News

Coinbase releases Bitcoin apps for POS, Android

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Bitcoin digital wallet service Coinbase is releasing two new apps intended to spread the acceptance of Bitcoin payment by retailers. The Coinbase Merchant application handles POS functionality, including offline, while Coinbase for Android 2.0 features a new UI along with improved speed, reliability, and ease of use.

Point of sale functionality has been moved to the new, separate Coinbase Merchant application. All of Coinbase’s online merchant offerings are now available offline. That means any retailer can now accept Bitcoin using the POS app, with instant, guaranteed exchange to U.S. dollars deposited in their bank account daily. They can also check their Coinbase account online and generate accounting reports for bookkeeping.

In addition, Coinbase for Android has been updated and now supports easy refreshing of the buy / sell price and the ability to hide balances. It’s also easier to switch between accounts, and refreshing the app is faster. Numerous bugs were fixed, a bitcoin price widget has been added, and the app has been translated into three new languages: Czech, Spanish, and Dutch.

Both applications are available on the Play Store for Android 2.3 and up.

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News

Egg indicator shows prices up

BY CSA STAFF

The nation’s largest egg producer said premium prices for specialty products and an acquisition allowed it to growth sales and nearly double profits during its second quarter.

Cal-Maine Foods said sales for its second quarter ended November 30 increased 8% to $354.3 million due in large part to the acquisition of Maxim Production Co., on November 15. The company said it sold 252.7 million dozen eggs, an increase of nearly 6.2%. Excluding volumes related to the acquisition, sales would have increased a more modest 1.6% while unit volumes would have declined 1.3%. Consolidated profits during the quarter increased to $26.1 million, or $1.09 a share, compared to $14.8 million, or 60 cents a share, during the second quarter the prior year.

“Our specialty egg sales continued to trend higher and accounted for 16.4% of dozens sold and 23.7% of total shell egg sales revenue for the quarter,” said Cal-Maine chairman, president and CEO Dolph Baker. “Specialty eggs are an important area of focus for Cal-Maine Food’s growth strategy as they continue to gain popularity with consumers who are looking for alternatives and willing to pay for premium products.”

Specialty egg prices, which are typically higher and less cyclical than regular egg prices, increased 4.1% during the quarter, according to the company.

According to Baker, the company experienced favorable egg markets during the quarter even though feed costs remain at historically high levels.

“We are optimistic feed costs will remain near current levels, but believe that prices of corn and soybean meal, our principal feed ingredients, will remain volatile for the balance of our fiscal year,” Baker said.

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FINANCE

Bob’s Discount Furniture to be acquired by Bain Capital

BY Dan Berthiaume

Manchester, Conn. — Bob’s Discount Furniture has signed a definitive agreement to sell a majority stake of its business to Bain Capital for an undisclosed amount. Bob’s management team will continue to own a "significant stake" after the deal and will remain involved in operations, according to the company, which has been majority owned by private equity firm KarpReilly/Apax for the past nine years.

Bob’s Discount Furniture operates 47 stores in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. It will enter the Philadelphia market in February 2014.

“We are thrilled to partner with Bain Capital, a firm that has been investing in great retail businesses and consumer brands for decades,” said Ted English, CEO of Bob’s Discount Furniture, who will continue to lead the company. “Bain Capital brings the experience and resources we need to support our continued expansion to serve more customers in more places, and to provide opportunities for advancement for our people."

The A Merrill Lynch is serving as financial advisor, and Ropes & Gray LLP is acting as legal counsel, to Bob’s Discount Furniture. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel, and PwC LLP is serving as accounting advisor, to Bain Capital. Financing for the transaction is being provided by RBC and UBS. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2014 and details were not disclosed.

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