74 billion, and comparable club sales increased by 4.6%, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 2.3%. For the year ended January 30, 2010, total sales rose by 1.6% to $9.95 billion and comparable club sales decreased by 1.9%, including a negative impact from sales of gasoline of 5.9%. Excluding the impact of gasoline sales, merchandise comparable club sales increased by 4.0% for the full year.

Mar 4 · 11:08:00 AM · Source: Company Press Release
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by Rich Pike

Walgreen (WAG)

Walgreens Feb Same Store Sales Up 0.4 Percent

Walgreens is reporting February sales of $5.31 billion, an increase of 3.2 percent from $5.14 billion for the same month in 2009. Sales in comparable stores (those open at least a year) increased 0.4 percent.
February pharmacy sales increased 3.7 percent, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 0.9 percent. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively affected by 2.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months and a lower incidence of flu compared with February 2009. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.5 percent of total sales for the month.

Mar 4 · 11:01:00 AM · Source: Company Press Release
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by Rich Pike

Walmart (WMT)

Walmart Buys Digital Home Video Service Vudu is reporting that Walmart is buying online/embedded movie service Vudu. The retailer describes Vudu as a “leading provider of digital technologies and services that enable the delivery of entertainment content directly to broadband high-definition TVs and Blu-ray players” and calls it “revolutionary.” The deal, expected to close in a few weeks, marks Walmart’s latest effort to make online video pay, this time without a connected computer.
Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman for Walmart, explained the move in the announcement: “Combining Vudu’s unique digital technology and service with Walmart’s retail expertise and scale will provide customers with unprecedented access to home entertainment options as they migrate to a digital environment.” Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) gains access to titles from nearly every major studio and to some 16,000 titles, including, the companies claim, the largest available 1080p VOD library.

Mar 4 · 10:57:00 AM · Source:
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by Rich Pike

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