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Showing posts from July, 2014

U.S. drugmaker AbbVie Inc (ABBV.N) bought Dublin-based Shire Plc

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U.S. drugmaker AbbVie Inc (ABBV.N) bought Dublin-based Shire Plc (SHP.L) on Friday in a 32 billion pound ($54.7 billion) deal that will allow it to slash its tax bill by relocating to Britain.
The London-listed company, which makes expensive medicines to treat rare diseases, fought off four earlier bids from AbbVie until the U.S. firm raised its price to 52.48 pounds per share - made up of 24.44 pounds in cash and 0.8960 new AbbVie shares.
Chicago-based AbbVie is buying Shire to cut both its U.S. tax bill and its reliance on arthritis drug Humira, the world's top selling medicine which loses U.S. patent protection in 2016. AbbVie, which generates nearly 60 percent of its revenue from Humira, had until Friday to announce a firm offer for Shire, extend the deadline or walk away under UK takeover rules.
It now plans to create a company listed in New York, incorporated in Jersey, the Channel Islands, and tax-domiciled in Britain, which will pay an effective tax of about 13 percent by…

Casual dinning and devices

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Logo used from 1980–2007, still in use at some Applebee's locations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Casual dining chain Applebee’s (DIN) has applied to trademark the phrase “No Tech Tuesday.” While one could reasonably infer that the restaurant is planning to host device-free dining on, say, Tuesdays, the chain denies that it has any such plans.
“Guests are welcome to use as much or as little tech as they want,” says Applebee’s spokesman Dan Smith. “Like many brands, we file many phrases for protection. There’s absolutely zero percent linkage between No Tech Tuesday and anything in the restaurant.”
So why trademark the phrase at all? It would seem the chain is considering some marketing around it but hasn’t quite worked out the details. It could, for instance, be used in some cutesy ad about going out to eat midweek to escape all your gadgets at home. That’s just a guess. Smith claims Applebee’s hasn’t even gotten that far. “It could be used in any number of things, for marketing. … Bu…

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Mylan buys Abbott specialty brands for structured tax inversion

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Generic drugmaker Mylan Inc said on Monday it would buy Abbott Laboratories' branded specialty and generics business in developed markets outside the United States in a $5.3 billion deal that will bolster its product line and also cut its tax bill.
The deal gives Mylan a wide array of Abbott brands that have annual sales of almost $2 billion in those markets, including gastroenterology drug Creon, pain drug Brufen and influenza vaccine Influvac.
It has been structured to help Mylan reduce its tax bill, by moving its tax address outside the United States, a practice known as tax inversion that has become popular among healthcare companies.
"We see Mylan creating a platform for potential future acquisitions with this deal," thanks to revenue from the Abbott products and a lowered tax rate of 20 to 21 percent in the first full year and high-teens later on, said JP Morgan analyst Chris Schott.
Mylan shares were up 2.7 percent at $51.55 on the Nasdaq in early afternoon, whil…

Retiring in Ecuador

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English: Quito, Ecuador: Independance Place. Español: Quito, Ecuador: plaza de la Independencia, tambien Plaza Grande. Français : Quito, Équateur : place de l'Indépendance, aussi Plaza Grande. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) What’s your definition of “riding off into the sunset?” For many retirees, post-employment bliss is more about getting the most out of a dollar and less about lying on the beach beneath palm trees. That's why those with limited budgets are discovering Ecuador just might be the perfect destination for life after work.
Here are five reasons the South American nation is luring retirees. 1. Stretch Your Nest Egg By moving to Ecuador, some retirees say they can double or even triple their disposable income and live comfortably for around $2,000 a month or less. A furnished three-bedroom apartment with a view of the Andes rents for $600. "It's a nation where, in the right communities, you really can 'upgrade' your l…

Boeing's Space Bins will stow six bags

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Boeing's Space Bins will stow six bags, two more than the current pivot bins installed on Next-Generation 737s (Photo: Boeing) Seasoned travelers know the benefits of restricting luggage to carry-on, letting them smugly cruise past the suckers waiting at baggage claim at the end of a flight. But with the number of people going carry-on only, finding space in the overhead compartments can be a hassle. Boeing's new Space Bags overcome this problem, with each storing two more bags than the current bins.
To be offered as an optional feature on the new Next-Generation 737's and 737 MAX aircraft, the new Space Bags will stow six carry-on bags of the standard 9 x 14 x 22-in (23 x 36 x 56 cm) size. This will bring the bag-carrying capacity of aircraft including the 737-900ER and 737 MAX 9 up to 194, which is 62 more bags than the current pivot bins that were introduced in 2010 can handle.
Boeing says the new Space Bins are as easy to close as the pivot bins, but don't require…

Less spent on R & D better the performance on Wall Street

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Canon PowerShot A590 IS Sample - Hewlett-Packard Logo (Macro) (Photo credit: włodi) When Meg Whitman was named chief executive of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) in 2011, she inherited a real mess. HP’s share price had been slaughtered by the ouster of Mark Hurd and the reign of Léo Apotheker—an 11-month period that I like to refer to as the Grim Bumbling. Trying to revive hope in the company and its stock, Whitman vowed to invest in what had once made HP great. She would pour money into research and development, HP would invent wonderful things, and investors would eventually rejoice.
While this plan seemed sound enough in theory, a new study has suggested that it might have been exactly the wrong thing to do.
The data sleuths over at Bernstein Research have just issued a sizzling report with the title “Do High R&D Spenders in Tech Generate Stock Outperformance?” Even if it’s not the sexiest title, the conclusion is titillating. Bernstein examined technology companies since 1977 to measure…

