Universal Corp. (UVV) Comments on Unusual Trading Activity Sep 18, 2014 05:30PM

Universal Corp. (NYSE: UVV) released the following statement: "We note the recent activity in the Company's common stock during this week. Subsequent to the release of our quarterly earnings last month, we have not issued any release, and we are not aware of any other such release that would have resulted in this week's unusual activity in our common stock."

General Mills (GIS) Announces Additional Cost-Reduction Initiatives Sep 18, 2014 05:27PM

General Mills (NYSE: GIS) is currently pursuing several multi-year restructuring initiatives designed to increase our efficiency and focus our business behind our key growth strategies. Project Century is a review of our North American manufacturing and distribution network to streamline operations and identify potential capacity reductions. We are also pursuing other restructuring projects aimed at overhead cost reduction efforts.

In the second quarter of fiscal 2015, we approved a restructuring plan to consolidate yogurt manufacturing capacity and exit our Methuen, MA facility in our U.S. Retail and Convenience Stores and Foodservice supply chains as part of Project Century. This action will affect approximately 250 positions and we expect to record approximately $7 million of severance expense in the second quarter of fiscal 2015. In addition, we expect to record approximately $16 million of additional expense in the second quarter of fiscal 2015 and $18 million of expense in the remainder of fiscal 2015, primarily fixed asset write-offs. We expect this action to be completed by the end of fiscal 2017 with a total cost of approximately $65 million of which approximately $17 million will be cash.

Also as part of Project Century, in the second quarter of fiscal 2015, we notified the union member employees and union representatives at our Lodi, CA facility of our tentative decision, pending negotiations and consultation with the union, to close this plant to eliminate excess cereal and dry mix capacity in our U.S. Retail supply chain. If implemented, this action could affect approximately 430 positions and we expect to incur charges of approximately $70 million in fiscal 2015 including approximately $31 million of severance expense and $39 million of additional expense, primarily fixed asset write-offs. We expect this action to be completed by the end of fiscal 2017 with a total cost of approximately $123 million of which approximately $24 million will be cash.

In the second quarter of fiscal 2015, we also approved Project Catalyst, a restructuring plan designed to increase organizational effectiveness and reduce overhead expense. At this time, we are unable to make a determination of the estimated amount or range of amounts to be incurred for each type of cost associated with these actions. We will provide further details in an amended Form 8-K at such time as we are able to estimate the costs we expect to incur.

SAP (SAP) to Acquire Concur Technologies (CNQR) for $129/Share Sep 18, 2014 05:15PM

(Updated - September 18, 2014 5:15 PM EDT)

SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and Concur Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNQR) announced that SAP's subsidiary, SAP America, Inc., has entered into an agreement to acquire Concur. With more than 23,000 customers, 4,200 employees and 25 million active users in over 150 countries, Concur is the leader in the multi-billion market for travel and expense (T&E) management software. With Concur, SAP's business network - the world's largest - will transact more than US$600 billion annually, deliver frictionless commerce across more than 25 different industries and address annual corporate travel spend of US$1.2 trillion worldwide.

The Concur board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2014 or the first quarter 2015, subject to Concur stockholder approval, clearances by the relevant regulatory authorities and other customary closing conditions. The per-share purchase price of US$129 represents a 20% premium over the September 17 closing price, a 21% premium over the one month volume weighted average price per share and an enterprise value of approximately US$8.3 billion. The transaction will be funded from a credit facility agreement of up to EUR7 billion to cover the purchase price, target debt refinancing and acquisition-related costs. The company has undergone an external credit rating process with two agencies. The results of this
process will be published shortly.


Information and Explaination of the Issuer to this News:

Financial Analyst and Media Conference Call

SAP and Concur will host a conference call for financial analysts and media to discuss the transaction on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 3:00 PM (PDT) / 6:00 PM (EDT) / 11:00 PM (London) / 12:00 AM (Sept 19) (CET).

The call will be webcast at www.sap.com/investor.

