Business briefs for Dec. 28, 2010.

HCA set for an IPO

HCA, which owns Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence and Lee’s Summit Medical Center, has refiled regulatory papers in anticipation of an initial public offering in 2011.

The company’s board recently approved a payment of $2.1 billion to stock- and option-holders on top of a $2.25 billion payment earlier in the year. The company went private in 2006 in a $21 billion leveraged buyout.

In its most recent quarterly report, the company, based in Nashville, Tenn., reported $243 million in profit on $7.65 billion in revenues.

Consultant added

Janet Hodges of Lee’s Summit has become an independent consultant with Tastefully Simple, a direct sales company that sells food products that are “open-and-enjoy” or can be prepared by adding one or two ingredients. She can be reached at


Restaurant owner posts higher profits

Darden Restaurants has reported increased quarterly profits. The company owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, all of which have locations in Eastern Jackson County.

Second-quarter earnings were $75.8 million, or 54 cents per share, up from $61.2 million, or 43 cents per share, in a same quarter a year ago. Sales rose from $1.64 billion to $1.73 billion.

Sales were up 1.4 percent overall for the three chains. Olive Garden locations open a year or more were up 2 percent, LongHorn sales were up 6.8 percent, and Red Lobster stores were down 1.6 percent. The company plans to renovate hundreds of its Red Lobster locations. Overall sales were up 5.2 percent with the addition of 63 new restaurants. As of mid-year, the company had 1,800 locations.

Walgreen profits up

Walgreen Co. has reported record quarterly profits.

The company reported earning of $17.3 billion, or 62 cents a share, for the quarter ending Nov. 30. That’s up from 49 cents a share in the quarter a year ago.

Walgreen, based in Deerfield, Ill., has 8,133 drug stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Guam, including several in Eastern Jackson County. Prescription sales are two-thirds of the company’s business, it filled 202 million prescriptions during the quarter, a rise of 5.3 percent, though up only 0.9 percent in stores open a year or more. The company also says that other than the federal government, it is the nation’s biggest supplier of flu shot; it did 5.6 million of those during the quarter, a slight increase.