Southwest Airlines

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Southwest Destinatinations

Headquartered in Dallas, TX, Southwest Airlines is America’s largest carrier that offers low-cost air travels across a network of 98 destinations in the USA and seven other countries. Boasting to have served more passengers domestically than any other airlines, Southwest Airlines quickly skyrocketed to fame for its unique combination of low fares without any annoying fees as well as friendly customer service delivered by highly competent staff, safe and reliable operations, and an excellent corporate culture that extends into the communities they serve.

The airline was founded in 1966 by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher. A year later, the company was incorporated as Air Southwest Company. And, after four years, the carrier took on its present name – Southwest Airlines. It was also only in 1971 when the airline started its first commercial flights originating from Dallas Love Field. And by 2014, Southwest Airlines achieved the highest record for having carried the most domestic passengers of any American airline. As of July 2016, the airline proudly employs more than 50,000 well-trained personnel working together to deliver outstanding customer service throughout the Southwest system. The airline operates more than 3,900 departures per day during peak travel season and has scheduled services to 98 destinations in America and seven other countries. And by late 2016, Southwest is also expecting to service three more airports in Cuba, though it’s still subject to governmental approvals.

Since its inception, the airline has maintained to use only Boeing 737s, with the exception of the period from 1979 to 1987, when Braniff International Airways had rented out some of its Boeing 727s to Southwest. In January 2016, Southwest Airlines became Boeing 737’s largest operator around the globe, with about 714 in service, each averaging 5 to 6 flights per day.

Due to Southwest’s success, it has been a huge inspiration to other low-cost carriers, and its business strategy has been replicated a lot of times around the world. The competitive strategy combines an extraordinary level of aircraft and employee productivity with low unit costs by keeping aircraft turnaround time to a minimum, particularly at the gate. Europe’s Ryanair and EasyJet are two among the well-known airlines to adopt Southwest’s business model in the European continent. Other airlines who followed suit and have also implemented Southwest’s business model include Malaysia’s AirAsia, Indonesia’s Lion Air, Thailand’s Nok Air, India’s IndiGo, Philippines’s Cebu Pacific, Qantas’s Jetstar, Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines, Mexico’s Volaris, as well as Canada’s WestJet. Though Southwest has been a major inspiration to many other airlines, including Jetstar, Lion Air, AirAsia, and Ryanair, the management strategies, for example, of Jetstar, Lion Air, AirAsia, and Ryanair differ significantly from that of Southwest’s. All these various management stratagems can be seen as means of differentiation in order to gain competitive advantages over other competitors.

To promote the carrier and effectively catch the public’s attention, Southwest Airlines has made use of humor in its advertising. Slogans include “You’re Now Free To Move About The Country,” “The Somebody Else Up There Who Loves You,” “THE Low Fare Airline,” “Love Is Still Our Field,” “Welcome Aboard,” “Grab your bag, It’s On!” and “Just Plane Smart.” At present, the airline’s slogan is “Low fares. Nothing to hide.”

In March 1992, soon after Southwest began using the “Just Plane Smart” epigram, Stevens Aviation, which had been making use of the phrase “Plane Smart” for its slogan, warned Southwest that it was infringing on its trademark.

But instead of filing a case, the CEOs of both companies agreed to stage an arm wrestling match. The said match was set for 2 out of 3 rounds. The loser of every round was to pay $5,000 to the charity of his choosing, and the winner gets to use the trademarked slogan. A promotional videotape of the bout was produced showing both of the CEOs preparation for the match (with Southwest CEO Herb Kelleher being helped up while doing sit-ups where a glass of whiskey and cigarette was waiting) and was given away to the employees and was also distributed as video press release together with the video of the match itself. Although Herb Kelleher did not win the match for Southwest, Stevens Aviation’s CEO Kurt Herwald straight away allowed the usage of “Just Plane Smart” to Southwest Airlines. In the end, both companies benefited by getting to use the trademarked phrase, a total of $15,000 going to charity, and great publicity for both companies.

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Chili’s Restaurant

Headquartered in Dallas, TX, Chili’s Grill & Bar is owned and operated by Chili’s, Inc. which is a subsidiary of Brinker International, Inc. It is an American restaurant chain that offers Tex-Mex style cuisine which includes appetizers, lighter choices, craft burgers, sandwiches and handhelds, chicken and seafood, ribs and steaks, tacos and quesadillas, burritos, fresh Mex Bowls, fajitas, and enchiladas, among many others. The company was established by Larry Lavine in 1975 in Texas where it all began with one dream; that is, to put up a place where you can go and hang out with good friends over a burger and a beer. For those who long for connection with friends and family, Chili’s were the only restaurant to offer a true Southwest spirit packed with positive energy. The Company’s first location opened in 1975 in Dallas, where a post office was converted into a cool little joint named Chili’s.