Conference ID: 1656295
Participant Dial-in Numbers:
US/Canada: 888-334-3032
UK: 0800 404 7656
Germany: 0800 181 9013
Rest of World: +1-719-325-4856

Replay Dial-in Numbers:
US/Canada: 888-203-1112
Rest of World: +1-719-457-0820
Replay Passcode: 1656295

ExxonMobil (XOM) Comments on Permian Trade Sep 18, 2014 05:06PM

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) today announced it entered into a non-monetary exchange agreement with LINN Energy, LLC (NASDAQ: LINE) to add 17,800 net acres in the Permian Basin to its U.S. oil and natural gas portfolio managed by subsidiary XTO Energy Inc.

In the exchange, LINN Energy will receive interest in about 500 net acres from ExxonMobil’s South Belridge Field, near Bakersfield, California.

In the agreement, ExxonMobil will receive 17,000 net acres in the Midland Basin core area in west Texas that is most prospective for horizontal Wolfcamp and Spraberry development, currently producing about 4,700 oil-equivalent barrels per day. ExxonMobil will also receive 800 net acres in the New Mexico Delaware Basin. Both acreage positions will be operated and developed by XTO Energy.

This is the second non-monetary exchange agreement with LINN Energy this year. In May, ExxonMobil added nearly 26,000 acres in the Permian Basin. In that agreement, LINN Energy received a portion of ExxonMobil’s interest in the Hugoton gas field in Kansas and Oklahoma.

“We continue to expand our leasehold position in a prolific area that is poised for profitable volumes growth from multiple horizons in the Wolfcamp and Spraberry formations,” said Randy Cleveland, president of XTO Energy. “Our operated-acreage position in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp core is now around 120,000 net acres. We continue to increase drilling activity in the play, currently operating six horizontal rigs, and are very encouraged by initial well results.”

This agreement extends XTO’s leasehold position across the entire Permian Basin to more than 1.5 million acres and net oil-equivalent production to more than 95,000 barrels per day.

LINN Energy will acquire ExxonMobil’s interests in the South Belridge Field, which currently produces approximately 3,400 barrels of oil per day.

“This transaction further strengthens XTO’s significant presence in one of the major U.S. growth areas for onshore oil production,” Cleveland said.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Synopsys (SNPS) Enter Expanded IP Technology Partnership Sep 18, 2014 05:04PM

Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) and AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced they have signed a multi-year agreement that gives AMD access to a range of Synopsys DesignWare interface, memory compiler, logic library and analog IP on advanced 16/14-nanometer (nm) and 10-nm FinFET process technologies. Synopsys is also hiring approximately 150 AMD IP R&D engineers and gains access to AMD's leading interface and foundation IP.

Synopsys is a demonstrated leader in developing silicon-proven IP for advanced process technologies, providing designers with a broad range of high-quality IP for integration into System-on-Chips (SoCs) and delivering expert technical support. For 45 years, AMD has developed and integrated many forms of complex IP into advanced processors, graphics cards and related SoCs. By licensing proven, standard IP from Synopsys and transferring interface and foundation IP to Synopsys, AMD can focus its valuable engineering resources on its ongoing product differentiation and IP reuse strategy and realize long-term cost efficiencies.

"Today's announcement aligns with AMD's continuing IP development strategy to focus our internal teams on designing the innovative 64-bit processor, graphics and peripheral IP that forms the foundation for our competitive differentiation, while leveraging Synopsys, the industry leader for cost-effective development of complementary standard IP components, for our future SoCs," said Mark Papermaster, AMD senior vice president and CTO. "We've partnered with Synopsys for tools and IP for more than a decade, and this expanded relationship is a great example of leveraging high-quality, standard IP for cost-effective reuse across multiple solutions."

"We are excited to expand our relationship with AMD through this partnership and look forward to their experienced IP R&D team joining Synopsys," said Joachim Kunkel, senior vice president and general manager of the Solutions Group at Synopsys. "These agreements are an example of how our customers are engaging with us in long-term, collaborative partnerships to meet their IP requirements and enable them to focus their efforts on product differentiation."

AMD cost efficiencies from these agreements are contemplated in the company's 2014 quarterly non-GAAP operating expense guidance of approximately $420 million to $450 million.

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