Headlines this morning include an investigation into possibly contaminated chicken at Shanghai KFC restaurants, multiple options for tracking Santa online, Herbalife plans to respond to Ackman and an investigation into Regions Financial over loan classifications. Trading is expected to be extremely light in today's Christmas Eve session.
Shanghai regulators said the levels of steroids and antibiotics found in chicken from Yum Brand's (YUM) KFC restaurants were within acceptable levels, but questioned levels of amantadine, a drug used to treat Parkinson's disease, in one of the samples. Yum was asked to recall related products and regulators have launched a city-wide inspection of the company's restaurants.
NORAD has ended a relationship with Google (GOOG) that dates to 2004. The defense agency has opted to use the mapping services of Microsoft's (MSFT) Bing this year as it tracks Santa Claus' progress across the sky. Google plans to track St. Nick's progress on its own. Both groups have apps that so you can track the jolly old elf on the go, but Google's is only available on the Android platform, while NORAD's offering is also available for users of iOS and Windows 8.
The dietary supplement maker said recently that it expects to exceed its previously announced guidance of $50 million in share repurchases in coming quarters. The company also plans to hold an investor day on Jan. 10 to respond to recent allegations made by hedge fund manager William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management. Ackman revealed a large short position in the company late last week and held an hours-long presentation justifying his $0 price target on Herbalife (HLF).
The company will receive about $1.4 billion when Altimo converts preferred shares to common shares. Altimo will convert 128,532,000 preferred shares into the same number of common shares on April 16. As a result, Altimo's stake in the company will increase to 56.2% from 52.7%.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Regions (RF) is being investigated for improperly classifying troubled loans during the financial crisis. Two pension funds that are part of a shareholder suit against the company have claimed the company hid its struggles by improperly moving loans out of nonaccrual status.