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Economy Briefs: Say what? Kraft’s name becomes a joke

- Associated Press - Monday, May 21, 2012

NEW YORK — "MONDEWHAAAAT?"

The sarcasm was palpable in the one-word headline that appeared in the New York Post on the day after Kraft Foods revealed that it planned to name its new global snack business "Mondelez," an interpretation of a mash-up of the Latin words for "world" and "delicious." But that wasn't the only dig.

One blogger teased that she would've been "stifling giggles" if she'd been in meetings to determine the name. Crain's Business Chicago tittered that it bears close resemblance to a Russian term for a sexual act.

The made-up moniker, pronounced "mon-dah-LEEZ," became a punch line after it was unveiled in March. On Wednesday, Kraft shareholders will decide whether to approve the name for the company's business that sells global snack brands such as Oreos, Fig Newton and Cadbury.

OHIO

Eaton buying Cooper Industries for $11.46B

CLEVELAND — Diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp. is buying Irish electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries PLC in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $11.46 billion.

The deal will see Eaton and Cooper combine to form a new company, likely to be called Eaton Global Corp. PLC.

The new company will be incorporated in Ireland and be headed by Eaton Chairman and CEO Alexander Cutler.

Under terms of the deal, each Cooper stockholder will receive $39.15 in cash and 0.77479 shares of the newly created company. That combination is worth $72 per share based on Eaton's closing price of $42.40 on Friday.

The companies value the total deal at about $11.8 billion.

Cooper currently has approximately 159.1 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year.

NORTH CAROLINA

Lowe's profit up, but profit outlook cut

MOORESVILLE — Lowe's Cos.' first-quarter profit climbed 14 percent, as warmer weather helped boost sales. But the world's second-biggest home improvement company lowered its full-year earnings forecast on Monday, saying it is still cautious on the housing market and economic conditions.

While warmer weather helped Lowe's quarterly results, Chairman, President and CEO Robert Niblock said in a statement that demand for seasonal products slowed toward the end of the period.

Like many retailers, Lowe's has continued to deal with consumers remaining cautious in spending on their homes as the housing slump and soft economic conditions continue.

The Mooresville, N.C. retailer reported net income of $527 million, or 43 cents per share, for the period ended May 4. That's up from $461 million, or 34 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $13.15 billion from $12.19 billion.

The performance beat the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet, who forecast earnings of 42 cents per share on revenue of $12.99 billion.

Last week, rival Home Depot Inc. reported that its first-quarter net income climbed almost 28 percent, with revenue up 6 percent.

Revenue at Lowe's stores open at least a year increased 2.6 percent, including 2.7 percent in the U.S. This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Lowe's expects 2012 earnings of $1.

NEW JERSEY

Campbell Soups Co.'s net income slips

CAMDEN — Campbell Soup Co. says it net income slipped by 5 percent in its fiscal third quarter because of higher costs and sluggish sales.

The Camden, N.J.-based company says it earned $177 million, or 55 cents per share, in the three months ended April 29. That compares with a net income of $187 million, or 57 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 56 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 52 cents per share, according to FactSet.

The company said its gross profit margin fell to 38.8 percent, from 40.4 percent, as a result of higher costs for ingredients and increased promotional sales.

Sales in its key U.S. soups segment declined 3 percent from a year ago.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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