Investment News Briefs

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With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world.

Winters Out as JPMorgan Co-CEO; Walgreen Profits Beat Expectations; BNP Paribas Raising $6.3 Billion via Share Sale; China Approves GM Stake in Delphi; Possible CIT-Indy Mac Merger; Gannett Expects at Least $26 Million in Q3 Charges; Consumer Confidence Falls Unexpectedly in Sept.; Nike Profit Beats the Street

  • Bill Winters, co-chief executive officer of investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), is leaving the company. Steve Black will become executive chairman of the investment bank unit, and Jes Staley, who runs the asset-management unit, has been named CEO of the investment bank, Bloomberg News reported. "With the credit crisis largely behind us and the economy recovering, the timing was right to begin the succession process," Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of the New York-based bank, said in a news release. "We want to thank Bill for his exceptional service to this firm and wish him the best."
  • Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) reported a fiscal fourth quarter profit that beat expectations, a result of giving stores a facelift and cutting jobs, Reuters reported. Profit for the largest U.S. drugstore chain fell to $436 million, or 44 cents a share, in the quarter ended Aug. 31. Sales rose 7.6% to $15.7 billion.
  • BNP Paribas SA (OTC ADR: BNPQY) is planning to raise $6.3 billion (4.3 billion euros) to help repay government debt by selling discounted stock to existing shareholders, Bloomberg News reported. France's largest bank said it is offering 107.6 million shares at 40 euros each, which is 29% less than Monday's closing price. The money will help repay 5.1 billion euros received from the French government plus 226 million euros of interest.
  • China's government gave the green light to General Motors Co.'s plan to buy a stake in auto-parts supplier Delphi Corp. (OTC: DPHIQ). The approval was conditional, however, TheWall Street Journal reported. Delphi is not allowed to share "trade secrets" of other Chinese auto manufacturers that might give GM a competitive advantage, nor is GM allowed to set unreasonable procurement conditions that would hurt other Chinese firms, The Journal reported.  United States and European Union authorities already approved of the deal, ruling that Delphi is allowed to sell its assets to its lenders and GM. Delphi operates 17 wholly owned entities and joint ventures and 21 manufacturing sites in China, and employs about 12,000 full-time staff there.
  • Hedge fund manager John Paulson, president of New York-based Paulson & Co., Inc., is considering a plan to save troubled commercial lender CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) by merging it with IndyMac Bancorp Inc. (OTC: IDMCQ) sources told the New York Post. Paulson, who made a fortune shorting toxic mortgage loans in 2007, is not only part of a group that bought failed IndyMac from the FDIC, he also holds debt in CIT. Sources said the plan is being considered by creditors, and is not part of formal discussions between CIT and IndyMac. A person familiar with the situation refuted the report, and told Reuters that there are "absolutely no relations between IndyMac and CIT. Linking the two companies is just wrong."
  • Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) said it expects to incur $26 million to $32 million in restructuring and other charges in the third quarter, which reduces its expected earnings to 25 cents to 31 cents a share, The Associated Press reported. Excluding the charges, Gannett says earnings should fall between 39 cents and 42 cents. "Although overall advertising revenue comparisons remain difficult, our third quarter year-over-year publishing comparisons improved again versus first and second quarter comparisons," Gracia Martore, chief financial officer, said. Investor responded well to the news, sending Gannett's shares up 17.64% to close at $11.74.
  • Nike Inc.'s (NYSE: NKE) sales were down 12% and its profit was flat in its first quarter ended August 31, but it was still able to beat Wall Street earnings estimates. The sports apparel and shoemaker reported a net income of $513 million, or $1.04 per share on revenue of $4.8 billion. That compares to a net income of $511 million, or $1.03 per share on revenue of $5.4 billion. Analysts were expecting Nike to earn 97 cents per share on sales of $4.9 billion.

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