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 Post subject: Stock Market PVP II
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:31 am 
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Here is info I get weekly just incase this is helpful. Rather Long



CREDITOR’S EDGE
(The Nation’s Oldest Daily Business E-Newspaper)

—The Day’s News in Capsule Form—

A Product of Bastien Financial Publications


(For more information contact us at 847-491-1900
or email usbj7@yahoo.com)


Monday
March 23, 2009

(This daily e-newspaper is a copyrighted publication for the exclusive use
of the recipient only and is not to be forwarded or copied
in whole or in part for use by any other party.)



Trade Credit Insurance-
Multipurpose Business Tool

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Commercial Collections
Recession? How will this impact your customer’s ability to pay you?

Collection industry statistics show that almost all delinquent accounts are collected if placed within 30 days of due date. At 90 days, this falls to 70%. And at 6 months only about 50% are collected. With more than 90 years of service to many of the nation’s top businesses, Euler Hermes can help your business collect its receivables. Call Debbie Miles or Greg McClintock at 800-237-9386 or visit www.unitedmerc.com.

Reference the USBJ to receive a 20% discounted rate on your first collection payment!


Educational Tidbits
For Today's Financial Executive

Making Sure Your Company
Has a Clear Credit Policy

To be sure your company has a clear credit policy, there are a number of steps you can take. First, you should have written credit policies and a standard document for credit agreements. Contracts, invoices and followup letters should be clearly defined and policy manuals should outline the guidelines for assessing credit risks. Methods for collections should be clear for the customer and timetables for collection set out. As a backup, you should have a creditors’ rights attorney available and your company should also have an established relationship with a good, bonded collection agency. Finally, as a last resort, there should be well defined criteria for making decisions about when to further pursue or write off a delinquent account. Taking steps to be clear will optimize the credit relationship with your customers and improve your chances of being paid in a timely fashion.



The Business Professional’s
Q&A Corner

YESTERDAY’S QUESTION: Discuss bankruptcy dismissals and the failure to provide payment advice.
ANSWER: As some bankrupt firms were filing payment advices and judges were not as concerned that the advices were filed within the necessary time period, increasingly the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts are forcing debtors, and their attorneys, to adhere to section 521(I)(2) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code as it relates to payment advices. In one case, a debtor’s attorney, claiming he had delivered payment advices to the U.S. trustee as well as a Chapter 7 trustee, advised he was experiencing computer problems and was not able to make filings to the 341 creditors’ meeting within the allotted time period. Nevertheless, the court held that the statute was clear. Cases were automatically dismissed if payment advices or a motion to extend time had not been filed.

QUESTION: Explain the basics about creditors’ committees in bankruptcy filings.
ANSWER NEXT ISSUE



Today's Headlines:

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgages commercial/multifamily increased $23 billion–to $3.5 trillion. Commercial banks held the largest share of mortgages–at 44%.

A proposal that would allow U.S. Bankruptcy Court judges to modify mortgage terms has stalled in the Senate. Mortgages are generally excluded from modification in personal bankruptcy filings although the proposal, known as a “cramdown”, is part of the administration’s efforts to help financially-struggling home owners. At issue is a number of lawmakers who feel that such “cramdown” assistance penalizes individuals who have made their payments on time.


AW North Carolina Co offers buyout packages to all its 1100 employees...

Barnes & Noble Inc. reports its fourth quarter net and sales decline...

Books-A-Million Co. reports both fiscal earnings and sales decline...

Casual Male Retail Group Inc. reports a fourth quarter net loss on a sales decline...

Eddie Bauer Holdings reports a fourth quarter net loss on a sales decline...

First Data Corp. is laying off more than 100 workers...

Koenig & Vits Inc. plans to reduce its workforce by 86 jobs...

MeadWestvaco Corp. is closing two of its facilities...

New York & Company Inc. reports a fourth quarter net loss on a sales decline...

Office Depot sees the city of Berkeley, Ca. claim the company overcharged it...

Shoe Carnival Inc. reports a fourth quarter net loss on a sales decline...

Stein Mart Inc. reports a fourth quarter net loss on a decline in net sales...




BANKRUPTCY NEWS

(For more information on these (or any) bankrupt firms
call the 800-number in your U.S. Bankruptcy Court Directory
available through Bastien Financial Publications.)

Asarco LLC has seen a hearing, on a sale agreement, scheduled for 4/13 in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A 4/1 deadline for filing objections to the agreement was also set. For more information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court at 800-745-4459.

Bearingpoint Inc. has seen the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York set 4/17 as the last day to file proof of claims in its bankruptcy filings. The case numbers range from 09-10690 to 09-10713. The case is being jointly administered under case number 09-10691. For more information call Marsha Goldstein at 212-310-8007 or Alfredo Perez at 713-546-5000.

Biltrite Rubber Inc. has seen a 4/2 recognition hearing scheduled in its Chapter 15 bankruptcy. For further information contact Allen & Overy LLP at 212-610-6300.

Britt’s Furniture Gallery LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-50529. For more information contact the court at 800-293-2723.

Cardinal Communications Inc.’s Chapter 11 confirmation hearing has been continued to 4/14. For more information contact the debtor’s attorney, Roger Cox, at 806-242-9651.

G-I Holdings has seen the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approve a motion that would extend the exclusivity period under which it can file a Chapter 11 reorganization plan–until 6/30/09.

Gottchalks Inc. has seen a 3/30 auction scheduled for the assets in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. For further information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, De. at 302-252-2900.

Greenbrier Hotel Corp., the 230-year-old Virginia resort, filed Chapter 11 after its revenue last year declined 25%. The company, owned by CSX Corp., is being sought at auction by Marriott International.

Hawaiian Telecom Communications Inc. has seen the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Ohio set 4/27 as the bar date for general claims in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. For more information call the debtors’ restructuring hotline at 888-733-1409. The case number is 08-02005.

Heller Ehrman LLP has seen a 4/27 deadline set for filing proof of claims in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. For further information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco, Ca. at 888-457-0604.

Magna Entertainment Corp., the bankrupt firm which has seen MI Developments Inc. offer $195 million for certain of its racetracks, is auctioning off its Golden Gate Fields racetrack next week.

Morningstar Restaurant Group LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The firm listed assets of between $100,000 and $1 million and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. The case number is 09-11189. For further information contact the court in Manhattan, N.Y. at 212-668-2870.

Samsun Logix Corp., the bankrupt firm which is operating in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York under case number 09-B-11109, has seen the court schedule a hearing date of 4/14 related to its Chapter 15 petition. For more information call Martin Bunin at 212-210-9400.

Southeast Banking Corp. has seen the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida enter an order confirming the trustee’s third amended Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. For more information call 305-579-7743. The case number is 91-14561.

Whitehall Jewelers Holdings has seen its unsecured creditors committee object to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s motion that would extend the debtor’s use of certain cash collateral.




DISTRESSED / RAPIDLY-EXPANDING COMPANIES
&
OTHER COMPANY NEWS


AK Steel, a West Chester, Oh. maker of flat-rolled carbon steel and other products, expects to idle more than 2,000 employees as it performs scheduled maintenance on its blast furnace in Middletown, Oh. through mid-May. Nearly 130 of the company’s employees have already been laid off as a result of the economy.

American Tower Corp., a Boston, Ma. operator of communications towers, said that a subsidiary will purchase Xcel Telecom Private Ltd. in India, a deal that will give American Tower ownership of about 1,700 towers in that country.

American Airlines Inc. of Fort Worth, Tx., which expects to have made $700 million in payments on its long term debt during the first quarter, anticipates its consolidated unit revenue to fall by as much as 11%.

AmericasMart, the Atlanta, Ga. exposition center, is reducing its staff by 10% as part of its efforts to reduce costs.

AW North Carolina Co., the North Carolina autoparts maker which less than two months ago reported that 280 of its employees would be furloughed, has offered buyout packages to all its 1100 employees. The firm, a supplier to Toyota Motor Co., is hoping that nearly half of the employees will take the buyout.

Barnes & Noble Inc., the giant New York book retailer which only two months ago announced a reduction in its store openings while also cutting its headquarter’s staff by 100 employees, reported its fourth quarter net declined 29%–to $81 million, on a 6% sales decline–to $1.6 billion. For the year, the company reported its earnings declined 44%–to $76 million, on a 3% sales decline–to $5.1 billion. The company also reported same-store sales could decline as much as 6% this year.

Blockbuster Inc., the Dallas, Tx. movie rental firm which reached agreements with several of its lenders, including JPMorgan Chase Bank, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $360 million down from earnings of $40 million for the same quarter one year earlier. Revenue fell to $1.4 billion, a decline from $1.6 billion for the same period one year earlier. Same-store sales, however, increased more than 4% while sales for the year fell to $5.3 billion. The company finished its fourth quarter with $155 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Books-A-Million Co., the Birmingham, Al. book retailer which operates 220 stores nationwide and which has managed to reduce its debt over the past year by $12.5 million, reported fiscal earnings declined 35%–to $10.8 million, on a 4% sales decline–to $513 million. The company continues to focus its efforts on controlling expenses and inventory.

Brooks Automation Inc., the Chelmsford, Ma. manufacturer of equipment and technologies for the semiconductor industry announced that its senior executive staff has agreed to a 10% pay cut through 12/31.

Caraustar Industries Inc., the Georgia firm which is one of the largest makers of fully recycled paperboard in North America, has closed a paperboard in Charlotte, N.C. as part of its efforts to reduce costs. The company, hoping to save more that $11 million annually, expects to take a pre-tax charge of $9.7 million as a result of the closing.

Casual Male Retail Group Inc., the Canton, Ma. apparel store chain, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $108 million, on a sales decline of 8%–to $123 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $109 million on a 4% sales decline–to $444 million. The loss included a $70 million goodwill impairment charge. Same-store sales for the year decline 4.4%.

