IN BRIEF


Cannery Casino Resorts has debt downgraded by Moody's

Moody's Investors Service downgraded Cannery Casino Resorts' debt Thursday and gave the company a "negative" outlook, citing expectations of continued weak operating performance and concerns that the company may default on its debt.

Cannery Casino Resorts said it had $575 million in debt at the end of August.

The company's corporate family rating and probability of default ratings were moved to Caa1, reflecting substantial risk, from B2, or highly speculative.

"Moody's primary concern is that Cannery will need to seek covenant relief at a time when operating conditions remain challenged," Moody's senior credit officer Peggy Holloway wrote in an investors note.

A debt restructure could reduce the company's cash flow by increasing interest rates on debt.

WASHINGTON

Banks told to get client consent before charging overdraft fees

Banks will have to secure their customers' consent before charging large overdraft fees on ATM and debit card transactions, according to a new rule announced Thursday by the Federal Reserve.

The rule responds to complaints from consumer groups, members of Congress and other regulators that the overdraft fees are unfair because many people assume they can't spend more on a debit card than is available in their account. Instead, many banks allow the transactions to go through, then charge fees of up to $35.

Under the Fed's new rule, which will take effect July 1, banks will be required to notify new and existing customers of their overdraft services and give customers the option of being covered.

SAN FRANCISCO

Intel to pay $1.25 billion, settle Advanced Micro Devices case

Intel Corp. will pay $1.25 billion to make peace with Advanced Micro Devices Inc., as the companies whose microprocessors run nearly all personal computers finally found common ground in a bitter dispute that caused international antitrust trouble for Intel.

The settlement announced Thursday sent AMD stock soaring and ended a 4-year-old lawsuit in which AMD accused Intel of abusing its dominance of the chip market to keep a lid on AMD's share. Intel has about 80 percent of the microprocessor market and AMD has about 20 percent.

NEW YORK

Profits up, but holiday outlooks murky for Wal-Mart, Kohl's

Shoppers' focus on staples such as socks and underwear is driving murky holiday outlooks at Wal-Mart and Kohl's, even as both posted higher third-quarter earnings Thursday.

Both signaled they plan aggressive discounting to hang on to customers and drive sales this holiday season.

Wal-Mart on Thursday said it earned $3.24 billion, or 84 cents per share, for the period ended Oct. 31, up from $3.14 billion, or 80 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 1.1 percent, to $99.4 billion from $98.3 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 81 cents per share on revenue of $99.9 billion.

For Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Kohl's, profit was $193 million, or 63 cents per share, for the three months ended Oct. 31, up from $160 million, or 52 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 6.6 percent, to $4.05 billion from $3.8 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 61 cents per share on revenue of $4 billion.

LOS ANGELES

Disney reports 18 percent rise in profits, switches executives

The Walt Disney Co. posted a surprise 18 percent increase in fourth-quarter earnings Thursday and announced an executive job switch that pointed to an eventual successor to Chief Executive Robert Iger.

Iger, 58, said he was behind the decision to turn Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs into the parks and resorts chairman, while making parks chairman Jay Rasulo the new CFO.

Disney's net income rose to $895 million, or 47 cents per share, in the three months ended Oct. 3 as revenue at its cable, broadcast and movie studio units increased. Overall revenue rose 4 percent to $9.87 billion.

Shares of Disney rose 70 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $29.75 in after-hours trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

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