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Produce giant Chiquita asks appeals court to dismiss Colombian terror payments case

MIAMI - Produce giant Chiquita Brands International says the U.S. is the wrong place for lawsuits to be pursued against it by thousands of Colombians whose relatives were killed in a bloody civil war. A Chiquita attorney asked an 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel to dismiss the lawsuits at a Thursday hearing. A ruling is unlikely for months. Chiquita once had huge banana operations in Colombia and paid $1.7 million to a right-wing paramilitary group responsible for the deaths. Chiquita says Colombia is the proper lawsuit forum.

Valeant, Ackman offer to buy Botox maker Allergan for $47 billion

By Rod Nickel and Bill Berkrot (Reuters) - Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc said on Tuesday it and activist investor Bill Ackman made an unsolicited $47 billion bid to buy Botox maker Allergan Inc as it seeks to become one of the world's five biggest drug companies. The offer, if successful, would bring together two mid-sized pharmaceutical companies with expertise in skin care and eye care products, and is highly unusual as activist investors typically buy stakes and then agitate for strategic change.

Gannett posts 43 pct drop in 1st-qtr net profit, but adjusted profit beats expectations

MCLEAN, Va. - Gannett Co. said Wednesday that its first-quarter net profit dropped 43 per cent, pulled down by restructuring costs, but its adjusted profit managed to beat Wall Street predictions by a penny. The media company, which publishes USA Today and owns dozens of newspapers and television stations, posted a net profit of $59.2 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with $104.6 million, or 44 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2013.

Valeant CEO 'disappointed' in Allergan poison pill: CNBC

(Reuters) - The chief executive officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which made a $47 billion unsolicited offer for competitor Allergan Inc. on Tuesday, said during an interview on CNBC that he was "disappointed" with Allergan's so-called poison pill. Allergan on Tuesday night said that its board of directors had adopted a one-year stockholder rights plan to give it more time to consider takeover proposals. The Valeant offer was made with Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund, which built up a stake in the company.

Juniper's revenue rises as telecom clients ramp up networks

By Lehar Maan and Sampad Patnaik (Reuters) - Network gear maker Juniper Networks Inc <JNPR.N> reported a higher-than-expected 10 percent rise in quarterly revenue as U.S. telecom carriers spent more to ramp up their networks to manage increasing data traffic on smartphones and tablets. U.S. consumers will download and upload more data on their smartphones in 2018 than they did on their laptops in 2013, according to a February report by Cisco Systems Inc <CSCO.O>.

Valeant CEO breaks the mold in building drug empire

By Rod Nickel (Reuters) - At any given time, the acquisitive chief executive of Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc is brokering multiple deal discussions and eyeing as many as 50 buying opportunities. It's not the usual way of doing business in the drug sector, where research and development is often considered a company's lifeblood. But then there is little that's typical about Michael Pearson's approach to business.

Lockheed boosts profit 23 pct, lifts 2014 outlook

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp <LMT.N>, the Pentagon's largest supplier, on Tuesday reported a 23 percent jump in net profit and earnings per share in the first quarter, and raised its earnings per share outlook for the full year by 25 cents. But Lockheed, maker of the F-35 fighter jet, satellites and coastal warships, said U.S. government budget cuts continued to depress revenues in 2014, with sales to the U.S. military likely to drop by 6.0 percent in 2014 after a 4.0 percent drop in 2013.

Ackman, Valeant buy stake in Allergan, eye takeover

Activist investor William Ackman and Canadian company Valeant Pharmaceuticals established a joint venture with an eye towards acquiring botox maker Allergan, according to a securities filing Monday. Ackman's fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, and Quebec-based Valeant, acquired 28.9 million shares of Allergan, or 9.7 percent of the company. "Valeant currently intends to propose a merger in which (Allergan) will receive a combination of cash and Valeant common shares," Valeant said in the filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Halliburton sees profit growth on improved margins in North America

(Reuters) - Halliburton Co <HAL.N>, the world's No.2 oilfield services company, forecast a 25 percent jump in earnings in the current quarter, helped by a recovery in margins in North America and growth in overseas markets. Halliburton's shares were up 0.8 percent at $61.40 in trading before the bell on Monday after the company also reported better-than-expected results. The company, traditionally dominant in the United States, has been making a big push into international markets to combat weakness in North America.

Halliburton posts 1st-qtr net income of $622M, reversing year-ago loss stemming from oil spill

Halliburton says it was profitable in the first-quarter after reporting a loss for the period a year ago. Its latest results topped Wall Street expectations, and its shares edged up in premarket trading Monday. Halliburton sells services to companies that drill for oil and natural gas, including helping them with hydraulic fracturing, a method of breaking up underground shale rock formations to release trapped gas. It has benefited from strong U.S. oil production but been hurt by low prices that have undermined gas drilling.
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