Business news in brief

Posted: February 8, 2018 at 1:57 a.m.

Tyson to hold 1Q earnings call, meeting

Tyson Foods is scheduled today to hold its first-quarter 2018 earnings call and its annual shareholders meeting.

Participants can listen to both events online at Tyson's investor website: http://ir.tyson.com; or via phone. Live-stream and replay options are available online, through toll-free numbers, or through Tyson's investor phone app.

The earnings call will begin at 8 a.m. Callers can listen by dialing (844) 890-1795.

Tyson's 2018 shareholders meeting begins at 10 a.m. in Springdale, where investors will vote on topics ranging from lobbying efforts to water stewardship policies. It's the first shareholder meeting in the company's building at 319 E. Emma Ave.

A ticket, proof of shareholder status or employee badge is required for entry. Those without proof of entry can listen online or access it by phone by dialing (855) 656-0922.

Tyson's earnings report for the quarter ending Dec. 31 is scheduled for release today.

-- Nathan Owens

Tyson to give ranks bonuses, email says

Tyson Foods plans to give more than 100,000 employees one-time bonuses of as much as $1,000 each, according to a companywide email sent Wednesday afternoon.

"Together, we're focused on growing our businesses. ... That's why we're investing our federal tax reform savings in the areas we believe will make the biggest difference, including our team members and capital projects," the message said.

Two sources from different departments within the company said they had seen the email detailing Tyson's plan.

In the email, Tyson Foods informed workers that projected savings of "more than $300 million" will go toward capital projects and one-time bonuses. Qualifying full-time employees will receive a one-time payment of $1,000. Qualifying part-time employees will receive $500.

The bonus payments are "typically for people not bonus-eligible," one source said.

Tyson said in the email that it would also spend some of the money on training and education initiatives for its employees, including Tyson's Upward Academy program, which helps new workers become fluent in English and learn other general skills.

Tyson also plans to invest further in sustainability and animal well-being initiatives, according to the email.

-- Nathan Owens

Doctor to buy LA Times in $500M deal

The Los Angeles Times, one of the country's most prominent newspapers, whose reporting has exposed municipal corruption, felled local figures and chronicled California's relentless natural disasters, is being sold to Patrick Soon-Shiong, a billionaire Los Angeles doctor, for $500 million.

Tronc, the newspaper's parent company, announced the agreement, which includes the paper's sister publication, The San Diego Union-Tribune, on Wednesday morning. The deal includes the assumption of $90 million in pension liabilities. It is expected to be completed within three months.

With the sale, the Los Angeles Times would once again come under local ownership, ending nearly two decades of corporate control. It would also represent a significant retreat for Tronc, which entertained national and international ambitions after Michael W. Ferro Jr. became the company's chairman and biggest shareholder two years ago.

Its decision to sell the Los Angeles Times, its crown jewel, comes after months of turmoil and management turnover at the paper, during which journalists increasingly clashed with Tronc executives and the leaders they had sent to run the paper's newsroom.

-- The New York Times

Consumer borrowing rises in December

WASHINGTON -- American consumers stepped up their borrowing by $18.4 billion in December, a solid performance that followed a big gain the previous month.

The increase reflects gains of $5.1 billion in the category that covers credit cards and $13.3 billion in the category for auto and student loans, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.

The overall increase followed a $31 billion surge in November as consumers took on extra credit to finance Christmas shopping.

-- The Associated Press

Oil world flips as UAE buys from U.S.

The United Arab Emirates, a model Persian Gulf petro-state where endless billions from crude exports feed a giant sovereign wealth fund, isn't the most obvious customer for Texan oil.

Yet, in a trade that illustrates how the rise of the American shale industry is upending energy markets across the globe, the UAE bought oil directly from the U.S. in December, according to data from the federal government. A tanker sailed from Houston and arrived in the Persian Gulf last month.

The cargo of American condensate, a type of very light crude oil, was preferred to regional grades because its superior quality made more suitable for the UAE's processing plants, a person with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing a commercially sensitive matter.

-- Bloomberg News

No miners seek ex-monument site claims

Early Friday morning, vast areas of the red-rock high plateau that surrounds federally protected buttes in southern Utah were officially thrown open to miners.

A decision weeks earlier by President Donald Trump had shrunk the size of two national monuments -- known as Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante -- by hundreds of thousands of acres, enraging environmentalists and American Indian groups. And yet, five days in, not only has there been no stampede, but also no one has shown up.

The Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining says it hasn't received a single permit application for plots in the areas. That may not ease the angst in the activist community any, but it does highlight a couple of key elements to the dispute: While the remote region contains several minerals as well as oil and gas, the logistics of moving material in and out are tricky, and the only resource that has the real potential of luring explorers is uranium. But uranium prices are depressed, having plunged more than 80 percent since 2007 and squelched interest in opening new mines.

Late last year, Trump shrank the 1.4 million-acre Bears Ears to about 220,000 acres and the 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante to about 1 million acres. The aim for lifting the monument boundaries was to create jobs and prospecting opportunities in the region for companies looking to exploit oil, natural gas, coal and mineral deposits.

-- Bloomberg News

Business on 02/08/2018