Today in the Fortune 500: BofA execs out of the loop on dividend announcement, Amazon releases a cheaper Kindle and Chevron expects profit increase despite drop in output

April 12, 2011, 6:54 PM UTC
Current Bank of America branch in Porter Ranch...
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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

NOT A GOOD SURPRISE Bank of America’s internal auditors are investigating why certain executives didn’t know that the bank was going to tell investors that its dividend increase had been rejected by the Federal Reserve. Shares in Bank of America (BAC) dropped by about 4% three days after the March 23 filing to the SEC mentioned the rejection of the dividend. Neither the bank’s Chief Financial Officer nor the Chief Accounting Officer knew about the filing until after it happened. [Wall Street Journal]

A SPECIAL KINDLE costs $114, which is $25 cheaper than the lowest-priced model that Amazon (AMZN) currently has on the market. The catch is that the new Kindle, called “Kindle with Special Offers,” displays advertisements on the screensaver and homescreen. The new Kindle is ready for pre-orders now and will ship May 3. [Fast Company]

IT’S GOOD TO BE IN THE OIL BUSINESS, even for companies that are producing less of it. Chevron (CVX) expects its first-quarter earnings to increase from last year despite a lower output of oil. Crude from its U.S. fields fetched $88.23 per barrel during the first two months of the first quarter, which is up 20% from the same time last year. [Wall Street Journal]

INTEL WANTS IN on the tablet market, so it’s forming a joint research center with Chinese company Tencent Holdings. Intel (INTC) currently lags behind competitors in tablet market share and hopes the new partnership will give the company access to the growing mobile device market in China. This week, Intel announced a new tablet-specific chip. [Wall Street Journal]

HALT THE DUPOLY In an effort to keep Verizon (V) and AT&T (T) from completely taking over telecom, the FCC has ruled that the mobile networks must negotiate data roaming agreements with smaller carriers, which they had previously refused to do. AT&T is poised to become especially powerful soon since it’s trying to merge with T-Mobile. [CNNMoney]

A BOOM REBORN General Motors (GM) is recycling booms used to clean up the BP (BP) oil spill and turning them into material that’s going into GM’s electric car the Chevy Volt. The company, which has netted about $2.5 billion over four years from recycling programs, processed 1.2 million feet worth of booms. [Fortune]