Consumer Business Review: Dark Knight’s BIG Debut, McDonald’s CURRENCY Problems

Here are Monday’s top stories:

In a situation similar to flying the day after a big plane crash, moviegoers flocked to theaters to see Warner Bros.’ (NYSE:TWX) “The Dark Knight Rises” over the weekend, despite ongoing news coverage of the horrible shooting in Colorado. The film earned $161 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited executives from competing studios. That figure is lower than the $185 million estimate for the debut, which was made prior to the shooting, but still ranks it among the biggest opening weekends of all time.

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is posting a second quarter net profit decline from $1.41 billion to $1.35 billion, with earnings impacted by foreign exchange volatility, but in constant currencies, the company reports higher revenues, operating income and earnings per share. Operating income fell 2 percent to $2.2 billion, or plus 3 percent in constant currencies; Europe comparable sales were up 3.8 percent.

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Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEET) is purchased by the German holding company Joh A. Benckiser at $73.50 per share in cash, or for a total amount of $1 billion. The price marks a 28.6 percent bonus to Peet’s Friday close. Shares are were halted for a time, but had gained more than a fourth of their value by the close.

News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWS) is calling its year and a half old education division Amplify, which will concentrate upon kindergarten up through high school, and supply digital products and services. In addition, Amplify is partnering with AT&T (NYSE:T), and will employ its 4 gigabyte mobile tablet tech in order to launch new products through tests in schools during the next academic year.

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