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Business nation briefs
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CEO DISCOVERS THE RICHER SIDE OF SEARS: NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. paid its chief executive $9.9 million last year, including incentives the ailing department store operator offered to lure the former technology executive, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory filing.

Lou D'Ambrosio, who became Sears' CEO in February 2011, received a signing bonus of $150,000 plus a base salary of $930,769 and $8 million in stock awards, according to a filing the company made Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

D'Ambrosio got another $852,037 in perks, including $803,856 for charter and commercial airfare and ground transportation to commute from greater Philadelphia, where he lives, to Hoffman Estates, Ill., where Sears is based. And he received $29,985 for temporary housing in Hoffman Estates. Sears paid part of the income taxes due on those benefits.

WENDY'S DETHRONES BURGER KING FROM NO. 2 SPOT: NEW YORK (AP) — Wendy's has dethroned Burger King as the country's second biggest hamburger chain.

Wendy's edged out Burger King in U.S. sales volume for the first time last year since Wendy's was founded in 1969, according to a report by the food industry research firm Technomic Inc. that's set to be released next month.

Wendy's had sales of $8.5 billion in 2011, compared with $8.4 billion for Burger King. McDonald's remained far larger than both with $34.2 billion in sales.

The figures are based on Technomic's estimates of system-wide sales at franchise and company-owned restaurants, rather than corporate revenue, which includes fees from franchise operators. Worldwide, Burger King still has far more restaurants than Wendy's and remains the second biggest hamburger chain behind McDonald's.

STARBUCKS OPENING EVOLUTION FRESH JUICE STORE: SEATTLE (AP) — Starbucks Corp. is pushing beyond coffee with the opening of the first Evolution Fresh Inc. juice store, the company said Monday.

Starbucks, which is looking for new businesses for growth, purchased the California-based juice maker in November for $30 million. Evolution Fresh had been selling its juices in grocery stores such as Whole Foods groceries. The first Evolution Fresh store is in Bellevue, Wash.

Aside from juices, Starbucks says Evolution Fresh shops will have wraps, soups, salads, vegetarian and vegan options and other offerings.

SAFEWAY DECLARES DIVIDEND, UPS BUYBACK PLAN TO $1B: PLEASANTON  (AP) — Grocery store operator Safeway Inc. on Tuesday declared its regular quarterly dividend of 14.5 cents.

The dividend is payable on April 12 to shareholders of record on March 29.

Safeway, based in Pleasanton  also increased its share buyback program to $1 billion, up from about $400 million that had been remaining in the buyback program. There is no expiration date on the new authorization.

Safeway operates 1,678 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Its shares fell 51 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close at $21.66. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $15.93 to $25.43.