REAL ESTATE

Jones Lang LaSalle brokers sale of Kendall Corners

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Miami — Jones Lang LaSalle announced it has closed the sale of Kendall Corners on behalf of joint owners Weingarten Realty Investors and a subsidiary of TIAA-CREF.

Miami-based Orion Ventures purchased the 96,515-sq.-ft. shopping center.

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Coca-Cola names former Ernst & Young exec VP

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA — Coca-Cola’s board of directors has elected Robin Moore as one of the company’s VPs.

Moore, 47, was recently named chief of internal audit, effective May 1, replacing Connie McDaniel who is retiring after 24 years with the company. Moore is currently global director of finance operations in global business services. She began her career with the company in 1995 and has assumed roles of increasing responsibility including senior audit manager in corporate audit and director of financial reporting in the controller’s group.

Before joining The Coca-Cola Company, Moore held positions with Ernst & Young in Atlanta, Equitable Real Estate Investment Management Inc. and the Bank of North Georgia. She holds a bachelor of business administration in accounting from Emory University.

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Safeway sales suffer, shares drop

BY CSA STAFF

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway shares dropped dramatically as the company reported $10 billion in sales for its first quarter 2013 ended March 23, which is essentially flat as compared to the first quarter of 2012. An identical-store sales increase of 1.5% (excluding fuel) was offset primarily by the disposition of Genuardi’s stores in 2012 and lower fuel sales in 2013.

Analysts had been expecting comparable sales upward of 2%, lifting quarterly sales north of $10.2 billion. Wall Street reacted quickly, Safeway shares were selling down more than 17% to $23.40. However, over the past year Safeway stock is still up more than 10%, including Thursday’s dramatic drop.

Safeway’s same-store sales were impacted positively by 40 basis points on account of a fiscal calendar shift, Burd said. Safeway’s fiscal year 2012 ended on Dec. 29, 2012 and did not capture all New Year’s holiday sales. Same-store sales are also negatively impacted by 90 basis points due to a shift to generic drugs.

Safeway’s guidance for 2013 remains unchanged at $2.25 to $2.45 earnings per diluted share. But that doesn’t include any sales bumps out of the company’s wellness program, which is expected to launch in the next three months, according to Safeway Chairman and CEO Steve Burd.

Burd offered analysts a glimpse into that new wellness platform in March.

So the future looks bright, Burd said in a conference call with analysts. The grocer’s Just 4 U loyalty program is growing at a clip of 20,000 new households per week, which will place the number of total loyalty-card users to more than 6 million by the end of the year. "Just for U usage continues to grow, and our partner fuel reward program is rolling out on schedule and resonating well with consumers," Burd said.

Safeway was able to reduce its debt load with the successful IPO last week of its Blackhawk Network Holdings, shares of which were selling for $24.32 in midday trading, down slightly 2.8%.

Safeway invested $144.9 million in capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2013. For the year, Safeway expects to invest up to $1.1 billion in capital expenditures.

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