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News in brief

This article was published August 2, 2014 at 2:13 a.m.

Tyson earnings lead

to positive analysis

Tyson Foods quarterly earnings report has sparked positive reactions by financial analysts this week.

Since Monday's report, KeyCorp, Credit Suisse and BMO Capital Markets have raised their price targets for Tyson. Additionally, Miller Tabak has changed its rating from hold to buy, while Zacks repeated its neutral rating.

There were eight hold ratings, five buy ratings and one sell rating in the most recent survey by Analyst Ratings Network. The average price target was $43.88.

Ratings services also were pleased by Tyson's plans to pay down debt after its acquisition of Hillshire Brands.

On Wednesday, Fitch Ratings affirmed Tyson's BBB credit rating with a stable outlook. In a news release, Fitch praised Tyson's plans to partially finance its acquisition of Hillshire Brands by issuing stock and selling its Latin American assets.

On Thursday, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services removed all credit watch ratings from Tyson, where they were placed with negative implications June 10 after Tyson's offer to buy Hillshire. The service affirmed Tyson's BBB credit rating with a negative outlook. Standard & Poor's expects Tyson to have about $6.9 billion in debt once the acquisition closes.

Tyson stock fell 16 cents to close Friday at $37.05.

-- Brian Fanney

Acxiom to hold call

on quarterly results

Acxiom Corp. will hold a conference call Monday to discuss its fiscal 2015 first-quarter financial results, to be released the same day.

The Little Rock company plans to release its quarterly earnings after the markets close and will hold the conference call at 3:30 p.m., according to a news release.

The conference call will be broadcast live at Acxiom's website,

During its 2014 fourth quarter, Acxiom reported a loss of $29.2 million, compared with a profit of $13.2 million during the same period in 2013.

-- Jessica Seaman

Global troubles lead

to slight dip on index

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, lost 0.06 to 344.68 Friday.

Analysts said the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, Argentina's credit default and Portugal's troubled Banco Espirito contributed to the declining markets. The S&P 500 finished its worst week since 2012.

Six Arkansas stocks advanced and 11 declined Friday. ArcBest Corp. gained 6.52 percent after plummeting Thursday. P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc. fell 3 percent.

For the week, eight stocks advanced and nine declined.

Windstream Holdings Inc. rose 9.4 percent for the week after announcing spinoff plans.

ArcBest finished the week down almost 20 percent, and Murphy Oil fell 9 percent.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 08/02/2014

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