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Coca-Cola seeking 2-for-1 stock split

NEW YORK (AP) -- Coca-Cola Co. is seeking its first stock split in 16 years.

The world's biggest beverage maker said Wednesday 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 times.

Companies split stocks when they think their share price has gotten too expensive or if the stock is trading too far above similar companies' stock.

If approved, Coke's split would increase the number of its shares to 11.2 billion from 5.6 billion. Shareholders would receive one share of stock for each share held in early August.

The move is subject to approval by shareowners July 10.


Factory orders drop

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders for long-lasting factory goods fell by the largest amount in three years last month, mostly because demand for commercial aircraft plummeted. But companies also ordered less machinery and other equipment, a sign manufacturing output may slow.

Orders for durable goods dropped 4.2 percent in March, the steepest fall since January 2009, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Commercial aircraft orders, a volatile category, fell by nearly 50 percent.

Excluding transportation equipment, orders declined 1.1 percent. That's the second drop in that category in three months.


Caterpillar's stock sags

Caterpillar's first-quarter profit jumped 29 percent, and it boosted its outlook for the year as U.S. builders replaced old gear, and global demand for mining equipment boomed.

But many investors seemed to expect more from the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, because Caterpillar's stock fell 5 percent.

The company generated $1.59 billion net income, or $2.37 per share, during the quarter. That's up from last year's $1.23 billion net income, or $1.84 per share.

The Peoria, Ill., firm said its revenue grew 23 percent, to $15.98 billion from last year's $12.95 billion. Shares declined $4.96, or 5 percent, to close at $103.44 Wednesday.

-- Associated Press


Upstate Niagara fined

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Upstate Niagara Cooperative for 12 alleged violations of workplace safety standards at its Rochester production plant.

The proposed penalties total $200,300. OSHA said its inspection found "several deficiencies" in the company's process safety management program, requirements and procedures employers must follow to "proactively" address hazards associated with processes and equipment involving large amounts of hazardous chemicals. The chemical in this case was anhydrous ammonia, which is used in the plant's refrigeration system.

Upstate Niagara Cooperative was given 15 business days from the receipt of the alleged violations and proposed penalties to either comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Two airlines turn profits

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Rising fares haven't kept passengers away, judging by financial results at Delta Air Lines and US Airways.

Both airlines reported quarterly profits Wednesday, and both 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, it 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.