Archive for category finance

New York Times Co. Operating Profit Down In Fourth Quarter

Posted by on Thursday, 3 February, 2011

New York Times Chief Executive Janel L. Robinson

 – The New York Times Co.’s $111.6 million operating profit for the fourth quarter is down 18 percent from 2009. Although Wall Street had estimated profits of 34 cents a share, the actual profit was 46 cents a share. However these results, excluding special items, were down 7.1 percent from a year ago. Without severance and other special items, the operating profit was $146.4 million.

While decreasing revenues from advertising in the fourth quarter slowed down overall, they were still down 2.9 percent for the fourth quarter to $661.7 million. Digital advertising accelerated by 11 percent, but there was a 7 percent decline in print advertising. Combined revenues for 2010, at $2.4 billion, were down less than 2 percent.

In comparison, combined advertising revenues for the New England Media Group, which includes the Boston Globe, fell 7.4 percent for 2010.

In a statement, Janet L. Robinson, the Times Co.’s chief executive, said, “In 2010, we demonstrated further progress toward our long-term strategy of re-engineering our company.”

The company’s total operating profit for 2010, excluding special items, grew by 20 percent to $384.3 million.

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Camden, NJ Property Taxes On The Rise

Posted by on Saturday, 29 January, 2011

Camden, New Jersey

 – Yesterday morning the New Jersey Local Finance Board, part of the state Department of Community Affairs, voted to waive the city of Camden’s 3 percent cap on taxes. This will let Camden raise municipal property taxes to 23 percent.

The expected $4 million in funds that will be added to the city’s budget as a result will go to the rehiring of approximately 30 to 35 police officers and 8 to 10 firefighters, according to city spokesman Robert Corrales.

On January 18th, 168 police officers and 67 firefighters were let go. This left Camden, one of the country’s most crime filled cities, with only 200 officers.
This will be the first tax hike for Camden taxpayers in 10 years. Mayor Dana Redd “has been working nonstop to find solutions,” Corrales said.
“We’re trying to be fiscally responsible and wean ourselves off state aid,” he said. “The state aid isn’t always going to be there.”

Chief of Staff for the Mayor, Novella Starks Hinson, said the city is exploring all options to expand the budget, including combining services, such as IT departments and recreation, with the school district.

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Under Armour Inc. Increases Sales Projections

Posted by on Thursday, 27 January, 2011

 – In a statement today, Baltimore based sportswear maker Under Armour released figures that place sales at $1.35 billion this year. Numbers in October suggested sales of $1.29 billion for 2011. Last year the company surpassed $1 billion for the first time.

The expected sales increase will be due in part to Under Armour’s first line of cotton performance T-shirts, Charged Cotton, which will begin shipping in February. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Plank said the shirts will sell for $25. In the past Under Armour has painted cotton as the enemy in order to promote its synthetic apparel line.

According to Michael Binetti, and analyst at UBS Securities, cotton products account for $12 billion of the $15 billion active sportswear market in the U.S.Cotton is popular because of its feel and the ability to wear it in casual settings.

On the heels of the release, Under Armour rose 8.9 percent, $4.80, to $58.68 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Shares have almost doubled in the last year.

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Ebay’s Fourth Quarter Earnings Up

Posted by on Wednesday, 19 January, 2011

John Donahoe Chief Executive of eBay

– A report released on Wednesday by eBay Inc. shows earnings increased 24% in the fourth quarter of 2010. As a result, eBay shares rose 2.9% to $29.94 in after-hours trading.

The total value of all goods sold on the website, known as the gross merchandise volume, was up 5.6%. This number does not include vehicles. EBay is in the process of an overhaul, having made several changes over the past few years. The most recent alteration is a new fee structure that increases emphasis on merchants that sell fixed-price, high-volume items.

While U.S. sales account for 40% of eBay revenue, the increases here have been lower than in other global markets for eBay. Chief Executive John Donahoe said that he anticipates eBay’s global marketplace to increase at or above the overall market in 2011, but he admitted that “it’s going to take us a couple of years to get fully where we need to get in the U.S. market.”

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Alaska Governor Proposes New Tax Cut On Oil Production

Posted by on Tuesday, 18 January, 2011

Gov. Sean Parnell

 – A report released by Alaska’s Department of Revenue states that numerous alterations to the state’s oil and gas production tax over the last two years has made it hard to determine how the tax is affecting industry investment choices. The report follows Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposal to change the tax considerably. He has stated its’ importance to create jobs and boost oil production.

If the tax is changed, it will be the third time in four years. While oil production is declining, not every lawmaker is sure that a tax adjustment will alter the trend or help the industry. The findings in the Dept. of Revenue’s report support this. Parnell’s proposed cut will decrease taxes on oil production by ten percent, and will also provide credits for oil companies that invest in Alaska. These changes will cost the state an estimated one billion dollars.

Instead of making a decision now, the legislature has recommended that the state should continue to monitor Alaska’s production and compare its’ standings with other oil and gas producers around the world. The legislature suggests that changes to the tax scheme should be made on an ‘as needed’ basis.

