August 13, 2013

Briefcase

From news service reports

Gasoline prices fall 4 cents, further drop seen in Sept.

MaineGasPrices.com reported Monday that the average retail cost of a gallon of gas has fallen 4 cents in the past week to an average of $3.70. The prices are based on a survey of more than 1,200 Maine gas stations.

Prices are 8 cents a gallon cheaper than a year ago, but 6 cents higher than a month ago.

GasBuddy.com analyst Patrick DeHaan says prices nationally could be 10 to 25 cents a gallon lower come mid-September.

 

Shareholders' lawsuit dismissed against HP, ex-CEO

A judge has dismissed a shareholders lawsuit against computer maker Hewlett-Packard and its former CEO Mark Hurd, saying that a company's standards of business conduct amount to "puffery" that can't be used in securities fraud lawsuits.

A pension fund for concrete workers had alleged that Hewlett-Packard Co. committed fraud when it updated its standards of business conduct brochure in 2008. HP found Hurd had violated its guidelines when it uncovered what it says were inaccurate expense reports that concealed a relationship with a former contractor.

In dismissing the litigation, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco ruled that the business conduct standards were too vague to be used as the basis of a lawsuit and that the failure to disclose Hurd's conduct sooner wasn't material to the stock price.

 

KFC slow to recover losses sustained in China market

KFC parent Yum Brands Inc. said Monday a key sales figure for its China unit fell 13 percent in July, marking a setback in its push to recover from a bird flu scare and an earlier controversy over its chicken supply.

The company, based in Louisville, Ky., had reported a 10 percent drop in June. That had suggested it was on the path to winning back customers, given the 19 percent drop in May and the 29 percent decline in April.

But in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Monday, Yum simply cited the "residual effects" of the supplier issue late last year for the steeper drop. It stood by its forecast that sales at established restaurants would recover over the course of the year and to turn positive in the fourth quarter. Sales at established restaurants are a key indicator of a chain's strength.

 

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