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ADP Paints Positive Job Picture; MetLife Buys into Mortgages; United's Ongoing Cost Battle; Smucker Strikes a Deal with P&G; U.S. Service Sector Continues to Grow; Emerson Abandons Bid for Chloride; Bob Evans Serves Meaty 4Q Profits; Icahn Moves to Replace Yahoo's Yang
- Automatic Data Processing's (ADP) National Employment Report, released yesterday (Wednesday) indicated that 40,000 U.S. private-sector jobs were added in May. "Standard & Poor's told Forbes. "So far, this isn't much of a recession." lately. But if it's right then the economy is stronger than we thought," David Wyss, an economist with
- MetLife Inc. (MET) announced it plans to purchase a home-mortgage business from First Horizon National Corp. (FHN) The deal includes the home loan unit of First Horizon's Tennessee Bank National Association, with 230 offices in the U.S., the New York-based life insurance firm announced yesterday (Wednesday) in a statement, Bloomberg News reported.
- UAL Corp.'s (UAUA) United Airlines will ground 70 planes and cut 1,100 jobs in an ongoing effort to cut costs due in large part to skyrocketing jet fuel costs. This is the second round of cutbacks in two months for the nation's second-largest air carrier as the price of jet fuel has increased 76% in the past year, adding $3 billion to United's fuel expenses, Bloomberg News reported.
- The J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM) will acquire Folgers, from Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) for stock in a deal valued at $2.95 billion, the companies said yesterday (Wednesday). , and Smucker will issue a one-time dividend of $5 per share to its shareholders prior to the deal, The Associated Press reported.
- The Institute for Supply Management said yesterday (Wednesday) that its service sector index was 51.7 in May, stronger than expected, but still a drop from April's reading of 52. A reading above 50 indicates the sector, which comprises roughly 80 percent of the total economy, is growing, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
- Emerson Electric Co. (EMR) abandoned its pursuit of Chloride Group PLC, Europe's largest maker of backup power supplies, after the company rejected a $1.36 billion takeover proposal. , which produces equipment to protect hospitals, banks and airports from power failures, The Associated Press reported.
- Chain restaurant operator Bob Evans Farms Inc. (BOBE) posted strong fiscal fourth-quarter results yesterday (Wednesday), a sign one analyst says means isn't economic health, but rather, a reallocation of value-minded assets. "We think there are an increasing number of value-conscious customers moving from bar-and-grill restaurants to Bob Evans," analyst Stephen Anderson of MKM Partners told Reuters. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $16.1 million, or 52 cents a share, on revenue of $436.4 million.
- Billionaire investor and vocal Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) critic Carl Icahn said in a letter to the board that he will move to replace Chief Executive Officer Jerry Yang and pursue a takeover by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Bloomberg reported. "It will be extremely difficult for Microsoft or other companies to trust, work with and negotiate with a company that would go to these lengths," Icahn wrote, referring to Yang's refusal of Microsoft's $33-a-share offer.