Champion Industries Inc., a Huntington, W.V. printer of items ranging from business cards to posters, as well as a seller of office supplies and furniture, reported a first quarter net loss of $290,000, on a 10% revenue decline–to $36 million.

Champions Biotechnology Inc., the Baltimore, Md. cancer development drug firm, reported a third quarter net loss of $623,000, as compared with income $311,000 for the same period one year earlier. Revenue jumped more than 40%–to $1 million as the company ended the quarter with more than $3.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Charter Communications Inc., the nations fourth largest cable operator as measured by the number of subscribers and which recently announced that it would not make an interest payment in light of its plan to file for bankruptcy protection, recently adopted a $23 million bonus plan to reward its executives for staying on through the restructuring. The CEO would get $6 million while the COO would get nearly $2.4 million. The St. Louis, Mo. firm which reached an agreement with creditor’s to reduce its $21.8 billion debt–by $8 billion, intends on filing Chapter 11 by 4/1.
In addition, private-equity firm Apollo Management Co., which already controls a
sizable portion of the near-bankrupt company’s debt, is considering exchanging that for a significant equity position in the company.

Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc., a Secaucus, N.J. retailer of children’s clothing, reported earnings of $82 million for the year on a 7% sales increase–to $1.6 billion. The results come in spite of asset impairment charges of $6.5 million.

Clarcor Inc., the Franklin, Tn. diversified industrial products manufacturer, reported first quarter earnings declined to $13.7 million while revenue fell nearly 15%–to $214 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $236 million.

Claremont Resort & Spa, the renowned Berkeley, Ca. facility, is cutting its workforce. In a notice to county officials, the resort announced it would layoff 77 workers (nearly 10% of its workforce) in what one industry observer reports as “...one of the deepest and longest recessions in the history of the domestic lodging industry”.

DataTrak International Inc., a Mayfield Heights, Oh. software firm, reported a fiscal net loss of $16.8 million, on a 16% revenue decline–to $8.8 million. The loss includes more than $15 million in expenses.

Dayton Daily News, which is published by Cox Ohio Publishing Co., has reduced its workforce by ten employees as part of its efforts to cut costs.

Dish Network Corp. of Englewood, Co., which is increasing its sales efforts in the Denver area, expects to hire 250 workers in the region. Now the second largest satellite TV firm in the nation, the company is continuing to hire at its headquarters while investing in its future. According to Dish’s CEO, the company is able to maintain its merit pay increases and 401(k) matches as a result of it running “...a very efficient operation”.

Eddie Bauer Holdings, Bellevue, Wa., reported a fourth quarter net loss of $127 million, on a 6% sales decline–to $370 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $166 million on a 2% sales decline–to $1 billion. The losses include impairment charges of $144 million.

Edge Petroleum Corp. of Houston, Tx. reported a fourth quarter net loss of $249 million, on 17% revenue increase–to $42 million. For the year, the company reported a loss of $333 million, on a slight revenue decline–to $159 million. The losses include impairment charges for the quarter and the year of $233 million and $363 million respectively.

First Data Corp., the Greenwood, Co. payment services provider, is laying off another 105 workers at its Coral Springs operations beginning in May. Less than thirty days ago the company reported a downsizing at its global customer service operations that resulted in it notifying state officials it would lay off 159 employees.

General Nutrition Centers Inc., the privately-held Pittsburgh, Pa. health food retailer, reported fourth quarter earnings increased to $8 million compared to $7.3 million for the same period one year earlier. For the year, earnings reached $55 million compared to a $32 million loss in fiscal 2007.

General Growth Properties Inc., the Chicago, Il. company which has more than $1 billion in past due debt, has seen Citigroup Inc., along with two other lenders, file foreclosure proceedings against General’s Oakwood Center mall in New Orleans, La.

General Electric Co., which at the end of last year anticipated its GE Capital operations would generate nearly $5 billion in profit for fiscal 2009, has now said that its financial unit would be profitable during the first quarter and could now generate as much as $2.5 billion in profit this year. This comes after comments by the company’s CEO that it wouldn’t need to raise additional capital. The company is dealing with an increase in losses at its consumer, commercial and real estate operations as it anticipates taking a $1.5 billion pretax loss on its $33 billion in property holdings.

Gevity HR Inc., a Bradenton, Fl. provider of human resources and related services to small and mid-sized firms, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $1.4 million, on a 14% revenue decline–to $125 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $4.8 million, on a 13% revenue decline–to $520 million. The losses include expenses of $8.7 million.

Harley-Davidson Inc., the Milwaukee, Wi. manufacturer of motorcycles, reached an agreement on extending the term on a $500 million loan until March, 2010.

Hayes Retail Services LLC, the Park City, Ks. unit of Hayes Holdings Co., is expanding its operations by opening a 300,000 square foot logistics warehouse in Statesboro, Ga.–initially hoping to hire nearly two dozen workers.

ICx Technologies Inc., an Arlington, Va. developer of advance sensor technologies, reported a fourth quarter loss of $2 million, an improvement over a $6.6 million loss for the same period one year earlier. Revenue jumped to $53 million, from $42 million one year earlier. For the year, the company reported a loss of $27 million on a 26% sales increase to $172 million. The company has benefitted from an increase demand in government purchases of its surveillance and solutions products.

International Paper Co., the Memphis, Tn. firm which lost $1.3 billion last year on revenue of nearly $25 billion, has cut production at one of its facilities in Mount Vernon, Oh.–cutting the operations staff by more than 30% or 58 employees.

Jamba Juice Co., the Emeryville, Ca. retailer and smoothie maker which has more than 725 company-owned and franchised outlets, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $41 million, an improvement over the $150 million loss for the same period one year earlier. Revenue increased 3%–to $56 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $149 million, on an 8% revenue increase–to $343 million. Jamba, a company which had outstanding debt of just under $23 million as well as cash and cash equivalents of $29 million at the end of last year, opened 35 company-owned outlets in 2008. It should be noted that the California firm does not intend on opening any company-owned stores this year but is looking at opening nearly fifty new franchise outlets.

Jenner & Block LLP, a Chicago law firm, has laid off thirty four workers at its Washington and Chicago offices. The company has asked a number of its partners to leave over the past two years.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, a Chicago law firm, has laid off 70 employees, including twenty three attorneys.

Koenig & Vits Inc., a Manitowoc, Wi. aluminum coil maker, announced plans to reduce its workforce by 86 jobs beginning in May as part of its efforts to reduce costs.

La Causa Inc., the Wisconsin social services agency which has a number of locations throughout the Milwaukee area, is closing one of its management facilities–affecting 87 employees. The move is a result of the company terminating its $11 million case management and safety services contract with the state.

MeadWestvaco Corp., a Glen Allen, Va. packaging firm which is implementing a number of cost cutting moves, is closing two of its facilities, one in Virginia and another in Puerto Rico, moving some of that production to Mebane, N.C. The move will result in 276 workers losing their jobs.

MediaNews Group Inc. has seen Standard & Poor’s lower its issue-level rating on its secured credit facilities to CCC from CCC+. MediaNews is a privately-held California firm.

Morris Communications Co., the Augusta, Ga. media firm which operates thirteen daily newspapers, announced that it will be cutting salaries beginning in April as part of its efforts to reduce costs. Only last month the company, which was talking to its lenders and bondholders in order to restructure its debtload, reached a deal with its lenders that would give it additional time to make a $9.7 million interest payment.

New York & Company Inc., the New York-based women’s apparel retailer with more than 550 stores nationwide, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $27.4 million, on a 10% sales decline–to $325 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $19 million, on a 5% revenue decline–to $1.1 billion. The losses included restructuring charges of $24 million.

Nike Inc., the Beaverton, Or. footwear and apparel maker which recorded a non-cash charge of $241 million in the third quarter, reported earnings declined to $244 million from $464 million for the same period one year earlier. Revenue declined slightly–to $4.4 billion.

Office Depot, the giant Boca Raton, Fl. office supply firm which report a fourth quarter net loss of $1.5 billion and which is closing 100 stores in 2009, has seen the city of Berkeley, Ca. claim that the company overcharged it by more than $260,000. The allegation comes in the wake of a number of overpricing questions the firm has faced relating to a number of different government accounts. The allegations have resulted in other agencies investigating the firm.

Optical Cable Corp., a Roanoke, Va. maker of fiber optic cables, reported a first quarter net loss of $740,000, on an 18% revenue increase–to $15 million.

OptiSolar Inc., the Sacramento, Ca. maker of photovoltaic panels which had planned to construct a $1 billion facility in San Luis Obispo, Ca., has suspended its manufacturing and assembly operations. The company is laying off most of its 200 employees. OptiSolar was unsuccessful in securing funding to keep its operations afloat.

Palm Inc., the Sunnyvale, Ca. smart phone manufacturer, reported a third quarter loss of $98 million, an increase from a loss of $57 million for the same period one year earlier. Revenue declined 70%–to $91 million as sales of its smart phones declined more than 40%–to 481,000 units. The quarterly loss and revenue were below analysts’ expectations.

Perry Ellis International Inc., the Miami, Fl. sportswear company, reported a fourth quarter net loss of nearly $22 million, on a 10% gross sales decline–to $191 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $13 million, on a slight sales decline–to $851 million. The losses included impairment charges for both the quarter and year of $22 million and $25 million respectively.

Point Blank Solutions, the Pompano Beach, Fl. manufacturer of ballistic protection clothing, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $6 million. This compares with earnings of $14.6 million for the same period one year earlier. Sales increased 16%--to $73.5 million. For the year, the company reported a loss of $5.4 million on a 49% sales decline–to $165 million.

Polsinelli Shughart PC, a St. Louis law firm which was created as a result of a February merger of two St. Louis law firms, has reduced its workforce by twenty-five employees, including nine attorneys. The move was a result of both the economy and the merger.

Portrait Brokers of America Inc., a Birmingham, Al. portrait brokerage firm, has merged with Portraits Inc. of New York for an undisclosed amount. The combined company will operator under the name Portraits Inc.