Throughout history, Brinker International funded or co-funded over 15 restaurants that grew to become familiar brands in their own right. It was only in 1991 when Chili’s started expanding globally. The Company opened its first international location in Canada, which was shortly followed by Mexico, Middle East, South Korea, and East Asia. Since then, there was no stopping Chili’s from growing exponentially in the U.S. and around the globe. On Aug. 3, 2004, the Company marked its 1,000th restaurant at Pinnacle Park in Dallas.

But just like any other businesses, Chili’s had its own share of downfalls too. In October 2008, a Chili’s Australia franchise was sued for underpaying employees, compelling staff to agree on an Australian workplace contract and failing to recompense AU$45,000 in owed wages by a deadline mandated by the Office of Industrial Relations. The said Australian franchise was later penalized with a fine of AU$300,000 by the NSW Office of Industrial Relations. In the same year, Brinker International, Inc. announced that it would be closing all of its Chili’s branches in Australia.

In spite of the fact that the weather was, without a doubt, this season a huge stumbling block for the industry, Brinker was able to increase its sales and expanding operative margins too. The introduction of new items on the menu such as Fresh Mex boosted Chili’s margins to 16% and EPS increased to $0.58.

The strategy for Brinker’s appears to be a combination of expansion and innovation, particularly for Chili’s, with a re-branding program for the restaurants, the launch of technology-driven initiatives, such as online ordering and tabletop entertainment, and the development of new delivery solutions for about 450 locations.

Clearly, Brinker International have geared the past years on keeping Chili’s innovative, transforming and optimizing the brand. The introduction of higher-margin alcoholic drinks, for example, has given the joint higher levels in sales. Similarly, the introduction of more advanced kitchen equipment allowed the firm to save on food waste and labor costs, as well as improving overall management.

Brinker has reported year over year performance increase in profitability, driven by its cost saving efforts and sales leverage. The Company has also just announced some encouraging results as company-owned comps were up 0.8% in the quarter, exceeding and overcoming the previous quarter 1.3% decline.

The solid franchise system allows the restaurant chain to uphold a revenue stream while focusing on developing new products and marketing strategies, and while expand into new markets. The firm also provides value to shareholders by means of increased dividend payments and share buybacks. Return on equity is 88.9, which is actually above 60 points compared to the industry average of 26.0. Brinker is conducting an aggressive expansion to maintain upward revenue and is likely to do so. The company has also introduced its first road-side prototype restaurant concept in Mexico called “Chili’s Express”.

The enormous overhaul of Chili’s paid off, and the company has been able to keep a stable upward trajectory for the past years. Though, the prospect for the years ahead is not as encouraging as the last two fiscal years, as industry experts say the company’s growth will actually become more hooked on global expansion.

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Comerica, Inc.

Comerica, Inc. is a bank holding company, which was incorporated on November 13, 1972, that offers financial services in America. The Company’s main activity is lending to and accepting deposits from individuals and businesses. The Company offers a variety of loans, which include consumer loans, residential mortgage loans, international loans, lease financing, real estate construction loans, commercial loans, and commercial mortgage loans. As a financial institution, its business strategy primarily involves accepting deposits and making use of these funds to offer loans at higher rates than it pays to its accountholders while trying to minimize the proportion of loan funds lost due to nonpayment. The difference between the weighted averages of the two rates is termed the loan spread or net interest margin and was responsible for approximately 60% of Comerica’s revenues in 2009.

Comerica’s operations are divided into three business sectors: the Wealth Management, Retail Bank, and the Business Bank as well as the Finance segment. The wealth and institutional management business include personal and institutional trust services, insurance, retirement services, investment account management, private banking, and the Comerica Securities brokerage.  The retail bank provides the usual range of services, such as small business banking, deposits, mortgages, and consumer lending. Large corporations and middle-market companies rely on Comerica’s business bank, which offers corporate finance, leasing, loan syndication, international trade finance, credit, cash management, and capital markets products services.

At present, there are more than two active banking and around 40 non-banking subsidiaries which Comerica owns directly or indirectly. Comerica’s approximately 9,000 colleagues focus on relationships and helping businesses and people become successful.  Comerica has total deposits of nearly $60 billion and total loans of about $50 billion Comerica operates in seven of the ten largest American cities, with 480 banking centers in the major markets of Michigan, Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona.  Select subsidiaries operate in some other states, as well as in Mexico and Canada. Comerica is among the 22 largest American banking companies, with nearly $70 billion in total assets to date.

