Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska on December 14, 2006 · 8
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska · 8

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Lincoln, Nebraska
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Thursday, December 14, 2006
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8
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Business THURSDAY - W.V.!.!li..m.U'i.V..h.!i.l.U 1 8A Journal Star Thursday, December 14, 2006 BANKRUPTCIES9A Comments? Questions? Call Richard Piersol. 473-7241 Pege Oevejvvoona Ayona Dow Jones Industrials Standard A Foort 500 NASDAQ Kussefl 2000 Buckie paying special dividend, splits stock KEARNEY The Buckle Inc. said its board authorized a $3-per-, share special one-time cash dividend to be paid to shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 22. The one-time cash dividend is payable on Jan. 2, 2007. The board also approved a 3-for-2 stock split payable in the form of a stock dividend to shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 3. The additional shares from this split will be issued on or about Jan. 12. The board also authorized a 20cents-per-share quarterly dividend payment to be paid to shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 19 and payable on Jan. 29. With the impact of the stock split, it is, in effect, a 50 percent increase in the company's regular quarterly dividend rate. Headquartered in Kearney, The Buckle Inc. is a retailer of casual apparel, footwear and accessories for young men and women. It currently operates 354 retail stores in 38 states. U S. Bancorp raises stock dividend MINNEAPOLIS The board of directors of U.S. Bancorp approved a 21 percent increase in the dividend rate on U.S. Bancorp common stock to $1.60 on an annualized basis, or $0.40 on a quarterly basis. The board declared a quarterly common stock dividend of $0.40 per common share payable on Jan. 16 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 29. Prior to this increase, U.S. Ban-corp's dividend on an annualized basis was $1.32, or $0.33 on a quarterly basis. U.S. Bancorp owns U.S. Bank, which operates in Nebraska and other states. Monsanto Co. raises stock dividend ST LOUIS Monsanto Co. announced its board of directors raised the quarterly dividend on its common shares from 10 cents per share to 12.5 cents per share, or an increase of 25 percent. The dividend is payable on Jan. 26 to shareowners of record on Jan. 5. Monsanto Co. is a provider of agricultural products. Monsanto's American Seeds Inc. owns NC Hybrids of Lincoln and Fontanelle Hybrids of Dodge County. China cracks down as U.S. treasury chief visits BEIJING U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson confronted mixed signals as he arrived in China Wednesday for trade talks, with Beijing announcing a renewed crackdown on pirated goods but also running up a record trade surplus with the United States. U.S. officials are trying to downplay expectations of breakthroughs from the talks led by Paulson, Washington's point man on economic ties with Beijing, and Chinese Premier Wu Yi. The talks are billed as the beginning of a wide-ranging "strategic economic dialogue." In a prelude to the visit, Chinese and U.S. companies announced a series of deals, including the purchase by U.S. retailer Home Depot Inc. of a chain of Chinese home improvement stores and the sale of GE Aviation jet engines to a Shanghai airline. From staff and wine reports Most Active $1 or more) Name Vol (00) Last Chg Most Active Name Vol (00) NasdlOOTr 730844 SinusS 526352 SunMicro 511411 Intel 472661 Microsoft 447086 Gainers ($2 Name Last FordM 1662756 6.88 -.21 Pfizer 402896 25.39 .22 GenElec 387012 35.50 -.14 AMD 279482 20.17 -.30 OCT Win 253268 12.35 ... Gainers i$2 mom) Ham Last Chg Chg SABESP 35.35 4.64 15.1 Unffi 2.39 .20 9.1 Tenarrs s 50.19 3.98 8.6 CopaHolrJ 48.30 3.46 7,7 Perdigaos 27.25 1.95 7.7 Losers ($201 Nam Last Chg Chg Progen SonicFdy Maxco Consulier SupVsn 6.48 4.70 10.85 6.64 3.20 Losers ($2 Last CooperCo 44.59 4.83 -9.8 NBREInc h 27.58 -2.37 -7.9 SAICn 18.24 -1.48 -7.5 HancFab 3.04 -.20 -6.2 Alpharma 22.91 -1.48 -6.1 PeerlssSys 2.80 -.93 -24.9 MACC 2.52 -.77 -23.4 Pozen 16.09 -2.02 -11.2 Tri-SSec 2.32 -.29 -11.1 Alphatecn . 