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Consumer spending rose 0.8% in February

BY Staff Writer

New York — Consumer spending rose 0.8% in February, the Commerce Department said Friday. It was the biggest increase since July. However, the increase came as Americans’ income barely grew, and the saving rate fell to its lowest point in more than two years.

Some of the higher spending last month reflected rising gas prices. But even after excluding inflation, which was due mainly to gas prices, spending rose a solid 0.5%.

The report led economists to upwardly revise their economic growth estimates for the January-March quarter. Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, now expects annual growth for the first quarter to be around 2.5%, compared with earlier estimates of about 2%, the Associated Press reported.

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C.Rogers says:
Apr-02-2012 07:18 am

Yes, I agree that while households may be spending less, they are starting to show more interest in buying houses, taking loans, traveling, etc. That is actually the highest level of consumer spending increase for the last seven months. In addition, the months’ supply of houses on the market dropped to a five-and-a-half-year low. However, I think that more progress will depend on the health of the people’s finances. http://cashadvancesus.com/

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Michaels Stores files IPO

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Michaels Stores Friday confirmed that it is has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the proposed initial public offering of its common stock. According to the filing, the company proposed to raise $500 million in the IPO. The number of shares to be sold and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.

J.P. Morgan and Goldman, Sachs & Co. will act as joint book-running lead managers for the offering. Barclays, Deutsche Bank, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo are acting as joint book runners.

Michaels was traded publicly until 2006, when Bain Capital LLC and The Blackstone Group LP, bought it in a deal valued at $6.6 billion.

Michaels plans to open 45 to 50 stores in 2012, with capital spending of $140 million to $155 million.

For its most recent quarter, Michaels reported that total sales of $1.4 billion, a 5.5% increase from the year-ago period. Same-store sales for the quarter increased 4.4%. Net income decreased 1% in the fourth quarter to $97 million, from $98 million for the same period last year.

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CVS names new head of pharmacy benefit management business

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark outlined succession plans for its pharmacy benefit management business as EVP and COO Jon Roberts will assume the role of president of the PBM business, effective Sept. 1.

During the company’s analyst meeting in December 2011, Per Lofberg, PBM president, announced his intention to extend his employment agreement with CVS Caremark through December 2013, as previously reported by Drug Store News. On Friday, the company announced that Roberts would assume the role of president of the PBM business in September. He will continue to report to Lofberg. Lofberg will continue to report to Larry Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Caremark.

In his new role as president of Caremark Pharmacy Services, Roberts will have day-to-day oversight for the PBM business including sales and account management and operations. Effective Sept. 1, 2012, Lofberg will focus on driving PBM strategy, new business development and client relationship management and retention by serving as the chairman of the PBM.

Roberts, a pharmacist by training, has more than 30 years of pharmacy healthcare experience, including 21 years with CVS Caremark. He has served in the role of EVP and COO for Caremark Pharmacy Services since 2010. Prior to that, he led pharmaceutical purchasing, pricing and network relations. While serving as the company’s CIO, Roberts spearheaded RxConnect, which significantly enhanced retail pharmacy performance. He spent more than 14 years in the company’s retail business and held a variety of senior roles including serving as the SVP retail operations.

"Jon is the right leader to build on the tremendous foundation that Per Lofberg has created for long-term success," stated Merlo. "Jon is a results-driven leader, whose analytical approach has served him well in the variety of roles he has held over his 20-year tenure with CVS Caremark. His broad base of pharmacy experience will further our mission to continually improve how we do business and look for ways to do it better, more efficiently and at a lower cost.

"This thoughtful leadership transition demonstrates the strength of our succession planning process, and importantly ensures that we’re well-positioned to continue to meet the needs of our clients and their members. As president and CEO, I am grateful to both Per and Jon for their partnership as we work together to position Caremark Pharmacy Services for continued long-term success."

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