FINANCE

Macy’s to take $5.1 billion goodwill impairment charge

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati Macy’s said Tuesday it will book a hefty $5.1 billion after-tax charge to write down the value of goodwill in 2008. The charge falls within the range of the department store retailer’s $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion forecast.

Goodwill represents certain values a company has beyond its physical assets, such as its brand, customers, reputation, etc. The impairment charge, which totals $12.07 per share, is mainly the result of the weak economic environment and the decline in the company’s share price, which fell 60% in 2008.

Including the one-time item, Macy’s 2008 loss totaled $4.8 billion, or $11.40 per share.

Macy’s does not expect the charge to affect its business, bank credit agreement or bond indentures.

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Brown named to PepsiCo board

BY CSA STAFF

PURCHASE, N.Y. PepsiCo announced the election of Shona Brown to its board of directors.

Brown is SVP business operations of Google, a position she has held since 2006. From 2003 to 2006 she served as VP business operations of Google, where she led internal business operations and people operations.

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NPD: Teen music spending down in ’08

BY CSA STAFF

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. According to The NPD Group, a leader in market research for the entertainment industry, teens (age 13 to 17) acquired 19% less music in 2008 than they did in 2007. CD purchasing declined 26% and paid digital downloads fell 13% compared with the prior year.

In the case of paid digital downloads, 32% of teens purchasing less digital music expressed discontent with the music that was available for purchase, while 23% claimed to already have a suitable collection of digital music. Twenty-four percent of teens also cited cutbacks in overall entertainment spending as a reason for buying fewer downloads.

The downturn in paid music acquisition was matched by a downturn in the quantity of tracks downloaded from peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, which fell 6% in 2008. The number of teens borrowing music, either to rip to a computer or burn to a CD, fell by 28%.

“While we expected to see the continued decline in CD purchasing among teens in NPD’s music tracking surveys, it was surprising to see that fewer teens downloaded music from P2P sites or borrowed them from friends,” said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for The NPD Group. “These declines could be happening due to a lack of excitement among teens about the music available, but it could also reflect a larger shift in the ways teens interact with music, given that so much music is now available whenever and wherever they want it.”

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