Dow Jones 30 Week in Review: Honeywell Grabs Boeing Contract, Microsoft Looks to Follow Apple
Here’s your Cheat Sheet to the week in Dow 30 business news:
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The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) might well see increased rivalry in market share from PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) in the nation of Myanmar as the latter is in discussions there to complete a bottling agreement, according to Reuters.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) reaches a contract extension with Orange Business Services. which is a division of France Telecom (NYSE:FTE), to secure delivery of an IP VPN though which to facilitate reliable, efficient connectivity at 180 locations across 60 countries. Merck sites employ a number of access solutions that are based on business needs from Small Office Solutions by the use of an xDSL-based 2-megabits per second connection for small to medium-sized locations and as much as Gigabit Ethernet for its mission-critical sites.
United Technologies Corporation’s (NYSE:UTX) Climate, Controls & Security division, Automated Logic, has been named by PNC Financial Services Group to supply the building automation system for The Tower at PNC Plaza. Automated Logic provides innovative building automation solutions which optimize energy efficiency while concurrently ensuring occupant comfort. Construction is already ongoing with completion expected in the summer of 2015.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD), co-owners of Verizon Wireless, should receive by the end of this year an $8.5 billion dividend from the venture which will mark the second consecutive year in which the windfall will be paid. Verizon Wireless reported that this payment will be made in one or more tranches, divided in proportion to the owners’ interest in the firm. More specifically, the former owns 55 percent of the company and Vodafone 45 percent.
Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) Ukraine reaches a production sharing arrangement with Exxon Mobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA) through which to develop shale gas and offshore fields in the first half of December, according to the Environment and Natural Resources Minister Eduard Stavitsky to Interfax. At a Tuesday press conference, Stavitsky commented that, “I expect that we will be ready to sign PSA agreements on all three contracts in the first 10 days of December.” Ukraine relies primarily upon Russia for more than 60 percent of its gas deliveries, but wishes to develop its own reserves and to that end is trying to bring in funds and technologies from abroad.
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General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ:CLNE) have made a partnership agreement so as to broaden the infrastructure for natural gas transportation in the United States. The arrangement supports the latter’s efforts in the development of “America’s Natural Gas Highway,” which is a fueling network permitting trucks to operate on liquefied natural gas nationwide. Fuel expenses may often be decreased in excess of 25 percent through the use of truck fleets, along with lower emissions with lower emissions by using LNG. Further, GE’s MicroLNG facility has the capacity to liquefy natural gas at any point on a gas distribution network, thus rendering it optimal for supporting the fueling of vehicles in remote locales by shrinking the impact of long distance fuel transport. Through the terms of the deal, Clean Energy Fuels will initially acquire two ecomagination-qualified MicroLNG facilities from GE Oil & Gas and then the ‘plug-and-play’ modular units, which have been designed to quickly liquefy natural gas while minimizing a site’s physical presence, will support fueling stations along critical transportation corridors that run throughout the United States. GE Energy Financial Services will supply as much as $200 million in financing for the two GE MicroLNG plants, as well.
Hewlett-Packard Company’s (NYSE:HPQ) HP Enterprise Services says that it has won a five-year contract worth $36 million from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to supply a department-wide email and calendaring infrastructure to the VA’s 600,000 users using Microsoft Office 365 for Government. This agreement was granted under the Veterans Administration Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology program which represents the department’s information tech modernization contract. This update will start with 15,000 persons and then broaden agency-wide to 600,000 when all contract options are in play. Through the terms, H-P will conduct and manage the implementation of Office 365 for the Department to improve security, reliability, privacy, along with compliance and also to create geographically diverse disaster recovery. The VA’s decision to move to the cloud permits it to fulfill the Cloud-First federal mandate with the added expectation of improved employee productivity and collaboration with decreased costs.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ): In an arrangement announced on Wednesday, Verizon Wireless and Comcast reported that they will sell each other’s services in Houston, along with delivering an array of offers and incentives for current and existing customers. Consumers located in Houston who wish to remain connected to the significant persons and things while on traveling or at home have access to new choices for outstanding video, phone, Internet and wireless services. Customers (who qualify) of both Comcast and Verizon Wireless might be eligible for a number of offers and incentives, among which include Visa®prepaid cards valued as much as $300, a Comcast HD DVR that is free of charget for six months, and/or a complimentary 12-month upgrade to Blast!, which is the Xfinity Internet service that supplies download speeds of up to 30 Mbps with PowerBoost®.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS): The Wall Street Journal reports the exit of the executive producer of NBC’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Today show, Jim Bell, as the morning show has lost ratings to ABC’s Good Morning America over the past several months.
Intel Corporation’s (NASDAQ:INTC) legal disputes with Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) aside, a number of private-equity executives have said that the latter would be a “very, very difficult” firm for private equity to buy, according to Fortune. The fact that consumers are trending away from desktops does not particularly trouble the persons responding, but there is a problem with the more than $2 billion in debt that AMD has on its balance sheet along with significant earnings volatility and negative earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization.
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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), as underwriter for the State of New Jersey’s $2.6 billion notes, will acquire any amount of unsold debt from the state’s tax-and-revenue anticipation note deal set to price on Thursday, say bond documents, according to Bloomberg.
General Electric Company’s (NYSE:GE) Capital Corporate Finance is serving as the administrative agent for a $300 million cash flow credit facility for Rentech Nitrogen (NYSE:RNF), which the latter is using for funding its purchase of Agrifos and to support future growth projects and also supply working capital.