3.66 . -.40 -9.9 , Diary Advanced 1.513 Declined 1,536 Unchanged 150 Total issues 3,199 New Highs . 81 New Lows 31 Volume 1,831,121,573 Diary Advanced Declined . Unchanged Total Issues New Highs New Low Volume 1,751 1,574 138 3,463 290 15 2,588.478.350 Windstream to split off directory business Its 49 employees working in Lincoln would work for the buyer, a private equity firm. BY MATT OLBERDING Lincoln Journal Star Windstream Communications, the local telephone company in Lincoln and Southeast Nebraska, announced plans Wednesday to spin off its directory publishing business, which employs 49 people locally, to a private equity firm. Delta Airlines' Winford Speakman (right) and fellow captain R.B. Vaughn show their support for an independent Delta on Wednesday in Atlanta, as do other employees, at an antimerger rally on the first anniversary of the airline's filing for bankruptcy. U.S. Airways is attempting a hostile takeover of Delta. ODD Mergers are likely to mean higher prices for consumers, consultant says. The Associated Press Talks among airlines may signal merger mania within the struggling industry, though analysts question whether consolidation is a sure or even a good thing. UAL Corp.'s United Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc. are exploring a possible combination, a person close to the airlines told The Associated Press. And AirTran Holdings Inc. made a $290 million stock and cash bid for Midwest Air Group Inc., valuing the smaller airline at $11.25 per share, a 24 percent premium to its closing stock price Tuesday on the American Stock Exchange. The AirTran offer was made on Oct. 20. Oak Creek, Wis. -based Midwest turned down the offer on Dec. 6. AirTran Chairman and Chief Ex To get stock quotes Goto joumalstar. comfinancial to get the latest quotes. Or call 1-800- 555-8355 lor free telephone . stock quotes.' Footnotes ($1 on Mom) Last Chg 43.88 08 3.79 02 5.57 -07 20.70 -.03 29.55 12 ob Moflt) Cho Cha x K. 3.53119.7 .88 23.0 1.81 200 .89 15.5 .40 14.3 or mors) . imi mum $m m a Chg Cng 1-ton vM4 pails net MM tim rum MIT The $525 million deal with Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe is expected to be tax free to Wind-stream and its shareholders. Windstream said it will use $250 million of the sale proceeds to retire debt and use the remaining $275 million to buy New York-based Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe's 4.1 percent stake in Windstream, about 19.6 million shares. Those shares will be retired, the company said, so shareholders should see value in having fewer shares outstanding. Jeff Gardner, Windstream president and chief executive officer, called the deal a "strategic opportunity" for the company to focus more on its core business of providing CHORDS ecutive Joe Leonard sent another letter on Wednesday stating that AirTran would continue to pursue the transaction. All this activity comes after the recent hostile $8.67 billion takeover bid US Airways Group Inc. made for Delta Air Lines Inc., whose top executive has rebuffed the offer. The preliminary talks between United and Continental are not new, though the conversation has become more serious since US Airways approached Delta. A deal remains far from