News in brief

Westrock, milk firm

plan Texas facility

Westrock Coffee said Friday that it plans to work with a Dallas-based milk cooperative to build a bottling plant in Texas.

In a news release, Westrock said it plans to work with Select Milk Producers to establish a joint venture with the cooperative for a new bottling facility in Littlefield.

The partnership will facilitate building and operating multi-serve bottle lines at the new site in Texas.

Westrock said it will provide coffee extracts and concentrates from its Conway facility and Select Milk will provide milk; the first product shipment from the new factory is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2026, the release stated.

"As we near completion of the extract and [ready-to-drink] facility in Conway ... we made the decision to expand our extract and concentration capabilities so that as we add additional lines in the future, we can do so without having to impact the existing operations of the facility," Westrock Coffee Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Scott Ford said.

Westrock will report the company's full 2023 results on March 12 after market close. The shares fell 22 cents, or 2%, to close Friday at $10.91.

-- Cristina LaRue

Walmart to release

4Q, yearly earnings

Wall Street will be looking at consumer strength in light of continued inflation when Walmart Inc. releases its fourth-quarter and fiscal year earnings on Tuesday.

The Bentonville-based retailer's earnings results and other materials will be available at 6 a.m.

Doug McMillon, Walmart's president and chief executive officer, and Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey will host a conference call with investors starting at 7 a.m. to discuss Walmart's quarterly and annual performance and answer questions.

The event will be webcast live and can be accessed at http://corporate.walmart.com/news/events. A replay and transcript of the webcast will be available on Walmart's investor website about noon.

Analysts on average expect per-share earnings of $1.64 for the quarter and $6.48 for fiscal 2024.

Walmart's shares closed at $170.36 on Friday, up $1.07 cents, or 0.63%, on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock markets will be closed Monday for the Washington's Birthday holiday.

Walmart's shares have traded between $136.09 and $171.93 in the past year, hitting a record high on Friday.

-- Serenah McKay

Arkansas Index ends

day with loss of 4.38

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 975.31, down 4.38 points.

Murphy USA shares rose 1.4% to lead the index. America's Car-Mart shares fell 4.4%.

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

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