Monsanto plans to spend more than $100 million to expand production at four of its seed processing plants in Nebraska, Indiana and Iowa to meet growing demand for its corn seeds.
The Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska reported that most of the money will be spent at Monsanto plants in Waco, Neb., and Remington, Ind., but more capacity will also be added at plants in Grinnell and Williamsburg, Iowa.
The St. Louis-based company announced the expansion Wednesday.
We’re expanding to give farmers the seed they desire, Monsanto spokeswoman Kathleen Manning said.
The money for the expansion will pay for more dryers and expanded warehouse space at the plants.
The expansions will lead to some increase in employment, but Manning said the company wasn’t sure how many jobs will be added.
Verizon retirees sue over pension transfer
Verizon retirees have sued the phone company because it’s planning to transfer the responsibility of paying their pensions to an insurance company, where they will have weaker legal protection.
Verizon Communications Inc. said last month that it would transfer $7.5 billion of its pension obligations, covering 41,000 management retirees, to Prudential Insurance. The deal effectively turns the company’s defined-benefit pensions into annuities.
Members of the Association of BellTel Retirees sued in federal court in Dallas on Tuesday. They’re seeking a court order to halt the deal, which is set to close in December.
They note that annuities aren’t covered by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. A shortfall in the assets backing the annuities would be replaced by a patchwork network of state guaranty associations, many of which are underfunded, the group said.
GM looks to expand China auto venture
General Motors Co. and its joint venture partners in China say they will spend $1 billion to build a third car plant to keep up with demand for vehicles in the world’s biggest auto market.
The SAIC-GM-Wuling venture said the first phase of the factory will open in 2015.
The plant will be capable of turning out 400,000 vehicles and engines a year. It will help the joint venture reach its goal of producing 2 million vehicles a year in China by 2015.
The company said Wednesday it wouldn’t decide which models to make until closer to the start of production.
The new factory will be in Chongqing city in central Sichuan province.
Strong quarter boosts outlook for Kroger
Kroger Co. is raising its earnings outlook for the year after the nation’s largest traditional supermarket chain reported a third-quarter profit that topped Wall Street expectations.
For the three months ended Nov. 3, the company said revenue at locations open at least a year rose 3.2 percent. The metric is a key gauge of health because it strips out the influence of newly opened and closed locations.
The company said it earned $316.5 million, or 60 cents a share, for the period. That compares with $195.9 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago. Kroger now expects to earn between $2.44 and $2.46 for the year, up from the previous range of $2.35 to $2.42.