Companies in Brief
Adidas: An Early Winner at the World Cup
The world's No. 2 maker of sporting gear raised its annual forecast for soccer-related revenues to at least $1.9 billion, a record. The revision comes after sales of World Cup team jerseys more than doubled from the 2006 tournament. Adidas is sponsoring 12 teams this time around, as well as the event itself. Nike (NKE), it's main rival, outfits 10 teams under its own and the Umbro brands.
Dr. Reddy's: An Indian Drugmaker Guns for U.S. Profits
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (RDY) stands to reap the biggest windfall among Indian generic-drug makers as $157 billion worth of medicines lose patent protection in the next five years, according to HDFC Securities. The Hyderabad-based company has 73 applications pending before the Food & Drug Administration. If they're approved, Dr. Reddy's will be able to sell generic versions of drugs that generated about $90 billion in sales stateside in 2008. As its share of the U.S. market grows, Dr. Reddy's will also be in a stronger position to negotiate higher prices from drugstores and other clients.
Heinz: Adding New Flavors to Its Condiment Shelf
The world's biggest ketchup maker will step up its presence in China with the $165 million purchase of soy sauce manufacturer Foodstar. The transaction could boost Heinz's (HNZ) annual sales in China to about $300 million from $200 million in the fiscal year that ended in April. Heinz chief William Johnson recently told investors that the company wants to generate one-quarter of all sales from emerging markets by 2016, up from 15percent at present.
Occidental Petroleum: Prospecting for Investors Offshore
Andrew J. Hall, the former Citigroup (C) energy trader whose $100million bonus became a symbol of Wall Street's excesses, raised $1.1 billion for an offshore commodities fund. Such funds are available to those exempt from paying U.S. taxes, including domestic pension plans. Hall's firm, now owned by Occidental Petroleum, lined up 37 investors for its Astenbeck Offshore Commodities Fund II, according to a filing by the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Lockheed Martin: The Contractor Wins Back a Megadeal
The world's largest defense company won a U.S. military contract valued at $5billion after a competitor—a subsidiary of L-3 Communications (L3)—was barred from new government orders. Lockheed had secured the contract for logistic support services, which covers everything from aircraft maintenance to supporting computers and other electronic equipment, last year. However, that decision was reversed after the L-3 unit complained. L-3 is now being investigated for allegedly abusing its access to a military computer network.
JPMorgan Chase: A Reshuffle Makes Dimon Heirs Apparent
A senior management reshuffle at the biggest U.S. bank may signal that Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 54, is grooming long-time loyalists as potential successors. Dimon confidant Heidi Miller, 57, was appointed to a new post overseeing all international operations. Michael Cavanagh, 44, was promoted to the top job at Treasury & Securities Services, Miller's old position. The move will give Cavanagh operational experience, a prerequisite for anyone in the running to fill Dimon's big shoes.
Hulu: The Video Website Seeks Content Deals
Hulu is in talks with CBS, Viacom (VIA), and Time Warner (TWX) to add their TV shows to the video site's planned subscription service, people familiar with the discussions say. Hulu, which now lets users watch programs for free and gets its revenue from advertising, is seeking new shows to woo paying subscribers. CBS, the only one of the four major U.S. broadcast networks without a stake in Hulu, may provide programs in September.
Monsanto: Scoring a Legal Win on Alfalfa
In a victory for Monsanto (MON), the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal judge's ban on planting alfalfa seeds engineered to be resistant to the company's Roundup herbicide. The 7-1 ruling on June 21 stopped short of allowing farmers to begin planting the seeds, leaving it to the Agriculture Dept. to decide whether to allow limited planting while it completes an environmental impact statement. In Europe, meanwhile, antitrust authorities launched a four-month probe into Monsanto's planned sale of its hybrid sunflower-seed business to Syngenta (SYT) for $160 million.