Progress Software Corp., a Bedford, Ma. software developer, reported its first quarter net declined 72%–to $3.7 million on a slight revenue decline–to $121 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $126 million. The company anticipates second quarter revenue to be no more than $118 million.

RadNet Inc., a Los Angeles, Ca. provider of medical diagnostic imaging services, reported a fiscal net loss of $12.7 million, on an 18% revenue increase–to $502 million.

Reading International Inc., a Commerce, Ca. owner of over 40 movie theaters worldwide, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $16.5 million, on a 66% revenue increase–to $44 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $18.5 million, on a 70% revenue increase–to $191 million.

Rockwell Medical Technologies Inc. of Wixom, Mi. reported a fourth quarter net loss of $3 million, on a 13% revenue increase–to $13.5 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of nearly $8 million, on a 20% revenue increase–to $52 million.

Ross Stores, the Pleasanton, Ca. off-price retailer, reported record earnings for both the fourth quarter and year. In spite of fourth quarter same-store sales declining nearly 1%, sales increased 5%–to $1.7 billion as earnings jumped to $97 million. Capitalizing on the large amount of close-out opportunities in the market, the retailer, which expects to purchase another $300 million of its common stock in 2009, reported its fiscal sales jumped 9%–to $6.5 billion while earnings increased 22%–to $305 million. Bucking the trend of many retailers, last year’s same-store sales increased 2%.

SAS, the privately-held $2.3 billion software firm, is expanding its operations by building a $70 million facility at its headquarters in Cary, N.C. to keep up with the demand for its cloud computing services. Despite the sagging economy, the firm, which does not release earnings results, continues to grow.

Select Comfort Corp., a Minneapolis, Mn. firm which two months ago reported it would reduce its headquarter’s workforce by more than 20% and which is seeking “strategic alternatives”, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $57 million, on a 30% sales decline–to $131 million. The company, which plans to close 55 stores this year, reported a fiscal net loss of $70 million on sales of $609 million. In fiscal 2007 the company reported earning of nearly $28 million on sales of just under $800 million.

Shoe Carnival Inc., an Evansville, In. footwear retailer with over 275 stores nationwide, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $3 million, on a 4% sales decline–to $157 million. For the year, the company reported its net declined 58%–to $5.3 million, on a slight sales decline–to $648 million.

Simon Property Group Inc., the nation’s largest public real estate investment trust and mall owner, intends to sell more than $17 million shares of its common stock. The Indianapolis firm, which operates 300 malls, will also issue $500 million in senior notes. The company expects proceeds in the neighborhood of just over $1 billion to help repay a $1 billion balance due on its $3.5 billion unsecured credit line.

Sony Corp., the giant Japanese firm, has initiated a one-year salary freeze on its Japanese workforce as part of its efforts to reduce costs.

Starbucks Corp., the giant Seattle, Wa. coffeehouse retail chain which is expanding its new product offerings, intends on reducing its expenses by $500 million this year.

Stein Mart Inc., a Jacksonville, Fl. upscale discount fashion retailer which plans to reduce its capital expenditures by 50% this year, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $56 million on a 13% decline in net sales–to $364 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $71 million on a 9% sales decline–to $1.3 billion.

Stillwater Mining Co. of Billings, Mt. reported a fourth quarter net loss of $132 million, on a 12% revenue increase–to $182 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $113 million, on a 27% revenue increase–to $856 million. Losses for both the quarter and the year included charges for restructuring, impairment and the disposal of property of $102 million and $105 million respectively.

Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc., the big West Hollywood, Ca. ticket seller, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $1.1 billion, on a 9% revenue increase–to $384 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $1 billion, on a 17% revenue increase–to $1.5 billion. The losses include more than $1.1 billion in impairment charges.

Triumph Group, the Wayne, Pa. aircraft components firm, is building a new manufacturing facility in Mexico as part of its expansion efforts. The company is investing nearly $20 million in a move that could result in the firm increasing its employment by as much as 400 workers.

UBS AG, the giant Swiss bank, intends on buying back more than $1.3 billion in debt as part of its efforts to improve its capital position.

Unilever Foodsolutions will shut down a plant in Wichita, Ks. as part of a strategy to exit the business of custom-produced food. The move will result in the loss of 110 jobs.

UPS Inc., the Sandy Springs, Ga. shipping company, announced it will issue $2 billion in bond debt which will be rated AA- by Standard & Poor’s.

Vann York Auto Group of High Point, N.C. is purchasing both the Cadillac and Chevrolet dealerships from Crown Automotive of Greensboro, N.C. for an undisclosed amount.

YTB International Inc., the Wood River, Il. provider of traveling services on the Internet, has seen its independent auditors express concerns about its ability to continue as a going concern. The company, which reduced its staff by 14%, reported a loss of $4.5 million for fiscal 2008 on a 15% revenue increase–to $163 million. The loss for the company, which sold off its Lear jet and other assets during the fourth quarter, compared with earnings of $3.2 million for fiscal 2007.

Zachry, a San Antonio, Tx. engineering concern, is starting up a craft employment and educational facility in La Porte, Tx. this week.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:04 am
Posts: 6396
Location: Buffalo NY
CREDITOR’S EDGE
(The Nation’s Oldest Daily Business E-Newspaper)

—The Day’s News in Capsule Form—

A Product of Bastien Financial Publications


(For more information contact us at 847-491-1900
or email usbj7@yahoo.com)


Tuesday
April 7, 2009

(This daily e-newspaper is a copyrighted publication for the exclusive use
of the recipient only and is not to be forwarded or copied
in whole or in part for use by any other party.)



Educational Tidbits
For Today's Financial Executive

What to Expect in a Chapter 11 Filing

While a trustee oversees a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, in a Chapter 11 situation a debtor becomes the debtor in possession and holds the right to keep the property of the bankrupt estate and continue operating its business. Trustees are not always appointed in Chapter 11 cases and the debtor is required to attend the 341 meeting of creditors within forty days of the bankruptcy filing. For 120 days following the bankruptcy filing, the debtor in possession has the exclusive right to present a reorganization plan for the company, including how to deal with creditors’ claims. Typically creditors with at least two-thirds of the claims’ amount and more than half the claim number must go along with the plan for it to become effective. The debtor usually has about six months from the filing to win acceptance of the reorganization plan from its creditors.



The Business Professional’s
Q&A Corner

YESTERDAY’S QUESTION: Explain the importance of liquidation analysis in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
ANSWER: When a company files Chapter 11, the creditors’ committee should determine the likely distribution to unsecured creditors from the standpoint of the liquidation of the debtors' business. The committee should update that analysis if the situation changes. Such an analysis should be made even if liquidation is inadvisable and not considered, since the results of the hypothetical liquidation are an essential factor of both the rights and the bargaining power of the unsecured creditors. It should be noted that a reorganization plan can be confirmed only if it promises unsecured creditors at least as much as they would get from a Chapter 7 liquidation.

QUESTION: Explain what a “liquidating reorganization” is.
ANSWER NEXT ISSUE



Today's Headlines:

The Labor Department reported that U.S. companies dumped more than 660,000 jobs in March, bringing the nation’s unemployment rate to 8.5%. That’s the highest rate of joblessness since 1983.


AES Corp. to offer unsecured notes to help pay down debt...

American Woodmark to shutter two production plants...

BSN Medical to close its FLA Orthopedics unit in Florida...

CareFusion Corp. to cut 1,300 jobs...

Innotrac Corp. narrows its fiscal loss...

International Business Machines Corp. drops its buyout bid for Sun Microsystems Inc....

International Paper Co. continues closing and idling plants...

Kohler Co. to cut more than 450 jobs...

Lincoln National Corp.’s debt payments strain its liquidity...

MGM Mirage looks to sell two properties...

New York Times Co. warns its Boston Globe workers that it needs cost concessions...

Textron Inc. is selling its HR Textron unit...




BANKRUPTCY NEWS

(For more information on these (or any) bankrupt firms
call the 800-number in your U.S. Bankruptcy Court Directory
available through Bastien Financial Publications.)

Aztec Land Holdings LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-50129. For more information contact the court at 877-422-3066.

B.R.L. Development Corp. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-03996. For more information contact the court at 616-456-2075.

Bloomsouth Flooring Corp., Canton, Ma., filed Chapter 11. The firm listed assets of between $500,000 and $1 million and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million.

BSW International Inc. filed Chapter 7 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tulsa, Ok. No assets were listed and liabilities were listed at $5.3 million. The case number is 09-10814.

Central Heating & Air Inc. filed Chapter 7 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tulsa, Ok. listing assets and liabilities of less than $500,000 each. The case number is 09-10868.

CET Racing LC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-02434. For more information contact the court at 866-879-1286.

DelSite Inc., an Irving, Tx. drug-development concern, filed Chapter 7 after failing to raise additional funding and will liquidate. Recently the firm’s assets were estimated at between $1 million and $10 million and its liabilities were estimated to be between $10 million and $50 million.

Dink Properties Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-17655. For more information contact the court at 213-894-4111.

Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. has seen a 5/27 creditors’ meeting scheduled in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. For more information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in California at 909-774-1150.

Gulf Coast Transport Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-31896. For more information contact the court at 800-866-9008.

Hilton Properties Leasing LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The firm listed assets of between $100,000 and $1 million and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. The case number is 09-31960. For more information contact the court at 800-886-9008.

InnoVision Health Media, a medical publishing company, was acquired by two private-equity firms and has emerged from Chapter 11 protection. InnoVIsion will continue operating in Boulder, Co.

Lexington Village LP filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-02499. For more information contact the court at 877-440-2699.

Magna Entertainment’s unsecured creditors’ committee objected to the company’s request for postpetition financing and the use of cash collateral, among other matters.

Neshco Corp. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The firm listed assets of less than $100,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. The case number is 09-12349. For more information contact the court at 800-891-6741.

Nova Biosource, a biodiesel firm, filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, De. listing assets of more than $100 million and liabilities of more than $50 million. Nova, which in its first quarter lost $11 million, intends to continue operating.

