Retirement at Morgan’s
Leonard R. Stein-Sapir will retire as chairman and chief executive officer of Cleveland-based Morgan’s Foods Inc. effective Dec. 31, the company announced.
Morgan’s Food’s Inc. (OTC: MRFD) is a national franchisee operating 58 KFC restaurants, five Taco Bell restaurants, nine KFC/Taco Bell restaurants and three Taco Bell/Pizza Hut restaurants, with locations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, New York and Missouri.
The company said James C. Pappas has been named chairman and James J. Liguori has been named interim chief executive officer. Stein-Sapir has been named chairman emeritus.
Dividend dates moved
Medina-based coatings and sealants holding company RPM International Inc. is pushing up the payment of a regular quarterly dividend of 22.5 cents to Dec. 28 instead of in January.
RPM joins other dividend-paying companies pushing up payments to shareholders in anticipation of higher federal taxes next year.
The Dec. 28 payment, to shareholders of record as of Dec. 17, is in lieu of a January dividend payment. RPM said its next quarterly dividend is expected to be paid in April 2013.
RPM increased its dividend by 4.7 percent in October, its 39th consecutive year of increasing cash dividend payments to shareholders. RPM brands include Rust-Oleum, Zinsser, Testors, DAP, Varathane, Stonhard and Tremco.
Another company, A. Schulman Inc., said it is pushing up its regular January dividend payment to Dec. 31. The Fairlawn polymer company said its dividend will be payable to shareholders of record as of Dec. 20.
The Dec. 31 dividend is in lieu of the quarterly dividend the company would have otherwise paid after announcing its fiscal 2013 first-quarter results in January.
Nike seeks guarantees
Athletic footwear and apparel giant Nike Inc. plans to expand its operations in Oregon and hire hundreds of workers but wants the state government to promise that tax rules won’t change, prompting a special session of the Legislature.
Gov. John Kitzhaber is asking for authority to make such a guarantee if a company invests at least $150 million and hires 500 or more workers. Nike has not specified its expansion plans.
Prostate pill use expanded
The Food and Drug Administration has expanded approval of Johnson & Johnson’s prostate cancer pill Zytiga for men with an earlier stage of the disease.
The agency says Zytiga is now approved for late-stage prostate cancer patients who have not yet received chemotherapy, based on study results showing it can extend life by up to five months when taken by men in that group.
The FDA previously approved the drug in April 2011 for men with prostate cancer who have already taken the chemotherapy drug docetaxel.
Zytiga works by decreasing the male hormone testosterone.
Ford assesses recalls
Ford Motor Co., beset by recalls of two of its best-selling models, said a repair to its 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine on the Escape sport utility vehicle and Fusion sedan won’t have a negative impact on its financial results.
“It will have no material impact,” Raj Nair, the automaker’s product development chief, said. He declined to give a cost for the repairs. “It’s covered by what we have in the warranty reserves.”
Ford said it found a solution to an overheating issue that could cause engine fires on 2013 Escape and Fusion models equipped with the 1.6-liter engine, featuring Ford’s fuel-saving EcoBoost technology. On Nov. 30, the automaker recalled 73,320 Escape models and about 19,000 Fusions equipped with the engine. The problem resulted in 13 engine fires, Ford has said.
Ford recalled the Fusion a second time last week to replace headlights that could become defective. The Escape has been the subject of four recalls. Nair said repeated recalls can have an impact on customer satisfaction.
The Fusion, Ford’s second best-selling car, has seen U.S. sales fall 2 percent this year to 221,980. Sales for the Escape, Ford’s top-selling SUV, have risen 5.3 percent through November this year to 240,877, according to researcher Autodata Corp.
Ford hasn’t found similar problems in other EcoBoost engines, Nair said. The 1.6-liter engine in the U.S. versions of the Escape and Fusion has electronic and mechanical controls governing the cooling system that could get “out of sync” when the engine overheats, potentially leading to a fire, Nair said.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.