- - Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NEW YORK

NEW YORK —The Coca-Cola Co. is recommending its first stock split in 16 years.

The world’s biggest beverage maker says the 2-for-1 split is in line with its plan to double revenue over this decade. The Atlanta-based company’s stock began trading in 1919. Since then, the stock has been split only 10 other times.

If approved, the split would increase the number of Coke shares to 11.2 billion from 5.6 billion.

The move is subject to approval by shareowners on July 10.

Shares of the company closed Tuesday at $74.12. The stock is up nearly 6 percent in the year to date.

PUERTO RICO

U.N. agency: 1 billion tourists expected

SAN JUAN — The U.N.’s World Trade Organization says 1 billion people will cross international borders as tourists this year for the first time.

The WTO’s regional director for the Americas, Carlos Vogeler, predicted Wednesday that the milestone will be reached in the fall.

That figure would be about 4 percent higher than last year’s total. Back in 1950, the figure was 25 million. The U.N. counts only people who stay at least one night. It does not include cruise ship passengers.

“It is quite iconic when you realize 1 billion people crossed borders,” Mr. Vogeler said at a Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association conference in Puerto Rico. “It shows from a sociological point of view how things have changed. If you go back 20-30 years, many people would die without traveling more than 100 miles from home.”

The WTO plans a celebration, and may even try to designate someone as the billionth tourist, when the number is hit.

The organization also projects that there will be 1.4 billion in 2020 and 1.8 billion in 2030.

The top three destination countries now are France, the U.S. and China.

MINNESOTA

Delta, US Airways see strong travel demand

MINNEAPOLIS — Rising fares haven’t kept passengers away, judging by financial results at Delta Air Lines and US Airways.

Both airlines reported quarterly profits on Wednesday. They each said travel demand appears to be holding up, suggesting that planes will be full and fares will be higher for the busy summer travel season.

Delta, the nation’s second-biggest airline, said it will reduce flying as much as 3 percent during the quarter that ends in June. The idea is that travelers will pay more for the remaining seats. So far, that appears to be working.

Delta earned $124 million for the most recent quarter and US Airways earned $48 million. Both airlines lost money a year ago, and both benefited from special items for their quarterly profit this year.

SPAIN

IMF urges further Spain bank reforms

MADRID | The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday urged Spain to push further ahead with banking reforms aimed at stabilizing its troubled financial sector.

IMF inspectors concluded Spain needs “to continue with and further deepen the financial sector reform strategy to address remaining vulnerabilities and build strong capital buffers in the sector,” it said in a report.

The conservative government that came to power in December has continued a clean-up of the banking sector prompted by the 2008 financial crisis, forcing banks to increase the amount of funds they have to cushion them in case of problems.

The IMF acknowledged Spain’s efforts but warned it needs to urgently clean up some banks that are still financially weak.