Payman Car Wash Management Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-17732. For more information contact the court at 213-894-4111.

Rangeline Properties LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-31921. For more information contact the court at 800-886-9008.

Rockwood Square LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-32078. For more information contact the court at 800-326-5879.

Stockdale Music in California, a company that makes and repairs musical instruments, filed Chapter 7, listing assets and liabilities of between $500,000 and $1 million each.

Top Notch Limousine & Executive Services filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California. The firm listed assets of between $100,000 and $1 million and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. The case number is 09-26096. For more information contact the court at 916-551-2989.

Young Broadcasting received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for bidding procedures regarding the sale of certain assets.




DISTRESSED / RAPIDLY-EXPANDING COMPANIES
&
OTHER COMPANY NEWS

AES Corp., an Arlington, Va. power supplier, will offer $535 million in unsecured notes in a move to help it pay down its short-term debt, including more than $360 million in debt notes due over the next two years. The firm also extended a deadline for part of a separate $750 million loan that had been scheduled to mature in June of 2010. As of the end of last year, the $16 billion company had $900 million in unrestricted cash and equivalents and $2.8 billion in other investments, cash and debt reserves.

American Airlines, Fort Worth, Tx., reported that its traffic for March fell more than 10%–to 10.3 billion revenue passenger miles.

American Electric Power Inc., Columbus, Oh., reduced its earnings guidance for this year, partly because of being refused the rate of increase that it had asked regulators for. Also, earnings estimates were lowered as the company will sell common shares to raise cash to reduce debt. As a result, AEP will slash its capital spending for 2009. The big power company last year reported earnings of $1.4 billion on revenue of $14.6 billion.

American Woodmark, a Winchester, Va. maker of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, is permanently shutting down two production plants as it cuts back production. The downsizing will result in $17 million in pretax expenses but will also save it $20 million a year.

AT&T Inc. will continue labor negotiations with the Communications Workers of America, a union representing 90,000 of its landline-unit workers. The extension of talks sidesteps a possible strike.

Aushon BioSystems Inc., a Billerica, Ma. firm which recently acquired some assets from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., arranged venture-capital financing of $6.5 million. Aushon provides laboratory products and services.

Author Solutions Inc., a so-called self-publishing company, expanded by purchasing Trafford Publishing, a closely-held Canadian competitor, for an undisclosed amount. Only three months ago Author Solutions bought Xlibris, another competitor. Author Solutions, a print-on-demand company, operates under the names AuthorHouse and iUniverse. It is owned by Bertram Capital Management LLC.

Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc., Boston, Ma., sold off its three-fourths interest in Sand Hill Advisors of Palo Alto, Ca. for an undisclosed amount.

BSN Medical of Germany is closing its FLA Orthopedics unit in Miramar, Fl., where it makes braces and other medical equipment, and moving the operation to Mexico. The move affects more than 160 jobs in Florida.

CareFusion Corp., which is being spun off by Cardinal Health Inc. this summer, will cut 1,300 jobs over the next six months, due to declining orders from hospitals. CareFusion, which makes infusion pumps and other medical equipment, will lay off 800 workers and not fill another 500 positions that will likely be open or otherwise vacated as the spinoff takes place. The San Diego, Ca. company last year reported earnings of $662 million on revenue of $4.5 billion, a relatively small part of Cardinal’s overall sales.

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates added another office in Charlotte, N.C., bringing its number of area locations to fifteen.

Chrysler LLC’s banks are trying to buck pressure from the U.S. government to exchange $5 billion of $6.8 billion in loans for equity in the ailing carmaker. Those banks, including Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., are secured debtholders and as such hold the right to seize control of Chrysler’s assets if it files Chapter 11. Thus, a bankrupt Chrysler is worth more to the lenders than swapped debt. The reluctance of the banks to go along with the government’s request could be a roadblock to Chrysler’s efforts to reorganize out of court and could threaten the company’s efforts to align itself with Fiat SpA by next month.

Continental Automotive Systems, a unit of Germany’s Continental AG, plans to shutter its facility in Elma, N.Y. by the end of this year and has in the meantime put the plant up for sale for an asking price of $9.7 million. The company is shifting work to Asia.

FKI Logistex Inc., a big St. Louis, Mo. automated material handling concern, said that it trimmed its payroll at its operations around the U.S., although it provided few other details.

FMC Technologies Inc., a Houston, Tx. energy technology firm, is selling its interest in Norwegian offshore-technology company Roxar ASA to Emerson Electric Co. of St. Louis, Mo. for an undisclosed amount.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, a law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, will cut 100 jobs at its U.S. operations, including forty-one attorneys.

Good Harbor Consulting LLC, an Arlington, Va. provider of strategic-security and safety-risk management services, expanded by acquiring Techmark Security Integration Inc. of Boston, Ma. for an undisclosed amount.

Heartland Payment Systems, a New Jersey-based provider of credit-card-payment processing services, has been sued in class-action litigation over a data breach when a hacker gained access to customer accounts.

Hibbett Sports Inc., Birmingham, Al., has its sights set on opening up to seventy new sporting-goods stores in fiscal 2010. That’s a somewhat slower pace than last year and is tempered by plans to close between twenty and twenty-five locations. Currently Hibbett has almost 750 locations in two dozen states. In its most recent fiscal year, Hibbett had net sales of $564 million, up from $521 million in the prior year.

Hogan & Hartson LLP, Washington, D.C.-based law firm, laid off more than ninety of its legal staffers and will reduce some attorneys’ salaries. Hogan & Hartson has 2,500 employees, with almost half of them lawyers.

Iberiabank Corp., a bank holding company in Tennessee, repurchased $90 million in preferred stock that it had sold to the Treasury Department last fall.

Information Analysis Inc., an unprofitable Fairfax, Va. provider of information technology services, said it is looking into business opportunities such as finding a partner or buyer.

Innotrac Corp., a Duluth, Ga. order processing, fulfillment and call-center company, reported its 2008 net income soared almost fivefold–to $3.3 million, on an 8% revenue increase–to $131 million.

Intelligent Systems Corp., a Norcross, Ga. software and services firm, reported a lowered 2008 loss of $823,000, down from a $2.4 million loss in the prior year. Revenue increased 3%–to $15.8 million. The results included the benefit of a gain from the sale of an operation.

International Paper Co., Memphis, Tn., is idling a mill in Ticonderoga, N.Y. due to the economic slowdown, in a move that affects 600 workers. The wood-products maker is also permanently shutting a cardboard plant in Kansas City, Ks., affecting another 100 workers, and it earlier said it would close a 123-employee Franklin, Va. facility.

International Business Machines Corp., Armonk, N.Y., pulled its $7 billion bid to acquire Sun Microsystems Inc., following news that Sun’s board was apparently lukewarm about a reduced offer. The apparent collapse of the deal raises questions about Sun, which is actually valued at less than what IBM was offering even under the lowered bid. IBM had reduced its offer from $9.55 to $9.40 a share, prompting Sun, the Santa Clara, Ca. maker of high-end computers, to drop out of its exclusive talks with IBM. Sun also blamed issues such as possible antitrust problems in a merger with Big Blue.

IVenture Solutions Inc., a Jacksonville, Fl. information technology and services provider, purchased a crosstown competitor, JP2 Technologies Inc., for an undisclosed amount.

Kansas City Star, a unit of McClatchy Co., will combine several sections of its newspaper in a move to reduce costs.

Kohler Co., a Wisconsin manufacturer of plumbing fixtures, engines and other products, will cut more than 450 jobs at its headquarters in Kohler, Wi., due to a dropoff in sales. Kohler employs more than 6,300 workers in Sheboygan County, Wi.

Lecere Corp., a Rochester, Mn. software firm, wants to raise more than $7 million through a private placement, using proceeds for its business and market strategies. The company makes software for the restaurant and hospitality sectors.

Lincoln National Corp., the Radnor, Pa.-based life insurer, is raising worries among investors as its liquidity comes under pressure. The firm this week is handing out $500 million to pay down debt and faces another $375 million commercial-paper payment due next month. Unfortunately, because of credit ratings downgrades, Lincoln National failed to be approved for assistance from the Treasury Department’s commercial-paper program. As it tries to deal with its debt pressures and a battered portfolio, Lincoln National’s shares are down more than 90% from a high almost two years ago.

MGM Mirage, Las Vegas, Nv., retained Morgan Stanley to help line up possible suitors for two of its strongest cash-flow operations, the MGM Grand Detroit in Michigan and the Beau Rivage casino in Mississippi. MGM is trying to raise cash as payment obligations on its more than $13 billion mountain of debt come due.

New York Times Co., Manhattan, N.Y., told workers at its Boston Globe unit that it will shut down the Massachusetts newspaper unless it can get about $20 million in labor concessions through wage cuts and other measures. The Times is trying to reduce its losses amid the slump in the newspaper sector, but also the Boston Globe has been an ongoing headache for the Times. Sixteen years ago the Times paid $1.1 billion for the Boston Globe, which has plunged in value, according to one analyst, to between $12 million and $20 million.

Old National Bancorp, Evansville, In., bought back all $100 million in preferred shares that it had earlier sold to the Treasury Department.

Petrosearch Energy Corp., a Nevada energy company with offices in Houston, Tx., is merging with Double Eagle Petroleum Co., a natural gas developer in Wyoming, in a $9.3 million stock deal. The combined firm will be 84%-controlled by Double Eagle’s shareholders and will operate under the Double Eagle name.

Pizza Fusion, a Fort Lauderdale, Fl. maker of organic pizzas, signed a franchise agreement with Samir Food Co. Ltd. to set up locations in Saudi Arabia.

Pliant Technology Inc., a Milpitas, Ca. manufacturer of flash drives, won $15 million in another round of venture financing, which it will use to boost production.

Powell Industries Inc., a Houston, Tx. manufacturer of electrical equipment, won a contract to produce an electric power system for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in Texas. The contract is worth $46 million.

