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Top biz groups' retained earnings rate hits record high

SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) -- The retained earnings rate of South Korea's top 10 conglomerates reached record high levels in 2013 despite their pledges to increase investments and hiring, a report showed Sunday. The internal cash reserves of the 70 listed companies belonging to the largest business groups whose fiscal year ended in December stood at 1,578.5 percent, the report by FN Guide said. The figure marks a 164.3 percentage point gain from a retention rate of 1,414.2 percent tallied for the year before.

US stocks end mostly higher after earnings deluge

US stocks Thursday finished a holiday-shortened week mostly higher following a plethora of earnings reports that generally met or exceeded expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 16.31 points (0.10 percent) to 16,408.54. The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 2.54 (0.14 percent) to 1,864.85, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 9.29 (0.23 percent) to 4,095.52. Major earnings reports came from a broad of range of companies across finance, consumer goods, industrials and other segments of the economy.

Cash-rich global firms face calls to crack open war chests

Impatient shareholders are calling on the world's top firms to start spending some of the eye-popping $2.8 trillion in cash built up since the financial crisis, as analysts warn that their thriftiness could be holding back global growth. The combined war chests held by companies including Apple, Google and Samsung -- roughly equivalent to the size of France's economy -- has swelled since the 2008 global downturn hammered stock markets and saw nervous firms pinching their pennies as they waited out the storm.

Biotech stocks rout beginning to reveal pockets of value

By Rodrigo Campos and Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - Predicting when the bear market in biotech stocks will hit bottom is a hazardous prospect, but one gauge that factors in the rapid profit growth estimates for many of these companies suggests several are starting to look attractive.

Biotech stocks rout beginning to reveal pockets of value

By Rodrigo Campos and Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - Predicting when the bear market in biotech stocks will hit bottom is a hazardous prospect, but one gauge that factors in the rapid profit growth estimates for many of these companies suggests several are starting to look attractive.

AlarmForce boosts annual dividend to 12 cents; 3-cent quarterly payout May 20

TORONTO - AlarmForce Industries Inc. (TSX:AF) is increasing its annual cash dividend to 12 cents from 10 cents per share. The company, which provides alarm monitoring, video surveillance and emergency response monitoring to residential and commercial customers in both Canada and the United States, says its new quarterly dividend of three cents per share will be payable May 20 to shareholders of record on April 30. Based on the company's closing share price Monday or $11.24, up four cents, the higher dividend would provide an annual yield of just over one per cent.

Dollarama shares spike after dividend raise on strong earnings growth

MONTREAL - Dollarama's shares set a record high Wednesday after the discount retailer's latest quarterly profit beat expectations and the company announced it will boost its quarterly dividend by 14 per cent. The Montreal-based company's stocks briefly hit an intraday high of $92, above the previous record $90.74 set last November, before giving up some of the gains. The stock was still up $5.02 at $90.80 at midmorning. Dollarama (TSX:DOL) said earlier Wednesday that it will pay 16 cents per share starting in May.

S. Korean listed firms' debt ratio falls in 2013

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean listed firms saw their debt ratio fall last year as they stepped up efforts to improve their financial status amid protracted economic uncertainties, data showed Wednesday. The average debt ratio for 568 companies traded on the Seoul main bourse came to 88.19 percent at the end of last year, down 4.5 percentage points from a year ago, according to the data compiled by the Korea Exchange (KRX).

Black's 2013 profit from Apollo more than doubles to $369 million

By Greg Roumeliotis (Reuters) - Apollo Global Management LLC Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Leon Black received $369.4 million in dividends and pay from his private equity and credit investment firm in 2013, up 105 percent from 2012, a regulatory filing showed on Monday. Apollo took advantage of red-hot capital markets to cash out on investments throughout 2013, an approach epitomized by 62-year-old Black last year with the phrase: "We are selling everything that is not nailed down."

Listed firms' dividend payouts for 2013 to rise 6 pct

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- Dividends to be paid out by South Korean listed firms for fiscal 2013 are expected to rise some 6 percent as tech heavyweights like Samsung Electronics Co. plan to deliver more, data showed Monday. Investors are projected to harvest 9.17 trillion won (US$8.59 billion) in dividends for the fiscal 2013 from 221 firms listed on the main bourse, up from 8.65 trillion won paid a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korea Exchange (KRX).
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