Business in brief

Coca-Cola plans to fire 750 employees in its U.S. division

Updated: 2013-03-21T22:11:06Z

Cuts at Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola plans to fire 750 employees in its U.S. division following a February decision to pare its distribution regions from seven to three.

The cuts in the coming months will represent about 1 percent of jobs in Coca-Cola’s North American unit, which covers the U.S. and Canada.

A quarter of the job losses will be in Atlanta, where Coca-Cola is headquartered.

HP dividend hike

Hewlett-Packard increased its quarterly dividend by 10 percent for a second straight year amid mounting investor frustration with leadership over failed acquisitions.

The current dividend will increase to 14.52 cents.

Stronger rural economy

Bankers in 10 Midwest states, including Kansas and Missouri, expect the rural economy to continue growing in the months ahead because of the strength of farm income.

The overall economic index on the March Rural Mainstreet survey remained at a healthy level of 56.9 even though it was down from February’s 58.2. Any score above 50 on the index, which ranges from 0 to 100, suggests growth in the months ahead. Scores below 50 suggest contraction.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the report, said the survey suggests that farmland values will continue to grow and home sales are beginning to grow.

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