DJIA Week in Review: GE Ups Share Buyback, JPMorgan Wins Customer Satisfaction Survey

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to the week in Dow 30 business news:

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The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE:DIS) Club Penguin changed a scheduled lull into its most successful event of all times by going to the community for content. Club Penguin, which enables kids to create, explore, and play in a safe space online garnered 1.8 million logins in a single day during “Operation Blackout”.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) paid billions of dollars too much for the software company Autonomy, while sales of printers one of the firm’s main revenue sources are shrinking. Company executives maintain that printers, ink and related products will stay crucial for businesses and many individuals, but users are not printing as much as they once did, according to certain experts, partly because of smartphones and tablets which enable huge amounts of information to be easily stored.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and Turkish Airlines have completed a firm order for fifteen 777-300ER airplanes worth $4.7 billion at list prices. The agreement was first reported in October as a commitment and also includes options for five additional 777-300ERs, marking the largest order by value in the history of Turkish Airlines.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) rose to number one in a domestic customer satisfaction survey as its three biggest competitors, among which include the perennial leader Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC), slumped in their scores. However, smaller banks and credit unions posted higher numbers than all large banks as usual, said the American Customer Satisfaction Index annual survey, according to Reuters.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) might soon introduce an Office mobile application for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and the iPad to better rival Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) expanding mobile offerings of its Google Applications productivity suite, said BGR, citing MacRumors and Mac4Ever.

United Technologies Corporation’s (NYSE:UTX) Aerospace Systems division has won aftermarket contracts for Constant Frequency Generator repairs and retrofits and upgraded spares for the United States Navy’s V-22 program. UTC Aerospace Systems serves as the sole provider on the CFG application for the V-22 program and its aftermarket contracts are valued at $70 million.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) forecasts in its latest long-term energy outlook to that North America will be a net energy exporter by 2025 because of a surge in oil and gas output and fast improvements in energy efficiency, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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The Boeing Company’s (NYSE:BA) new 787 planes experienced a couple unfavorable developments last week, says The New York Times. An electric generator on one of the planes failed during a flight, and now the Federal Aviation Administration warns that all 787s could develop fuel leaks and fires. However, aviation experts consider these issues to be “minor hiccups.”

Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) readies an investment of $33 billion on exploration and production activities, which include major natural gas-related projects in Nigeria and five other countries, as part of its $36.7 billion capital and exploratory investment program for next year. The firm reported in a recent statement that notable major capital investments for 2013 include developments in the United States deep-water Gulf of Mexico, Kazakhstan , Australia, Nigeria, Angola and the Republic of Congo.

E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company (NYSE:DD): The most recent monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report indicates that the USDA reduced its price outlook for corn which drops the season-average farm price by 20 cents at the midpoint and narrows its projected range to between $6.80 and $8.00 per bushel. Additionally, the USDA lowered its domestic season-average soybean price range for 2012/13 by 35 cents on both ends of the range to $13.55 to $15.55 per bushel.

General Electric Company’s (NYSE:GE) GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance division reported an increase in the floorplan and working capital credit facility for Red River, a firm based in Claremont, New Hampshire that specializes in supplying information tech hardware integration, maintenance and support services to the United States government. Red River’s credit facility with CDF has grown steadily from $500,000 five years ago to the current $80 million, permitting it to grow and fulfill raised customer demand during peak federal, state and local government and educational buying seasons.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) recently announced that it won the contest for providing laptops to the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh with the firm ready to supply almost 1,500,000 laptops for students. Media reports say that Hewlett-Packard won the bid because it offered the lowest price.

3M Company’s (NYSE:MMM) 2013 Outlook Meeting should include comments regarding the following figures from the company’s fiscal year 2013: Capital expenditures between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion, Mergers and acquisitions of $2 billion to $3 billion, Dividends $1.65 billion to $1.75 billion, Buybacks between $2 billion and $3 billion gross, $1 billion to $1.5 billion net, and Pension/OPEB $400 million to $600 million, moving towards fully funded status.

Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface will be for sale at Best Buy’s Web site on Wednesday beginning at 2 p.m. Pacific Time and then on Sunday at Best Buy retail outlets and select Best Buy Mobile stores. Meanwhile, Staples will have the tablet available as soon as Wednesday. All this is part of Microsoft’s plan to expand the reach of Surface beyond its own stores, a strategy that was initially targeted for early next year, but retailer enthusiasm for Surface prompted Microsoft to step up the time frame.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) will pay $55 million plus interest to settle claims that Wyeth illegally launched and caused the introduction into interstate commerce of a misbranded drug, Protonix, between February 2000 and June 2001, says the Justice Department. This civil complaint and settlement resolves the United States’ investigation of Wyeth connected with the promotion of Protonix for unapproved uses. However, the claims settled by this agreement are  only the allegations, which Pfizer rejects; there has thus far been no determination of liability. Pfizer purchased Wyeth in October 2009, but since August of that year, Pfizer has been under a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, which  remains in effect.

United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) will divest its Pratt & Whitney Power Systems division, which is currently part of Pratt & Whitney, to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Financials of the agreement were not reported and the transaction should close in the second quarter of 2013. Selling Power Systems enables UTC to concentrate on its core aerospace and commercial units.

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Chevron Corporation’s (NYSE:CVX) subsidiary, PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (NYSE:CPI), used its security personnel to block a crude oil theft attempt by unknown persons at one of its facilities in Sumatra, according to a state official. Hadi Prasetyo, a spokesperson for the Indonesian government’s newly created upstream oil and gas regulatory task force SKMigas, advised The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that a number of men had tried to steal oil from the company’s pipeline network which extends from Bangko, Jambi to Dumai, Riau, on Monday night.

Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) Janssen Research & Development said that it has submitted a New Drug Application to the FDA requesting approval for a fixed-dose therapy combining canagliflozin and immediate release metformin to treat patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. Canagliflozin consists of an investigational, oral medication for the treatment of adult patients with type 2 diabetes, while metformin is a first-line pharmacotherapy which can be used alone or along with other medications, including insulin, to treat type 2 diabetes. Upon approval, this canagliflozin/metformin fixed-dose combination therapy could be convenient for patients who might benefit from two diabetes medications working together in one pill.

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and The Saudi Arabian Mining Company, or Ma’aden, have initiated construction of expanded rolling mill capabilities at their combined aluminum complex in Ras Al Khair, Saudi Arabia. The expanded capabilities will allow the facility to provide aluminum automotive, building and construction sheet and foil stock to the country’s developing new industry and other global markets beginning in 2014, placing the project in position to address increasing demand for aluminum from the automotive, building and construction sectors.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) Co-Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Chase Mortgage Banking Frank Bisignano issued a statement saying that, “We share Governor Cuomo’s urgency in helping our neighbors recover from Superstorm Sandy. We have been working closely with our customers so they can get back on their feet. We have a number of programs to help with hardships.”

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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) Chief Executive Ken Frazier has warned about the potential for price controls that could stifle innovation and eliminate the economic incentive to invest in research and development as Democrats consider using Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices as part of a deficit solution, according to The Financial Times.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is constant in its resistance to providing adult film companies information that might identify some of its customers who allegedly engaged in online piracy, says TorrentFreak. Actually, Verizon has gone farther this week by telling a court in Texas that the copyright holders suing for information have chosen to “pursue a scheme which, if not illegal, is at a minimum of a type to which the courts should not lend their powers and support.”

Alcoa’s (NYSE:AA) Wheel and Transportation division launches a production facility in Suzhou, China, representing an expansion which creates a full wheel manufacturing, distribution, sales and service network in that country. The company already has wheel facilities in North America, Europe and Japan, but this is the first wheel manufacturing facility Alcoa has opened in China.

Chevron Corporation’s (NYSE:CVX) is supported by the Kazakhstan government, said Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov at the meeting with Chevron Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive John Watson in Astana, according to the Prime-Minister’s press-service.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is being ordered by the Federal Aviation Administration to repair 300 of its turbofan engines due to bad valves that have caused two engine fires in which no one was injured. The CF34-8C and CF34-8E engines are on the Bombardier CRJ700/900 and Embraer 170/175 aircraft. Some 15 percent of the fleet for these engines are affected by the order, which were built from 2001 to 2006 at the time General Electric switched valve vendors.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and BHP Billiton will invest a combined $1 billion to expand the Longford gas plant in Victoria State’s Gippsland region. The endeavor will create 250 jobs with the firms constructing a separate gas conditioning plant at the Longford facility to treat gas being tapped in the Kipper, Tuna and Turrum fields in Bass Strait.

General Electric Company’s (NYSE:GE) board upped the ongoing share buyback authorization by $10 billion and extended the repurchase plan through 2015, which would have expired on December 31st. As of the end of the third quarter, the plan had around $4.9 billion in remaining authorization.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is employing the type of “big data” mining tech utilized in counter-terrorism through which to identify potential fraud risk among its traders and to deal with other business problems as well, according to The  Financial Times. Chief Information Officer Guy Chiarello said that the bank was using the tech in a couple of dozen projects that promised to have a important effect on its business.

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) and Coca-Cola FEMSA (NYSE:KOF) agree that Coca-Cola FEMSA can purchase 51 percent of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines in an all-cash transaction of $688.5 million. This price represents a total enterprise value for 100 percent of the bottler at $1.35 billion, resulting in a 2012 projected EBITDA multiple of about 13.5 times. Through the terms, Coca-Cola FEMSA has an option to purchase the remaining 49 percent of CCBPI at any time during the seven years subsequent to the closing and will have a put option to sell its ownership to The Coca-Cola Company any time during year six. The transaction should close in early 2013.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) and Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA) are co-developing Jenzyl which is a trade name for ridaforolimus, a maintenance treatment of patients with metastatic soft tissue sarcoma or bone sarcoma previously treated with chemotherapy, and was expected to be used for the treatment of adults suffering from soft tissue sarcoma, a type of cancer that affects the soft, supporting tissues of the body, or bone sarcoma that has spread to other parts of the body. The European Medicines Agency reported that on November 27th, Merck Sharp & Dohme officially notified the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, of the withdrawal of its application for a marketing authorization for Jenzyl after the CHMP had evaluated the documentation supplied by the company and formulated a list of questions, to which the firm had not yet responded to the last round. Subsequent to the review of the data and the company’s response to the CHMP list of questions at the time of the withdrawal, the CHMP had some worries and had the provisional opinion that Jenzyl could not have been approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic soft tissue sarcoma or bone sarcoma as maintenance therapy.

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Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) new Windows 8 is giving software pirates in China an operating system that is the most resilient to piracy that the company thus far has released, says the Wall Street Journal. Vice President Nick Psyhogeos commented that, “We are aware though that software pirates are smart and they have a way to react and respond to any technological advancement we might introduce.” Microsoft is appealing to consumers in order to educate them regarding the dangers of purchasing computers that have unlicensed versions of Windows installed.

The Boeing Company’s (NYSE:BA) order of ten new Boeing  737-800 aircraft by AerCap Holdings (NYSE:AER) will be financed by a $200 million facility with DBS Bank of Singapore for pre-delivery payments. This funding facility concludes all of AerCap’s pre-delivery payment requirements for its order which was placed in 2010 with deliveries scheduled during 2015.

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