Pro’s Ranch Markets, Ontario, Ca., is opening an upscale hispanic-oriented grocery store in Mesa, Az., bringing its number of locations in Arizona to five. Pro’s Ranch will hire 400 workers at the new location in Mesa.

Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, an acute-care facility in Hawaii, is closing two of its outpatient clinics on Oahu as it seeks to remain in the black. The move results in the loss of fourteen jobs.

Saba Software Inc., Redwood City, Ca., reported sharply higher net income of $1.3 million for its third quarter, up from about $160,000 a year ago. Revenue fell slightly–to $26 million. Not including extra expenses, income for the period was $3.2 million.

Sysco Corp., the big Houston, Tx. foodservices company, purchased Pallas Foods Ltd., a foodservices distributor in Ireland, for an undisclosed amount. Pallas marks Sysco’s first acquisition of a broadline foodservices operating beyond North America.

Targeted Genetics Corp., a Seattle, Wa. biotech company, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $10.8 million, more than twice its loss in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell by nearly a third–to $2.2 million. The results included nearly $8 million in goodwill impairment charges.

Teradyne Inc., a North Reading, Ma. manufacturer of semiconductor automated testing gear, wants to sell up to $150 million in convertible senior debt to raise money to pay back current obligations.

Textron Inc., the Providence, R.I. manufacturer of aircraft, automotive parts and other products, is selling its HR Textron actuation-systems unit to Woodward Governor Co., a Fort Collins, Co. energy-service control-systems company, in a transaction that will result in an after-tax profit of $265 million for Textron.

Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. was subpoenaed to present information about how it resells concert tickets. It isn’t clear whether the request, by the U.S.’s Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission, Canada’s Competition Bureau and others, is connected to its proposed merger with Live Nation Inc., which is being reviewed by the antitrust office of the Justice Department. Apparently at issue are events over the winter when Bruce Springsteen fans, trying to buy concert tickets on Ticketmaster’s site, were sent to TicketsNow, where the seat prices were much higher.

Trinity Manufacturing Corp., a Bradenton, Fl. contract manufacturer of cable assemblies and related products, has moved to a larger headquarters location.

Union International Food Co. recalled some black and white pepper products packaged at its Union City, Ca. plant, following more than forty cases of salmonella illness reported.

United Western Bancorp, a unit of United Western of Denver, Co., sold off its remaining interest in Matrix Financial Solutions Inc. in Denver, resulting in a pretax $3.6 million gain.

US Airways Group Inc., Tempe, Az., reported that its traffic for March fell almost 9%–to 4.9 billion revenue passenger miles.

Whataburger Restaurants LP, the Corpus Christi, Tx. firm which has more than 700 restaurants, acquired a corporate site in San Antonio where it will set up a new headquarters. Whataburger has sales in excess of $1 billion.

Willamette Valley Vineyards Inc., a Turner, Or. producer of pinot noir wine, said that 2008 profit fell 55%–to about $709,000, on earnings of $16 million.


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CREDITOR’S EDGE
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Wednesday
April 8, 2009

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Educational Tidbits
For Today's Financial Executive

What to Expect in a Chapter 13 Filing

As in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, in a Chapter 13 filing a trustee takes control in overseeing the case, but in Chapter 13, in contrast to a Chapter 7 case, the trustee doesn’t take possession of the bankrupt estate’s property. A 341 meeting of creditors takes place within forty days of the bankruptcy filing, when the debtor reports on the financial condition of the company. A reorganization plan must be filed quickly, within only about fifteen days of the bankruptcy petition, and the debtor must start making payments on claims within thirty days of the filing of the reorganization plan.



The Business Professional’s
Q&A Corner

YESTERDAY’S QUESTION: Explain what a “liquidating reorganization” is.
ANSWER: A “liquidating reorganization” is an informal term for a Chapter 11 proceeding when the company is essentially liquidated through one or more asset sales.

QUESTION: Explain Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
ANSWER NEXT ISSUE



Today's Headlines:

Anheuser-Busch InBev seeks to sell its Czech brewery unit...

Applied Micro Circuits Corp. sells its 3ware business to LSI Corp....

Blockbuster Inc.’s auditors issue a “going concern” warning...

Energy Future Holdings Corp. has some debt downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service...

Fairview Health Services’ 2008 operating income plunges...

International Speedway Corp.’s net income sinks in the first quarter...

Isilon Systems Inc. warns of a loss and announces job cuts...

MediaNews Group Inc. to delay payments...

Payless ShoeSource Inc. is sued by Adidas AG...

Royal Bank of Scotland wants to cut as many as 9,000 jobs...

Sprint Nextel Corp.’s outlook is lowered by Standard & Poor’s...

SupportStaff Inc. to sell its Enterprise business to Consona Corp....




BANKRUPTCY NEWS

(For more information on these (or any) bankrupt firms
call the 800-number in your U.S. Bankruptcy Court Directory
available through Bastien Financial Publications.)

ABM Group Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-32095. For more information contact the court at 800-886-9008.

Added Incentives Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-32105. For more information contact the court at 800-745-4459.

Albert Lindley Lee Memorial Hospital filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-30845. For more information contact the court at 800-776-9578.

All American Plazas Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The firm listed liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million but no assets were listed in the filing. The case number is 09-11809. For further information contact the court in Manhattan, N.Y. at 212-668-2870

Auto Integrity Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-24290. For more information contact the court at 877-781-7277.

Brady & Horne Co. Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-11398. For more information contact the court at 888-381-4961.

B2 International Corp. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-11180. For further information contact the court in Wilmington, De. at 302-252-2900.

Capitol Homes Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-03858. For more information contact the court at 615-736-5584.

Corpus Christi Associates LP was hit with an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. The filing, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, was under case number is 09-11773. No schedules were listed. For further information contact the court in Manhattan, N.Y. at 212-668-2870.

CU Fleet LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-24327. For more information contact the court at 877-781-7277.

Harrelson Utilities Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-02815. For more information contact the court at 919-234-7655.

Hope 7 Monroe Street LP filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Washington, D.C. The firm listed assets of less than $100,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. The case number is 09-00273. For more information contact the court at 202-273-0048.

Knight Industries I LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-12219. Also filing for bankruptcy protection was Knight-Celotex LLC, under case number 09-12200. For more information contact the court at 888-232-6814.

Loco Realty Corp. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-11789. For further information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, N.Y. at 212-668-2870.

Louisiana Venture Corp. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-11197. For further information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, De. at 302-252-2900.

Nashville Jet Charters Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-03876. For more information contact the court at 615-736-5584.

Park At Aspen Lake II LP, an office-building owner in Austin, Tx., filed Chapter 11, hoping to reorganize and continue operating. The firm says it has liabilities of between about $10 million and $50 million.

Red Top Mountain Road LC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-41371. For more information contact the court at 800-510-8284.

Richards Conditioning Corp. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-22525. For further information contact the court in Manhattan, N.Y. at 212-668-2870.

Ritz Camera Centers Inc., the Beltsville, Md.-based photo-shop chain, intends to shutter more than 300 stores in a move that will liquidate more than $50 million in retail inventory.

Saab Automobile AB, which filed for bankruptcy protection two months ago, says that it has more than twenty suitors lined up and expressed hope that a buyout can be worked out by the end of June. Saab, a Swedish unit of General Motors Corp., told the bankruptcy court that it needs $1 billion to continue production at its primary facility in Sweden.

WMI filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-16530. For more information contact the court at 213-894-4111.




DISTRESSED / RAPIDLY-EXPANDING COMPANIES
&
OTHER COMPANY NEWS

Alliant Techsystems Inc., a privately-held defense and aerospace company, acquired Eagle Industries Unlimited Inc., a privately-held Fenton, Mo. manufacturer of nylon equipment for the military and law-enforcement sectors, for an undisclosed amount. Alliant will gain $80 million in sales by acquiring Eagle.

American River Transportation Co., a unit of Illinois-based Archer Daniels Midland Co., paid a fine of $3 million for an alleged dumping violation after the company and two employees pleaded guilty to charges of illegally discharging oil into the Mississippi River.

AnchorBank of Madison, Wi., which is trying to save $1 million annually, is closing three of its branches by the end of this summer. The bank had $4.7 billion in assets as of 12/31.

Anderen Financial Inc. in Palm Harbor, Fl. is in a definitive agreement to be acquired by First Commercial Bank Inc., an Orlando, Fl. unit of FCB Florida Bancorporation, in a stock swap. The combined company will have $850 million in assets.

Anheuser-Busch InBev., the Belgian-based beer giant, is reportedly in talks to sell its Pivovary Staropramen beer unit in the Czech Republic to Heineken, the big Dutch brewer. The Czech operations are estimated to be valued at between about $250 million and $300 million. Anheuser-Busch InBev is selling some assets to raise cash to repay debt connected to the more than $50 billion merger between Anheuser-Busch of the U.S. and InBev.

Applied Micro Circuits Corp., Sunnyvale, Ca., is selling its 3ware storage-adapter operations to LSI Corp. of Milpitas, Ca. in a $20 million cash deal. The sale, which should close within the next month, allows Applied Micro to focus on developing submicron integrated circuits.

Atlantic 599 Investments in Pompano Beach, Fl. lost a foreclosure judgment in favor of Florida Capital Bank, and four of its gas stations in Broward and Palm Beach Counties will go up for public auction.

Bank of America Corp., the giant North Carolina firm which obtained $45 billion in federal assistance under the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, is now paying more than $710 million in dividends to the government.

Betts USA, a unit of Betts Holdings Ltd. of the U.K., is shutting down a facility in Florence, Oh. by the end of June, resulting in the loss of 114 jobs.

Blockbuster Inc.’s auditors, in a financial filing by the chain of video-rental stores, expressed substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said that the Dallas, Tx.-based company might have insufficient cash and could land in bankruptcy. Blockbuster has been taking steps to reduce spending and conserve cash.

