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Best Buy Goes Kiosk; Strike Averted at Verizon; Pilgrim’s Pride Shutdown; JDA Doubles Up; Japan’s Stimulus; Oil Hits New Three-Month Low; Waste Management Raises Bid; UPS in Talks with Competitor
- Electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) plans to install self-service kiosks in eight major U.S. airports, The Associated Press reported. The vending machines will be stocked with cell phone and computer accessories as well as digital cameras, memory storage devices and headphones.
- Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) narrowly averted a strike deadline set for yesterday (Monday) by coming to a last-minute agreement Sunday night with its two major unions, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The tentative three-year contracts, which still need to be ratified by union membership, include raises totaling nearly 11% and with Verizon continuing to pay 100 percent of current workers’ and retirees’ health premiums, The New York Times reported.
- Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (PPC) yesterday (Monday) announced it would stop production at two chicken-processing plants as it strives to combat high feed costs. Pilgrim’s Pride has already has already shut down one processing plant and seven distribution centers so far this year, resulting in 1,700 job losses and a 5% decline in chicken production volume, MarketWatch reported.
- JDA Software Group Inc. (JDAS) yesterday (Monday) agreed to purchase i2 Technologies Inc. (ITWO) in a deal valued at $346 million. JDA will pay $14.86 for each share of i2, a 4.9% premium to i2's closing price Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported. The acquisition is slated to close in the fourth quarter and will double JDA’s manufacturing capabilities while enhancing its global presence.
- Japan will issue a stimulus package to support its ailing economy by the end of the month, MarketWatch reported. The package is expected to include financial support for small and midsize firms, as well as assistance to consumers suffering from high prices. "The economy has been in a difficult situation," Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda was quoted saying ahead of the outline's release. "We will employ all fiscal and taxation measures" to stimulate the economy.
- Oil prices finished at a new three-month low yesterday (Monday) after briefly dropping below $113 a barrel mark. Light, sweet crude for September delivery fell 75 cents to settle at $114.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as low as $112.72 a barrel earlier in the day.
- Waste Management Inc. (WMI) has raised its unsolicited buyout offer for Republic Services Inc. (RSG) by 9% to $6.73 billion. The new offer of $37 a share comes less than a month after Waste Management, the nation's largest trash collector, offered to buy Republic in an all-cash buyout worth $34 a share, or $6.2 billion.
- United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is in talks to buy Dutch rival TNT NV (OTC: (TNTTY), a source familiar with the talks told Reuters. .