certain. A United-Continental pairing could face significant obstacles, because Northwest Airlines Corp. may be able to stop it under a 2000 agreement with Continental. In that pact between airlines allied in a code-share agreement, Northwest received a "golden share" of Continental giving it the power to halt any potential acquisition of the Houston-based airline in exchange for letting Continental buy back some of its stock that Northwest held. But with U.S. airlines strongly in 52-Week Net YTD 52-wk High Low Name Last Chg Chg Chg Chg 12,361.00 10,661.15 Dow Jones Industrials 12,317.50 1.92 .02 14.93 13.18 5,013.67 4,050.46 Dow Jones Transportation 4,657.94 -24.18 -.52 11.01 13.15 462.85 380.97 Dow Jones Utilities 460.65 1.78 .39 13.71 10.55 9,092.54 7.708.11 NYSE Composite 9.082.13 22.87 .25 17.13 15.66 2,096.43 1,078.14 Amex Index 2,076.84 4.17 -.20 18.06 17.54 2.468.42 2,012.78 Nasdaq Composite 2.432.41 .81 .03 10.30 7.51 1.418.27 1,219.29 S&P 500 1,413.21 1.65 .12 13,21 11.04 801.01 666.58 Russell 2000 788,75 .34 .04 17.16 14.23 14,308.53 12,249.90 Wilshire 5000 14,234.87 12.84 .09 13.72 11.60 52-Week YTD Nam Nam Dhr High Low Last ChgChg AUegiantn Allstate AIM Aquda ArchDan BerkHa A BerkHB Buckle BurlNSF 27.83 24.00 26.85 .78 7.0 65.00 50.22 64.53 -.42 19.3 58.53 48.13 58.16 .10 12.6 4.81 3.44 4.70 .07 30.6 46.71 24.05 32.76 -.71 32.8 1.40 ,50 .40 ...110000.0085400.00109800100023.9 ...Utttti.UU 2839.00 3663 -224.8 1.20f U48.71 31.75 51.28 2.78 59,1 1.00 87.99 63.80 74.38 -1.06 5.0 ... 26.00 16.06 24.99 .06 50.5 .20 27.20 20.15 23.65 -.09 -4.6 .72 U26.43 18.85 26.88 .48 32.5 ... 60.99 28.07 57.57 .36 93.6 Cabelas Caseys ConAgra DtfRwer Eflmc FirstOata s Fserv GenOyns Goodyear He Kenexa KmdMcm LeeEnt Levet3 ... 12.40 5.17 6.43 -.50 -36,7 .12 25.79 :. 20.69 25.27 .14 11.4 ... 53.00 40.29 52.10 .43 20.4 .92 77.98 55.09 72.89 -.90 27.8 ... 19.31 9.75 18.04 .21 3.8 1.16 50.87 41.35 50.47 -.14 16.8 ... 3840 17.10 32.82 -.56 55.5 3.50 106.19 ' 81.00105.50 .05 14.7 .72 36.80 22.98 29.27 21 -20.7 ... .. 6.09 2.71 5.87 ,-.06104.5 158f 65.92 51.30 6360 -.15 19.9 .13 20 60 16.58 17.24 -.40 -.6 30 40.10 25.633239 -.09 24.8 lenneco TierOne TbroCo TractSupO uncNat MOSg Motex telephone and Internet service. The transaction will allow our management team to focus on our core communications and entertainment business while reducing debt and retiring outstanding equity in a tax-efficient manner," Gardner said. Windstream Yellow Pages distributes about 9 million directories each year in 36 states, including Nebraska, and has annual revenues of about $152 million. It is based in Hudson, Ohio, and has about 450 employees, 49 of whom are in Lincoln. Windstream spokesman Chris Hunt said the publishing employees would continue to work for Windstream through the second I ! i kcMki terested in consolidation, it's possible differences could be resolved in separate deals. Airline consultant Michael Boyd said a United-Continental combination, or any other combination for that matter, would not be good for consumers, because it would reduce competition. He described any offer by United as an effort to make "fast money." "Glenn Tilton has called everyone looking for a date," Boyd said, referring to United's chief executive. "He doesn't want to run an airline; he wants to merge it." Indeed, Tilton on Tuesday spoke up again as a strong advocate of U.S. airline mergers, telling analysts in Chicago that consolidation is "good and overdue for the industry." "We are not waiting for opportunities to come to us simply because we haven't identified to you which one works best," Tilton said at the conclusion of a 3V4-hour management presentation to more than 75 analysts. See AIRLINE, Page M 52 Wok ' : ' 1 ' : YTD Ok High Low Last ChgChg Monsanto s .50f NashF .72 NatlResh .40 Nelnet NewellRub .84 Novartis .89e ParkHan 1.04 PerotSys Pfar .96 QuebWrld .30) SmithfF StanlWk 1.20 Sysco .76f TDAmeritr6.00e Tetedyne 49.44 31.92 26.91 43.70 29.98 61.60 88.00 16.45 28.60 15.26 31.47 54.59 36.93 23.02 44.59 27.55 35.60 52,56 . 