Kimberly-Clark to Cut 6,000 Jobs
Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers, said it plans to cut about 6,000 jobs and sell or close as many as 20 factories, while spending more on certain core product lines and emerging markets during the next 3 1/2 years. The company announced the plans as it reported that second-quarter profit fell 7 percent due to a tax expense for repatriating foreign profits. Revenue rose 8 percent, helped by strong sales of tissue products in North America.
Bush Nominates Two to SEC
President Bush proposed filling two vacant seats on the Securities and Exchange Commission by nominating one of its top regulators, Annette L. Nazareth, and renominating Commissioner Roel C. Campos, both of whom were recommended by Senate Democrats. The nominations may clear the way for confirmation of Bush's pick to head the SEC, Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.). The Senate Banking Committee scheduled a confirmation hearing for Tuesday to consider all three nominations simultaneously.
New Windows Renamed 'Vista'
Microsoft chose Windows Vista as the name of its next operating system, previously code-named Longhorn. The version is on schedule for release in the second half of 2006. That would be five years after the release of the current version of Windows.
Merrill Lynch Must Rehire Broker
Merrill Lynch, the world's second-biggest securities firm, must rehire Hydie Sumner, a female broker who won a $2.2 million sexual discrimination lawsuit against the firm last year. Sumner, 48, worked as a financial consultant at Merrill's San Antonio office from 1991 to late 1997.
An arbitration panel ordered Merrill to pay her $2.2 million in damages in April 2004 after she sued the New York-based securities firm. Merrill was ordered to rehire her in a July 20 panel decision.
Occidental Profit Up 164%
Occidental Petroleum's second-quarter profit rose 164 percent, to $1.54 billion, from $581 million a year earlier with the help of a $619 million federal tax benefit and a $140 million pretax gain from the sale of 11 million Lyondell Petrochemical shares. Oil and gas operating income increased 13.4 percent, to $1.33 billion, as chemical operating income jumped nearly 145 percent, to $225 million. Revenue rose 29 percent, to $3.52 billion.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Whirlpool Raises Bid for Maytag
Whirlpool, the largest U.S. appliance maker, said it sweetened its offer for smaller rival Maytag to $18 a share, from $17 a share. The latest Whirpool proposal would value Maytag at a total of $1.44 billion.
Maytag said late Thursday that it was unable to determine whether Whirlpool's initial bid was better than the cash offer of $14 a share it had already accepted from Ripplewood Holdings, a private equity group.
Vivendi Loses Price-Fixing Appeal
Vivendi Universal's Polygram recording unit lost an appeal of a finding that it colluded with Time Warner's music group to fix prices on tapes and compact discs of concerts by the Three Tenors. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a 2003 Federal Trade Commission finding that Polygram colluded with Warner Communications to curb discounts on two concert CDs to boost the commercial success of the Three Tenors' third CD.
Shell May Face U.S. Sanctions
Royal Dutch Shell faces risks of U.S. sanctions in Iran, the company disclosed in an SEC filing this week related to the merging of its British and Dutch halves. The oil company said its investments in Iran and Syria could mean it will be barred from financing by U.S. institutions.
Nanjing Acquires MG Rover
Nanjing Automotive of China bought the bankrupt British automaker MG Rover Group. PricewaterhouseCoopers said Nanjing bought the assets of both MG Rover and its engine subsidiary, Powertrain. Terms were not disclosed.
Compiled from staff and news service reports.