Archive for 2014

Trout, Angels agree to $144.5 million, 6-year deal

By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels agreed Friday night to a $144.5 million, six-year contract, keeping baseball's brightest young star under club control through 2020.

The Angels said the 22-year-old outfielder and his family will be at a news conference Saturday in Anaheim to formally announce the contract along with owner Arte Moreno, manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto.

Few players in major league history have approached Trout's accomplishments in his first two full major league seasons. The speedy center fielder is both a spectacular five-tool player and the darling of baseball's sabermetrics crowd, putting up old-fashioned highlights and statistical superlatives on a weekly basis.

"I think everybody is obviously thrilled that it got done," Scioscia said at Dodger Stadium after the Angels' exhibition game, which Trout missed with a stomach virus. "He's a special player and a special person."

The Millville, N.J., product was a unanimous choice for AL Rookie of the Year in 2012, and he finished second in AL MVP voting to Miguel Cabrera the past two years.

He gets a $5 million signing bonus, of which $2 million is due within 30 days of the contract's approval and $3 million by Oct. 15. Trout's salaries are $5.25 million in 2015, $15.25 million in 2016, $19.25 million in 2017 and $33.25 million in each of the final three seasons.

He receives a full-no trade provision and the right to a luxury suite at the ballpark for 20 games per year starting in 2015.

Trout's Promotional Code came on the same day Cabrera finalized a $292 million, 10-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, the richest contract in American sports.

The free-spending Angels were determined to reward Trout while locking up their prized possession beyond his first few years of eligibility for arbitration and free agency. Los Angeles has been quietly negotiating with Trout's representatives throughout spring training, and the club closed the deal three days before opening day at Angel Stadium.

Trout agreed on Feb. 26 to a $1 million, one-year contract for 2014, much more than the Angels were required to offer him. His new deal runs from 2015-20.

The outfielder would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season, and for free agency following the 2017 World Series. Now, he can't become a free agent until at least age 29.

It's the latest big-money deal for the Angels, who are entering the third season of a $240 million, 10-year contract with first baseman Albert Pujols, the second season of a $125 million, five-year agreement with outfielder Josh Hamilton and the third season of an $85 million, five-year contract with pitcher Jered Weaver.

But while the Angels' deals for Pujols and Hamilton have been criticized for their lavish nature and the thirty-something sluggers' ensuing lack of production, Los Angeles is locking up Trout early in an uncommonly promising career.

Trout's contract isn't worth as much as Cabrera's lavish deal in Detroit, but it still would allow Trout to hit free agency at an age when he could still be in the prime of his career.

And when his new deal ends, Trout will still be younger than the 30-year-old Cabrera is now.

Trout's average salary of $24,083,333 under the new deal is ninth in the majors, trailing only those of Clayton Kershaw, Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Justin Verlander, Ryan Howard, Hamilton, Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke.

Trout is batting .314 with 62 homers and 196 RBIs in just 336 career games, including 40 games in 2011. The speedy center fielder also has stolen 86 bases while playing stellar defense and making two All-Star teams, starting for the AL last summer.

He is one of four players in baseball history to bat .320 with 50 homers and 200 runs in his first two full seasons, joining Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Pujols.

Trout has accomplished just about everything except team success during his short major league career. The Angels have missed the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, and they finished 78-84 last year, their worst record in a decade.

The deal provides huge security for Trout. He received a bonus of $1,215,000 when he signed after the Angels selected him with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft. He made $482,500 two years ago and earned a $10,000 bonus for winning the rookie award, then was unilaterally renewed by the Angels last year at $510,000 - $20,000 above the big league minimum at the time.

That deal sparked criticism from many Angels fans who thought Trout deserved more compensation for his outstanding play. They also worried the relatively meager deal - and the Angels' decision to move Trout from his preferred center field to left last season - might sour the budding superstar on the team.

Trout is back in center field this season, and Moreno made sure Trout couldn't doubt the Angels' financial commitment to him.

___

AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum and Mike Fitzpatrick in New York contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, March 30, 2014
Posted by Karon

Oneonta residents vote June 3 on alcohol sales, Blountsville may get a chance too

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Oneonta residents will get a chance Super Sale June 3 to vote on whether they want to allow alcohol sales in their city and Blountsville could soon set a date for a referendum on the issue in that city too.

The referendums are made possible by a Blount County judge's Nov. 1 ruling that struck down a portion of a 2009 state law that lowered the population requirements for hold wet/dry referendums from 7,000 down to 1,000. The judge said that law, however, unconstitutionally excluded Oneonta and other cities in Blount, Clay and Randolph counties from holding votes.

In his ruling, Blount County Circuit Court Judge Steven King struck down the law's offending language that had excluded the three counties, but left the remainder of the statute intact.

Two Blount County pastors are appealing King's ruling to the Alabama Supreme Court. Lawyers for both sides have been filing briefs and counter-briefs in the case.

Ed Lowe, city manager of Oneonta, said the city has scheduled the referendum to be held on the same day as the June 3 party primaries. He said the law requires the vote to be held on the same day as another election.

Alethea Bailey, town clerk of Blountsville, said the town's council received a petition at its March 17 meeting to hold a referendum. She said the petition is now with the county's board of registrars to confirm the petition's signers are registered voters. If confirmed, the town would then set a referendum date.

According to Alabama law, upon petition of 25 percent of the number of voters in the last preceding general election of the municipality the governing body must call a municipal option election "to determine the sentiment of the people as to whether or not alcoholic beverages can be legally sold or distributed in said municipality."

Officials with two other Blount County with populations over 1,000, Locust Fork and Cleveland, have said they have not yet been presented with petitions.

"We have not had anybody ask us about starting a petition," said Cleveland Mayor Jerry Jones. "We have not received the first call."

Cleveland and several other Blount County towns had intervened on the side of Oneonta in the lawsuit that led to King's ruling.

Jones and officials with other towns said had voted to intervene in the lawsuit to preserve the towns' residents the right to vote and had nothing to do with whether the towns support alcohol sales.

Eric Johnston, an attorney representing two Oneonta pastors who oppose alcohol sales, said that the towns are free to hold referendums, but the businesses that might sell alcohol as a result of successful "wet" votes could risk losing their alcohol licenses, and their investments, if the Alabama Supreme Court rules in their favor.

Johnston said they argue that the judge couldn't just lop off the exclusion for the three counties and have the remainder of the law still be valid. He said they argue the entire law for towns of 1,000 or more is unconstitutional.

If the Alabama Supreme Court rules the law is unconstitutional, the law would revert back to the previous version for cities over 7,000. It would also mean several towns of 1,000 or more, which have already voted to allow alcohol sales, could lose the sales.