67.59 97.49 U34.46 61.19 38.95 36.99 21.84 U14.19 37.60 48.15 18.41 26.66 16.2524.01 25.00 28.11 22.65 28.97 51,43 58,08 65.16 80.72 12.99 16.32 20.20 25.39 9.3611.26 25.00 26.26 41.60 50.85 26.5036.28 13.3016.96 27.85 41.25 17.2424.60 27.60 32.15 37.7747.55 38.7546.64 74.72 92.51 28.9935.58 32.77 57.32 ; 30.00 35.87 30.31 36.35 17.1617.86 11.1314.22 .05 24.2 .05 4.6 -.19 38.8 .03-30.9 -.04 21.8 58 10.7 -.28 22.4 .09 15.4 52 8.9 --14 -17.1 ... -14.2 -.03 5.8 .03 16.8 -.11 -8.2 -.10 418 5525.4 .12 . 9.3 -.03 8.6 26 -11.9 -.3014.9 1.2019.0 ,-.03 71.3 .11 23.5 . .' .01 12.5 28 -8.3 10 24.7 .28 .481 UnionPac 1.20 USBancrpl.60f valmont . .38 VerizorCm 162 WellsFgos 112 WerneSnt .18 WmrJstrm 1.00 quarter of 2007. After that, they will become employees of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, he said. Welsh, Carlson? Anderson & Stowe could not be reached for comment on its plans for those employees. Hunt said local customers and advertisers would see no changes. "Although Welsh, Carson will publish the phone books, we will be their customer and will set delivery schedules, so that won't be impacted," Hunt said. Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe bills itself as one of the largest private equity firms in the country. According to its Web site, www.welshcarson.com, it has a stake in 30 companies, including JOHN AM ISThe Associated Press Local connections United Airlines provides nonstop flights from the Lincoln Airport to Denver and Chicago through regional carriers. In Omaha, it provides both mainline and regional service to Chicago and Denver. Continental Airlines offers nonstop flights from Omaha to Houston and Newark, N.J. Midwest Airlines offers nonstop flights from Omaha to Milwaukee and Washington, D.C. Northwest Airlines offers service from Lincoln to Minneapolis and Detroit via its regional carrier, Northwest Airlink, which also serves those cities and Memphis from Omaha. Futures trading on the New York Mercantile Excharge on Wednesday: light sweet crude (per barrel) Delivery Open High Low SeWte Chg Jan 07 60.97 61.85 60.74 61.37 .35 Tue's sales 455329 British pound is valued in U.S. dollars. Others are expressed In units per U.S. dollar. Yesterday Pvs Day Yesterday PvsPay Australia 1.2715 1.2715 Euro .7573 .7532 Mail . $1.9660 $1.9700 Japan 117.52 116.90 Canada 11564 1.1523 Mexico 10.8395 10.8450 China 7.8282 7.8340 Russia 26,2854 26.2329 Yesterday Pvs Day Gold (troy oz spot) Silver (troy e spot) Copper (pound) $627.90 $627.00 $13,747 $13,813 $3.0246 $3.0845 Expiration Open High Low Settle Chg WINTER WHEAT Dec 06 ... 493.75 499.50 493.76 Mar 07 600.50 612 600 . May 07 605 516 605 : Jul 07 . 491 499.75 491 Sep 07 496 501 493 Dec 07 501 507 501 . Tue's sales 8240 499.50 3.75 508.75 3.50. 514 2.50 496.75 2.75 499 2.50 606 : . 3 . . 22. Ftflurei are low end high price. Wheat No. 2: 4.67. 4.69. .., Com No. 2: 3.25. 3.27, MlloNo. 2:3.34. 