Boeing Co., Chicago, Il., said that its helicopter and support-services center in Mesa, Az. won a $9.5 million contract to supply support services for Kuwait’s air force.

CardioNet Inc., a Conshohocken, Pa. wireless medical technology company, is expanding with a deal to acquire Minnesota-based Biotel Inc. for $14 million. The acquisition will help CardioNet expand its arrhythmia monitoring operations.

Caterpillar Inc., the Peoria, Il. maker of heavy equipment, is teaming up with Navistar International Corp., the Warrenville, Il. manufacturer of trucks and diesel engines, to set up a partnership that will focus on the offshore production of Caterpillar trucks that will be sold through Caterpillar’s dealers in the U.S.

Chattem Inc., the Tennessee-based maker of personal-care products, over-the-counter drugs and other consumer goods, reported its first quarter net income increased to $19.6 million, up 32% from the year-earlier period when results were dampened by a charge related to a product recall. Revenue in the recent quarter fell 4%–to $116 million.

Delta Air Lines Inc., Atlanta, Ga., reported that its international traffic for March fell 15%, with its Pacific flights down 16% and Latin American traffic slumping 17%.

Eden Bioscience Corp., a Woodinville, Wa. agribiotech company, announced that its shareholders will vote to dissolve the firm next month.

Energy Future Holdings Corp., a privately-held Dallas, Tx. energy firm, had some of its debt downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service, which expressed concern about the company’s ability to pay its creditors. Energy Future has consolidated debt of about $37 billion.

Fairview Health Services, a Minneapolis, Mn. nonprofit operator of hospitals and clinics, reported that its 2008 operating income fell by more than half–to $20.8 million, although revenue was up 10%–to $2.6 billion. The year’s results were hurt by acquisitions, a drop in its investment portfolio, lower patient volume and increased nonpaying patients.

FedEx Corp., the Memphis, Tn. package delivery firm which employs more than 290,000 worldwide, confirmed that it is reducing its workforce by 1,000 jobs, including 500 in the Memphis area.

Fisker Automotive Inc. has garnered $85 million more in venture capital, which it will use to rev up production of its battery-powered Karman vehicle. Fisker, Irvine, Ca., is showing the car at the New York Auto Show this week and hopes to sell 15,000 Karmans next year. The Karman is evidently not aimed at the masses since it’s priced at just under $88,000.

Ford Motor Co. reached a deal with investors, who will swap $9.9 billion of the carmaker’s debt for cash and stock, amounting to a 28% reduction in Ford’s overall debt. Ford, which is faring better than its two ailing domestic rivals, pleased investors, who pumped up its shares 16% on the news, but some analysts continue to worry about the likelihood that weak operating results will continue through the rest of the year, which could put pressure on the company’s liquidity.

Frozen Food Express Industries Inc., a Dallas, Tx. temperature-controlled trucking company which has reduced its payroll by 150 nondriver workers over the past four months, expects both earnings and revenue in the first quarter to be below last year’s results. The company has also suspended its 401(K) contributions and consolidated certain operations as part of its overall restructuring efforts. While cutting costs, Frozen Food Express insists that its finances are strong.

Giant Eagle, the supermarket operator, purchased Mosso’s Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pa. for an undisclosed amount.

Henderson Properties, a real-estate company in Charlotte, N.C., expanded by purchasing On Call Property Management, a homeowners’ management company in Charlotte, for an undisclosed amount.

Hicks Sports Group, which owns the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers sports teams, will not make certain interest payments on more than $500 million of its bank loans. Hicks’s owner, Tom Hicks, cited a business dispute with lenders.

Hillsborough County Water Resources Services, a Florida organization which is trying to reduce its budget by more than $5 million, is cutting its workforce by seventeen jobs.

Hutchinson Technology Inc., the Hutchinson, Mn. firm which recently reported that one of its largest suppliers, Seagate Technology, intends on phasing out certain of its business with Hutchinson, warned its second quarter sales could be below analysts’ expectations. The company expects to make its second quarter statement available on 4/28.

Hyperdynamics Corp., a Sugar Land, Tx. exploration and production company, is selling its 85% working stake in certain producing properties in Louisiana to Louisiana-based Rabb Resources Ltd. for an undisclosed amount.

International Speedway Corp., the racetrack operator, reported its first quarter net income sank 31%–to $25 million, on a 14% decline in revenue–to $166 million, below analysts’ expectations. The firm also reduced its earnings guidance for the fiscal year.

Isilon Systems Inc.’s shares took a dive after the Seattle, Wa. computer-storage firm projected a greater-than-anticipated loss for its first quarter and said that it will slash its payroll by 10%, amounting to the loss of about thirty jobs. Isilon, which provides clustered storage systems, will take an inventory writedown charge of $3.8 million for the first quarter, which will result in a loss for the period.

JBHM Architects, Tupelo. Ms., shut down its office in Memphis, Tn.

Journal Communications Inc., the Milwaukee, Wi.-based newspaper publisher, filed to sell up to $400 million in securities through a shelf registration, though it didn’t detail what kinds of securities might be sold.

Legacy Services LP’s shares surged almost 30% in recent trading after it received a buyout offer from Apollo Management for $14 a share. Legacy is a Midland, Tx. oil and natural-gas partnership.

Maritz Inc., the privately-held St. Louis, Mo. travel and information firm, is reducing its workforce by 260 employees as part of its efforts to reduce costs. The cuts amount to 8% of the overall payroll of the $1.5 billion firm.


Mars Inc., the maker of Snickers bars and M&Ms, will shut down its remaining Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge stores in the Chicago, Il. area. Eight locations in Las Vegas, Nv. will stay open and Ethel’s will continue operating its Web business.

MediaNews Group Inc., the Denver, Co. newspaper publisher, told its lenders and bondholders that it will delay payments on some debt as it restructures its finances. MediaNews, which is trying to hold on to cash, insists that it’s on top of its debt and that there’s no risk it will file for bankruptcy protection. Three years ago the company borrowed $350 million to buy four newspapers.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Columbus, Oh., announced the elimination of 480 information-technology positions. Nationwide, which lost $340 million in fiscal 2008, has cut 3,000 jobs over the past two years.

Payless ShoeSource Inc., a Topeka, Ks. shoe retailer, is being sued for patent infringement by German footwear maker Adidas AG and its Canadian unit, which are charging Payless with illegally using Adidas’s three-stripe logo. Adidas’s unit in the U.S., Adidas America Inc. of Portland, Or., was earlier awarded more than $300 million in a similar case, although that award was later reduced to $65 million and the case is still under appeal. Payless is a unit of Collective Brands Inc.

Provident Camera Shop in Cincinnati, Oh. is closing down its operations after eight decades in business.

Regency Healthcare Group, Brentwood, Tn., arranged a $25 million senior secured credit facility through Healthcare Financial Services, a unit of GE Capital.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which following a bailout is now majority-controlled by the British government, is looking to cut up to 9,000 jobs at its operations around the world over the next two years. The bank is hoping to reduce annual expenses by $3.7 billion.

Shire Pharmaceuticals Group PLC, the $3 billion British drug company, is closing its Owings Mills, Md. facility–affecting 260 workers. The move, over the next three years, is designed to guide the company to investing its resources in purchasing smaller drug firms while also establishing licensing agreements as it begins to outsource some of its manufacturing.

SLM Corp., best known as Sallie Mae, will bring 2,000 jobs to the U.S. over the next year and a half as it moves some call-center operations and other activities back from abroad. The move is part of a strategy for cutting $300 million from expenses over the next twelve months.

Socket Mobile Inc., a Newark, Ca. firm which laid off nearly a dozen workers at the end of last year, released two of its top executives as part of its restructuring efforts. The company reported record revenue last year of $27 million and whittled its loss to $2 million, down from $3.3 million in the prior year. Socket is a mobile device maker which focuses on manufacturing PDAs for healthcare professionals.

Sprint Nextel Corp.’s outlook was revised downward by Standard & Poor’s from stable to negative due to worries about its declining subscriber base. However, all other ratings were affirmed by S&P. Sprint, Overland Park, Ks., faced $22 billion in debt as of the end of last year and lost 4.1 million contract customers in 2008, leaving it now with about 49 million subscribers.

SumTotal Systems Inc. has reportedly received a cash offer to be bought out by Vista Equity Partners of Mountain View, Ca. for $3.25 a share. Vista’s offer to buy out the remaining 87% of SumTotal that it doesn’t own is valued at $103 million. SumTotal produces enterprise software.

Sun Microsystems Inc.’s collapsed merger deal with International Business Machines Corp. puts more pressure on Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz to come up with Plan B. Investors pummeled Sun’s stock after merger talks fell when Sun’s board rejected a reduced IBM offer. While Mr. Schwartz reportedly opposed the board’s decision to jilt IBM, the onus is on him to revive Sun, which has lost money in three of its last four quarters. If no other suitors step forward, the company may opt to overhaul top executives and management, including Mr. Schwartz.

SupportStaff Inc.’s shares bumped up 13% on two bits of news. The Redwood City, Ca. support-automation software company said that it reached an agreement to sell its Enterprise operations to Consona Corp., a privately-held Indianapolis, In. customer services software company, in a $20 million cash transaction. Also, SupportStaff upped its revenue guidance for the first quarter.

Swain Ski & Snowboard Center in Swain, N.Y. outside Buffalo, is closing down its resort and said that if it can’t find a buyer it will sell its assets.

Textron Inc.’s shares took off on speculation that the Providence, R.I. aerospace and defense manufacturer could be a takeover target.

Time Warner Inc., in another move to sever ties with its AOL unit, asked entities that hold more than $12 billion of its bonds to alter covenants that place limits on Time Warner’s flexibility to get rid of AOL’s assets. That announcement was made as Tim Armstrong, a former Google Inc. executive with corporate credibility, was brought on board as AOL’s CEO. Some observers feel that the online unit could be set loose within the next several months. It’s thought that as an independent company AOL could be valued at about $2.4 billion.

