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Another Coal Merger; Pickens Denounces Yahoo; Possible UK/Spain Airline Merger; Alcatel-Lucent Ousts Top Brass; Consumer Confidence Climbs from 10-Year Low; Home Prices Continue Collapse; Northrop Grumman Sees Second Quarter Profit Soar; U.S. Steel's Ironclad Earnings
- Teck Cominco Ltd. (TCK) yesterday (Tuesday) announced that it would purchase Fording Canadian Coal Trust (FDG) in a combination cash and stock deal valued at $14.1 billion. Vancouver-based Teck already owns approximately 20% of Calgary-based Fording, Reuters reported. This deal will give Teck full control over Elk Valley Coal, the second-largest exporter of seaborne hard-coking coal, which is used in steelmaking.
- Famous billionaire investor T. Boone Pickens sold his entire Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) holdings, according to a report yesterday (Tuesday) in the San Francisco Chronicle. Pickens purchased 10 million Yahoo shares in May on a bet that activist investor Carl Ichan would be able to push through a deal with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), but sold at a loss now that the merger is defunct, Reuters reported. "I think that Yahoo management was pathetic," Pickens was quoted as saying to the San Francisco Chronicle's editorial board.
- British Airways PLC (OTC ADR: BAIRY) is pursuing merger talks with Spain's Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA. The discussions center around a possible all-stock deal that would result in one company with two fleets, dual-listed in both London and Madrid, Bloomberg News reported. The merger is aimed at reducing expenses as global air carriers continue to grapple with high fuel costs.
- After reporting its sixth consecutive quarterly loss, Alcatel-Lucent (ADR: ALU) announced Chief Executive Officer Patricia Russo and Chairman Serge Tchuruk would be leaving the firm. "It is now time that the company acquires a personality of its own, independent from its two predecessors. The board must also evolve and the chairman should give the first example, which I have decided to do," Tchuruk said, MarketWatch reported.
- U.S. consumer confidence climbed from its lowest level in more than a decade in July the Conference Board said yesterday (Tuesday). The group's overall monthly measure rose to 51.9 this month, the first rise since December, from an upwardly revised 51.0 in June. Last month's reading was the lowest in 16 years.
- The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index dropped by 15.8% in May compared with a year ago, a record decline since its inception in 2000. The 10-city index plunged 16.9%, its biggest decline in its 21-year history.
- Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) said yesterday (Tuesday) that its second-quarter profit rose 8% with a 10% jump in sales. The company reported net income of $495 million, or $1.44 per share, in the quarter ending June 30. That compares to earnings of $460 million, or $1.31 per share, in the year-ago period.
- U.S. Steel Corp. (X) said yesterday (Tuesday) that second-quarter profit more than doubled on higher prices and strong global demand for its steel products. The company posted a profit of $668 million, or $5.65 a share, up from $302 million, or $2.54 a share, earned in the year-ago second quarter.