Business news briefs
Nutraceutical International, a Utah purveyor nutritional supplements, said its board declared a special dividend of $1 per share to be paid Dec. 28 to stockholders of record on Dec. 21. It is among a growing number of companies declaring special end-of-year dividends because next year investors may have to pay higher taxes on dividend income unless a deal is reached by Congress on taxes and spending.
ZAGG Inc., a Utah-based provider of mobile device accessories, said its board has authorized a share repurchase program that may acquire up to $10 million of its outstanding stock. The company will consider repurchasing its shares from time to time over the next 12 months.
USANA Health Sciences Inc., a Utah-based multilevel marketing company that sells nutritional products, has been recognized by Utah Business magazine as one of the state's "Best Companies to Work For." It was cited for its generous benefits and company culture. USANA noted this is the fifth time it has received that recognition since 2001.
Habit Burger to
open in Utah
The Habit Burger Grill plans to open its first Utah location Jan. 10 in Sugar House at 2121 S. McClelland St. It is best known for made-to-order "Charburgers" grilled over an open flame. There are 68 locations in California and Arizona. The company plans to open two additional Utah locations within the year.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell for a fourth straight week, a sign the job market may be improving. The Labor Department said weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, the lowest in two months. It is the second-lowest total this year. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the drop indicates companies are cutting fewer jobs.
U.S. businesses inventories rose 0.4 percent in October, down from a 0.7 percent increase in September. Sales fell 0.4 percent, the Commerce Department said. Rising inventories and falling sales suggest companies may have ordered more goods than they need and may cut back on orders in the coming months, which would slow economic growth.
UBS close to rate
The Swiss financial giant UBS is close to finalizing a settlement with authorities over the manipulation of interest rates, a deal that is expected to include at least $1 billion in fines. UBS is in discussions with U.S., British and Swiss authorities, and an announcement could come as early as Monday.