JPMorgan draws warning from regulator
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank, was warned by federal energy-market regulators that the firm and its personnel may face claims stemming from a probe into bidding practices. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff told JPMorgan in March they may recommend the agency bring an enforcement case against the bank’s employees and two subsidiaries, the New York-based company said in a regulatory filing. Claims may include “alleged violations of FERC rules and the rules of certain independent system operators,” the lender said, without elaborating on the allegations.
Delta to spend $1B on dividend, buybacks
Delta Air Lines plans to return $1 billion to investors by repurchasing stock and restarting its dividend after a decadelong break punctuated by bankruptcy and the biggest acquisition in its history. About half that amount will be through a buyback program over the next three years, while the quarterly dividend of 6 cents a share will be payable Sept. 10 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 9, Atlanta-based Delta said. Delta, whose stock rose to the highest price in more than five years, will be the only full-service U.S. carrier with either a buyback program or dividend.
Coca-Cola plans worldwide anti-obesity push
In a sign of how health concerns have shaken the beverage industry, Coca-Cola Co. pledged to make low-calorie drinks and clearer nutritional information more available across the world. The soft drink industry has been under fire as sugary high-calorie drinks are linked to increased obesity rates, and Coca-Cola has recently stepped up efforts to emphasize healthier lifestyles. Coca-Cola Chief Executive Muhtar Kent said the company would offer low and no-calorie drinks in every market, provide nutritional information on all of its packaging, invest in physical activity programs, and restrict all marketing to children under 12 in all world markets.
McDonald’s same-store sales slipped in April
McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant chain, said sales at stores open at least 13 months fell 0.6 percent last month as growth slowed in its Asia-Pacific region. Analysts estimated a 0.5 percent drop, the average of 11 estimates from Consensus Metrix. Sales at stores in the company’s Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa unit fell 2.9 percent, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company. Analysts projected a 1.4 percent decline. April’s sales decline in Asia was due to the avian flu in China and “softer results” in Japan and Australia, McDonald’s said.
Microsoft appoints chief financial officer
Microsoft Corp. appointed Amy Hood as chief financial officer to succeed Peter Klein, naming a 10-year veteran who already handles finances for the company’s business division, one of its most profitable. Klein said last month that he’s stepping down to spend time with his family, and the company said he would be replaced by an internal candidate.