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Kroger increases quarterly dividend by 10.5%

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI Kroger increased its quarterly dividend to 10.5 cents, a 10.5% increase, which will be paid on Dec. 1 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Nov. 15.

Earlier this week, Kroger disclosed strong second-quarter earnings and confirmed its fiscal-year guidance, which was driven by its customer-first strategy, according to the company’s chairman and CEO David Dillon.

“We are creating value for our shareholders by reducing debt and returning value to them through dividends and share repurchases. We believe Kroger is in a strong position to continue to deliver shareholder value now and in the future, and we appreciate the continued trust and support of our shareholders,” Dillon said of the dividend increase.

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3M launches new pocket projectors for on-the-go use

BY Allison Cerra

ST. PAUL, Minn. 3M has added two new products to its line of pocket projectors, making it convenient to share presentations, videos and more.

The 3M MP160 and MP180 offer 30 lumens of brightness and a two-hour battery life. The projectors also include a touch screen, Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth compatibility, as well as an integrated MP3 player, four gigabytes of internal memory, a micro SD card slot and USB outlet.

"The 3M MP160 and MP180 truly offer something for everyone," said Mark Colin, VP of the mobile interactive solutions division. "The MP180’s unmatched versatility and extensive feature set is perfect for the mobile road warrior, while the MP160 is an ideal accessory for those who don’t need a lot of extra features and prefer a straight pass-through device. And, with two-hours [of] battery life, people can rest assured that they will be able to get through just about any presentation without needing to recharge."

The MP180 carries an estimated price of $399, while the MP160 has an estimated price of $349. Optional accessories for all 3M pocket projectors are sold separately. The projectors currently are available for pre-order from Shop3M.com and Amazon.com.

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Targus expands EcoSmart line

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK A maker of laptop computer cases and accessories has launched a collection of sleeves for laptops and netbooks, as well as an eco-friendly clamshell case made of recycled plastic bottles.

Targus’ EcoSmart line now features the Impax laptop sleeve and the 16-in. Spruce EcoSmart clamshell. The Impax laptop sleeve features protective corner bumpers to reduce shock and wear, and easy-to-grip, nonslip materials. The sleeves fit netbooks with 10.2-in. screens, in addition to 14-in., 16-in. and 17-in. laptops. Prices for the Impax laptop sleeve range from $29.99 to $39.99, depending on size.

The new 16-in. Spruce EcoSmart clamshell is made of 100% recycled polyester material and features a soft and padded interior, a durable, rubberized bottom to prevent wear and tear, and plenty of room to store other essentials. It opens like a briefcase for easy access, while the ergonomic shoulder strap and grip makes the case easy to tote. The Spruce clamshell is available in black for an MSRP of $59.99.

"Targus has always been proactive in improving our product offerings through new technology and materials," said Kevin Nicusanti,VP soft goods at Targus. "We continue to expand our EcoSmart line of products and have incorporated new materials into our laptop sleeves, such as double-layered neoprene, scratch-resistant fleece lining and shock-resisting molded corners — features not typically found in the standard array of sleeves in today’s market."

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