Comerica’s history started in Detroit in 1849, where the Detroit Savings Fund Institute opened its doors with the aim of offering banking services to the laborers in the city.  Six clients deposited a total of $41 on its first day of businesses. And by 1870, the company grew its assets to approximately $1 million, thanks in large part to a growing worker class and the emerging auto industry.

Detroit Savings Fund merged with three other regional banks in 1956 to form Detroit Bank & Trust, which regrouped under a holding company after regulatory changes in 1973.  The name Comerica debuted in 1982, marking a period of expansion that led the bank to major markets in Texas, Illinois, and Florida.  Further mergers (with InBancshares in California, Manufacturers National Corporation, Plaza Commerce Bancorp, and Texas’ Grand Bancshares) grew the company in reach and size.  By 2004 Comerica offered banking services to its customers across America.

On the other hand, as the auto industry weakened in 2007, Comerica began transferring its headquarters to Dallas, TX.  The transition only finished by early 2010.

In September 2008, as the federal government opens out plans to strengthen the financial sector, Comerica stated that they had been granted approval from the U.S. Treasury Department to take part in Treasury’s capital purchase program, amounting to $2.25 billion.  Before 2008 ended, Comerica stated that they would continue participating in the temporary liquidity assurance program, which offers its clients with a full assurance, without any dollar restriction, on funds held in all of Comerica’s noninterest-bearing accounts until the end of 2009.  The program, which was intended to restore liquidity to America’s banking system, also provides FDIC security on newly issued senior unsecured debt until the debt matures, or June 30, 2012, whichever comes first.

 

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AT&T Telecommunications

AT&T, a brand that is now synonymous with innovation in communications, is an American telecommunication company headquartered in Dallas, TX, and is the world’s largest communications company. It is as historical as the inventor of telephones Alexander Graham Bell and his “Bell Telephone Company.” Its foundation dates back to 1885, then known as American Telephone and Telegraph Company, as one of the subdivisions of Bell Telephone. With the innovative mindset and futuristic vision, it took them only 4 years to become the sole acquisitor of Bell Telephone Company. This began their incredible journey to become a Fortune 500 company in the subsequent years.

After reigning the telecommunication sector in USA and Canada for almost a century, AT&T divested its local affiliates in 1982 while reserving its rights to operate long distance calls, conduct research and development and production of artilleries. The US administrative mandated dissolution of the company gave birth to Southwestern Bell Corp. which later became SBC Communication and was headed by Robert G. Pope. With several mobile and cable companies under its belt, in just a matter of fifteen years, SBC Communication Inc. was successful in enlisting itself as one of the Fortune 500 companies in 1995 and collaborate with DJIA by 1998.

2005 saw the biggest merger of the century when SBC Communications Inc. obtained the rights of AT&T for a whopping $16 billion dollars. Keeping in mind the brand value of the company, SBC Communications retained the old name of AT&T while bringing an overhaul to its infrastructure. Since then the company has been providing to a customer base of almost four hundred million in the United States alone. Standing tall in the field of telecommunications for over 140 years, AT&T’s heritage, brand equity, performance, and eight times claim for the prestigious Nobel Prize saw its well-deserved expansion to the continent of South America in 2013.

Since then, there has been no stopping for this company. AT&T has been world’s biggest telecommunication company, the first provider of mobile internet which brought a revolution in the field of web networking, and also the largest contributor of subscription-based television services both in the North and South of America.

AT&T started its growth on the visionary soil of inventions and advancement of science and technology for the progress of human race. Even after claiming the spot for the best supplier of telecommunication and satellite services, AT&T has been providing its dedicated service for the improvement of local communities through their education scheme AT&T Aspire. The company has been providing scholarships and education benefits to different sectors of the society and has already pledged almost $400 million to the initiative.
Together with its mobile services, AT&T has also been a pioneer in introducing super-fast fiber optic Internet services in the market. Their network is spread through more than 60 million locations and distributes ultra-fast internet speed for both business and entertainment purposes. As per the company’s claims, it is believed that a user can download at least 25-27 high-quality mp3 files in just one second and Ultra-HD quality videos and movies in less than a minute.

