Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Arch asks for probe * Arch Coal Inc., a U.S. producer of the fuel, said it requested federal authorities investigate potential misconduct involving vendors and personnel in West Virginia. The U.S. attorney's office in Charleston, the state capital, is leading the probe with the company's full cooperation, Arch said Thursday in an emailed statement. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment. The company has posted five consecutive quarterly losses amid increased competition from natural gas, which competes with coal as a domestic energy source. It has also suffered from depressed prices for metallurgical coal used by steelmakers. The company operates mines in Appalachia, the Midwest and the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. Its operating units in West Virginia are the Beckley complex, Coal-Mac, Cumberland River, Leer, Sentinel and the Mountain Laurel complex.

Snacks boost PepsiCo * PepsiCo reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit as the company sold more snacks and hiked prices. The company, which makes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Mountain Dew and Tropicana products, said global snack volume rose 2 percent in the first fiscal quarter ended March 22. Global beverage volume was unchanged from a year ago, including in its closely watched North American drinks unit. Even though beverage volume was flat in North America, PepsiCo managed to push up revenue by raising prices as well as introducing more expensive drinks such as Mountain Dew Kickstart, which is marketed as an energy drink of sorts for younger men. For the quarter, the company, based in Purchase, N.Y., earned $1.22 billion, or 79 cents per share, compared with $1.08 billion, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier. Not including one-time items, it earned 83 cents per share, above the 75 cents per share Wall Street expected. …

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