Odds ‘n Ends – Conservative Portfolio

ConservativeHere are some recent updates for the positions in thebuttonwoodproject’s conservative portfolio:

  • Swiss engineering group ABB, which provides power and automation technologies for utility and industrial customers worldwide, said that it has agreed to sell its Thomas & Betts heating, ventilation and air conditioning business to Nortek for $260 million in cash. ABB, has been pruning its portfolio under new chief executive Ulrich Spiesshofer. 
  • Colgate-Palmolive’s “Global Growth and Efficiency Program” produced $49 million in saving in 2012; another $100 million in 2013 and by its 2016 completion, GGEP should save $275-$325 annually.
  • CVS Caremarannounced that it has been awarded a three-year contract to provide integrated pharmacy benefit services for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, also known as the Federal Employee Program. The new agreement, which runs through 2017, brings the relationship between CVS Caremark and FEP to more than 20 years.
  • Deere & Companys’ worldwide sales of construction and forestry equipment are forecast to forge ahead by about 10% in 2014, reflecting the ongoing economic recovery and higher housing starts in the U.S., as well as successful expansion in markets outside North America.
  • Danaher Corp. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a regular quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share, up from the previous $0.03 payout. The new dividend will yield 0.54% annually.  
  • Coca-Cola’s vitaminwater family is growing. The leader in the nutrient-enhanced water beverage category is moving into the energy market with vitaminwater energy a lightly-carbonated beverage that features a natural energy boost from green coffee bean extract. Coca-Cola is aggressively expanding its juice and water product lines vs. low-growth carbonated beverages.
  • 3M Co. announced the implementation of a fully functional supercomputer developed in collaboration with Intel and SGI that uses a revolutionary two-phase immersion cooling technology it has pioneered. The 3M Novec fluid is an efficient dielectric that keeps the hardware cooled with minimum additional energy, maximum performance and better reliability, which can reduce cooling energy costs by 95 percent.
  • To enable broader participation and unlock productivity gains and business value across the enterprise, Oracle Corp. announced new mobile capabilities to its industry-leading Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System. The new capabilities are available on iOS and Android mobile devices. The company also announced worldwide availability of enhanced M-10 servers with joint venture partner Fujitsu equipped with a new processor, which has 16 cores and runs at speeds up to 3.7 GHz, providing up to 30 percent more processing power than the previous SPARC64 X processor.
  • Schlumberger the world’s largest oilfield services company said it expects first-quarter earnings to be much higher than in the same period last year, as it takes market share from rivals and cuts costs. Much of the growth will come from state-owned and independent energy companies that are spending to develop shale and other resources around the world, rather than multinational energy companies, most of whom are cutting spending. Wall Street has first quarter earnings now pegged at $1.21 per share, up from last year’s $1.01.
  • United Parcel Service held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Mexico, celebrating the addition of three healthcare-dedicated facilities to address high growth medical device and pharmaceutical consumption markets throughout Latin America. Over the coming months, UPS will open and expand new facilities near Mexico City, Sao Palo, Brazil and Santiago, Chile, highlighting its continued investment in the region.
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