Daily Dispatch: eBay, Kellogg, Target, and Mortgage Problems

Last Updated Jun 14, 2007 2:08 PM EDT

  • eBay, Google's largest single advertising customer, has dropped all of its advertising from the search giant. The decision came after Google's blatant plan to lure customers away from eBay by hosting a lavish Google Checkout promotional party coinciding with the annual eBay Live convention. Google Checkout competes with eBay's Paypal service and is banned from eBay Web sites. Google canceled its party plans after eBay pulled its ads, but tensions remain high.
  • Kellogg today announced two new marketing initiatives. The company is voluntarily imposing strict strict nutrition requirements for products to be advertised to children under 12 and will introduce nutrition labeling on the front of its cereal products. Kellogg's new marketing policy comes 16 months after the company was threatened with lawsuits by two childhood health advocacy groups.
  • Target announced today that it will buy back an additional $3 billion in stock, bringing its total stock buy-back program to $8 billion. The retailer also announced a 2 cent rise in dividends, but shares inched up only 12 cents on the news. Wal-Mart last week announced a $15 stock buy-back last week
  • Troubles in the sub-prime mortgage lending market have made a solid dent in earnings for two big Wall Street firms. Goldman Sachs, which lately has posted a string of stellar results, said second-quarter profit increased only 1 percent from last year to $2.33bn. Bear Stearns is the most exposed among Wall Street firms to the mortgage market, and posted a 10 percent drop in second-quarter profit to $486m. The results come two days after Lehman Brothers announced record earnings.