Oneonta has a population of about 6,600. The issue concerning the 2009 law arose in the city after a 2012 countywide referendum on alcohol sales failed in Blount County. Voters within Oneonta, however, voted overwhelmingly in favor of sales - 57 percent to 43 percent. Soon after the election the city received a petition to hold an alcohol sales referendum.

When the city moved to set a referendum, despite the law that excluded them, an Oneonta resident filed the lawsuit, which ultimately led to Judge King's ruling.

Monday, March 24, 2014
Posted by Karon

Dubai Stocks Extends Win Streak on $20 Bln Debt Deal

Dubai's stock index advanced for a seventh day after U.S. economic data spurred international equities and built on momentum from the emirate's $20 billion debt Promotional Code. Abu Dhabi 's measure gained.

The DFM General Index (DFMGI) rose 0.6 percent to 4,331.16 at 1:16 p.m. in Dubai., extending the seven-day advance to 10 percent. Drake & Scull International advanced 3 percent. Emaar Properties PJSC, which last week said it will list its retail unit, jumped as much as 1.6 percent. Abu Dhabi's gauge increased 0.4 percent.

U.S. stocks ended the week with benchmark indexes posting their biggest gains in a month, as data from jobless claims to manufacturing showed the economy is strengthening. Dubai refinanced $20 billion in debt last week at a quarter of the original cost, freeing cash to service liabilities and fund expansion plans.

"Investor confidence in the United Arab Emirates has been on the rise lately," Nayal Khan, head of institutional sales and trading at Naeem Holding in Dubai, said in e-mailed comments. Dubai's debt deal, the news on Emaar's retail unit listing and gains in the U.S. "underscore current positive momentum in the U.A.E.", he said.

The DFM Index has more than doubled in the last 12 months. The gauge has had three win streaks of seven days or more this year as it gained almost 29 percent, making it the top global performer among more than 90 indexes tracked by Bloomberg.

Emaar shares rose 1.2 percent, the most since March 19, to 9.80 dirhams. The developer of the world's tallest tower last week said it planned to list its retail and shopping malls unit in Dubai and London and has hired Morgan Stanley to advise on the deal.

Election Update

Kuwait's index slipped 0.2 percent and Bahrain's gained 0.7 percent. Oman's lost 0.2 percent and Qatar's measure fell 0.3 percent.

Egypt's EGX 30 Index rose 0.6 percent after a government panel said it will announce the date of the presidential election on March 30. Saudi Arabia 's Tadawul All Share Index advanced 0.3 percent.

Israel 's TA-25 Index declined for a second day, dropping 0.2 percent. Opko Health Inc. retreated 3.3 percent, tracking declines in its U.S.-listed shares. The yield on the benchmark bond due in March 2023 fell three basis points, or 0.03 of a percentage point, to 3.18 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarmad Khan in Dubai at skhan170@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net Robert Lakin, Claudia Maedler

Sunday, March 23, 2014
Posted by Karon

Calendar: What investors need to know for the week ahead

The following is a daily rundown of the economic reports and corporate earnings that will be grabbing the market's attention in the week ahead.

Monday Feb. 24

Earnings include: National Bank of Canada; El Paso Electric Company; Hertz Global Holdings; HSBC; Palo Alto Networks; Allied Nevada Gold.

Tuesday Feb. 25

Tim Horton's Timbits

Market View

China's $1.8 trillion trust industry has benefited many institutions and investors, but Breakingviews' John Foley warns it's creating distortions that could rattle the entire financial sector. Reuters

Investing

In this Jan. 30, 2013, file photo, Arun Kumar, a senior product manager for BlackBerry, shows off the new BlackBerry Z10 during the global launch of the company's new smartphones in Toronto. BlackBerry says the number of large business and government clients that have installed or are testing its mobile device management service has risen about 20 per cent over the past six months. The Canadian Press

Market View

Economic indicators:

(9 a.m. ET) S&P Case-Shiller home price index for the U.S for December.

(10 a.m. ET) U.S. consumer confidence for February from the Conference Board.

Earnings include: Bank of Montreal; Davis + Henderson; Dundee Industrial REIT; First National Financial; Innergex Renewable Energy; MacDonald Dettwiler; Trican Well Service; 5N Plus; AMC Entertain Holdings; AMC Entertain Holdings; Dillard's; Domino's Pizza; DreamWorks Animation; First Solar; Home Depot; Macy's; Nordson; Oasis Petroleum; Office Depot; Rosetta Stone; T-Mobile US; Toll Brothers; United Natural Foods.

Wednesday Feb. 26

Economic indicators:

(10 a.m. ET) U.S. new home sales

Earnings include: Royal Bank of Canada; Aimia; Ballard Power Systems; Calfrac Well Services; Canam Group; Dundee International REIT; Exchange Income Corp.; First Majestic Silver; Pembina Pipeline; sears henderson nv Canada; Summit Industrial REIT; Westport Innovations; Abercrombie & Fitch; Autodesk; Barnes & Noble; Baidu; Chesapeake Energy; Dollar Tree; J. C. Penney; Lowe's Companies; SodaStream International; Taser International; TiVo; TJX Companies; Transocean; Vale; Workday; Zale; Target.

Thursday Feb. 27

Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen delivers Senate portion of her semiannual monetary policy report to Congress. (Was rescheduled from earlier date due to inclement weather.)

Economic indicators:

(830 a.m. ET) Statistics Canada releases payroll employment, earnings and hours for December.

(830 a.m. ET) Canada's balance of international payments and current account for the fourth-quarter of 2013.

(830 a.m ET) U.S. durable goods orders for January.

(830 a.m. ET) U.S. jobless claims for last week.

Earnings include: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; Toronto-Dominion Bank; AltaGas; Artis REIT; Crombie REIT; Dundee REIT; Enerflex; Equitable Group; Extendicare; George Weston; Leisureworld Senior Care; Maple Leaf Foods; New Gold; Stantec; TransForce; Valeant Pharmaceuticals; Western Energy Services; Best Buy; Catamaran; Dynegy; Gap; Hilton Worldwide Holdings; Kohl's; Main Street Capital; Mitel Networks; salesforce.com; Sotheby's; Splunk; Wendy's;

Friday Feb. 28

Economic indicators:

(830 a.m. ET) Statistics Canada releases gross domestic product for December.

(830 a.m. ET) U.S. releases GDP figures. This will be the second estimate of the 2013 GDP figure.

(945 a.m. ET) U.S. releases the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index.

(955 a.m. ET) U.S. consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan.

(10 a.m. ET) U.S. pending home sales index.

Earnings include: Cominar REIT and Capital Power.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Posted by Karon

Sony Xperia Z1 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - Specs and Price Comparison

While the former was released in January 2013, the latter was launched in January 2014. The Compact version was launched as an improvement on the original version of the phone. Both these smartphones are spectacular in the own right, but if you think that the only difference between the two of is their dimensions, you would be wrong. Here's how they compare.