After winning hearts in Latin America, AT&T has since been extending its services to many parts of Asia and plans to grow its business and investment in the economic growth of countries like India, China, and Hong Kong. With ten of the original “Bell Company” subsidiaries and an excellent supply that ranges from telecommunication, internet services, Live Cricket services to premium television services AT&T has “Raising the bars” to “Rethink possible” by “Mobilizing Your World” since one and a half century.

AT&T is also committed to improving lives by supporting the local communities. The company aims to increase high school graduation rates, and they are preparing students for college and careers through AT&T Aspire, which is the Company’s their signature education initiative. So far, they have committed $350 million to the program. And their It Can Wait campaign has encouraged more than 10 million pledges by people who have committed to keep their eyes on the road and not on their phones.

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GAINSCO, Inc.

GAINSCO, Inc. is a casualty and property insurance holding company headquartered in Dallas, TX and was incorporated on October 11, 1978. The Company focuses on non-standard personal automobile market, through GAINSCO Auto Insurance, and is into minimum-limits personal auto insurance business. The Company also sells casualty, property, general liability, and commercial insurance through its MGA Insurance Company subsidiary. The Company offers insurance policies only through its independent partner agents. Its agent network includes several locations, including Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Georgia, Florida, and Arizona. MGA Insurance Company, Inc. is located in Texas and sponsors the Bob Stallings™/No. 99 Red Dragon™ McLaren 650s GT3 GAINSCO racecar. Additionally, the Company owns and operates a Hyundai auto dealership franchise in Dallas, TX. The Company provides customer service and claims and in both Spanish and English.

The operation of GAINSCO Auto Insurance was initially chartered as an underwriter of Commercial risks. This setting were stopped and put in a run-off in 2002. The Company promoted its commercial insurance through managing general agents, with the block super-scribed letters “GA” and “GAINSCO” as its main logo identifiers. These were taken from the abbreviated version of the Company primary insurance subsidiary’s name at that time, General Agents Insurance Company of America, Inc. The said commercial insurance company was sold in 2007.

A purchase of a managing general agency and claims operation based in Florida that centers in the nonstandard personal automobile business in the late 1990s formed the foundation for GAINSCO’s insurance marketing emphasis today. The Company finished its capital restructuring in 2005 and set up its headquarters in Dallas, TX, which set the core for developing its business strategy.

Starting 2005, a newly made GAINSCO logo mark included a rising arrow in its name to symbolize a progressively upward company. It was in this period when the Company’s logo mark was first placed on a racecar owned by Robert Stallings – GAINSCO’s Chairman of the Board. Registered marks include Are You Driven® and GAINSCO Auto Insurance®.

GAINSCO’s insurance business since then has increased from a level of over $110 million gross premiums written in 2005 to nearly $230 million in 2015. Overall shareholders’ equity on a GAAP basis grew from nearly $58 million to more than $95 million over the same period. Additionally, it was during this period of time when the A.M. Best rating of the insurance subsidiary had amplified three times, moving from a financial strength rating of “B-” or “Vulnerable” to the current financial strength rating of “B++” or “Secure” with a promising outlook. GAINSCO’s decision to engage in the auto dealership business in late 2013 has given the Company additional avenue for expansion opportunities.

In early 2011, GAINSCO permitted the deliberate suspension of its obligation to file reports with the Security Exchange Commission as well as the voluntary common stock deregistration. The Company was qualified to suspend its reporting obligations as well as deregister its common stock for the reason that there were less than 300 holders of the Company’s common stock record. This decision resulted in reduced reporting burdens and expense savings.

The GAINSCO leadership team is deep in industry expertise and talent. GAINSCO’s Chairman – Robert Stallings, has a successful track record of building and managing companies that offer financial services and is actively involved in the organizational management and strategic leadership. CEO and President – Glenn Anderson, has enjoyed significant success over his thirty-year career in the insurance industry. GAINSCO’s insurance operations consist of approximately 400 employees with around 250 employees in its Dallas headquarters. A separate Miami office has about 80 employees; the balance of the employee population is field based across the multiple states of operation.

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HollyFrontier Corporation

HollyFrontier Corporation is an independent petroleum refiner and marketer based in Dallas, TX, and is a Fortune 500 company. Subsidiaries of HollyFrontier produce and market diesel, petroleum products, as well as gasoline and petroleum-based lubricants and waxes including specialty and modified asphalt.

In 1947, HollyFrontier was originally incorporated under the name General Appliance Corporation. And in 1952, the Company changed its name to Holly Corporation. In 2009, Holly Corporation bought both the Sunoco (formerly Cosden) and Sinclair (formerly Texaco) refineries in Tulsa, OK, and announced that it would merge the two into a single refinery. In July 2011, Frontier Oil and Holly Corporation merged forming HollyFrontier Corporation.

