Retail giant Target's first-quarter profits rose by almost 18%, largely as a result of its credit card business and strong sales at established stores. The company's exceptional sales performance took investors by surprise following the last quarter, which was a rough one for most retailers. Target, one of the nation's largest retailers, earned $651 million during the quarter that ended May 5 after earning $554 million during the quarter that ended April 29 last year. Sales at stores open for at least a year climbed by 4.3%. Earlier this spring, nervousness gripped investors when the retail chain reported that sales at the same stores had dropped by 6.1%. Credit card business added $143 million to Target's pretax earnings in the first quarter.
Home sales dip in California
Sales of existing homes in California dropped in April as purchases of houses took longer than expected. However, the fall in sales did not keep prices down. The median sales price of a detached house rose by 6.2%, compared to the median sales price in April 2006 of $597,640. This increase occurred because fewer low-priced houses were sold due to the sub-prime mortgage business previously available to customers with poor credit. Across the U.S., the median sales price of a detached house dipped by 0.8% in April compared to last year's figure of $220,900. Throughout the country, April sales of existing detached homes and condominiums dropped by 2.6% from March 2006 and by 10.7% from April 2006.
Coke to buy Glaceau for $4.1 billion
The Coca-Cola Company will buy vitamin water-maker Glaceau for $4.1 billion in cash. The Atlanta-based beverage maker believes the new vitamin-water brand will improve its performance in the weak U.S. soft drink sales market as more and more consumers opt for energy drinks. Tata Tea, Ltd., based in India, had bought a 30% stake in Glaceau for $677 million last year. The tea maker will receive approximately $1.2 billion, doubling its investment. Coca-Cola expects to close the deal in mid-June, and Glaceau will operate exclusively as a separate unit within Coca-Cola North America.
Top sales player joins The Wealth Magnet System
The Wealth Magnet System has hired top salesperson and former corporate sales leader Susan Puckett to act as one of its leading promoters. Puckett will form The Wealth Magnet System's "Pro Team," a sales team within the company that will work toward online financial success. Pro Team members will be provided with tools that will give them an extra edge over other players in the market. Puckett has a vast sales background and is the owner of a successful coaching company. The Wealth Magnet System, founded by Jim Mack and Bryon Howell, is a fully automated Internet-marketing system and provides guidance to companies that want to market their products and services on the Internet.
Tyson Foods completes sale of poultry farms and processing plants
Tyson Foods, Inc., has sold two of its poultry farms in Alabama. The company has also sold its processing plants in Ashland and Gadsden to Koch Foods, Inc., based in Park Ridge, IL. The sale was made in order to "reduce the production of commodity chicken." The deal also included Tyson's Talladega feed mill and its Fair Knoll and Empire hatcheries. Koch Foods has hired about 800 Tyson employees involved in the sale, and the company's affected team members have been compensated with financial incentives. Tyson Foods, established in 1935, is headquartered in Springdale, AR, and is the world's largest poultry processor and marketer. The company has approximately 107,000 employees and more than 300 centers in the U.S. and across the globe.