Due to its higher specs, Z1 Compact has a higher price tag. In Australia, it is priced at AU $669.95 as compared to AU $629.95 for its predecessor. In the USA, the price for Xperia Z1 is $549.99 and the price of Xperia Z1 Compact is $570 if you buy the unlocked versions without any calling plans.
Design
Both these phones are stunning, but the most dramatic difference between the two is the size. Sony Xperia Z1 has a lightweight and convenient 144.4 x 73.9 x 8.5mm frame, but the Compact version is much more convenient for handling and the frame measures 127 x 64.9 x 9.5mm. With both these phones, you can see the trademark Sony design elements - the large black glass front, with colored bands on the side and matching colored glass back. Both the phones are sleek and elegant, and give great one-handed use. The phones are available in black, white, and lilac colors.
Hardware
Apart from the size of these phones, there are some major differences in their hardware specifications too. The compact version of the phone has Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quad-core processor, which is much faster than its predecessor's Qualcomm MDM9215M 1.5GHz quad-core processor. The camera in the Compact version is also much better. It has a 20.7-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera while its predecessor has a 13.1-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2.2-megapixel front camera. Both have only one sim slot and support a micro-sim only.
Display
Both these phones have capacitive touchscreens, but owing to its smaller size, the compact version has smaller display. Sony Xperia Z1 has 5 inches display while the Sony Xperia Z1Compact has 4.5 inches display. With a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels, Sony Xperia Z1 gives a better resolution as compared to its compact version that has a resolution of 720×1280 pixels. Both the phones support 16M colors and have the beautiful Sony screen quality. There are display settings to save battery and make other adjustments.
Software
Sony Xperia Z1 has the Android 4.1 version, while the Xperia Z1 Compact has the Android 4.2 version. The former supports 850, 900, 2100 3G frequencies, while the latter supports 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 3G frequencies. They come with Google's Chrome browser and you can choose to install any other browser you wish to. While Sony Xperia Z1 does not support Java Runtime Environment, Z1 Compact does. The rest of the specifications in the two phones are the same.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Posted by Karon

LOOK: Vancouver Bar's Brilliant Solution To Phones At The Table

Are you tired of going to a bar with your friends, only to get there and have everyone sit in silence on their cellphones?
Consider heading to Vancouver bar Score On Davie (1262 Davie St.). They recently installed lock boxes for your cellphones at their tables so patrons aren't glued to their screens when they should be glued to in-person conversation.

" Sometimes, the only 'social network' you need is the people in front of you," Score said in a Facebook post on Friday, when the boxed were launched.
Basically, when everyone from your party has arrived, you get a key from the bartender and lock up your phones. Then the key goes back to the bartender. If someone wants to use their phone before the group is ready to head out, they can ask the bartender for the key - but they need to buy a round of shots for the rest of the table (or undergo some other kind of penalty) first.
They are calling it the "extreme phone stack." It's a play on the popular " phone stack" bar game where friends pile their phones in the middle of the table and whoever checks theirs first has to pay the bill.
Using the lock box is optional and was originally suggested by a Score server named Ian Kampman, reports The Province.
" It encourages people to speak face to face instead of being on their phones," Score's owner Jesse Ritchie told the newspaper.
"Everyone in the industry sees it - the group sits down, there's six people and they're all on their phones, texting or Instagramming their food."
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Earlier on HuffPost:
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Posted by Karon

Recipes and Coupon for Baking with Einkorn


Several years ago when my first son was starting to eat solid foods I became much more thoughtful about food in general and my definition of "eating healthy" underwent a massive makeover. It was and is important to me to provide my family with the very best nourishment possible. Bread is practically synonymous with nourishment but the breads that fill the shelves of the grocery stores bear little resemblance to the bread of our ancestors. I always bought "healthy, whole grain bread" (you know, the more expensive kind) and felt pretty good about it but then one day I looked at the ingredients and was shocked. High fructose corn syrup in a product I had felt great about eating for years (not to mention a whole host of other ingredients I couldn't even pronounce). I felt like that company had really pulled the wool over my eyes so I looked at the ingredient list of another brand and another only to find one single brand in an entire aisle that did not have high fructose corn syrup. This is when I realized that bread as I knew it is not real bread and if I want my family to continue to enjoy it I should learn to bake it.
I started baking bread using organic, all purpose flour and commercial yeast but then thought that it would be better to use organic, whole wheat flour so I switched. I felt great about sending my son to school knowing that his sandwich was on homemade bread. It wasn't long though before I started wondering how bread had been made before the (fairly recent) invention of packaged yeast; that's when I discovered sourdough, and then spelt. After my second son was born and had a sensitivity to many foods a good friend told me about einkorn. Once I tried baking with einkorn there was no turning back. My research has led me to believe that using einkorn to bake sourdough bread is as nutritious and easily digestible as it gets and my taste buds prefer it to spelt, kamut or whole wheat. It is absolutely delicious.

Einkorn Wheat Nutrition

Einkorn is the first form of wheat cultivated by man about 12,000 years ago. To put that into perspective, spelt was first planted roughly 5,000 years ago and quinoa roughly 4,000 years ago. All you need to do to see just how far modern wheat is removed from einkorn is to look at a kernel of each side by side. Compared with modern wheat einkorn has:
30 percent more protein (the same amount as quinoa), 20 percent more zinc, 10 percent more iron, 200 more lutein, 150 percent more tocotrienols and significantly higher levels of B vitamins
15 percent less total starch
Twice the ORAC value (antioxidant value of foods)
A deep buttery color due to the higher levels of carotenoids

Recipes and Coupon Code

Chances are you won't find einkorn in your local supermarket but you can buy it online at JovialFoods.com. They're currently offering a discount of 15 % off of your entire order at the Jovial Foods Store plus free shipping for Mother Earth News readers! The code is: EINK14. There you will also find a treasure trove of information on einkorn and tried and true recipes. I buy the einkorn wheat berries and grind them finely in my own grain mill and have had great luck following the recipes below. The only thing I've had to change is adding a bit more liquid. Here are a two recipes adapted from jovial foods that are simple and delicious:

