Coca-Cola’s strategy pays with 8 percent rise in profit

The Coca-Cola Co.’s third-quarter profit rose 8 percent and beat Wall Street estimates as it sold more drinks worldwide and raised prices in North America, its largest market.

Coca-Cola has shown consistent growth for years, but like many of its peers, it recently has been struggling with rising costs for raw materials and Americans’ cautious spending habits during the down economy. But the company’s third-quarter results are the latest sign that some of world’s top brands, including its bigger rival PepsiCo, continue to prevail by tweaking their strategy.

EU proposal will restrict risky financial practices

The European Union agreed Tuesday to more strictly regulate the short selling of shares and bonds and to ban so-called “naked” credit default swaps on government bonds, moves officials said will contribute to financial stability.

Representatives of the European Parliament and EU member states reached a compromise on the new rules, which restrict practices critics say have exacerbated financial crises and market selloffs.

The regulation seeks to differentiate between investors who use short-sales as a legitimate tool to hedge, or insure, potential losses on other assets like shares or bonds, and speculators, who may be trying to make a profit by influencing market moves.

The rules are expected to get final approval from the full European Parliament and EU finance ministers over the coming weeks.

In a traditional short-sale, an investor hopes to profit by borrowing a share or bond, selling it and then buying it back at a lower price.

In a “naked” short sale, an investor bets on a drop in the price without actually borrowing the underlying asset or having a legitimate exposure to the asset that he needs to hedge.

Lawsuit accuses railroads of causing health problems

An environmental group is suing two of the nation’s biggest railroads under an untested legal theory that diesel exhaust is hazardous waste and companies should be held accountable for health problems suffered by residents living near California rail yards.

The Natural Resources Defense Council on Tuesday filed a federal court lawsuit against Union Pacific Corp. and BNSF Railway Co., accusing them of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which regulates hazardous solid waste disposal.

FDA chemist pleads guilty to insider trading charges

A Food and Drug Administration chemist pleaded guilty Tuesday to insider trading, the Justice Department said.

Between July 2006 and March 2011, Cheng Yi Liang bought and sold stock in more than 25 companies and reaped profits or avoided losses of $3.8 million, according to a recent court filing.

Liang, 57, also pleaded guilty to filing a false financial disclosure with the FDA. The government said that he neglected to report “that during 2009, he earned approximately $1,040,000 from trading on FDA inside information in the pharmaceutical stock known as Vanda.”

– From news service reports