May 17, 2012 |
Despite a corruption probe into its Mexican subsidiary, retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported first-quarter profits that exceeded Wall Street expectations as more shoppers returned to its U.S. stores. For the three months ended April 30, the nation's largest retailer reported a profit of $3.74 billion, or $1.09 a share, up 10.1% from $3.39 billion, or 97 cents, a year earlier. Wal-Mart executives on Thursday said that low-price promotions attracted thrifty shoppers back into its U.S. stores, which had suffered as the recession squeezed its low-income customers.
May 8, 2012 |
Weeks after news about Wal-Mart's alleged involvement with bribery in Mexico surfaced, rank-and-file workers at the nation's largest retailer have taken their calls for change online. Venanzi Luna, a department manager at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pico Rivera, created an online petition at Change.org urging the company to undertake "a thorough and independent investigation" into allegations of widespread use of bribery and corruption to gain approval for new stores in Mexico.
May 5, 2012 |
SAN FRANCISCO - California has a friend who's about to write a hefty personal check that could help ease the state budget crunch. Mark Zuckerberg, the 27-year-old founder and chief executive of Facebook Inc., may have to pay the state $189 million in taxes after the Menlo Park, Calif., social networking company's initial public offering of stock in two weeks, according to calculations from PrivCo, which researches private companies. The IPO could value Facebook at $96 billion.
May 4, 2012 |
The California State Teachers' Retirement System is suing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executives and board members, accusing them of using bribery and corruption to gain approval from Mexican government officials to build new stores. Late Thursday, the board of CalSTRS, the country's second-largest public pension fund, filed the so-called derivative lawsuit seeking changes in the corporate governance of the world's biggest retailer. "CalSTRS is seeking to remedy the damages sustained by Wal-Mart as a result of alleged gross misconduct by Wal-Mart's executive officers and directors," CalSTRS Chief Executive Jack Ehnes said.
May 2, 2012 |
The Ascena Retail Group is venturing into the plus-size female market by acquiring Charming Shoppes Inc., parent company of Lane Bryant, for about $890 million. The purchase will allow Ascena, owner of Dressbarn and teen clothier Justice, to jump into the growing market for bigger-sized women's apparel. Charming also owns the Catherines Plus Size and Fashion Bug brands. The Suffern, N.Y.-based Ascena will buy Charming for $7.35 a share, a 25% premium on Tuesday's closing price.
May 1, 2012 |
It looks like the countdown to the Facebook IPO could be nearing completion. Facebook could start its IPO roadshow next week and appears to still be on track for a mid-May initial public stock offering, according to reports. In what is expected to be one of the biggest stock market debuts in history, Facebook appears to be putting the finishing touches on the required documents to be able to begin to court institutional investors such as...
May 1, 2012 |
One more piece of bad news for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.: A group of New York City pension funds, alarmed over allegations of widespread bribery by company officials in Mexico, said they would vote against reelecting five Wal-Mart directors. The pension officials plan to wield their 4.7 million Wal-Mart shares (and votes) next month at the retail giant's annual shareholders meeting to oust directors who had failed to provide adequate legal oversight over the company's vast operations, according to the New York Times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2012 |
The 10 campuses of the UC system should be given more power to govern themselves and be allowed to set their own tuition, decide how many out-of-state students to enroll, approve construction projects and control some investments under a proposal released Monday by UC Berkeley leaders. The plan, which is already provoking debate, would maintain the central Board of Regents for such overarching policy matters as admissions standards, state funding and top appointments. But it contends that UC has gotten so complex and governance has become so balky that campus governing boards should be established and given autonomy over many issues, similar to states in a federal system.
April 10, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - The nation's second biggest public pension fund, which provides retirement benefits for almost half a million California teachers, faces a projected $64.5-billion shortfall over the next three decades. Ed Derman, deputy chief executive of the California State Teachers' Retirement System, told reporters Tuesday that the $152-billion pension fund has only 69% of what it needs to meet future obligations. Pension experts say an asset value equal to about 80% of future obligations is the minimum conservative funding level for a program such as CalSTRS.
March 26, 2012 |
NEW YORK Struggling to pay employee pensions, local governments are increasingly borrowing money to cover their obligations - exploiting a loophole in federal law that allows them to issue taxable bonds without seeking voter approval. Oakland took a bet on its pension fund that ended up costing the city an estimated $245 million - nearly a quarter of its annual budget. That hasn't stopped the city from looking to try its luck one more time. The bets are being made using an exotic but increasingly popular financial instrument known as a pension obligation bond.