Sourdough Einkorn Buns Recipe

I have to say that these are awesome buns for hamburgers but also for any kind of sandwich or with just a little bit of butter and honey. You can also freeze them and reheat in an oven at a low temperature for using later.
For this recipe, you will make a pre-ferment the night before baking. Mix the starter in warm water until it dissolves, then beat in the flour with a fork until well-incorporated. Let stand in a covered glass bowl in a dark place for 12 hours.
2 tbsp (25g) sourdough starter (click here for a link to sourdough starter recipe)
1/2 cup (118g) warm water
1 cup (120g) einkorn flour
Now, you will make the dough using the pre-ferment, which will speed up the proofing on the day of baking.
5 cups (600g) einkorn flour
¼ cup (50g) sugar
2 tsp (10g) sea salt
pre-ferment water oil and eggs
¾ cup (177g) warm water (up to 1 cup if your milling the einkorn yourself)
4 heaping tbsp. (60g) of olive oil
2 medium eggs
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and sea salt.
In a small mixing bowl, add water, oil and eggs to pre-ferment and whisk well with a fork.
Pour liquid mixture into the flour, then mix with a wooden spoon as much as possible. Finish kneading with your hands.
Cover the mixing bowl with a plate or plastic wrap and let stand in a dark place for 2-5 hours, depending on the strength of your starter and the temperature in your kitchen.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl with your hands and place on a floured work surface.
Add a sprinkling of flour and knead until smooth, then divide the dough into 12 pieces.
Using extra flour, roll each piece of dough into a firm and smooth ball.Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and place each ball on the tray, leaving 3 inches of space around each roll.
Press down on each roll to flatten. Cover the tray with a damp cloth.
Let proof for 1 hour.
Preheat the over to 390 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the rolls for 12 minutes

Additional Tips

Here are some helpful tips to consider when making this recipe.
The pre-ferment is ready when it has very large bubbles. If you decide not to bake after making the pre-ferment, it can be refrigerated and used when you are ready, within a few days. You will not have to leave it out again to proof, you can use it directly from the refrigerator.
Einkorn absorbs water slowly, so the dough will be rather wet at first. A wetter dough will yield a softer bread with einkorn. In fact, your dough will be very sticky at first, but as the flour absorbs water during proofing, the dough will stiffen and become more manageable.
You must deflate the balls of dough to form the rolls because they will lift up in the oven during baking. Leave enough space around each roll to allow for even baking. Even if the sourdough rolls do not double in size
before baking, they will rise quickly in the oven.

Super Soft Einkorn Sandwich Bread Recipe

Scroll to the bottom of this recipe for a sourdough version. I prefer it in sourdough form but if you're not a fan of sourdough or are new to baking bread, this turns out a super yummy loaf either way. I have also found that by having a rimmed baking sheet preheated in the oven and pouring a cup of hot water on it when you put your loaf in, it helps to give you a nice moist loaf with a soft crust and eliminates the need for aluminum foil.
4 cups (480g) einkorn flour + extra for dusting
2 tbsp (32g) sugar
1¼ tsp (9g) sea salt
2 tsp (8g) dry active yeast (not needed if you're making the sourdough version)
¾ cup (195g) of milk, warmed
¼ cup (58g) of water, warmed (up to ½ cup if you're milling the einkorn yourself)
3 tbsp (45g) butter, melted
1 tbsp (15g) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp (4g) lemon juice
Combine milk, water and sugar in a small bowl.Add yeast, stir to dissolve and let stand for 5 minutes; then add butter, olive oil and lemon juice. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Add wet ingredients and mix until the flour is absorbed by the liquid. The dough will be very wet and very sticky, but it takes time for einkorn flour to absorb liquids. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Dust the dough with 2 tbsp of flour, turn out on a clean work surface and knead briefly until the dough becomes smooth. The dough will still be a bit sticky and wet, but much more manageable. A wetter einkorn dough will give you a softer loaf. Let rest for 45 minutes.
Even if you do not see much of a rise, form the loaf using another bit of flour, only if needed. Butter an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan and add the loaf, pressing down to spread to the corners of the loaf pan. In order to get a soft crust, you don't want the surface to harden, so tightly cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rest for 45 minutes, then preheat the oven for 15 minutes at 400°F.
Now, the trick to a great loaf of einkorn bread when baking with yeast is to be careful not to let the dough rise too much. This is not important when using sourdough starter. The gluten in einkorn is very weak and when it rises too much or too quickly with yeast, it loses elasticity and strength and therefore cannot maintain the structure of the rise during baking. This will cause sinking in the middle of the loaf. Therefore, don't follow the rule of letting the dough double in size. Try the proofing times we suggest here and then adjust them according to the results you get in your kitchen.
The rise of the loaf will happen in the oven during baking, so it is important to score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor to allow expansion while avoiding an uneven shape. The loaf will also stay firmer so you will be able to get nice slices without having them fall apart.
Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, rotate the loaf pan, then lower to 375 degrees for 15 minutes more. If you think the crust is browning too much, cover the bread with aluminum foil after the first 20 minutes.
Turn out on a cooling rack. Now, place a lightly dampened, clean dish cloth on top of the loaf while it cools. This will soften the crust nicely. Let cool completely before slicing.

Additional Tips

If you cannot eat dairy, you can easily exchange a grain beverage like rice milk for the milk and vegetable spread or oil for the butter and the results will be pretty close.
We also made this recipe with a sourdough preferment with fabulous results. Learn how to make your own starter and pre-ferment here. To make this recipe with 17g of pre-ferment, reduce the amount of milk to ½ cup (110g). The proofing times will be longer. We recommend 3-4 hours for the first rise and then 1-2 hours before baking.
These recipes have been adapted from Photo by Lindsay Williamson Jovialfoods.com
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Posted by Karon

Super Killer Hornet Resurrection Gets Flash Sale on OUYA ‹ Hardcore Gamer


Flump Studios, the group behind Super Killer Hornet Resurrection, has made the brand-new OUYA version available in a flash sale. For the next day, or until Saturday March 8, OUYA owners can snatch up this math/shooter hybrid for a mere dollar. This makes it the cheapest version of the game available on a console as the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace version is $2, while the OUYA version is normally $3. Like the original game, this one gives you a challenging, but not overly-difficult shooter that requires a bit more strategy than most. During the shooting action, you'll be bombarded with numbers and you'll need to solve the math problems that pop up to get bonuses. It's a bit like edutainment, but fun - it would've been by far the best game that tried to teach kids math in the 16-bit era because there's actually action in it! It's also got a really awesome soundtrack, so pick this up if you dig shooters and don't mind a little math - here's some footage of how this combination all comes together in the end product.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Posted by Karon

Facebook tightens policies on posts about illegal gun sales

SAN FRANCISCO -- Under intensifying pressure from gun control groups and New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman, Facebook is tightening its policies to make it more difficult for people to illegally sell or trade guns Best Buy Facebook and Instagram, particularly to minors.
The giant social network will block minors from seeing posts about gun sales and trades, the company said Wednesday.

