February 20, 2008 in Business

Kaiser says its profits doubled

From Staff and Wire Reports The Spokesman-Review

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. reported net income of $24.4 million, or $1.20 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter last year, about double its profits for the same period in 2006.

It had profits of $101 million, or $4.97 per diluted share, last year, the first for the Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based company since it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in summer 2006. Robust demand for aerospace and defense-related products and additional capacity drove record heat-treat plate shipments, according to a news release.

Kaiser employs about 800 at its Trentwood plant, where it has invested $139 million to increase its capacity and capabilities.

Company stock closed at $71.97 Thursday, up $3.43.

Corporate Express NV on Tuesday swiftly rejected an unsolicited buyout offer from Staples Inc., saying the office products supplier’s $3.67 billion bid was too low.

Staples, the world’s largest office products supplier with more than 2,000 stores, disclosed Tuesday it had offered to pay a hefty premium in an all-cash bid for Corporate Express. The Netherlands-based office supplies wholesaler would expand Staples’ highly profitable segment serving business customers after recent slow sales at Staples’ U.S. stores. But Corporate Express said the offer was not in shareholders’ best interests.

Sony Corp. said Tuesday it will spend $204 million to speed up the development of organic light-emitting diode panel technology.

The Japanese consumer electronics company said in a statement that it aims to develop production technology for mid-size and large-size OLED displays.

Sony said it will reinforce its thin film transistor and electroluminescent layer coating processing facilities at one of its unit’s Japanese facilities with a goal of implementing the production technology during the fiscal year ending March 2010.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is bringing in a new celebrity: popular TV chef Emeril Lagasse.

The New York-based media and merchandising company founded by domesticity maven Martha Stewart announced Tuesday that it bought the rights to the Emeril Lagasse franchise of cookbooks, television shows and kitchen products for $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock at closing. The final price could rise to up to $70 million if certain benchmarks are achieved. Martha Stewart did not acquire Emeril’s Homebase, which includes Lagasse’s 11 restaurants and corporate office.

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