The Company operates through two segments: Holly Energy Partners, L.P. or HEP and Refining. The Refining segment includes the operations of the Company’s Woods Cross, Cheyenne, Navajo, Tulsa, and El Dorado Refineries and HollyFrontier Asphalt Company or HFC Asphalt. Each of the refineries has the capability to convert heavy, discounted, and sour crude oils into a high percentage of diesel, gasoline, and other refined products.

HollyFrontier’s Rocky Mountain Region includes Woods Cross and Cheyenne Refineries. The Woods Cross Refinery can manufacture crude oil of around 31,000 barrels per stream day, while Cheyenne processing plant have crude oil manufacturing capacities about 52,000 barrels per stream day. The Woods Cross processing plant refines Canadian sour crude oils as well as regional black and sweet wax crude into light products. The Cheyenne Refinery manufactures local sweet crudes and also heavy Canadian crudes.

The Company’s processing plant in Southwestern United States includes Navajo Refinery. The Navajo facility is located on a roughly 560-acre site in Artesia, NM and is an integrated facility with crude distillation, vacuum distillation, hydrodesulphurization, catalytic reforming, hydrofluoric (HF) alkylation, residuum oil supercritical extraction or ROSE solvent deasphalter, fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), isomerization, mild hydrocracking, sulfur recovery and product blending units. The Navajo processing plant has a crude oil manufacturing capacity of around 100,000 barrels per stream day, and refines sour crude oils into premium light products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel.

HollyFrontier’s Mid-Continent region includes the Tulsa and El Dorado Refineries. The combined refining processes at the Tulsa East and West processing plants provide the Company with a refining operation having a collective crude processing rate of about 125,000 barrels per stream day. The Tulsa East facility is situated on a roughly 470-acre site also in Tulsa, OK located along the Arkansas River. The Tulsa West facility is situated on an over 750-acre site in Tulsa, OK located along the Arkansas River. The El Dorado processing plant, on the other hand, is situated on a roughly 1,100 acres South of El Dorado, KS and is an integrated facility. The El Dorado Refinery is a high-complexity coking facility with nearly 135,000 barrels per stream day refining capacity. The Company’s products in its Mid-Continent Region (Tulsa and El Dorado Refineries) include gasoline, fuel oil, jet fuels, diesel fuels, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), asphalt, lubricants and other. Its Artesia processing facility is ran in conjunction with a refining plant situated in Lovington, NM, about 65 miles east of Artesia. The Lovington plant processes crude oil into intermediate products which are then distributed to Artesia using three intermediate pipelines owned by HEP.

HollyFrontier manufactures modified and commodity asphalt products at its manufacturing facilities located in Glendale, AZ; Albuquerque, NM; Artesia, NM and Catoosa, OK. Its Catoosa facility manufactures commodity asphalt products and specialty modified asphalt. Its Glendale manufacturing plant processes base asphalt materials, provided by its processing plants and third-party suppliers, into modified hot asphalt products. While its Artesia and Albuquerque facilities process base asphalt materials, also provided by its own refining facilities and third-party suppliers, into modified hot asphalt products and commodity emulsions. HollyFrontier markets these asphalt products in Northern Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona. Its products are distributed through third-party trucking companies to commercial customers that provide asphalt-based materials for government and commercial projects.

The other segment of HollyFrontier is HEP. It is a limited partnership, which owns and operates logistic assets consisting of crude oil and petroleum product pipelines, loading rack facilities, terminals, tankage, and refinery processing units that mainly support HollyFrontier’s refining and marketing operations in the Southwest, Mid-Continent and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States including Alon’s refinery (Alon USA, Inc.) in Big Spring, TX. HollyFrontier and some of its subsidiaries now own a 37% interest as well as a 2% general partner interest in Holly Energy Partners, L.P.

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7-Eleven

Though there are countless convenience stores in North America, it’s 7-Eleven that has made its mark and became a global success. 7-Eleven is an international chain of convenience stores that operates, licenses, and franchises around 56,600 stores in 18 countries. The Company operates over 10,000 franchised or company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada under the 7-Eleven name, which is the North American subsidiary of Seven-Eleven Japan. Its stores range from 2,000 to 3,000 sq. ft. and sell more than 2,500 items. The leading convenience store company in the world is owned by Seven & i Holdings, which is a Japanese retail conglomerate and the parent company for Seven-Eleven Japan, Denny’s restaurants, Ito-Yokado, and several other businesses.