British bank Barclays is to replace branch cashiers

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British bank Barclays is to replace branch cashiers with floor-walking staff sporting tablet computers as personal banking becomes increasingly virtual.
From October staff will step out from behind their glass booths, armed with tablets to help them offer advice to customers and guide them on how to use self-service machines for basic transactions.
Banks are keen to automate more basic services within branches, such as withdrawing and depositing cash and paying bills, as customers become more comfortable with remote banking.
A report published last week by the British Bankers Association and accountancy firm EY found that Britons are now using mobile and internet banking for transactions worth nearly 1 billion pounds a day.
The change at Barclays will involve more than 6,500 employees dropping their cashier titles for the new role of "community banker", with all in-branch staff receiving an average pay rise of 2.8 percent.
The bank, which has more than 1,500 branches in the

Roku beats Apple out in set-top boxes

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If you don't have a streaming media player by now, what are you waiting for? New figures from research firm Parks Associates suggest that 25 percent of all U.S. households will have a set-top box within two years.
As for which one you might purchase, we're willing to bet that you're going to be looking at one of two companies for a streaming box: Roku or Apple. According to Parks Associates, Roku devices made up 46 percent of all streaming media players purchased last year, with Apple devices coming in a distant second at 26 percent.
Parks Associates also surveyed households to see what they use most for streaming right now, and the answers shouldn't surprise you. Among all households with a streaming media player, 44 percent used a Roku device "the most," compared to 26 percent of households with an Apple gadget. That's up slightly from the 24 percent of households who gave Apple streamers the head-nod in last year's survey, but not nearly as much…

Carnival Cruise Lines bans smoking on balconies

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Cruisers who are also smokers should check their preferred line's smoking policy before they book their next voyage. More and more lines are banning smoking on cabin balconies, once considered a must-have feature for smokers who needed a place to puff in private.
The latest to join the balcony smoking ban is
Carnival Spirit (Photo credit: blmiers2) , one of the largest and most popular lines, especially for American cruisers.
The ban on balcony smoking will take effect on Oct. 9. The line had already banned smoking in cabins. Smoking will continue to be allowed in designated open deck areas, as well as night clubs and certain areas within the casino and casino bar, the cruise line said.
Colleen McDaniel, Managing Editor of Cruise Critic, called the new policy a "big move on Carnival’s part."
But it seems to be the "wave" of the future: several other lines -- including Royal Caribbean, Cunard, P&O, Disney and Seabourn -- have also banned balcony smoking, at l…

U.S. is on track to pass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer of crude oil

Four years into the shale revolution, the U.S. is on track to pass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer of crude oil, most analysts agree. When that happens and by how much, though, has produced disparate estimates that depend on uncertain factors ranging from progress in drilling technology to the availability of financing and the price of oil itself.
Forecasts for U.S. shale oil production vary from an increase of 7.5 million barrels per day by 2020 – almost doubling current domestic output of 8.5 bpd -- to a gain of 1.5 million bpd, or less than half of what Iraq now produces.
The disparities are a function of the novelty of the shale boom, which has consistently confounded forecasts. In 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated that production from eight selected shale oil fields would range from 700,000 bpd of so-called tight oil to 2.8 million bpd by 2035. A year later, those predictions had been surpassed.
"The key issue is not…

Wells Fargo & Co the largest U.S. mortgage lender, reported a 3 percent rise in second-quarter

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Wells Fargo (Photo credit: JeepersMedia)Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), the largest U.S. mortgage lender, reported a 3 percent rise in second-quarter profit, helped by a rally in the equity and fixed income markets, and said it was seeing signs that the U.S. economy was improving.
The bank said its capital markets, corporate banking, commercial real estate, debit card and personal loans businesses had all perked up in the latest quarter compared with the first.
But mortgage lending and investment banking revenue fell and overall loan growth was modest, compared with a year earlier.
Wells Fargo is the first of the major U.S. banks to report second quarter results, and its earnings show the headwinds that its rivals also faced during the period.
This is also the first quarter since 2009 that Wells Fargo did not increase its earnings-per-share from the preceding quarter, ending a 17-quarter streak.
CEOJohn Stumpf was upbeat, however, noting that the bank's businesses were improving comp…

European Central Bank becomes the region's financial supervisor in November

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Bank (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013) The European Central Bank wants to give banks just 48 hours to review the results of a balance sheet health check so it can guard against data leaks even though the banks would like more time.
The ECB is carrying out the most detailed ever review of the euro zone's 128 largest banks before it becomes the region's financial supervisor in November.
Its aim is to restore confidence in Europe's banking sector that has traded at lower valuations than its U.S. counterpart since the financial crisis due to uncertainty about the health of European banks' balance sheets.
The results of the eight-month exercise are due in October and the ECB is holding meetings in Frankfurt this week to tell bankers how they will be released to the banks and the markets.
The bank faces a delicate balancing act in trying to keep its work under wraps and avoid breaches of market disclosure rules, while not blind-siding banks with unforeseen capital demand…