Facebook said it would limit access to posts about gun sales and trades to people 18 and older. And it said it would require Facebook pages primarily used to promote the private sale of regulated goods and services to include language that reminds them to comply with laws and regulations and limit access to people 18 and older in the case of goods such as alcohol.
Any time Facebook receives a report about a post promoting the private sale of regulated goods such as guns, it will send a message to that user reminding him or her to comply with laws and regulations, Facebook said. Anyone searching on Instagram for sales of firearms will be shown similar reminders.
Facebook also said it would not allow users to post offers to sell regulated goods "that indicate a willingness to evade or help others evade the law," the company said.
For example, sellers of firearms in the U.S. will not be permitted to say that no background check is required to purchase a gun. They also will not be permitted to offer to conduct transactions across state lines without going through a licensed firearms dealer.
Facebook says it already banned ads on its service that promote the sale or use of weapons, ammunition and explosives. It also does not allow users to post illegal content related to weapons on its service. And users can't buy and sell guns on Facebook itself since there is no way to conduct a transaction on the service. But gun enthusiasts can and do connect there, and sometimes make arrangements to buy, sell and trade guns there.
An investigation by the technology blog VentureBeat found that adults and children were connecting on Facebook pages devoted to guns to buy, sell and trade firearms, sometimes in violation of federal and state gun laws.
Federal law enforcement sources told VentureBeat that Facebook, Instagram and other social media services were "emerging threats for unlawful gun transactions in the United States."
"We believe these collective efforts represent the right approach in balancing people's desire to express themselves while promoting a safe, responsible community," the company said in a blog post.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group backed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had stepped up their demands for changes to Facebook's policies after recent gun arrests were tied to sales of guns facilitated through Facebook.
The campaign had begun to get traction.
More than 225,000 people signed a petition asking Facebook and Instagram to crack down on the illegal gun sales facilitated by its service. A video that was part of the campaign was viewed more than 375,000 times.
The campaign publicized recent incidents in which illegal gun transactions allegedly began on Facebook.
An Ohio man was indicted on charges he illegally sold a 9-millimeter handgun across state lines to a 15-year-old from Kentucky whom he reportedly connected with on Facebook.
A convicted felon in Iowa was apprehended after he allegedly bought guns illegally through a connection he made on Facebook to an undercover police officer who was running a sting operation.
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, called the changes "meaningful."
"Our campaign showed how easy it is for minors, felons and other dangerous people to get guns online," she said. "We believe these changes are a major step toward making sure people who buy or sell guns on their platforms know the law, and follow it."
ALSO: Facebook in talks to crack down on illegal gun sales WhatsApp to offer voice calls on popular messaging app
Mark Zuckerberg: WhatsApp worth more than $19 billion
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Posted by Karon

Get Two Years Of SOS Online Backup For The Price Of One [Deals] | Cult of Mac

Have too much stuff on your computer and don't know what to do with all of it? This Cult of Mac Deals offer will make sure that your problem isn't only solved...but stored.

SOS Online Backup is an award-winning automatic backup web application that will have you covered on your PC or Mac and an unlimited number of mobile devices: Androids, iPhones, and iPads. Now you can backup an infinite amount of data for two years in a secure online backup application so you can share, access, and maintain all of your important files right in one place... all for only $59.99.
Let's face it, external hard drives are becoming a thing of the past. You can lose them, break them, or they simply stop working after a year of use. That's why you need SOS Online Backup - and it's available for both Mac and Windows.
The highlights of SOS Online Backup include:
  • UltraSafe surveillance-proof encryption
  • Truly and actually infinite cloud storage
  • Smart file selection wizard automatically figures out which files on your computer need to be backed up
  • Files are kept forever (even accidentally deleted ones) - so you can always recover before you have a problem
  • Mobile backup and access your cloud anywhere and anytime
Thanks to cloud storage and SOS Online Backup, you can easily back up all your important documents right in one safe place. With this intuitive and easy-to-use application you'll never have to worry about your documents again.
This kind of offer won't last long, so head to the Deals page and get two years of unlimited backups with SOS Online Backup for just $59.99 today!

Allan Blocker is the lead editor at StackSocial;, an e-commerce platform offering flash sales on digital tools, web apps, and tech gear. He sleeps, breathes, and would probably eat Mac apps if it was at all possible. Follow Allan on Twitter @allanblocker.
(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by Allan Blocker.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Posted by Karon

Kid's Town lands Amazon Prime deal

Kid's Town lands Discount Prime deal


Oakville, Canada-based Kid's Town Production has inked a distribution deal with Amazon Prime in the US for its Kids Town web series.
Kid's Town is a 12 x 12-minute web series that follows the life of main character Brian Russell, the new kid in town.
Since launching on Vimeo Video on Demand in August 2013, the series has been honored as an official selection at the 2014 LA Webfest and at the 2013 Digi Awards.
Currently, it is available on Amazon Prime, Vimeo Video on Demand, DailyMotion Open VOD and AmebaTV.
Tags: Amazon Prime, Kid's Town, Kid's Town Production, web series
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Posted by Karon

HotelTonight booking app sets deals with 10 hotel brands including Hyatt, Best Western

<Super Salep>HotelTonight, a mobile-phone app for booking same-day hotel rooms at a discount, reached an agreement with 10 hotel brands and received a new investment from a prominent real-estate owner.

The startup said its new customers include Hyatt Hotels Corp., InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, Best Western International Inc., and FRHI Hotels & Resorts, which features the high-end Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel brands.

At the same...

Friday, January 31, 2014
Posted by Karon

10% Off Home Depot Coupons 2014 - Get Coupon Code & Free Shipping

Newark, DE -- ( SBWIRE) -- 01/27/2014 -- Save Big with Home Depot Coupons

For a long time, Home Depot has been extremely great in carrying to clients the vastest determination of items as far as home change. This item retailer has been in the business since 1978 and is persistently developing through its other significant accomplishments, green systems and sponsorships. It was likewise in 2005 when the organization wandered into online home outfitting, which came about to home depot coupons and discounts on family unit things.

- HomeDepot.com: Save 10% OFF Entire Purchase + Free Shipping

- HomeDepot.com: Save Up to 75% OFF on Savings Center

- HomeDepot.com View All Home Depot Coupons & Deals

Home change and outfitting these are the exact mantra of the business since 1978. In light of this thought, its online stores make it a focus to give their clients the best service and quality in family things. Clients will find their site easy to understand as items are legitimately ordered and named. Particular headings are additionally used to characterize the different items and determination of things. Cutlery with deals, cookware and utensils are considered some piece of the Kitchen Heading, subsequently permitting customers to specifically address their kitchen needs. Sheets, divider abstractions, trimmings and wallpapers, are likewise legitimately considered Home Furnishings. Space and association things are similarly incorporated as a component of the space frameworks record on top of wardrobes, shower and clothing.

Apparatuses like radiators, vacuum cleaners and ventilation systems are likewise offered plus coolers and coolers. For client's lightning essentials, they in like manner have an exhibit of inside and outside lights. Shopping is generally simple if done on the web, since items are composed and fittingly distinguished.

Utilization of Home Depot Promotional Code
Home depot coupons are additionally set up for clients to make utilization of and apply. With these coupons as motivators, users can now get the greatly required things and profit of tremendous rebates. People can now buy work lights, furniture, barbecue sets and home adornments at a more sensible cost. With coupons being given through different connections and sites, purchasers can unquestionably spruce up their living territory or porch while never reconsidering.