Times Union, one of the largest daily newspapers in the Albany, N.Y. area, has seen the Newspaper Guild of Albany vote to accept the paper’s contract-buyout offer. Employees of the paper have until 4/15 to accept the deal. Last month, the Times announced it needed to reduce its operational costs by 20%. The company is hoping that as many as seventy employees accept the offer.

United Airlines, Chicago, Il., reported that its traffic for March slumped more than 13% from the year-earlier month–to 9.6 billion revenue passenger miles.

USAA Capital Corp., a provider of insurance, banking, investment and other services, issued $95 million in senior notes, hoping to use proceeds for general corporate purposes. The notes are backed up by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

UST Inc. of Stamford, Ct. and its U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. Brands Inc. unit, announced sixty layoffs at a facility in Longwood, Fl.


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CREDITOR’S EDGE
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Thursday
April 9, 2009

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Educational Tidbits
For Today's Financial Executive

Watching Your Cost Structure
Along with the Cost Cutting

Accounting departments are responsible for more than just keeping financial records. Increasingly, chief financial officers are in charge of cost-cutting strategies for their companies. Such strategies often involve cutting jobs and ending projects, but these are easy short-term fixes that can often fail to address more serious structural issues. Worse, short-term cuts may actually endanger a firm’s potential for growth. For more effective ways to reduce costs, financial officers should carefully and objectively review all of a company’s costs and cut expenses in areas with a long-term strategy in mind.



The Business Professional’s
Q&A Corner

YESTERDAY’S QUESTION: Explain Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
ANSWER: While the Uniform Commercial Code was adopted in all states excepting Louisiana, there are three official texts that differ in a number of ways. Another source of nonuniformity concerns various “optional” provisions such as section 2-138 which includes three options of third-party beneficiary warranties. This, combined with a variety of judicial interpretations of the UCC, underscores the need for the practitioner to take a close look at the conflict of laws set forth in section 1-105. In fact, Article 2 does not control all transactions involving the sale of goods. Section 2-201 provides that Article 2 was not intended to impair or repeal any statute regulating sales to consumers, farmers or other specified classes of buyers. In addition, more states have enacted statutes to control the transfer of the title to automobiles and Unfair Trade practice statutes can significantly impact upon transactions in goods.

QUESTION: Explain the two basic rules that determine priority of security interests.
ANSWER NEXT ISSUE



Today's Headlines:

A. Schulman Inc.’s loss widens in the second quarter...

Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. files Chapter 11...

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.’s net income falls in the fourth quarter but results beat expectations...

Belk Inc. reports a loss for 2008 on a sales decline...

Constellation Brands Inc. reports a narrowed fourth quarter loss...

Fatburger Restaurants of California Inc. and Fatburger Restaurants of Nevada Inc. are put in Chapter 11...

MKS Instruments Inc. announces another 370 job cuts...

Piedmont Research Center LLC is being purchased by Charles River Laboratories International Inc....

Pier 1 Imports Inc. reports a loss for its fourth quarter on a sales decline...

ProLogis Inc. sells another property...

Pulte Homes Inc. to merge with Centex Corp....

Resources Connection Inc.’s quarterly earnings sink on a revenue decline...




BANKRUPTCY NEWS

(For more information on these (or any) bankrupt firms
call the 800-number in your U.S. Bankruptcy Court Directory
available through Bastien Financial Publications.)

AKJ Management Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-32105. For more information contact the court at 800-886-9008.

Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc., a Pekin, Il. maker of corn-based ethanol, filed Chapter 11 as it battles dwindling liquidity, tight credit markets and declining margins. The filing, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, listed assets and liabilities of about $800 million and $490 million respectively, as of the end of last year. Included in Aventine’s filing were six of its affiliates. The case number is 09-11214.

BearingPoint Inc., the bankrupt McLean, Va.-based management and tech-consulting company, reached a deal to sell its unit in Japan to PwC Advisory Co. Ltd. for $38.4 million in cash and another $6.7 million through the repayment of certain charges that are owed by the Japanese unit to the parent company.

Charles Hill Drilling Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-32165. For more information contact the court at 800-886-9008.

Corcoran Environmental Services Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maine. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-20462. For more information contact the court at 800-650-7253.

Fatburger Restaurants of California Inc. and Fatburger Restaurants of Nevada Inc. were placed into Chapter 11 proceedings by their parent company, Fatburger Corp. Both of the affiliates’ filings were made in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District in Central California, under case numbers 09-13964 and 09-13965 respectively. Each filing listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. Protection from creditors gives the two companies some flexibility to renegotiate terms of their leases with landlords. Fatburger Corp., Santa Monica, Ca., is controlled by Fog Cutter Capital Group of Portland, Or.

Fiesta Inn & Suites LP filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-10898. For more information contact the court at 888-436-7477.

Hartmarx Corp. asked for permission from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to implement an employee-retention plan.

JSK Customs Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-32412. For more information contact the court at 800-745-4459.

Knight Energy Corp. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The firm listed assets of between $100,000 and $1 million and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. The case number is 09-32163. For more information contact the court at 800-886-9008.

MVP Building Group LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-21404. For more information contact the court at 800-510-8284.

Nebraska Energy LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The firm listed assets of between $1 million and $100 million each and liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million. The case number is 09-11220. For further information contact the court in Wilmington, De. at 302-252-2900.

Nova BioSource Fuels Inc., the Houston, Tx. biodiesel company which recently filed Chapter 11, will have its shares removed from trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the exchange suspended trading in Nova’s stock. The company doesn’t intend to appeal NYSE’s decision to delist it.

Orco Construction Supply Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-42847. For more information contact the court at 888-457-0604.

Polaroid Corp., the bankrupt camera firm, will be acquired by Patriarch Partners, a New York private-equity concern, for $59 million. Patriarch says it wants to rebuild the Polaroid brand.

Team Financial Inc., a Paola, Mo. bank holding company, filed Chapter 11, listing assets of $700,000 and liabilities of nearly $27 million. Earlier, Team Financial’s assets were seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and then sold off.

Whitehead Brothers Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-10650. For more information contact the court at 334-954-3868.




DISTRESSED / RAPIDLY-EXPANDING COMPANIES
&
OTHER COMPANY NEWS

A.H. Belo, the Texas-based newspaper publisher, said it will cut base salaries across the board in an effort to cut annual costs by $10 million.

A. Schulman Inc., an Akron, Oh.-based maker of plastic resins and compounds, reported a second quarter loss of $10.5 million, more than double its loss in the year-earlier quarter. The recent results included various charges totaling $3.8 million. Revenue sank 43%–to $273 million. A month ago the firm, with 2,100 employees worldwide, announced plans to trim its payroll by 5% to reduce expenses.

Alaska Air Group Inc., Seattle, Wa., said that its Alaska Airlines operating unit’s traffic declined more than 8% in March from the year-earlier period—to nearly 1.6 billion revenue passenger miles.

Alcoa Inc. landed in the red in the fourth quarter, reporting a loss of $497 million as it was hurt by sinking aluminum prices and a sharp drop in orders from manufacturers in the auto and other sectors that use aluminum. The loss compares with net income of more than $300 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue in the recent quarter plunged 41%–to nearly $4.2 billion. While Alcoa also said that the industry could be about to pick up, it still faces high inventories. The manufacturer has been trying to get a handle on costs by idling production and slashing its dividend, while also trying to ease liquidity by raising cash. Alcoa added that it’s sitting on more than $5 billion in revolving credit that it hasn’t tapped into.

Avatech Solutions Inc., an Owings Mills, Md.-based provider of engineering software and related products, will trim its payroll by about twenty positions, or about 10% of its staff, and cut all remaining employees’ salaries on a temporary basis as it adapts to market conditions. The realignment will hopefully save Avatech about $2 million a year. Avatech ended up in the red in the second quarter, on a 35% drop in revenue.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., the Union, N.J. home-furnishings retailer, reported its fourth quarter net income declined 18%–to $141 million, because of higher costs. But the retailer’s shares surged 14% on the news as the results beat Wall Street’s and Bed Bath & Beyond’s own expectations. Sales slipped less than 1%–to $1.9 billion, although same-store sales were down more than 4%. The company has more than 1,000 stores, including seventeen new ones that it opened during the fourth quarter.

Belk Inc., the privately-held Charlotte, N.C.-based department-store operator, reported a fiscal loss of $213 million for its year ended 1/31, compared to earnings of nearly $96 million in the year earlier. The recent results included more than $360 million in goodwill-impairment and other charges. Sales for the year slumped 8.5%--to $3.5 billion, with same-store sales sliding 8.7%. Belk, with more than 300 stores, added that it ended last year with cash of $260 million and no borrowings against its current credit line.

Benihana Inc., the Miami, Fl. operator of Japanese-style restaurants, said that fourth quarter restaurant sales rose more than 5%–to $73.6 million, slightly ahead of analysts’ expectation. However same-store sales fell more than 10%. For the full year, Benihana’s sales were up 3%–to $304 million, including an 8% drop in same-store sales.

Bernstein-Rein, an ad company in Kansas City, Mo., laid off between ten and twenty staffers because of the tough economy.

Borders Group Inc., the Ann Arbor, Mi.-based bookseller, announced that it managed to trim its inventory by more than a quarter, or by more than $330 million, during the twelve-month period ended in January.

Chevron Corp., the oil giant, faces potentially $27 billion in damages for environmental degradation in Ecuador, where its Texaco unit, which it bought eight years ago for $30 billion, is alleged to have dumped oil waste during its two decades of doing business in that country’s jungles. Chevron, currently battling the litigation in a court in Ecuador, says that the 15-year-old case is without merit.

Colonial Properties Trust in Birmingham, Al. sold its Regents Park townhouse project in Atlanta, Ga. to Resource Real Estate Partners for $16.3 million in cash. Separately, it was reported that a contract to sell $100 million of Colonial’s retail developments has collapsed.

