Durable goods orders and home prices up slightly. Pilgrim's Pride to buy Hillshire Brands to form "protein-focused" company. Shareholders are Urban Outfitters are protesting the Board's diversity. Is your car one of the ten most likely brands to be stolen?
Durable goods orders up 0.8 percent in April
Orders to US factories for long-lasting manufactured goods increased in April, primarily due to the demand for military aircraft. The Associated Press reports that orders for durable manufactured goods rose 0.8 percent in April from the previous month, after a 3.6 percent gain in March. Excluding orders for defense goods, orders would have fallen 0.8 percent in April. Orders for core capital goods, a category that indicates that businesses are investing, fell 1.2 percent in April, the weakest showing since January.
Shareholders rebel at Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters, the company that also owns Anthropologie and Free People, is facing a shareholder rebellion over boardroom diversity. According to the Financial Times, a shareholder resolution, that is also being supported by at least five of the largest public pension funds in the US, indicates that that board should recruit more female and minority directors. The resolution states that the board should “reflect the diversity that exists within its target markets”. The comptroller of the State of New York and the Connecticut Retirement Plans sponsored the proposal. Last year a similar resolution attracted 28 percent support from the Board that the Connecticut state treasurer indicates is “bogus”. The company currently has two female board members, the former founder of Free People, and the wife of Urban Outfitters’ founder. All of the other board members are white males over the age of 60. Another shareholder initiative is demanding that the company produce regular reports on human rights issues faced in its supply chain.
Home prices jump in March
US single family home prices rose in March, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas. CNBC reports that prices rose 0.9 percent in March, up from the prior month’s gain of 0.8 percent. A Reuter’s poll had forecast a 0.7 percent increase. Year over year, the index jumped 12.4 percent, a slightly slower rate than February’s 12.9 percent. Experts indicate that price gains are moderating and key markets, such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Francisco, are slowing.
Pilgrim’s Pride offers to buy Hillshire for $5.58 billion
According to the Associated Press, poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride is offering to acquire meat producer Hillshire Brands in a deal worth $5.58 billion. Hillshire owns Hillshire Farms who makes Hillshire Farms lunchmeats and Jimmy Dean sausage. Pilgrim’s Pride is offering $45 per share, a 24 percent premium from Friday’s closing price. Earlier this month, Hillshire announced that it would like to purchase Pinnacle Foods for $4.23 billion. Pinnacle makes Bird’s Eye frozen foods, Duncan Hines cake mixes and Hungry Man frozen dinners. Pilgrim’s Pride indicates it would like to create a “protein-focused” company. Pilgrim's Pride insists that Hillshire forego the Pinnacle Foods deal. A combined Pilgrim's Pride and Hillshire company would include multiple meat brands including Pierce, Wing Dings, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park and State Fair. Hillshire Brands did not respond to a request for comment but its shares rose 23 percent in premarket trading.
The 10 Most Stolen Cars
What are the 10 most stolen cars? USA Today identifies the most stolen cars that are equipped with a LoJack tracking device. The most stolen car is the Honda Accord, for the fifth year in a row. The Honda Civic, the Toyota Camry and the Toyota Corolla follow it. In fifth place is the Chevrolet Silverado, then the Acura Integra, Cadillac Escalade and Ford F-350. The Nissan Altima and the Chevrolet Tahoe round out the top ten.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.