They likewise give customers a 10% markdown on chosen things. Representatives additionally have a decent amount of these benefits as the organization gives its specialists 20% rebate coupons throughout occasions and with Home Depot Deals and Discounts. Clients, who are a piece of the organization's mailing record, additionally accept coupons via mail. These coupons regularly represent to the extent that ten to twenty-five dollars off for each finished buy. An alternate incredible impetus for clients is the stamped things throughout blowout deals. There are likewise cases wherein leeway things are denoted numerous times that shoppers can essentially hold up for costs to reduction.

Online Coupons
At whatever point shoppers searching for coupons on-line users might regularly uncover oneself inside a situation where people have to reveal the most valuable coupons. When it descends to this everything hinges on upon what they will require and what could be looking for. This can eliminate people visits to the retailer and additionally eliminate the general expense. Various retailers in any case twofold or triple coupons on particular days. A few accumulates do this up to a certain dollar amount. It's in any case a fabulous system to amplify funds.

Variety of items to bought from Home Depot
Home Depot offers an extensive variety of items, for example, padding, kitchen machines, windows, inner parts, house ware, yard furniture and even the force instruments that are vital for home change. Various retail archives offering home change items have sprung up in the business sector and there is an intense rivalry around these ambitious people to enhance their deals. Therefore they are putting forth energizing arrangements on an extensive variety of their items to draw the clients shop at their stores. In any case, the clients may as well shop just at those stores offering brilliant items. Homedepot famous for offering amazing home items is putting forth predetermined number of home station coupons printable on constrained items to give it a chance to clients buy quality items at low cost.

Simple Approach to Think About Home Depot Printable Coupons

Home Depot offers exceptional coupons and offers for its clients who join the arrangement club and the star club. When joined the home stop improvers club then it won't just benefit those unique coupons yet can likewise own movie exercises showing home change tips. All these club parts can even appropriate message alarms about the later coupons, offers, promo codes and item discharges.

For the comfort of its clients, homedepot offers a mixture of coupons. The printable home depot coupons could be found free of expense at the official site of homedepot. Users can even find home terminal coupons at different destinations. Here is a rundown of few homedepot coupons. When visitors wish to utilize the coupons make a point to enter the right promo code throughout checkout. Home station coupons printable might be found at authority home stop site free of expense.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Posted by Karon

TCA: 'Peter Pan' to fly at NBC as live musical event in December

NBC hit a ratings gold mine last month with a live version of "The sound of music cast of Music" featuring a singing heroine who twirls and dances.

The network is hoping to strike gold again with an ageless boy who can fly.

A new production of the classic musical "Peter Pan" will air as a live telecast Dec. 4. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron -- who produced "The Sound of Music Live!" -- will executive produce the production. The cast will be announced at a later date.

"We're very pleased to be underway on 'Peter Pan' as our next live holiday musical for the whole family," NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said at the Television Critics Assn. press tour.

As to who could play Peter, Greenblatt jokingly suggested Miley Cyrus.

The original Broadway production of "Peter Pan" starred Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Richard as Captain Hook; both won Tony Awards for their performances. (Martin also starred in the original Broadway production of "The Sound of Music.")

"Peter Pan" closed on Broadway in 1955, making way for a live broadcast that year on NBC, which attracted 65 million viewers, then highest rating for a single night. NBC also broadcast the show live in 1956 and 1960, both to huge ratings.

"The Sound of Music Live!" starring Carrie Underwood drew 22 million viewers in its initial Dec. 5 airing.

Monday, January 20, 2014
Posted by Karon

Bitcoin May Have Future for Payments

<chinese chinese lunar new year cardsp> New York - While a Texas Senate candidate is accepting Bitcoin campaign donations, and Overstock.com customers can use the technology to buy engagement rings, Wall Street sees its future more as a payment system than a currency.

Either way, it's been a profitable investment. Created in 2008, Bitcoin's value took off last year, leaping about 60-fold in the past 12 months to $936.51 Wednesday, with prices ranging from $16 to more than $1,200, according to bitcoincharts.com. Gold plunged 26 percent in the same period, while the second best-performing major currency, the 18-nation euro, climbed 7.3 percent versus a basket of its major peers.

While its supporters have embraced Bitcoin as an alternative to currencies vulnerable to sovereign debasement, China's central bank has banned lenders from handling the virtual money and Finland's authorities said it lacks the characteristics of a real currency. Citigroup, the second- largest foreign-exchange trader, said Bitcoin could benefit society if it eases transactions, even though about 1 percent of owners hold some 80 percent of the digital money.

"Bitcoin, in essence, is just an evolution of a payment system," Sebastien Galy, a New York-based senior foreign- exchange strategist at Societe Generale, said by phone. "The ultimate concept of transaction, the innovation, is certainly progress in the means of transaction."

Bitcoin was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto, which may be a pseudonym for one or more programmers. The anonymous network is protected by cryptographic codes and works outside the banking system, allowing users to transact with one another directly. It doesn't exist in physical form and has no coins or bills.

"The original Bitcoin was designed to operate outside the financial system," Steven Englander, the head of currency trading for major industrialized nations at Citigroup in New York, said by email. "There is nothing to stop existing payments processors from adopting generic Bitcoin payments technology."

Bitcoin's market value has expanded to about $10.6 billion. The supply will be capped at 21 million, with about half of that already in circulation, according to Bitcoin.org, a repository for information on the system. The price of an individual Bitcoin jumped from $100 in July, to $200 in October and more than $1,000 this month.

For Offit Capital Advisors, this volatility could be its fatal flaw.

"Saying that a currency is a store of value implies that it is a relatively stable value," the New York-based private wealth-management firm wrote last month in a report. "Without that stability, the costs of normal commerce far outstrip any credit-card or bank transaction fees. Bitcoin fails miserably on this important measure."

Bitcoin is less a currency than a virtual commodity, Sheng Songcheng, the head of the People's Bank of China's statistics department, told reporters at a briefing this week in Beijing. The Bank of Finland said on its website Wednesday that the virtual money doesn't fulfill official definitions of a currency.

The Internal Revenue Service hasn't offered guidance on Bitcoin beyond saying it's working on the issue and that it has been monitoring digital currencies and transactions since 2007. The IRS should give taxpayers clear rules on how it will handle transactions involving digital currencies, Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate, said Jan. 9.

Bitcoin is gaining traction in the face of the official criticism. The virtual money is being accepted for donations by Texas Senate candidate Steve Stockman. Online retailer Overstock.com's Chief Executive Office Patrick Byrne said in a Jan. 9 statement that he finds the virtual currency appealing to him because "no government mandarin can will it into existence."