Founded in 1927 as a combination of ice dock and retail shop in Dallas, TX, 7-Eleven outlets was originally known as Tote’m stores until it was changed in 1946. The store offered a wide range of fresh food and beverage stored in ice for convenience, and later on even started selling gasoline. Despite being severely affected by hard times during the Great Depression, the Company was able to get back on its feet soon after World War II and the great American economic development. Now named as 7-Eleven, to reflect the stores’ new, extended hours – 7 a.m. up to 11 p.m., the franchise expanded quickly all the way through the 1950s and 1960s.

The Company’s first 24-hour stores were introduced in the early 1960s, and quickly changed a lot of its older outlets to a 24-hour schedule after seeing its success. This round-the-clock schedule is now a trademark of 7-Eleven’s business model and one that’s been replicated by many of its major competitors. In the last quarter of 1969, 7‑Eleven became more famous for its Slurpee drinks and expanded to about 3,500 stores in the U.S. and went global by opening branches in Canada. Some of the growth was accomplished in 1964 when the Company went into the franchising business with the acquisition of 127 California Speedee Marts. 7-Eleven then went south to Mexico and signed a licensing agreement. It was in 1974 when the company reached its 5,000th-store milestone and continued its global expansion overseas in Japan.

The franchise grew rapidly throughout the 1970s and 1980s, opening up more stores in South Korea, Thailand, and Japan. By the second quarter of 1980, the company had branches operating in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden, and many other major markets. Unfortunately, during the 1980s, the founding company of 7-Eleven suffered financial difficulties, mainly because of the stock market crash of 1987. But after being acquired by Japan’s Seven & i Holdings, 7-Eleven re-established itself as the USA’s convenience store leader and continues to expand globally.

In North America, 7-Eleven is cultivating wider store networks through aggressive acquisitions and store openings. It’s concentrating on opening branches with gasoline stations, as gasoline accounts for about half of total store sales. Like its Japanese parent, 7-Eleven implements a market concentration approach to ensure efficient infrastructure usage and merchandising. The Company aims to distinguish itself by increasing its fast food offerings and private-brand products.

The convenience store chain managed to get ahead its competitors using two very different business strategies. Not only is 7-Eleven one of the world’s biggest franchises but it’s also a lucrative business with its own stores. Even though a majority of 7-Eleven stores are franchised, the company runs several of its own stores in high-traffic areas. To date, 7-Eleven has over 56,600 stores in 3 continents, earning its place as the top business by most number of stores in the world.

From Big Gulp drinks to specialty sushi items sold in its Japanese outlets, 7-Eleven is committed to make drinking and eating as convenient as possible for its millions of patrons around the globe. A useful and innovative business with a distinctive approach to the world, 7-Eleven is an excellent example of a thriving business that’s stood up to the test of time and came out the other end stronger than ever.

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Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments, incorporated on December 23, 1938, is an American semiconductor components manufacturer and innovator based in Dallas, TX. In 1954, the Company introduced the first commercial silicon transistor and has become one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world.

The history of Texas Instruments begins with Geophysical Service Incorporated or GSI, which was formed in 1930 to create reflection seismography which is a new technology to the petroleum industry. The company was formed with GSI as its wholly owned subsidiary in 1951. After a year, the Company went into the semiconductor business after acquiring the license to manufacture the transistor from the Western Electric Company. Texas Instruments immediately began to expand following the introduction of the transistor with the acquisition of other several local technical and engineering companies and increasing their facilities across the United States and other countries.

Texas Instruments operates through two segments: Embedded and Analog Processing. The product line of the Company’s Embedded Processing segment includes Connectivity, Microcontrollers, and Processor. Connectivity products consist of products that allow electronic devices to connect and transfer data. These products support a number of wireless technologies to meet requirements such as Zigbee (low-power wireless network standards) and other technologies, such as global positioning system (GPS), wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi), and Bluetooth. Microcontroller products consist of self-contained systems with peripherals, memory, and a processor core that are all built to control a set of specific tasks for electronic equipment. Processor products include applications processors and digital signal processors (DSPs). Applications processors are intended for a particular type of applications, such as automotive (advanced driver assistance and infotainment systems) and communications infrastructure. While, DSPs perform mathematical computations to process or enhance digital data.

The Company is also engaged in smaller product lines, including DLP products, which are mainly used in projectors to produce HD images, certain custom semiconductors such as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and calculators. It also offers connectivity products and OMAP applications processors as well as baseband products which are sold into consumer tablets and smartphones.

