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No Rate Increase From TVA
Despite what it called "a challenging year," the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors on Thursday passed a budget for fiscal year 2013 that includes no increase in wholesale electric rates.
“This demonstrates TVA’s commitment to delivering reliable, low-cost and cleaner energy to consumers and businesses in the Valley,” said TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore. “Supplying reliable, competitively priced electricity is the single most important thing TVA can do for the economic health of the region.
“The budget recommendation approved by the board contains no rate increase for FY2013 and lays the foundation for a consistent rate strategy in the years ahead,” he added.
Kilgore also announced his pending retirement at Thursday's meeting.
Kilgore noted that even as TVA works to improve its power rates, it also must invest in the power system to address necessary maintenance and operational needs, including environmental projects. The approved 2013 budget, which is based on projected revenues of $11.2 billion, includes $2.7 billion for capital investments, in addition to $9.5 billion for operating expenses.
In a news release Kilgore said long term, having a balanced portfolio of several generating sources – instead of relying heavily on any one source – will help TVA lower power costs and ensure reliability. TVA also plans to avoid spikes in power prices in the future by considering smaller rate increases more frequently.
“This rate strategy would serve our customers and TVA better by making our rates less volatile and easier to predict,” he said. If TVA had used that approach in past years, TVA rates would be no higher than they are now but TVA would have better cash flow for maintaining and upgrading the power system.
In other actions, the board:
Approved the issuance of up to $5 billion in long-term bonds, if needed, during FY 2013.
Approved an update to the unique transmission service arrangement TVA has with Memphis, Light, Gas and Water to support changing utility and business obligations for high voltage transmission.
Heard an update on TVA’s environmental policy that noted progress in air quality, climate change mitigation, water resources, waste management and natural resource management.
Selected Ernst and Young as TVA’s independent external financial auditor for FY 2013.
More Business News
Last Update on October 21, 2014 17:19 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. homes sold in September at their fastest clip this year, yet the housing market has yet to fully shake off a slowdown that began in the middle of 2013.
The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes rose 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million. Still, the sales rate has dropped 1.7 percent over the past 12 months.
Investors have retreated from the market over the past year. Their departures are being offset by existing homeowners who are upgrading to more expensive properties or downsizing after having raised their children.
Rising prices through much of 2013, weak income growth and tighter credit standards have priced out many would-be buyers. Median home prices rose 5.6 percent over the past 12 months to $209,700.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Staples is looking into a potential credit card data breach and has been in touch with law enforcement officials about the issue.
The office supplies retailer said Tuesday that if it turns up any data discrepancies during its investigation, customers won't be responsible for fraudulent activity on their credit cards as long as it is reported in a timely manner.
"We take the protection of customer information very seriously, and are working to resolve the situation," spokesman Mark Cautela said in a statement.
Earlier this month Sears Holdings Corp. reported a breach at its Kmart stores that started last month, saying some customers' credit and debit cards may have been compromised. Other breaches have occurred at retailers including Target Corp., Supervalu Inc. and Home Depot Inc..
Shares of Staples Inc., based in Framingham, Massachusetts, slipped 3 cents to $12.27 in midday trading. Its shares have fallen 23 percent over the past year.
UNDATED (AP) -- Coca-Cola and McDonald's are reporting declining profits.
Coke says its third-quarter net income was $2.11 billion, down 14 percent as beverage volume rose 1 percent, thanks to an increase in non-carbonated drinks. The world's biggest beverage maker also announced a new plan that it said will reduce costs by $3 billion a year by 2019. For this year, the company said it expects earnings per share to miss its long-term target.
McDonald's saw customer traffic fall around the world. Sales took a big hit in Asia, where a major supplier was shown on TV repackaging expired beef. In the U.S., McDonald's is fighting to hold onto customers amid shifting tastes toward food people consider more wholesome.
For the quarter, revenue declined to just under $7 billion, falling short of Wall Street expectations.
Also reporting results this morning, Verizon Communications reported lower net income but higher revenue in its third quarter, helped by strong wireless subscriber growth and demand for its FiOS Internet services.
Higher cigarette prices helped cigarette maker Reynolds American's net income rise 2.2 percent in its third quarter.
MORTGAGE RISK RULES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- New U.S. rules aimed at getting banks to take on more of the risk when they package and sell mortgage securities are being relaxed with an eye to spurring broader home lending.
Federal regulators have dropped a key requirement: a 20 percent down payment from the borrower if a bank didn't hold at least 5 percent of the mortgage securities tied to those loans on its books.
The long-delayed final rules unveiled Tuesday by six federal agencies include the less stringent condition that borrowers not carry excessive debt relative to their income.
The board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. voted 4-1 Tuesday to adopt the rules.
The rules, proposed in stricter form in 2011, were mandated by the overhaul law enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Unemployment rates fell in 31 U.S. states in September, including many currently embroiled in tough political campaigns. The report is the final data on state unemployment before the midterm elections Nov. 4.
The Labor Department says that unemployment rates rose in 8 states and were unchanged in 11 states. That is the smallest number of states to see an increase since April.
Employers added jobs in 39 states and cut jobs in 10. South Dakota's job count changed little.
Colorado and Kentucky, two states with hard-fought Senate campaigns, experienced the biggest declines in unemployment. Colorado's fell to 4.7 percent from 5.1 percent, and Kentucky's rate dropped to 6.7 percent from 7.1 percent.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate declined to 5.9 percent in September, from 6.1 percent the previous month.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- A North Carolina company is recalling nearly 12,000 boxes of pain relief tablets sold at Dollar Tree stores because some cartons contain a different medication that could cause allergic reactions.
Greensboro-based Contract Packaging Resources Inc. says it mistakenly placed bottles of ibuprofen inside boxes sold at Dollar Tree stores nationwide as Assured brand naproxen sodium tablets.
Some consumers buy naproxen sodium pain relievers because of allergies to ibuprofen. The packaging company says reactions that can include hives or life-threatening respiratory problems, but it hasn't received any reports of adverse reactions.
Consumers who bought 15-count boxes of 220mg Assured brand naproxen sodium tablets may return them to the store of purchase or call 336-252-3422.
CVS develops tobacco-free prescription network
First, CVS Health pulled tobacco from its store shelves. Now, it plans to make some customers think twice about filling prescriptions at other stores that still sell smokes.
The nation's second-largest drugstore chain is developing a new tobacco-free pharmacy network for clients of its Caremark pharmacy benefits management business.
The network would slap an extra co-payment on patients who fill their prescriptions at stores that still sell tobacco. That payment won't apply to prescriptions filled in the tobacco-free network, which would include CVS and Target locations nationally, as well as other pharmacies that abstain. Target Corp. gave up tobacco sales in 1996.
CVS national rivals Walgreen Co. and Rite Aid Corp. still sell tobacco.
The tobacco-free network will only be used by the pharmacy-benefit management customers that choose it.
DALLAS (AP) -- Kimberly-Clark plans to eliminate up to 1,300 jobs as part of restructuring efforts aimed at reducing costs and making its business more efficient.
The consumer products company has 58,000 workers worldwide, according to its website.
Kimberly-Clark Corp. said Tuesday that it anticipates restructuring costs between $130 million and $160 million, after taxes. The company -- whose brands include Kleenex and Huggies -- foresees between $120 million and $140 million in savings by the end of 2017.
The restructuring is expected to be completed by 2016's end.
Kimberly-Clark also cut its 2014 adjusted profit forecast to account for the spinoff of its health care business. The Dallas company now expects an adjusted profit between $5.93 and $6.03 per share, down from its prior range of $6 to $6.15 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expect $6.06 per share.
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