The Fortune 500 comes out just once a year, but the companies on it make headlines every day. Here then are today’s highlights of news and happenings coming from the biggest names in business.
By Shelley DuBois, reporter
TARGET HEADS NORTH with plans to open its first stores in Canada. The company plans to buy and colonize 220 stores previously owned by a discount chain called Zellars. Target’s (TGT) northward move is fueled by a need to improve its growth rate, which has slowed in the U.S. market. [Wall Street Journal]
INTEL HAS THE BEST YEAR EVER, reporting an increase in profit of $3.4 billion, up from $2.3 billion in 2009. Despite decreased demand for PCs, most of which carry Intel chips, the company saw great sales numbers for server microprocessors. Analysts say that Intel (INTC) is in good position to push its chips into more hand-held computers and tablets. [BBC]
STARBUCKS TO CAFFEINATE INDIA The multinational coffee company announced an alliance with the conglomerate Tata Group, a major Indian coffee producer. The deal is meant to both give Starbucks
greater access to Indian coffee beans and carve the path for Starbucks to set up free-standing stores. Coffee consumption in India is growing, having increased by 90% between 1998 and 2008 to 94,400 metric tons. [Wall Street Journal]
SEARCH TITANS UNITE if Google gets its way. The search giant wants to join forces with ITA Software, the company behind travel booking services including Kayak and Microsoft Bing. Competitors have complained that teaming up with Google (GOOG) would give ITA an unfair leg up in the travel search market, prompting U.S. regulators to investigate possible anti-trust violations. [Fast Company]
DELTA PUTS AGING PLANES TO REST The airline wants to buy between 100 and 200 new aircraft to replace a slew of abnormally old planes that are scheduled to retire in 2013. The company has been flying some of the oldest planes in the industry–having held on to certain jets for an average of 34 years. Delta (DAL) has traditionally only bought Boeing (BA) planes, but now could begin deals with competitors such as Airbus. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
ANOTHER DELTA OVERHAUL involves the company’s plan to change it’s over-booking system. Instead of offering customers flight voucher money to get bumped, Delta is setting up a silent online auction for passengers to name the amount of money they would accept if the airline thinks the flight will be too full. The strategy is an attempt to reduce boarding drama–Delta will pay the passengers who’ll accept the lowest amount of money, pitting them against one another in an underbidding war instead of against the airline. The company has been running the new silent auction system for a month.