3.37. Soybeans No. 2:6.01.6.06. g nop R.H. Donnelley, another directory publishing company that publishes the Qwest Dex directories in Omaha and Grand Island. Windstream said the deal is still subject to regulatory approval, including an OK from the Internal Revenue Service on the tax-free status of the transaction. The company said it expects the deal to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2007. Windstream Corp. is the company formed by the combination this year of Alltel Corp.'s wire-line phone unit and Valor Communications Group Inc. Reach Matt Olberding at 473-2647 or molberdingjournalstar.com. Taco John's drops produce vendor The chain may be involved in E. coli contamination and is taking precautionary measures. From staff and wire reports CHEYENNE, Wyo. Taco John's International Inc. has dropped a St. Paul, Minn., produce supplier but still won't blame that food source for E. coli contamination that may have come from three Taco John's restaurants in the Midwest. Brian Dixon, vice president of marketing at Taco John's headquarters in Cheyenne, Wyo., said Wednesday that about 40 people have fallen ill in Iowa and another 14 in southern Minnesota. Dixon said the sickened people reported that they had eaten at one of three Taco John's restaurants, among other places. Although tests still are being done, he said, nothing so far indicates that the bacteria necessarily came from the firm's restaurants in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Albert Lea, Minn., and Austin, Minn. Dixon said the restaurant chain has dropped Bix Produce Co. LLC of St. Paul, Minn., as an "urgent and precautionary measure." He said the company provided produce for restaurants in Iowa and Minnesota, but none in Nebraska. "We are not blaming them, we're just taking a strong preventative strike, just to take that issue off the table," Dixon told the Journal Star. Bix Produce Chief Operating Officer Duane Pfleiger said Tuesday that produce had not been implicated in the illnesses and that the investigation was continuing. "There is no conclusive evidence pointing toward produce or any other item that might be the cause of this," he said, adding that Bix Produce has a strong safety record. Cases of E. coli have been confirmed in both Cedar Falls, Iowa, and the two locations in Minnesota, Dixon said. He said investigators still are looking for a clear source of the bacteria, which can cause cramps, diarrhea and sometimes more serious problems. The privately held Taco John's chain has 430 restaurants in 26 states, Dixon said. He said the stores are independently owned and get produce and other food through Taco John's. Those infected all ate at the three restaurants in roughly the same time period, the last few days of No-See TACO JOHN'S, Page 9 Expiration Open High Low Settle Chg CATTLE Oec 06 Feb 07 Apr 07 Jun07 Aug 07 85.60 88.50 90 35 86.75 86 20 86.30 89 30 90 85 87.25 86.65 85.60 86.05 88 50 88.85 90.30 90.52 86.70 87.12 86.10 86.25 89,50 89.67 .32 .40 t.22 .30 uct ur .70 1.77 Tue's sales 29649 FEEDER CATTLE Jan 07 Mar 07 Apt 07 May 07 'Aug 07 Sep 07 16 99.50 97 90 98.76 99 70 9815 99.07 96.80 97.27 98.05 98.17 98.90 99.27 65 96.90 98 05 98.90 -.07 .07 102.10 102.67 102.00 102.17 .02 101.90 101.90 t.iO 102.00 102.30 Tue's sales 6913 HOQS-Uao Dec 06 61.25 61.40 64.15 67.30 72.00 73.80 61.15 61.32 63.10 63.52 66.30 66.95 71.90 71.97 73,20 73.57 71.82 71.82 12 .15 .05 -.12 -.07 -.18 Feb 07 Apr 07 May 07 Jun07 63.10 66.30 71.90 73.20 71.90 Jul 07 72.30 Tue's sales 18056 Expiration Open Wheat High Low Settle Chg Dec 06 465 "" 473 Mar 07 482.50 491.50 May 07 491 499 25 Jul 07 478.75 488 Sep 07 482 490 Oec 07 487.75 497 Tue's sales 30940 CORN 464.7! 472.50 7.50 478.50 488.50 6.50 487.50 497.25 6.25 475.50 485.75 7 482 487 8 485 495.50 8 Dec 06 359 359 351 354.50 365.50 368.25 373.25 376 378.75 380.75 360.50 361 349.75 350,50 Mar 07 -4.50 -4.50 -3.75 -4 -3.75 4.25 372 372.75 May 07 379 Jul 07 .384 379.75 385 50 Sep 07 Oec 07 364,90 364.50 354 355 Tue's sales 150337 SOYBEANS Jan 07 662 663,75 Mar 07 677 S78 50 May 07 689 : 691.25 Jul 07 699.75 701.75 Aug 07 700 704.50 Sep 07 702 710 Tue's sales 131483 653 . 661 " 668 , 676 681 688.25 691.25 699.25 698 704.50 701.26 707 2 S.50 1.75 '1 -.60

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