A soft financial landing for Time Warner executives

Departing Time Warner Cable Inc. executives are in line to receive “golden parachute” compensation totaling around $135 million as part of Comcast Corp.’s $45 billion acquisition of the cable operator. Shareholders are being asked to vote on the packages in a non-binding advisory vote. The details were contained in a securities filing by Comcast.

Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Rob Marcus is in line to receive $79.9 million, Chief Financial Officer Arthur Minson Jr. is set to get $27.1 million, Chief Technology Officer Michael LaJoie would get $16.3 million and Chief Operating Officer Philip Meeks is to receive $11.7 million.

The amounts include cash, stock and benefits that the executives were to receive for the next two to three years.

Oil, natural gas prices decline along with demand

Prices for oil and natural gas fell Thursday on concerns that demand for both is waning.

Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery dropped 94 cents to $99.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract expires Thursday. Most trading has moved to the May contract, which fell 27 cents at $98.90 a barrel. Natural gas lost 12 cents to $4.37 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Starbucks sold on alcohol as a way to boost sales

Starbucks will expand its evening alcohol and light bites menu, which includes bacon-wrapped dates and Malbec wine, to thousands of stores, Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead said in a phone interview. The rollout, which can help boost sales, will take several years, he said.

“We’ve tested it long enough in enough markets. This is a program that works,” he said. Starbucks has been focused on selling more non-coffee items, such as alcohol, juice, Teavana tea and food, to stoke U.S. growth. The company also is expanding its rewards program and mobile applications.

Nike beats expectations after shedding Cole-Haan

Nike says strong global demand for its athletic goods helped third-quarter net income beat expectations as it readies for the World Cup in Brazil.

The world’s largest athletic clothing maker says that not counting income from discontinued operations, earnings rose 3 percent, to $685 million, or 76 cents per share, in the three months ended on Feb. 28. The year before, profit came to $662 million, or 73 cents per share. The discontinued operations added another $204 million in profit to last year’s period. Analysts expected 72 cents per share, according to FactSet. Nike sold its Cole Haan and Umbro brands last year.

Revenue rose 13 percent to $6.97 billion, beating analysts’ expectation of $6.81 billion.

— From news service reports