The value of the world's reserve currencies has been called into question since the 2008 financial crisis, spurring demand for everything from gold and art to digital money. The response of central banks of flooding the financial system with unprecedented amounts of cheap funding debased their currencies, helping send the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index tumbling 20 percent from March 2009 to August 2011.

"There is definitely a temptation to find assets that are in limited supply," Eswar Prasad, a professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and former International Monetary Fund economist, said Jan. 14 in a phone interview. Investors have sought Bitcoin "on the belief that assets in limited supply are likely to maintain their value more than assets that can be produced at the whim of a central authority."

The Federal Reserve's balance sheet has quadrupled to more than $4 trillion since 2008 as it sought to drive down interest rates and prop up asset prices. Japan is doubling its money supply to ward off 15 years of deflation. The European Central Bank holds 2.2 trillion euros ($3 trillion) of assets, down from a peak of 3.1 trillion euros in June 2012.

As recently as 2012, ECB President Mario Draghi was forced to battle speculation that the currency union would unravel. He warned markets that July that he'd do "whatever it takes" to protect the euro, which survived to welcome Latvia as its 18th member on Jan. 1.

Some companies that accept Bitcoin for payment have avoided price volatility by using a third party. Consumers can buy a $58.49 Beautyrest mattress topper from Overstock.com using the digital payment system. The payment is processed by Coinbase, which eliminates foreign-exchange risk for the retailer and provides local currency to Overstock.

"Most businesses that accept Bitcoin do not hold it," Citigroup's Englander said. "So they're now using it simply for transactions and not as an asset."

Bitcoin the currency can't be separated from Bitcoin the payment system, Barry Silbert, the founder and head of SecondMarket Inc., a New York brokerage that runs a virtual currency fund, said Jan. 14 in a phone interview. Without having the virtual currency as an asset, the system would be reliant on trust in a third-party, he said. His fund invests in Bitcoin.

"There is very little debate, I think now in Wall Street, and certainly as it relates to Silicon Valley and venture capital, that Bitcoin technology, Bitcoin the protocol, has the potential to radically disrupt and transform the financial- services space," Silbert said.

Trust in traditional currencies hasn't evaporated yet, if their performance since the height of the financial crisis is anything to go by.

"The crisis has paradoxically shown that it's those assets that can be produced in very large quantities in a short period that are the ones that continue to retain the trust of the broad majority of investors," Cornell's Prasad said.

Saturday, January 18, 2014
Posted by Karon

Volvo Car Corp. returns to profit largely due to sales in China

<Deal Nowp>DETROIT-Volvo Car Corp. said Monday it made it back into the black last year as surging demand in China contributed to an unexpectedly strong second-half performance.

Volvo won't see the same performance in China this year as in 2013 when sales rose 46% to 61,146 vehicles and the auto maker cut costs, said Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo's chief executive. But the car maker should still outperform the market that is expected to grow by...

Monday, January 13, 2014
Posted by Karon

Buying Discount Baby Formula? Another Win for Perrigo!

<Discountp>Swapping out branded products for store brands is a trend that's picked up steam since the Great Recession. However, eager-to-please parents have been less willing to make the shift to generic baby formula -- until now.

In yet another win for private-label giant Perrigo Company ( ) , high-profile recalls for well-known brands including Abbott Laboratories' ( ) Similac and Mead Johnson Nutrition Company's ( ) Enfamil have shifted more and more parents to store brands.

Recalling the past
Abbott and Johnson haven't done their marketing teams any favors in the past few years. Following the death of an infant in 2011, the media circled around Mead Johnson as retailers including Wal-Mart voluntarily pulled Enfamil from shelves. The media frenzy surrounding that story was one reason Mead saw its North American sales fall 12% year over year in the first quarter of 2012.

Abbott took a similar hit when it voluntarily recalled Similac in 2010. That caused Abbott's U.S. pediatric nutritionals business to sag 7% in 2010.

Couple those two high-profile fumbles with tightening post-recession purse strings, and the share of private-label formula is climbing steadily, improving from 11.2% to 12% over the past year.

Profiting from private labels
Of course, Perrigo is no stranger to taking market share from branded counterparts. The company has a long history of winning retail shelf space by offering cheaper versions of over-the-counter, or OTC, drugs such as cough syrup and painkillers.

Industrywide sales of private-label OTCs have grown to represent 35% of all OTC sales being collected across retail, and that share growth has increased Perrigo's revenue from those store-branded alternatives to $933 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2014. That was 21% higher than the same period a year ago.

And Perrigo believes there's plenty of running room left for growth, given that it launched 60 products in fiscal 2013 worth $130 million in annual sales and plans to launch 75 products in fiscal 2014 worth $190 million in annual sales.

Perrigo also thinks there's $10 billion in branded sales that could move to OTC over the next five years, and potentially a larger opportunity if drugs currently sold behind the counter, such as statins for lowering cholesterol, move out front.

Bulking up on formula
Sales of private-label baby formula fall under Perrigo's nutritional segment sales, and that business has been growing nicely.

Perrigo generated sales of just $171 million from the segment back in 2008. But the company racked up sales of more than $500 million in 2013.

The broader infant-formula category grew 2.7% in the year ending in September. Meanwhile, sales of private-label formula grew 7.7%. That helped lift Perrigo's nutritional segment sales 25% year over year to $129 million in the fiscal first quarter. The segment's operating margin also improved, increasing by nearly 1% to 11.7% in the quarter from the year prior.

Perrigo thinks it can grow that business even more thanks to larger, bulk containers and packaging that more closely resembles the branded version. Perrigo is also looking to increase sales by boosting its presence in overseas markets, such as China.

Going global
The push into overseas markets isn't limited to baby formula. The company just completed its merger with Ireland-based Elan in December.

As part of that deal, Perrigo lands a nice recurring royalty stream from the blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, which Elan co-marketed with NASDAQ: Biogen ( BIIB ) . Sales of Tysabri have grown by a compounded 19% over the past four years.

Biogen bought out the remaining rights it didn't own from Elan back in February 2013 for $3.2 billion. But Biogen remains on the hook for royalties that will hit 18% of Tysabri sales up to $2 billion and 25% of sales above $2 billion. Tysabri had sales of $1.6 billion in 2012 and $401 million in the third quarter, and a phase 3 trial for expanding the drug to include secondary progressive MS remains under way.

That deal not only gives Perrigo the Tysabri royalty stream,but also provides shareholder-friendly tax relief.

Perrigo forecasts the shift of its corporate tax structure out of the U.S. to Ireland will drop its tax rate from the mid 30% range to the high teens. Combined with operational overlap, the merger is expected to save the company $150 million a year.

Fool-worthy final thoughts
Across Perrigo's many businesses, the company expects fiscal 2014 sales to climb 12% to16% in fiscal 2014. It's also forecasting 23% to 25% operating margin and 13% to 18% EPS growth. Sales of nutritionals, including infant formula, will grow 8% to 12% this year. If that plays out as hoped, the company will generate $6.35 to $6.60 per share in earnings. That projection has analysts modeling for $8.01 in earnings per share in fiscal 2015, suggesting Perrigo will have plenty of profits to reward shareholders going forward.