Intel Corporation’s (NASDAQ:INTC) Ultrabooks will add voice-enabled capabilities along with touch and gesture support in the near-term, according to The Economic Times.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) sees its energy-trading division receive a six-month suspension from some of its activities in electricity markets, says the Wall Street Journal. As a reason for the ruling, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pointed to false information it says the firm submitted as part of an inquiry into alleged market manipulation.
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) reports that it expects that Honeywell International (NYSE:HON) and Rockwell Collins (NYSE:COL) should receive major contracts to provide systems to its updated 737 Max jetliner, say sources to the Wall Street Journal.
Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX): Oil traded at almost the highest level in more than a week following the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, due to worries that Middle East unrest would hamper supply, says Bloomberg. Meanwhile, a report indicated that domestic stockpiles rose to the highest levels since July. The contract increased by 94 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $86.32 on Wednesday, which marks the highest settlement since November 6th. Thus far in the year, prices have fallen 13 percent.
3M Company (NYSE:MMM) and FCI, which is a top provider of power products and interconnect systems, have reached a second-source agreement which covers the High Power Card Edge and HP2 power product families. The former expects to have the connectors available early next year.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said that his company should take advantage of the opportunity to integrate hardware and software as it takes on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad with the Surface tablet computer, according to Bloomberg.
Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM): Oil traded at almost the highest level in more than a week following the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip due to worries that Middle East unrest would hamper supply, says Bloomberg. Meanwhile, a report indicated that domestic stockpiles rose to the highest levels since July. The contract increased by 94 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $86.32 on Wednesday, which marks the highest settlement since November 6th. Thus far in the year, prices have fallen 13 percent.
Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) will reiterate the cost savings targets it reported earlier in 2012, among which include $6 billion out of cost of goods sold, $1 billion from increased marketing efficiencies and $3 billion derived from core selling, general and administrative overhead costs. P&G is aiming at a non-manufacturing enrollment decrease of around 5,700 jobs by the end of fiscal year 2013. Further, the company expects to bring an annual 5 percent net productivity improvement in its manufacturing operations. At Thursday’s meeting, spokespersons will introduce a new objective through which to shrink non-manufacturing enrollment by between 2 and 4 percent per year through fiscal years 2014 to 2016 to reinforce the company’s ability to meet its savings objectives. The newly-named Global Productivity and Organization Transformation Officer, Jorge Uribe, will talk about the design-based approach that P&G will take to achieve the strengthened core SG&A overhead plans.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and its peer domestic carriers Sprint and AT&T will start selling Apple’s most recent 4G LTE iPads on Friday, although Sprint has warned that initial supply will be pressured as demand for the tablets continue to outstrip the number of devices available.
Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) will look into the cause of an oil mist release at a northern Illinois refinery in October and come up with a plan to ensure it doesn’t recur. Attorney General Lisa Madigan said on Thursday that an agreement between her office, Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and the company is in effect. The oil mist was accidentally released from the coker unit at Exxon’s Channahon Township refinery on October 19th and fell onto farms, homes, and a creek within a four-mile radius. The firm was given 14 days in which to complete its investigation; it must report how much and what type of pollutants were released, provide results of water and sediment testing from a nearby creek and describe how it will clean up other properties.
General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is currently the top bidder to purchase the privately-held airplane parts supplier Avio and is set to present its intentions to Italian government officials Friday, say sources to Reuters.
International Business Machines Corporation’s (NYSE:IBM) new report says that while companies are boosting their investments in social tech, middle management leaders are encountering difficulties embracing these capabilities as part of their day-to-day work. IBM surveyed 1,160 business and IT professionals and found that while 46 percent of the organizations upped their investments in social technologies this year, only 22 percent responded that managers are ready to integrate social tools and approaches into their daily practices.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) might plan to invest in Sharp Corp. (SHCAY), say Taiwan-based component makers, who added that the former may make such a move specifically for Sharp-developed power-saving IGZO panel tech, according to DigiTimes. Both Intel and Sharp had previously rejected rumors that Intel and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) will invest $377 million in Sharp.
3M Company (NYSE:MMM) says that it received clearance from the Federal Competition Authority of Austria on November 15th pertaining to its previously announced tender offer for all issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Ceradyne (NASDAQ:CRDN) at $35 per share. The United States Federal Trade Commission had previously granted early termination of the then required waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 as amended on October 15th, and 3M won clearance from the German Federal Cartel Office on October 30th. At that point, the condition of the Offer concerning clearance under applicable antitrust and competition laws was completely satisfied. The Offer remains subject to the satisfaction of certain other conditions and is scheduled to expire at 5:00 P.M. on November 27 unless it is extended.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): Sales of Sony Corporation’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 3 console stood at 70 million units on November 4th, which was a few days before the console’s 6th birthday, according to TechCrunch. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 reached the same milestone in September, while Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii reached worldwide sales of 97.18 million units at the end of that month.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) reported top-line results of a double-blind placebo-controlled Phase 3 study evaluating both the 165 mg dose and the 330 mg dose of pregabalin controlled-release formulation in adult patients suffering from partial onset seizures with epilepsy. These results indicate that pregabalin CR failed to meet its primary endpoint, comparing the change in seizure frequency to placebo, even though both doses were well-tolerated. This study is one of three Phase 3 studies of the pregabalin CR formulation which will ascertain the potential use of pregabalin as a therapy given once a day. The other two studies evaluate the pregabalin CR formulation in fibromyalgia and post-herpetic neuralgia. The company will continue to study these top-line results along with the top-line results of the other two studies.