NEW YORK, NY (CNN) - CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Thursday, May 8.
Windstream Holdings Inc. still has sustainable free cash flow to support its investor-attracting $1 annual dividend, shareholders were assured during the Little Rock telecom's annual meeting on Wednesday. An encouraging report from CEO Jeff Gardner followed a meeting of the board of directors, at which the 32nd consecutive quarter dividend of 25 cents was approved. Gardner said the company has sustainable free cash flow of about $830 million a year. The dividend represents a yield of about 11 percent at Windstream stock's recent price in the $9 range, but its sustainability has long been questioned by analysts.
The fast-food worker strikes are expanding to more U.S. cities and going global. Workers in up to 150 cities across the country are planning to strike on May 15, according to labor organizers. The movement is also headed overseas, with plans for workers to join protests in 33 countries. On Wednesday, the workers announced the protests outside a McDonald's in New York City, and delivered a letter that called on the fast food giant to raise wages and respect workers' rights worldwide. However, security guards didn't allow the workers to bring the letter inside the restaurant. So, they posted the letter on the door. It was removed soon after.
Subsidized student loans will get pricier this fall, thanks to Congress. Students taking out government student loans could pay nearly a percentage point more in interest rates. Based on rates set at Wednesday's Treasury bond auction, undergraduate loans will likely pay an interest rate of around 4.66% and graduate school loans around 6.21%. That compares to 3.86% for undergraduates and 5.41% for graduates last year. For seniors, with only one year of college left, it won't hurt as much. If they take out the maximum government student loans available for a year of $5,500, it could mean an additional $250 in interest payments over a 10-year period.
Walt Disney Co. reported a 27% surge in second-quarter profit, lifted by the continued strong performance of its blockbuster animated film "Frozen." The world's largest entertainment and media company raked in nearly $2 billion in the three months that ended March 29, and easily topped Wall Street projections. "Frozen" has become the highest-grossing animated movie of all time since its release Nov. 22, grossing $1.175 billion worldwide. Disney said the film's overseas theatrical performance and strong sales on home entertainment platforms including Blu-ray and DVD contributed to its studio division's strong quarter.