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Samsung Group Will Invest $40 Billion In Growth

Posted by on Wednesday, 5 January, 2011

Samsung headquarters

– Samsung Group announced today that it will expand this year, despite its rivals’ struggles after the financial crisis. South Korea’s largest conglomerate plans to invest almost $40 billion to growth in 2011. More than two thirds of this money will be allocated to expanding and building new plants that produce liquid crystal display panels, semiconductors, and other electronics.

It also expects to employ a record 25,000 this year. This is an 11% increase over 2010. Samsung is responsible for almost 20% of South Korea’s gross domestic product.

Samsung stated, “Uncertainties over the global economy still persist, but we have reached the decision… in an effort to beef up the global competitiveness of our flagship businesses.” The $40 billion represents an 18% increase over last years’ effort.

Chairman lee Kun-Hee has also encouraged the company to diversify into green industries and biomedical research.

The largest component of the group is Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest producer of flat screens and memory chips. Samsung is also the world’s second largest maker of mobile phones behind Nokia.

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Apple Stocks Rise

Posted by on Monday, 3 January, 2011

 – In May, 2010, Apple was finally valued at more than it’s rival Microsoft. And despite news today that Facebook has received $500 million in funds from Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies of Russia, bringing it’s estimated value to $50 billion, Apple is still worth approximately 6 times as much as Mark Zuckerberg’s company.

Steve Jobs’ brainchild has a market value of $302.47 billion. The new value was caused by a significant gain in Apple shares. They reached an astonishing high of $329.75 today. The price of shares for the computer giant is due largely to the success of the iPad and iPhone 4 last year.

The 2% rise in stock value brings Apple closer to overtaking it’s only remaining rival, Exxon Mobil, valued at $376 billion. At the rate that Apple shares are moving, some experts predict this could happen by 2012. Others don’t forecast it will happen that soon, citing Exxon’s growth is not expected to slow down at all thanks to stable oil prices.

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Maryland’s Tax Law Will Change In 2011

Posted by on Thursday, 30 December, 2010

Maryland State Capitol Building

 – In 2008, Maryland began imposing a two year law that taxed millionaires at 6.25%. The law will expire on December 31st, and Governor Martin O’Malley has no intention of re-instating it. The ‘millionaire’s tax’ along with other measures, was created to help decrease the state’s $1.7 billion budget gap. Spending cuts will combat the absence of the tax in 2011.

Maryland is not the only state to have levied higher taxes on high earners recently. Hawaii, New York, Wisconsin, and New Jersey all raised taxes in a similar fashion in 2009. Oregon did in 2010, and Washington tried to, but the law wasn’t passed. With the exception of Wisconsin, all the taxes are temporary.

When Gov. O’Malley presented the tax in 2007, he pointed out that the tax would only affect 3.7% of the state’s households. It was part of a broader overhaul that actually cut income taxes for most residents. According to the state’s Comptroller’s Office, $120 million has been raised through this tax. And although this tax won’t be renewed, there will still be a 5.5% tax on income greater than $500,000.

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Springfield Landmarks Preservation Trust Tries To Stall Foreclosure Of Gillioz Theatre

Posted by on Thursday, 30 December, 2010

Gillioz Theater, Springfield MO -- Photo By AbeEzekowitz

– Springfield Landmarks Preservation Trust filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at 4:45 pm today to stop the foreclosure sale of Gillioz Theatre scheduled for December 31 at 2pm tomorrow.    This was the only thing that Springfield Landmarks Preservation Trust could do to stop the foreclosure sale because all their efforts to negotiate with Guaranty Bank have failed.

Today, an offer was made to Guaranty Bank to stop foreclosure, but the bank replied with a counter-offer that  even a half million dollars in donations would not help stop the foreclosure.  After the bank’s counter offer, Springfield Landmarks filed for bankruptcy at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Gillioz Theatre was renovated for 16 years and finally re-opened in 2006. However,  the owners of the theater were delinquent on payments on the $4.3 million loan for over 2 1/2 years.  Since December 15, they tried to raise donations to help save the theater.

Income from ticket sales at Gillioz and $2.4 million in Historic Preservation Tax Credits from the state were  relied upon to repay the loan. But the slowdown of the economy reduced sales and the state did not approve $1 million of the tax credits because parts of the renovation work were completed by a not-for- profit company.

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Execution Rate Down Because Of Cost

Posted by on Wednesday, 22 December, 2010

Sodium Thiopental

 – The annual report of the Death Penalty Information Center that was just published Tuesday reveals that executions have decreased by over 11% this year. New death sentences issued remained very near their lowest level since 1976, when capital punishment was brought back.

The report cites a shortage of the drug that is used for lethal injections and also because the cost of executions is too high in these hard economic times. The lack of sodium thiopental, one of the drugs used for lethal injections, caused the delay or cancellation of executions in five states. Arizona was able to import some from Britain, because executions have been abolished there. Britain will not export the drug in the future.

There have been 46 executions this year, down from 52 in 2009. This is less than half the number in 1999. Texas claimed 17 of the nation’s total.

Richard Dieter, the Center’s executive director said in his report, “Whether it’s concerns about the high costs of the death penalty at a time when budgets are being slashed, the risks of executing the innocent, unfairness, or other reasons, the nation continued to move away from the death penalty in 2010.

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