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For deal, Walgreens to close 600 stores

Walgreens plans to close about 600 drugstores as it completes a $4.38 billion deal to buy nearly 2,000 from rival Rite Aid.

Company spokesman Michael Polzin said Wednesday that most of the closings will be Rite Aid stores, and the vast majority will be within a mile of another store in the Walgreens network.

Walgreens isn't saying which stores will close.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., based in Deerfield, Ill., announced its acquisition plan last month, nearly two years after the nation's biggest drugstore chain launched an attempt to buy all of Rite Aid Corp., based in Camp Hill, Pa. Regulators balked at that bigger deal.

The store closings will start next spring and will be completed over 18 months. Walgreens operates more than 13,200 stores worldwide.

-- The Associated Press

Lumber Liquidators to settle lawsuits

TOANO, Va. -- Lumber Liquidators has agreed to a $36 million settlement to resolve claims brought by people who bought Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring reported to contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde.

The Virginia-based company said the company will pay $22 million in cash and provide $14 million in store-credit vouchers to consumers who bought the flooring between Jan. 1, 2009, and May 31, 2015, when the company stopped selling the flooring.

Lumber Liquidators announced the proposed settlement Tuesday, saying it has signed a memorandum of understanding to settle all claims brought on behalf of consumers in two lawsuits filed in Virginia.

The agreement still needs court approval.

-- The Associated Press

Low-calorie drinks lift Coca-Cola in 3Q

Coca-Cola Co.'s push to offer more low-calorie drinks is showing signs of paying off, even as the beverage giant's sweeping overhaul weighs on results.

The company posted operating sales that handily beat analysts' estimates in the third quarter, helped by the recent launch of a reformulated Coke Zero in the U.S. Profit also topped projections by a penny a share, with higher drink prices adding to earnings.

But overall revenue was down in the period, hurt by a move to offload bottling operations, and sales volume growth has stalled. With the company in flux, investors have adopted a wait-and-see approach. The shares were little changed Wednesday in the wake of the results.

"Work clearly still remains to drive more balanced revenue growth going forward," Bonnie Herzog, an analyst at Wells Fargo & Co., said in a note.

Coca-Cola reported earnings of 50 cents a share in the third quarter, compared with a 49-cent average estimate of analysts. Operating revenue came in at $9.06 billion, topping the $8.72 billion projection.

The stock fell 13 cents to close Wednesday at $46.05.

-- Bloomberg News

Owners of 16 McDonald's paying $3M

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- The owners of 16 McDonald's restaurants in Pennsylvania are paying nearly $3 million to settle a lawsuit claiming they violated state law by paying hourly employees strictly with fee-laden debit cards.

A state appellate court last year upheld a lower court finding that the payroll cards were not "lawful money" or a "check," as required under Pennsylvania wage law. That decision paved the way for the settlement.

The judge's order Tuesday shows franchisees Albert and Carol Mueller will pay $1,200 to each of the nearly 2,400 plaintiffs. The plaintiffs' attorneys will also receive $858,000 in fees and court costs.

Both sides had previously announced the settlement but not its terms.

The cards had required employees to pay fees for bank withdrawals, online bill payments and other charges.

-- The Associated Press

Ransomware hits Ukrainians, Russians

MOSCOW -- A new strain of malicious software has paralyzed computers at a Ukrainian airport, at the Ukrainian capital's subway and at some independent Russian media.

The Odessa international airport in southern Ukraine, the Kiev subway and prominent Russian media outlets such as Interfax and Fontanka reported being targeted Tuesday.

The cyberattack appears to be similar to a major attack in June that locked the computers of hospitals, government offices and major multinationals with encryption that demanded a ransom for their release. The software appeared to have originated in Ukraine.

The Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Group-IB said Wednesday that the ransomware called BadRabbit also tried to penetrate the computers of major Russian banks but failed. None of the banks has reported attacks.

The Moscow-based cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab said it was aware of more than 200 companies in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Germany that were targeted by the ransomware.

-- The Associated Press

U.S. durable-goods orders up by 2.2%

WASHINGTON -- Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 2.2 percent in September, the biggest gain in three months, led by a big increase in orders for commercial aircraft. A key category that tracks business investment posted a third-straight solid monthly gain.

The September advance in durable goods followed a 2 percent rise in August and was the sharpest increase since a 6.4 percent jump in June, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Economists said the rise in September orders, double what they had been expecting, was a good sign that the long-awaited rebound in manufacturing is on track, helped by an improving global economy.

"There isn't a single area in the world that isn't moving forward at the moment and they need American manufacturers' machinery and equipment to help build their economies. Export demand is surging," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.

-- The Associated Press

Business on 10/26/2017

Print Headline: hcb,2,16,1 For deal, Walgreens to close 600 stores Lumber Liquidators to settle lawsuits Low-calorie drinks lift Coca-Cola in 3Q Owners of 16 McDonald's paying $3M Ransomware hits Ukrainians, Russ...

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