The Treasury Department auctioned $23 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 1.900 percent, up from 1.855 percent last week. An additional $22 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 2.135 percent, down from 2.255 percent last week. The three-month rate was the highest since three-month bills averaged 2.050 percent on June 16. The six-month rate was the lowest since these bills averaged 2.050 percent on June 9.
Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, fell to 2.46 percent last week from 2.57 percent the previous week.
Plumb of San Diego buys software company
San Diego-based Plumb, an employee-owned accounting consulting company, has acquired Contractor Software Corp., a privately held developer of job cost accounting software for the construction industry. Plumb said the deal, valued at just under $1 million, marks the first in a series of planned acquisitions of software and accounting services companies in the region. Contractor Software Corp., which has six employees, provides software consulting and support services to 90 San Diego-based companies.
H&R Block reports profit in fourth quarter
H&R Block, the nation’s largest tax preparer, said it swung to a fourth-quarter profit, helped by a record-setting tax season and the sale of its troubled mortgage arm. The company offered earnings guidance for this year above what Wall Street is expecting, and shares rose nearly 3 percent.
The Kansas City-based company earned $543.6 million, or $1.66 per share, in the three months ending yesterday, compared with a loss of $85.6 million, or 26 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.
H&R Block said revenue rose 11 percent to $2.6 billion. It had a 1.9 percent increase in core customers using the company’s offices to file their income tax returns in the latest quarter.
Del Monte Foods Co. will sell its seafood business, which includes the StarKist brand, to Dongwon Enterprise Co. of South Korea for $363 million as it focuses on higher-margin produce and pet foods. Del Monte, which operates brands such as Contadina, Kibbles ‘n Bits and 9Lives, said the divestiture will improve margins, eliminate a source of earnings volatility and reduce debt. In fiscal 2008, the seafood business generated about $560 million in sales.