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Tickers: May 11


Principal Financial Group Inc. announced this morning that it is planning a public offering of approximately 42.3 million shares of its common stock, valued at about $1 billion, the Associated Press reported. The Des Moines-based company said it will give underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 6.3 million shares to cover any over-allotments. Principal expects to use proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

Deborah Tharnish, a senior shareholder at the Davis Brown law firm, has been elected president of the board of directors of Iowa Legal Aid. Tharnish is the former president of Davis Brown’s board of directors and has served on the Iowa Legal Aid board since 2004, for the past two years as vice president.

Ankeny-based Casey’s General Stores Inc. agreed to pay $11.7 million to settle two class-action lawsuits related to wage-and-hour issues, and as a result, will take a related one-time charge in the fourth quarter, Reuters reported. The company expects fourth-quarter earnings to decrease by 12 cents a share. The lawsuits were pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. As of 10:45 a.m. Iowa time, Casey’s shares were trading at $24.91, down 58 cents.

Urbandale is seeking applications for its 2009-2010 Leadership Urbandale class. The class will be held once a month on Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., with a tentative start date of Sept. 17. The cost is $275, and a limited number of scholarships are available. The application deadline is Aug. 15. For an online application or for more information, go to www.urbandale.org/whatsnew.cfm?PressRelease=124.

Wells Fargo & Co. announced last week it had raised $8.6 billion in capital by selling 392.2 million shares for $22 each, Bloomberg reported. The sell-off generated 43 percent more capital than the bank had expected. Wells Fargo had planned to sell only $6 billion in shares after the government found the bank didn’t have enough capital to withstand a prolonged recession.

Microsoft Corp. announced today its plans to sell a three-part benchmark-sized debt issue for the first time in company history, Bloomberg reported. The company said in a filing that the three-part bond sale will consist of 5-, 10- and 30-year debt. The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, which may include working capital and repurchases of capital stock, a Microsoft spokesperson said. Currently, the deal has attracted around $6 billion in interest, said Richard Lee, head of fixed income at New York broker-dealer Wall Street Access.

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