Money Matters - Simplified


Oldest Galaxy in the cosmos unearthed by Japanese astronomers

A Japanese Astronomer team helps us visualize distant galaxies by taking us back into time. The Japanese astronomer team in Hawaii asserts to have unearthed the oldest galaxy as opposed to all the other “previous early galaxy discoveries”. The “discovered“ galaxy is said to have been created 12.91 billion light years ago according to the Daily Express News.

Google Owes You a Dividend

 What's the point, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)You're carrying $33.4 billion in cash and marketable securities on your balance sheet, but it's not as if you're going to use it.


AGL Resources to merge with Nicor

Atlanta -- U.S. natural gas distribution giant AGL Resources said Tuesday it has agreed to merge with Nicor Inc. to create a company valued at $8.6 billion.

The deal, which would tuck Illinois' Nicor under AGL's wing, is valued at $3.1 billion. Combining the companies would vault AGL Resources of Atlanta into the Fortune 500, the companies said in a joint statement.

The companies said they have agreed to a stock and cash trade, giving Nicor shareholders $21.20 per share in cash and 0.8382 shares of the merged company, "which together represent a value of $53, based on the volume-weighted average price for AGL Resources common stock" over a 20-day trading average ending Dec. 1.

Sprint to drop iDen network

Overland Park, Kan. -- U.S. telecommunications giant Sprint Nextel said it would restructure its network over the next seven years to save up to $11 billion.

Sprint said it would spend $5 billion on contracts with Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson to "bring together multiple spectrum bands, or airwaves, on a single, multimode base station." It would also phase out the iDen network, starting in 2013, that it purchased with its $35 billion acquisition of Nextel in 2005.

Sprint said the system would result in greater flexibility, fewer dropped calls and massive savings.

Heavy Reading consultant Berge Ayvazian called Sprint's initiative "a very bold move."

Dex One Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

 Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

PepsiCo to buy Russian dairy giant

Moscow -- U.S. soft drink giant PepsiCo said Thursday it would buy 66 percent of Russia's Wimm-Bill-Dann Dairy and Juice Co. for $3.8 billion.

The deal, which is dependent on government approval, includes an offer from the U.S. firm to buy the remaining Wimm-Bill-Dann shares "on terms that are mandated by Russian law," PepsiCo said in a statement.

The $3.8 billion deal implies Wimm-Bill-Dann's value is $5.4 billion, PepsiCo said.

To purchase the outstanding 34 percent brings the deal to a $5.8 billion package, RIA Novosti reported.

Weekend sales top $45 billion

Washington -- U.S. consumers spent about $45 billion during the Thanksgiving weekend, the National Retail Federation said.

Sales receipts came in ahead of the $41.2 billion consumers spent during the weekend in each of the past two years, The New York Times reported Monday.

It was estimated that 212 million consumers went shopping, compared to 195 million a year ago. In addition, consumers spent an average of $365, a 6 percent climb from a year ago, and online shopping, as a percentage of the Thursday through Sunday total, reached a record.

Why You Still Need Small-Cap Stocks

 Bill Miller, the well-known mutual fund manager at Legg Mason, recently called large-cap stocks a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." I've read reports from other investors and the Wall Street cognoscenti that large caps are the place to be.


Caterpillar Inc. to scoop up Bucyrus

Milwaukee -- Two U.S. mining equipment makers said Monday they would join forces in $7.6 billion deal.

Caterpillar Inc. of Illinois said it would buy Bucyrus International Inc. of Wisconsin in a $92 per share, cash agreement. The price represents a 32 percent premium over Bucyrus's closing price Friday, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

The deal, which could close next year, will require approval from anti-competition regulators and shareholders, the newspaper said.
It is "an outstanding and financially compelling transaction for our shareholders,"said Bucyrus President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.

"I am confident we have found an excellent partner," he said.

Britain's trade gap narrows slightly

London -- Britain's trade deficit dropped in September to about $7.3 billion from $7.8 billion in August, the Office of National Statistics said Tuesday.

The surplus in trades rose slightly, from $5.7 billion to $5.9 billion, while the deficit in goods trading dropped from $13.5 billion to $13.1 billion, ONS said.

The trade deficit narrowed slightly in trading with both EU and non-EU countries. Excluding oil, the volume of exports dropped 1 percent, while the volume of imports fell 1.7 percent compared with the previous month.

Prices for exports and imports rose, climbing 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).