Texas Instruments’ Analog segment product line consists of Silicon Valley Analog (SVA), High Performance Analog (HPA), Power Management (Power), and High Volume Analog & Logic (HVAL). SVA consist of a range of industrial, high-voltage power management, operational amplifier catalog, data converter, and interface products used in creating a range of electronic systems. SVA products support applications, including mobile display and lighting systems, high voltage power conversion, and data and video interface products. HPA products include high-reliability products, high-speed data converters, interface products, sensors, amplifiers, and precision analog products that are utilized in systems that require high performance. Power products include both application-specific standard products (ASSPs) and catalog products, which are built to enhance the powered devices’ efficiency by making use of point-of-load products, power supply controls, portable power conversion devices, and battery management solutions. HVAL products support applications, including integrated motor controllers, low-voltage motor drivers, touchscreen controllers, and automotive safety devices. HVAL products include high-volume catalog products and high-volume integrated analog products for specific applications.

With almost 45,000 products across the embedded processing, analog, educational technology spaces, wireless, and DLP, the Company’s components can be found in nearly every kind of product from consumer electronics and medical devices to automobiles and spacecraft.

Texas Instruments catapulted to success not only because of delivering innovative technology to market but because of the engineering spirit that created those innovative technologies which is engrained in the Company’s culture. Part of that spirit includes a determination and willingness to heavily invest in research and development; reinvesting more than 10% of its 2011 revenues ($1.7 billion) into research and development of new technology. As the Company invests in new technology, they also invest in developing their employees. Access to vast knowledge resources, mentoring programs, and professional development, are part of the framework at Texas Instruments to encourage professional skills development and enhance personal knowledge. Texas Instruments’s employee benefits packages reflect their commitment to their employees and the value placed on technical skills.

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Dean Foods Company

Dean Foods is a food and beverage company and is America’s leading milk bottler. The company has 100 facilities located in 35 states in the U.S. and another 5 manufacturing plants in the countries of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, and Belgium which manufacture and distributes milk, and other dairy and dairy case foodstuffs to distributors, retailers, foodservice outlets, governmental entities, and educational institutions across America and in Europe.

The Company’s Fresh Dairy Direct business markets and distributes cultured dairy products, ice cream, ice cream mix, fluid milk, and other beverages such as bottled water, teas, and juices under more than 50 local, regional, and private-label brands, including a leading national flavored milk brand – TruMoo, as well as Meadow Gold, Country Fresh, Pet, and Borden, Country Love, Swiss Premium, Swiss Dairy, Meadow Brook, Bud’s Ice Cream, Shenandoah’s Pride, Mayfield, Brown’s Dairy, Schepps, Louis Trauth Dairy Inc., Brown Cow, Saunders, Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms, Broughton, Robinson, Land-O-Sun & design, Berkeley Farms, Reiter, Land O Lakes, Barbe’s, Purity, Knudsen, Barbers Dairy, Jilbert, Arctic Splash, Pog, Hygeia, Alta Dena, McArthur and Stroh’s, among others. Dean Foods still owns around 20% of WhiteWave even after the spinoff of most of WhiteWave’s Foods business. WhiteWave makes International Delight coffee creamers as well as other specialty dairy products including cottage cheese, butter, ice cream, and dips.

Dean Foods was founded in the 1920s by Samuel E. Dean, Sr., who owned an evaporated milk manufacturing facility in Franklin Park, IL. After purchasing other Illinois dairy processing facilities, Dean, Sr. transformed the enterprise from a small regional dairy into a diversified food company. Dean Foods Company was incorporated on September 19, 1994. In December 2001, Dallas-based Suiza Foods Corporation acquired the legacy brand of Dean Foods, who later adopted the Dean Foods name. The Company decided to spun off its Dean Specialty Foods in 2005 as Bay Valley Foods, LLC which is a division of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. In June 2005, TreeHouse Foods began trading on the New York Stock Exchange using “THS” as its ticker.

Dean Foods acquired Jilbert’s Dairy in August 2006, which is a 70-year-old family-ran business located in Marquette, MI. In June 2007, the Hain Celestial Group purchased the TofuTown brand of Dean Foods. Dean Foods, on the other hand, acquired the Wells Dairy milk plant in Le Mars, IA in December of the same year. In 2009, Dean Foods bought Alpro for about US$455 million, turning it into a world leader in soy beverages. This, in turn, led to the restructuring of the company that involved selling off some of its subsidiaries such as Rachel’s Organic.
Dean Foods moved to the Cityplace district of Dallas, TX in the first quarter of 2010. In the fourth quarter of the same year, Dean Foods announced it was retiring the Schepps brand, which had been in the Dallas market since 1942, for dairy products in the Dallas, TX area for the Company’s Oak Farms brand. In May 2015, Dean Foods announced that they would remove regional brands for its milk for a single brand, DairyPure – a sub-brand that the Company was already using under its former regional marketing scheme.

