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Sony Goes Solo; P&G's Socks Strong Second Quarter; Service Sector Shrinks; D.R. Horton Now a Fixer-Upper; Lehman in For a Trim; Adidas Brings its "A" Game; Farmland Values Skyrocket; Russian Fire Sale
- Bertelsmann AG will sell its half of Sony BMG Music Entertainment to Sony Corp. , The Associated Press reported. A statement released by the privately held Bertelsmann said the new company will be called Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
- The Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) yesterday (Tuesday) as the consumer-products maker overcame soaring energy and commodity costs with higher prices and product improvements. The company said it earned $3.02 billion, or 92 cents per share, up from $2.27 billion, or 67 cents per share, a year ago.
- The U.S. service sector shrank slightly for the second consecutive month in July. The Institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing index came in at 49.5 for July, up from June's 48.2, but still negative as a reading below 50 signals contraction.
- D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI), the largest U.S. homebuilder, reported a quarterly loss of $339.3 million yesterday (Tuesday), a major improvement over the $823.8 million loss of a year ago. to write down the value of unsold homes, deposits and other costs as the company walked away from land option contracts, The Associated Press reported.
- Officials at Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. (LEH) have held conversations about the possible sale of the firm's entire investment management division, CNBC reported. A person involved with the deal said Lehman
- began alerting potential interested parties a couple of weeks ago. Another person with knowledge of the matter told the CNBC that if Lehman goes through with any sale, it's likely to sell only part of the investment management division.
- Adidas AG (OTC: ADDYY) yesterday (Tuesday) reported a 12% jump in profit and increased margin forecasts after June's European soccer championship and this month's Olympic Games spurred sales in emerging markets. Net income rose to $180.8 million in the April-June period. Over the first half of the year, net profit rose 23% to $443.3 million.
- South Dakota farm real estate averaged $990 an acre on Jan. 1, 2008 – an increase of 21%, or $170 an acre, from a year earlier, The Associated Press reported. The values of agricultural land and buildings have increased for 15 consecutive years in the state, according to the federal Agricultural Statistics Service. Farmland values in South Dakota are at a record high and have doubled in the past five years.
- Russian arms sales will likely hit a new post-Soviet record this year, as weapons exports exceed $8 billion this year, The Associated Press reported. Russia's arms sales reached a post-Soviet record of $7.5 billion last year.