Kodak Announces $1 Billion Buyback; Kroger Lowers Prices, Posts Profit; BP Breaks Ground on Wind Farm; Reliance and Dreamworks in Talks; Lukoil Joins Up With Italy's ERG; Wachovia Brings in Goldman Sachs; Dow Hikes Prices; Yahoo and Microsoft Back in Talks
- Shares of Eastman Kodak Co. (EK) rose the most in 20 years as it boldly announced it will buyback $1 billion of its stock using a tax refund. The refund comes from an audit of the company's taxes from 1993 to 1998, Bloomberg reported. The company posted a first-quarter loss in April.
- Kroger Co. (KR), the largest chain of U.S. grocery stores, beat analysts' first-quarter earnings by lowering prices on the shelves and offering gasoline discounts, Reuters reported. The Cincinnati-based company Kroger posted a profit of $386 million, or 58 cents per share, compared with a profit of $336.6 million, or 47 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.
- BP PLC (BP) (Tuesday), The Associated Press reported. The first phase of the project, located about 60 miles southwest of Wichita, is expected to generate up to 100 megawatts of electricity starting at the end of the year.
- India's Reliance Entertainment and is in talks with Hollywood's DreamWorks Animation SKG (DWA) to , according to a recent report by The Associated Press. There are four to five other parties involved in the talks, the AP said, citing sources close to the deal, including Universal Pictures. However, a deal will not be signed anytime in the near future.
- Lukoil (ADR: LUKOY) plans to pay about $2.1 billion for a 49% stake in a refining joint venture with Italy's ERG SpA, MarketWatch reported. The two companies will jointly operate the ISAB refinery complex in Priolo, Sicily.
- Wachovia Corp. (WB) has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) to evaluate its risky portfolio of adjustable-rate mortgages that give loan holders several monthly payment options including an interest-only option that increases the balance of the mortgage. , DowJones reported, which could lead to heavy losses for the bank.
- The Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) announced yesterday (Tuesday) that it would increase prices as much as 25% to offset soaring petroleum and raw material costs. "The staggering increase in our costs over the past few months have forced us to take these further measures in order to restore our margins," Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said in the statement, Bloomberg News reported.
- Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) shares climbed 2.75% yesterday (Tuesday) with a gain of 59 cents to close at $22.04 on speculation that the search engine firm could be back in talks with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT). Several media reports citing undisclosed sources said the two tech firms were hashing out a possible deal for Yahoo's online search business, MarketWatch reported.