Consumer Business Recap: Ford’s Investment, Bed Bath & Beyond Earnings

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The dispute between DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and Tribune (TRBCQ.PK) is resolved and the former will resume carrying the latter’s TV stations. However, Direct gets a swipe in as it says that “It’s unfortunate that Tribune was willing to hold our customers hostage in an attempt to extract excessive rates, but in the end we reached a fair deal at market rates similar to what we originally agreed to on March 29.”

Ford’s (NYSE:F) new $600 million investment – along with joint venture partners Changan Automobile and Mazda (MZDAF.PK) – in its Chongqing facilities is confirmed on Thursday. To help attain the company’s goal of bolstering sales in China, and match its rivals GM and Volkswagen, capacity at Chongqing will be raised by 350,000 vehicles to 770,000. Long term expectations are to exceed the 770 thousand figure, and to grow yearly output by more than 50 percent to around 950,000 units. Ford wants to increase worldwide sales to 8 million cars by 2015, which would represent a jump by almost a half.

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The Burger Wars reach the Caucasus! Wendy’s (NYSE:WEN), remaining intent in its strategy of expansion into new markets worldwide, will open new restaurants in Georgia and Republic of Azerbaijan, during the next ten years. This move comes as Burger King boasts that it will remove Wendy’s from its new number two position in the sector.

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) gets accolades from two analysts along with a jump in its shares, as it beats its fiscal fourth quarter estimates, shows impressive same-store sales, and issues in-line guidance. Wedbush says Buy, and commends the company’s financials, product line, and cross-selling opportunities. Jefferies also maintains a Buy, while noting that BBBY will prosper as home furnishings sales “migrate into the direct channel”, while e-commerce initiatives “reduce concern that the company is standing still.”.

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Well known brand name such as Kenmore, DieHard, and Craftsman, will be licensed by Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD), as it seeks out new sources of revenue. Additionally, the new lines would be available both inside Sears stores and through external channels.

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) makes a move to protect its Crest Whitestrips unit, as it launches an infringement lawsuit against Be Well Marketing. The motion alleges that Be Well’s tooth whitening products violate P&G’s intellectual property.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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