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In brief: Investors embrace J.C. Penney despite 3Q losses

NEW YORK – Even though J.C. Penney’s latest results show the beleaguered retailer is hardly out of the woods, investors still see reasons to cheer.

The department store chain’s shares rose 6 percent on Wednesday after it reported its seventh straight quarter of big losses that together total more than $2.4 billion. So why are investors celebrating?

The company began its big downward spiral during an ill-fated transformation strategy under former CEO Ron Johnson, who was fired in April after 17 months on the job. Now, experts say investors are encouraged that Mike Ullman, who took the top job after having led the retailer for seven years before, is beginning to stabilize the business.

Tyson drops supplier over pig abuse video

SPRINGDALE, Ark. – An animal rights group said Wednesday it videotaped workers at a central Oklahoma farm abusing hogs raised for Tyson Foods, and the meat company said it would immediately end its contract with the supplier.

Mercy For Animals distributed images of farm workers striking pigs and slamming piglets onto a concrete floor. In one portion of the tape, a worker is shown throwing a bowling ball at a pig, striking it in the head.

The animal rights group and Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods identified the farm as West Coast Farms in Henryetta, Okla.

Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said the company owns the livestock and had contracted with West Coast Farms to raise the animals.

“We’re extremely disappointed by the mistreatment shown in the video and will not tolerate this kind of animal mishandling,” Mickelson wrote in an email to the Associated Press. “We are immediately terminating our contract with this farmer and will take possession of the animals remaining on the farm.”

Rules tightened for ads about crash tests

DETROIT – A U.S. safety agency is tightening the guidelines that control how automakers use government crash tests in advertising.

The change by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration likely is aimed at Tesla Motors. Tesla has promoted its electric Model S as the safest car in America, saying it earned a 5.4-star rating from the government.

The new guidelines say the agency doesn’t give ratings higher than five stars. The agency says automakers who claim ratings higher than five stars are misleading the public.

Companies that don’t follow the guidelines could see “buyer alert” warnings from the government. They could also be kicked out of the ratings program or be referred to other agencies for further, unspecified action.

A message was left seeking comment from a Tesla spokeswoman.

EU Parliament wants more women on boards

BRUSSELS – The European Parliament has backed a proposal calling for a 40 percent quota of women on company boards by 2020.

The EU parliament approved the proposal by a 459-148 vote with 81 abstentions on Wednesday, but the toughest test will come when it goes to member states for further discussion as soon as next month.

EU Commission Vice President Viviane Reding called the resolution a “historic moment for gender equality in Europe.”

The Commission says that last year less than 15 percent of board members at Europe’s biggest companies were women.


 

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