Stocks sliding a bit: Market is trading flat to start the week. Apple shares are up about 1 percent after the company announced that it would issue a quarterly dividend.
Apple to pay dividend: The world's most valuable company will also buy back $10 billion worth of stock. Both moves are aimed at whittling down a cash hoard of nearly $100 billion. From the NYT:
The company, which recently released the newest version of its iPad, was widely expected to announce a dividend. As its cash has piled up, Wall Street analysts and investors had begun to call more loudly for Apple to return some of it to shareholders. Although having too much cash is rarely seen as a burden for a company, Apple earns less than 1 percent in interest on the cash, which many investors view as wasteful.
Gas update: Pump prices remain basically unchanged - an average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $4.385, down about a penny from last week, according to the Auto Club. Oil prices have also been flattish.
BP downplays Arco news: A spokesman said the decision to sell the Carson refinery, as well as its Arco retail outlets, was announced more than a year ago, and that the new owner is likely to retain the Arco name. From the Press Telegram:
BP spokesman Scott Dean said on Saturday that Arco will allow leases on 130 Arco branded sites to expire in the next two years and revert back to the Thrifty Oil Co., which owns the properties. Thrifty has a contract with Texas refiner Tesoro Corp. to operate those sites under the USA Gasoline brand. But 790 Southern California Arco stations will remain.
Patrick Soon-Shiong enters Dodger auction: The L.A. billionaire has joined an investment group that's being led by hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen. This is a bit of a surprise, since Soon-Shiong had been expected to join a competing bidding group that's led by Magic Johnson. From the LAT:
Cohen and Johnson lead two of the four bid groups whose structure and financing have been approved by Major League Baseball. The other two finalists, as of Sunday: St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke; and a partnership between Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Tony Ressler, co-founder of Los Angeles-based Ares Capital.
Non-legacy airlines get high marks: Southwest, JetBlue and Virgin America are customer service champions, according to J.D. Power & Associates. Not cited: American, Delta or United. (LAT)