Thursday, January 27, 2011 myBiz Blog
MarketWatch 1.30.11 by Kelly Cuene



Girl Scouts Cutting Cookies To cut costs and increase revenue, a dozen Girl Scouts councils are testing out a plan to sell just six different cookie varieties. Cookie sales have long been a big moneymaker for the Girl Scouts of the USA, bringing in more than $714 million a year, or up to two-thirds of many of the 112 councils' annual budgets. The top five varieties bring in 77% of cookies sales while the other flavors often end up as unsold leftovers. The hope is that this move will streamline sales, speed up delivery and increase profits. Read the full story and find out if your favorite cookies made the cut. Source: Wall Street Journal

Hulu Transforming Their Business Model? The owners of Hulu (NBC Universal, News Corp. and Walt Disney Co.) are increasingly at odds over Hulu's business model. Worried that free Web versions of their most popular TV shows are eating into traditional business, the owners disagree among themselves, and with Hulu management, on how much of their content should be free. Hulu management has discussed recasting Hulu as an online cable operator that would use the Web to send live TV channels and video-on-demand content to subscribers, simliar to the way in which bundles of channels are sold by traditional cable and satellite operators. Owners are also considering pulling some free content and selling programs to other competitors that deliver television over the internet. The company is grappling with a dilemma facing all entertainment companies: how soon to release movies or shows online without destroying their value in other lucrative "windows" such as DVDS or reruns on cable TV—and at what price. Source: Wall Street Journal 

P&G Profits Hurt by Rising Commodity Costs Higher commodity costs will dent Procter & Gamble Co. earnings by $1 billion in the current fiscal year, double what it expected earlier. P&G's sobering assessment of rising world-wide commodity costs came after the world's largest consumer-products company saw gross margins fall to 51.8% in its second-quarter from 53.7% a year earlier. P&G's spot prices for production materials and energy are up more than 20% from last year, Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said. P&G plans to offset the higher costs by raising prices in some markets and trying to sell more higher priced items. Source: Wall Street Journal