Coffee prices lowered
Orrville-based food company J.M. Smucker Co. said Tuesday it cut retail prices on its flagship brand, Folgers, and most of its packaged coffee, including Dunkin’ Donuts, by about 6 percent. The company said the change was attributable to a sustained decline in green coffee bean costs. Smucker’s last announced price change was in May, when it cut retail prices by 6 percent. The news agency Reuters reported that a spokesman for Kraft Foods, maker of Maxwell House coffee, had “no news to share at this time” on price changes.
Richfield-based specialty insurer National Interstate Corp. has increased its quarterly dividend by 10 percent to 11 cents per share. The higher dividend for 2013 will be payable on March 22 to shareholders of record as of March 8. National Interstate has increased its dividend each year since its initial public offering in 2005.
Allstate adds to board
Allstate Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. home and auto insurer with operations in Hudson, named former Ingersoll-Rand Co. Chief Executive Officer Herbert Henkel to the board of directors. Henkel, 64, stepped down as CEO of Ingersoll-Rand in 2010.
Ford work to Ohio?
The Associated Press reported Ford is moving production of a popular small engine from Spain to a plant near Cleveland.
The report said Ford will announce today a $200 million investment at its factory in Brook Park. The plant will produce the 2-liter “EcoBoost” engine that’s now built in Valencia, Spain.
The move could add about 450 jobs at the Ohio plant. The factory currently has about 1,300 workers making two six-cylinder engines.
EcoBoost engines have turbochargers, which give them more power when needed. The engines are becoming popular because they get better gas mileage than larger motors.
Separately, Bloomberg News said Ford will pay a bonus to Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally after his employment ends. The payment will be based on Ford’s contributions to Mulally’s company retirement and benefit equalization plans, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Dell sees profit drop
Dell Inc.’s net income fell 31 percent in the latest quarter as the company continued to be hurt by a shrinking PC market. Dell’s founder and CEO Michael Dell and a group of investors are buying the company for $24.4 billion with a plan to turn it around. Dell posted net income of $530 million, or 30 cents per share, for its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Feb. 1. That was down from $764 million, or 43 cents per share, in the quarter a year ago. Excluding acquisition- and severance-related charges, earnings were 40 cents per share, beating by 1 cent the average forecast of analysts polled by research firm FactSet.
Revenue was $14.3 billion, down 11 percent from a year ago. It beat analyst expectations at $14.1 billion.
Loss at Cedar Fair
Theme park operator Cedar Fair LP of Sandusky said its fourth-quarter loss ballooned to $10.4 million, hurt by a drop in admissions revenue and lower sales from food, merchandise and games. The company posted a loss that amounted to 19 cents per limited partner unit and compared with a loss of $2 million, or 4 cents per limited partner unit, in the final three months of 2011. Revenue fell 11 percent to $129.2 million, from $144.8 million. The company, which runs Cedar Point and Knott’s Berry Farm among other parks, said admissions revenue dropped 13 percent to $78.9 million, while revenue from food merchandise and games fell 12 percent to $37 million. Accommodation and other revenue rose 13 percent to $13.3 million. For all of 2012, Cedar Fair earned $101.2 million, or $1.81 per unit, up from $70.7 million, or $1.27 per unit, in 2011. Revenue rose to $1.07 billion from $1.03 billion.
S&P at five-year high
U.S. stocks ended higher Tuesday, pushing the S&P 500 index to a five-year high, buoyed by corporate deal activity and an improvement in German investor sentiment. The S&P 500 climbed 11.15 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,530.94. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 53.91 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,035.67. The Nasdaq index added 21.56 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,213.59.
Boeing Co. was among the blue-chip decliners, with shares of the plane manufacturer off 0.5 percent ahead of a vote by union engineers on whether to approve a strike over retirement benefits. The dispute comes as Boeing addresses concerns over its 787 Dreamliner.
Compiled from staff and wire reports