3 stocks to stash away for the long haul
As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on half-baked stocks. He isolated his best few ideas, bet big, and rode them to riches, hardly ever selling. You deserve the same. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love.

Sunday, January 12, 2014
Posted by Karon

Buying Discount Baby Formula? Another Win for Perrigo!

<Discountp>Swapping out branded products for store brands is a trend that's picked up steam since the Great Recession. However, eager-to-please parents have been less willing to make the shift to generic baby formula -- until now.

In yet another win for private-label giant Perrigo Company , high-profile recalls for well-known brands including Abbott Laboratories' Similac and Mead Johnson Nutrition Company's Enfamil have shifted more and more parents to store brands.

Recalling the past
Abbott and Johnson haven't done their marketing teams any favors in the past few years. Following the death of an infant in 2011, the media circled around Mead Johnson as retailers including Wal-Mart voluntarily pulled Enfamil from shelves. The media frenzy surrounding that story was one reason Mead saw its North American sales fall 12% year over year in the first quarter of 2012.


Abbott took a similar hit when it voluntarily recalled Similac in 2010. That caused Abbott's U.S. pediatric nutritionals business to sag 7% in 2010.

Couple those two high-profile fumbles with tightening post-recession purse strings, and the share of private-label formula is climbing steadily, improving from 11.2% to 12% over the past year.

Profiting from private labels
Of course, Perrigo is no stranger to taking market share from branded counterparts. The company has a long history of winning retail shelf space by offering cheaper versions of over-the-counter, or OTC, drugs such as cough syrup and painkillers.

Industrywide sales of private-label OTCs have grown to represent 35% of all OTC sales being collected across retail, and that share growth has increased Perrigo's revenue from those store-branded alternatives to $933 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2014. That was 21% higher than the same period a year ago.

And Perrigo believes there's plenty of running room left for growth, given that it launched 60 products in fiscal 2013 worth $130 million in annual sales and plans to launch 75 products in fiscal 2014 worth $190 million in annual sales.

Perrigo also thinks there's $10 billion in branded sales that could move to OTC over the next five years, and potentially a larger opportunity if drugs currently sold behind the counter, such as statins for lowering cholesterol, move out front.

Bulking up on formula
Sales of private-label baby formula fall under Perrigo's nutritional segment sales, and that business has been growing nicely.

Perrigo generated sales of just $171 million from the segment back in 2008. But the company racked up sales of more than $500 million in 2013.

The broader infant-formula category grew 2.7% in the year ending in September. Meanwhile, sales of private-label formula grew 7.7%. That helped lift Perrigo's nutritional segment sales 25% year over year to $129 million in the fiscal first quarter. The segment's operating margin also improved, increasing by nearly 1% to 11.7% in the quarter from the year prior.

Perrigo thinks it can grow that business even more thanks to larger, bulk containers and packaging that more closely resembles the branded version. Perrigo is also looking to increase sales by boosting its presence in overseas markets, such as China.

Going global
The push into overseas markets isn't limited to baby formula. The company just completed its merger with Ireland-based Elan in December.

As part of that deal, Perrigo lands a nice recurring royalty stream from the blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, which Elan co-marketed with Biogen . Sales of Tysabri have grown by a compounded 19% over the past four years.

Biogen bought out the remaining rights it didn't own from Elan back in February 2013 for $3.2 billion. But Biogen remains on the hook for royalties that will hit 18% of Tysabri sales up to $2 billion and 25% of sales above $2 billion. Tysabri had sales of $1.6 billion in 2012 and $401 million in the third quarter, and a phase 3 trial for expanding the drug to include secondary progressive MS remains under way.

That deal not only gives Perrigo the Tysabri royalty stream,but also provides shareholder-friendly tax relief.

Perrigo forecasts the shift of its corporate tax structure out of the U.S. to Ireland will drop its tax rate from the mid 30% range to the high teens. Combined with operational overlap, the merger is expected to save the company $150 million a year.

Fool-worthy final thoughts
Across Perrigo's many businesses, the company expects fiscal 2014 sales to climb 12% to16% in fiscal 2014. It's also forecasting 23% to 25% operating margin and 13% to 18% EPS growth. Sales of nutritionals, including infant formula, will grow 8% to 12% this year. If that plays out as hoped, the company will generate $6.35 to $6.60 per share in earnings. That projection has analysts modeling for $8.01 in earnings per share in fiscal 2015, suggesting Perrigo will have plenty of profits to reward shareholders going forward.

3 stocks to stash away for the long haul
As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on half-baked stocks. He isolated his best few ideas, bet big, and rode them to riches, hardly ever selling. You deserve the same. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love.

Saturday, January 11, 2014
Posted by Karon

January's Best Finance, Cash Back and Lease Deals

It's a new year and if you have an old, unreliable car, a new car might be on your resolution list for 2014. We found some great car deals that will help save you money this January. Shoppers looking for the Online Deals lease deals will find some lease offers that don't require a down payment, but most January car lease deals feature low monthly payments when you put a few thousand dollars down. If you plan on financing your new car, truck or SUV, many automakers are offering interest rates as low as zero percent, as well as low interest rates of about 4 percent or less this January. Cash back is also available on many models right now.

A number of affordable compact SUV lease deals are available with low monthly payments this month. The new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is $259 a month for three years with $2,999 due at signing. The 2014 Honda CR-V has two lease offers this month: $239 a month for three years with $1,999 down, or $290 a month for three years with $0 down and no first month's payment. The 2014 Mazda CX-5 can be leased this January for $239 a month for three years with $1,999 due at signing in many areas of the country. The redesigned 2014 Nissan Rogue has an optional third-row seat and a three-year lease deal of $239 a month with $2,599 down.

Car shoppers will find plenty of good lease offers this month on 2014 models like the Volkswagen Jetta and Passat, the Chevrolet Volt, Impala and Camaro, the Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Sonata, Genesis and Equus and the Kia Forte, Optima and Cadenza.

January Purchase Deals

If you're looking for the best purchase deals, look for zero percent financing, which can save you a lot of money. 2014 vehicles that are available with interest-free financing this January include the Chevrolet Volt, Traverse, Tahoe and Suburban, the Buick Enclave, the GMC Yukon, the Hyundai Sonata, the Kia Forte, Optima, Sedona and Sorento, the Mazda Mazda2 and CX-9 and the Subaru Outback. Many other 2014 models are being offered with low interest rate financing this month, and if you're OK with purchasing an outgoing 2013 model, you'll find lots of zero percent and cash back deals right now.

In the market for a new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new vehicle by checking out this month's best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, January 10, 2014
Posted by Karon

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