Consumer Stock Review: FedEx Needs More Planes, McDonald’s Reports Excellent Sales

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) says it will buy 30 planes from Boeing (NYSE:BA). The move is to help upgrade its aging gas-guzzling fleet. Sources say the deal could fetch $5.3B for the plane manufacturer, and shares were already up premarket.

GM (NYSE:GM) is working with regulators to see if “problems with welded parts or other structural flaws” contributed to the post-crash fires seen by Chevy Volts. The company will face a House subcommittee hearing on the fires next month. It declined to comment on reports it has “already developed potential solutions” for protecting the Volt’s battery packs.

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McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) reports global comparable sales rose 7.4% in November, including a 6.5% gain in the U.S. which beat the consensus estimate of analysts for 4.5% growth. The seasonal Peppermint Mocha and a Chicken McNuggets promotion helped the boost in company sales.

Brown-Forman (BF.A) says FQ2 profit rose 2%. Gains were seen especially for its flagship Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Revenue rose 12%, but ad spending jumped 14% Y/Y as the liquor maker spent more to market its new flavored adult beverages. A stronger dollar chills expected earlier profit; BF now predicts full-year EPS at $3.45-$3.70, vs. previous guidance of $3.45-$3.85.

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) transfers its secret formula for its trademark drink for the first time. The move is from a bank vault to be held (not displayed) with an exhibit at an Atlanta museum. The closely guarded 1886 formula is said to have “psychological” value for the company as it helps keep 125 years of advertising, marketing, and childhood memories percolating.

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) is slapped with a €233.6M (~$310M) fine for fixing laundry detergent prices in France during 1997-2004. Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) and Henkel (HENKY.PK) are also hit with smaller fines. The companies “met secretly several times a year in hotels and restaurants to discuss pricing and discount strategies,” the French antitrust authority says.

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