Dean Foods believes that enriching the communities where the Company operates is not a choice, but a responsibility. The Company’s corporate philanthropy initiatives emphasize on the values that are in parallel with their business goals. Through their contributions to the Dean Foods Foundation, the Company hopes to make a significant impact by supporting organizations nominated by the Foundation that focus on dairy stewardship, childhood nutrition, youth leadership, and disaster relief. Dean Foods’s staffs also generously give of their time in communities across America. Also, their local businesses regularly sponsor community events or donate products, and in times of calamity, they often respond to local needs by not only contributing products but also by giving on-the-ground logistical support, such as refrigeration and trucking services.

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Energy Transfer

Founded in 1995 in Dallas, TX, where it is also currently headquartered, Energy Transfer Gas Company is the most powerful Fortune 500 organization among natural gas pipelines in the world. Its current indenture comprises of 5,000 employees including the founder & CEO Kelcy Warren. The company is a master limited partnership (ETP formed in 2002 & ETE established in 2006) that administers one of the largest diversified portfolios of energy resources in the USA. Growing from approximately 200 miles of natural gas pipelines in 2002 to about 71,000 miles of natural gas, refined products, crude oil, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) pipelines at present, the Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. continues to be dedicated to providing attractive returns to its investors and outstanding service to its customers.

From 2007 to 2010 the company acquired the rights of possession of Midcontinent Express Pipeline, Fayetteville Express Pipeline, Tiger Pipeline, Sea Robin Pipeline, Trunkline Pipeline, Panhandle Eastern, Transwestern Pipeline, and Florida Gas Transmission (50%).

The syndicate is now the second-largest natural gas transporter in the U.S, and 22% of country’s natural gas production is distributed through its pipelines. In total, ETP has the complete authoritative and administrative powers of 62,500 miles of natural gas and natural gas liquids pipelines. Since October 2012 ETP has ensured leadership as the biggest MLP transporter by becoming the sole proprietor of Sunoco Logistics Partners LP with the complete distributorship and ownership stimuli of 67.1 million common units, oil and gas terminalling acquisition and marketing capitals that facilitate the mechanizations of unrefined petroleum, natural gas liquids, and refined products.

As of 2016, their primary activities, all of which are in the United States, include:
• oil and gas midstream and intrastate commerce and storage in transit through La Grange Acquisition, L.P.,
• interstate natural gas storage in transit through ET Interstate which is the parent company of Transwestern, ET Rover Pipeline LLC., ETC Tiger, and CrossCountry and through Panhandle which is the parent company of the Trunkline and Sea Robin transmission systems,
• liquids operations, including NGL transportation, storage and fractional distillations services.

Adhering to all pertinent federative, state, and provincial environmental laws, directives, and standards, Energy Transfer pledges to the safety of its employees, the environment. Their ‘Safety Accountability Program’ commits to the initiation of safety standards and expectations. These types of standards and expectations are then communicated to all employees and contractors who are expected to maintain these specifications and obligations to make security the highest priority. The ETP management team is in charge of making the ‘Environmental Plan Manual’ an integral component of corporate tradition to provide the employees, clients, and subsidiaries of Energy Transfer better service.

In June 2014, Energy Transfer Partners issued a statement about their intention to extend its Dakota Access Pipeline plan to Patoka, Illinois. After achieving a successful outcome from the horizontal drilling and fracking in Bakken, a huge source of crude oil, the plan for a 1,134-mile pipeline to carry an estimated 500,000 barrels of oil through four states was formulated. However, in 2016, mass protests by environmentalists and Native Americans against the Dakota Access Pipeline erupted that drew worldwide attention and support.

The protest has been mainly over safety water with a particular concern for contamination. Oil contamination of water poses a significant threat and is potentially dangerous to public health. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ETP’s monitoring systems for the water safety issues are not enough to actually prevent contamination in case of serious problems. The #NoDAPL protests have since then gone viral with the involvement and subsequent arrest of noted journalist Amy Goodman, actress Shailene Woodley and hundreds of others. Since the massive support this protest has garnered and the state’s stance on the issues are constantly in conflict, the future of this project remains unclear.

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