Archive for April, 2011

Target CEO pay rises 83 percent on one-time items

Friday, April 29th, 2011 | Finance News

NEW YORK – The CEO of discount retailer Target Corp. received a pay package in 2010 worth $23.9 million, 83 percent more than he made in 2009, because he became eligible for enhanced pension benefits and his stock awards rose as the company's performance improved, according to documents Target filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gregg Steinhafel, 56, received a base salary of $1.5 million and a bonus of $1.2 million, according to Associated Press calculations. He received stock options worth $3.2 million and stock awards worth $8 million when they were granted. That includes a stock award of $3.25 million he got in March 2010 that includes both a $1.1 million bonus for 2009 and part of his performance-based bonus for 2009.

Steinhafel also received a performance-based bonus of $4.1 million and above-market returns of $376,229 from the nation's second-largest discounter.

His perks were worth $5.5 million, including an extra pension plan payment related to the fact that he turned 55 during calendar 2010 plus nearly $2.6 million from a supplemental pension plan that has been frozen to new participants since 1989. Steinhafel joined the company more than 30 years ago.

Steinhafel has been CEO since 2008. During his tenure, Target, which has carved out a niche as a cheap chic discounter, has expanded its food selection and planned for new stores outside the U.S., in Canada. During the year, Target's net income rose 17 percent while its revenue rose 3.1 percent to $67.39 billion. Minneapolis-based Target's share price rose 24 percent during the year.

The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The value that a company assigned to an executive's stock and option awards for 2010 was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth to the executive over time. Companies use one of several formulas to calculate that value. However, the number is just an estimate, and what an executive ultimately receives will depend on the performance of the company's stock in the years after the awards are granted. Most stock compensation programs require an executive to wait a specified amount of time to receive shares or exercise options.

An Associated Press analysis of documents filed Friday shows Target Corp.'s CEO received 2010 compensation valued at $24.8 million, 83 percent more than in 2009, as he became eligible for enhanced pension payments and his stock awards rose with the company's improved performance.

Gregg Steinhafel's base salary was $1.5 million. He also got a bonus of $1.2 million, a performance-based bonus of $4.1 million, stock options worth $3.2 million and stock awards worth $8 million when they were granted. Part of the stock award is related to his 2009 bonus.

The 56-year-old CEO's other compensation of $5.5 million included extra pension plan payments related to turning 55 and to a supplemental plan.

The AP's calculation counts salary, bonuses, perks, stock and options awarded to the executive during the year.


Bernanke says U.S. economy needs more time to heal

Friday, April 29th, 2011 | Finance News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy is not fully recovered from its deep recession, with housing still weighing on growth, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Friday in a speech spelling out ways the U.S. central bank has studied lower income communities.

"Our economy is far from where we would like it to be," he said in prepared remarks to a conference.

The Fed earlier this week said it will see its $600 billion bond buying program, launched in November to spur a weak recovery, through to its planned conclusion at the end of June.

The world's largest economy grew at a sluggish 1.8 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, but unemployment is still at a lofty 8.8 percent.

The depressed housing market is holding back the economic recovery, Bernanke said. Home foreclosure rates remain high and many families find themselves owing more for their homes than the homes are worth.

"Obviously, the problems in the labor market and the housing market are not unrelated," he said.

The Fed chairman said Fed research shows loans to individuals and businesses through community development financial institutions can boost economic activity. That business generates tax revenues that in turn permits government spending in ways that benefit these communities, he said.

"We at the Federal Reserve will remain closely attuned to the economic health of all communities, including low- and moderate-income communities," Bernanke said.

With rising prices fueling concern about inflation, the Fed is under some pressure to tighten policy after unprecedented and aggressive easing measures. Several Fed officials believe the central bank should act quickly to pare its bloated balance sheet and other major central banks around the world have begun to raise interest rates in response to price pressures.

However, the Fed made clear through a statement and a press conference by Bernanke on Wednesday that with a high jobless rate, extensive lost wealth, and inflation levels still not much higher than historic lows, the central bank has no immediate plans to withdraw support.

Bernanke said on Friday the economy is recovering at a moderate pace, and that there has been "welcome, if gradual" improvement in labor markets.

(Editing by Neil Stempleman)


Selected first-quarter drug sales for Merck & Co.

Friday, April 29th, 2011 | Finance News

Here are sales figures for the first quarter for Merck & Co.'s 10 top-selling drugs:


Singulair Asthma/allergies $1.33 billion $1.16 billion up 14

Januvia and Janumet Diabetes $1.04 billion $712 million up 47

Remicade Rheumatoid arthritis $753 million $674 million up 12

Zetia High cholesterol $582 million $534 million up 9

Vytorin High cholestrol $480 million $477 million up 1

Cozaar and Hyzaar High blood pressure $426 million $782 million down 46

Nasonex Allergies $373 million $320 million up 17

Isentress HIV treatment $292 million $232 million up 26

Temodar Brain cancer $248 million $274 million down 10

Gardasil HPV vaccine $214 million $233 million down 8