Community Health Systems Inc., Franklin, Tn., bought a 50% interest in MCSA LLC, which operates the Medical Center of South Arkansas. In another expansion move, a Community subsidiary is in a deal to acquire all of the assets of Wyoming Valley Health Care System in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. for an undisclosed amount.

Compass Minerals International Inc., Overland Park, Ks., expanded by acquiring the salt operations of Cutler-Magner Co. of Duluth, Mn. in a $3.6 million transaction.

Constellation Brands Inc., Fairport, N.Y., whittled its loss for the fourth quarter to $407 million, down sharply from an $835 million loss in the year-earlier period. The recent results included restructuring and other charges of $468 million, related primarily to weakness at its Australian and U.K. operations. Constellation’s net sales in the quarter fell 17%–to $735 million. In March the spirits and wine company said it would cut 9,000 jobs from its worldwide workforce, or about 5% of its staff, to reduce expenses.

Continental Airlines Inc., Houston, Tx., won preliminary approval from the Transportation Department to join the international Star Alliance scheduling and revenue-sharing partnership with United Airlines, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Air Canada and other airlines. The Transportation Department’s okay would basically give the partnership members the license to act as a single airline for international flights and manage sales as a unit and streamline schedules by eliminating competing flights. With Continental on board, Star Alliance competes with other alliances including SkyTeam (which Continental currently belongs to) and Oneworld.

Dell Inc., the Round Rock, Tx.-based PC maker, cut another fifty jobs at its assembly facility in North Carolina. Dell, which has vowed to slash annual operating expenses by $1 billion, last year laid off 9,400 workers.

Delta Apparel Inc., Atlanta, Ga., acquired the Game and Kudzu headwear brands from Gekko Brands for an undisclosed amount.

Energy Composites Corp., a Wisconsin Rapids, Wi. manufacturer of equipment for the wind-power sector, said it wants to construct a facility where it will make wind-power turbine blades. The site, to be situated in Wisconsin Rapids, will hire 400 workers. A final agreement to build the plant will be made by June.

Fabrik Inc., a San Mateo, Ca. external storage company, has been acquired by Hitachi Global Storage Technologies of San Jose, Ca. for an undisclosed amount.

Family Dollar Stores Inc., a Charlotte, N.C.-based retail chain, reported its second quarter earnings surged 33%–to $84.1 million, on a 9% increase in sales–to just shy of $2 billion. Same-store sales were up more than 6% in the quarter as recession-conscious shoppers looked for bargains.

FleetCor Technologies, a Norcross, Ga. commercial-fuel-card company, widened its operations by acquiring CLC Group Inc., a Wichita, Ks. provider of lodging management services, for an undisclosed amount. FleetCor bought the business from Nautic Partners LLC.

General Motors Corp., Detroit, Mi., is partnering with Segway Inc., the scooter maker, to build a new type of two-wheel vehicle for use in urban areas.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Akron, Oh., said that it expects to reduce inventory this year by 14%, having been paring back on production since last fall. Low inventories could mean a sooner pickup in production when the economy starts to recover.

Hodgson Russ LLP, a law firm, is closing its office in Boca Raton, Fl. by the end of June.

Juniper Networks Inc., Sunnyvale, Ca., reduced its revenue projection for the first quarter to no more than $765 million, down from an earlier forecast of between $800 million and $830 million.

Leitman Siegal & Payne PC, a law firm in Birmingham, Al., expanded by purchasing Campbell Gidiere Lee Sinclair Williams PC, also in Birmingham, for an undisclosed amount.

Lincoln National Corp.’s shares bumped up after the life insurer announced that it not only repaid $500 million of its debt but also intends on repaying $200 million in commercial paper within the next couple of weeks.

Littlefield Corp., an operator of bingo halls, sold its Premiere Tents and Events business to Austin Party Central for an undisclosed amount. The sale allows Littlefield to focus on its core charitable bingo operations.

LMI Aerospace Inc., St. Charles Mo., cut its workforce by sixty staffers, or about 6% of the payroll at its aerostructures unit, “to better align with customer demand”.

Manitowoc Co., the Manitowoc, Wi. maker of construction and foodservice equipment, cut 160 jobs at its construction-crane division, or 13% of the payroll at its plants in Manitowoc and Port Washington, Wi.

Mechanical Technology Inc., which earlier said it had enough money to fund its operations into this month but must find additional financing, will take its shares off the Nasdaq Stock Market. The Colonie, N.Y. fuel-cell developer lost $12.5 million last year and its auditor has twice expressed worries about its ability to continue as a going concern.

MetroPCS Communications Inc., the Dallas, Tx.-based wireless carrier, boasted that its subscribership surged more than 50% during the first quarter in its third-consecutive quarter of growth. The company said it added more than 680,000 subscribers in the recent quarter.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, one of Wisconsin-based Journal Communications Inc.’s newspapers, cut more than two dozen jobs along with five part-time positions in a move to reduce costs.

MKS Instruments Inc., an Andover, Ma.-based maker of manufacturing instruments, is cutting another 370 jobs, bringing to 600 the number of job cuts it has announced at its operations around the world. The downsizing should save the company $40 million and reduce its anticipated loss for the first quarter. Last year MKS’s net income slumped 65%–to $30.1 million, on a 17% slide in revenue–to $647 million.

Nyx Acquisitions and Image Entertainment Inc. again altered Nyx’s proposed buyout deal. Now, Nyx will provide an additional $1 million payment, in lieu of a $1.5 million payment related to an extension of the closing of the transaction. Nyx is buying Image Entertainment, a Chatsworth, Ca. manufacturer of laser discs and DVDs, for $60.1 million.

Pernod Ricard SA, the big French-based liquor company, is reportedly close to reaching a deal to sell its Wild Turkey bourbon business in Kentucky to Gruppo Campari of Italy for $575 million. Pernod of late has been unloading some of its nonstrategic brands in an effort to raise cash to pay down $1.3 billion of debt. Last year, Pernod, whose main labels include Beefeater gin and Chivas Regal scotch, piled on debt when it shelled out $8 billion to purchase Sweden’s Vin & Spirit AB.

Piedmont Research Center LLC, a North Carolina oncology unit of PPD Inc., is being acquired by Charles River Laboratories International Inc. of Wilmington, Ma. in a $46 million cash transaction. The deal should be completed in the second quarter.

Pier 1 Imports Inc., the Fort Worth, Tx.-based specialty retailer of household goods, reported a fourth quarter loss of $29 million, compared to a profit of $14 million in the year-earlier period. Sales fell 11%–to $389 million, including a nearly 10% slump in same-store sales. The fourth quarter results were affected by store closings over the past year and the sagging Canadian dollar. For the full year Pier 1 widened its loss to $129 million, compared to a $96 million loss a year ago. Fiscal sales fell to $1.3 billion, down from $1.5 billion a year earlier, due to having shuttered more than two dozen stores over the past year and a 9% drop in same-store sales.

Planet Smoothie, a fast-growing chain of smoothie shops, will open a store in Dayton, Oh., its seventh location in Ohio. The company has more than 125 shops around the U.S.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc.’s National City Bank unit is selling fifty-seven branches to First Niagara Financial of Lockport, N.Y., including $4.2 billion in deposits.

ProLogis Inc., the Denver, Co. owner of distribution centers, sold one of its industrial buildings in Denver to Ozark Automotive Distributors Inc., an auto-parts wholesale unit of O’Reilly Automotive Inc., for $19.3 million. ProLogis, which is selling assets to raise cash to reduce debt, sold off its Chinese business and some operations in Japan earlier in the year for more than $1.3 billion.

Pulte Homes Inc., Bloomfield Hills, Mi., and Centex Corp. of Dallas, Tx. announced they will merge in a $1.3 billion stock swap that puts the value of the firms at about $3.1 billion. The combination of the two big homebuilders, which will start out with $1.8 billion in debt, will hopefully help both of them weather out the bad economy. They currently have a combined market capitalization of about $4.1 billion.

Resources Connection Inc., a California-based staffing company, said that earnings for its quarter ended 2/28 plunged 76%–to $2.1 million, while revenue sank 23%–to $156 million. The company declined to provide guidance for the current period but did warn that the quarter will be challenging. Resources Connection services the accounting and finance sectors.

Rite Aid Corp., the Camp Hill, Pa. drugstore operator, is closing a distribution facility in Newnan, Ga. and cutting almost 300 jobs in a consolidation move to boost efficiency.

Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc., the Portland, Or. steel recycling and manufacturing company, announced that it cut the value of its inventory in the second quarter by 28%.

Selectica Inc., San Jose, Ca., sold off its Selectica India Pvt. Ltd. unit in India to DAX Partners LP in a $4 million deal, which will result in a $1.6 million gain for Selectica Inc. The sale allows Selectica to focus more on its core operations.

SunGard Data Systems Inc., a Wayne, Pa. software and information-technology concern, expanded in Europe by acquiring Genix Systems AG, a Swiss provider of customer-information systems, for an undisclosed amount.

Toyota Boshoku America in Erlanger, Ky., a manufacturer of automotive parts, is shutting down a manufacturing plant in Leitchfield, Ky. and undertaking other measures to adapt to the ailing auto sector.

Toys R Us Inc., the privately-held Wayne, N.J.-based toy-superstore operator, reported its fourth quarter profit increased 11%–to $345 million, thanks to reduced expenses and growth of its superstores. Sales slid 6%–to $5.5 billion, including a 4.5% drop in same-store sales. Toys R Us has more than 1,500 locations.

Trainyard Tech LLC, a Gibsonia, Pa. railroad-technology company, acquired the train-signaling operations of General Electric Co. for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition includes the unit’s customer accounts.

Transcend Services Inc., an Atlanta, Ga. provider of medical transcription services, completed its acquisition of the U.S. medical-transcription operations of Transcription Relief Services LLC in Greensboro, N.C. for $4.5 million.

Wagner Equipment Co., an Aurora, Co.-based Caterpillar dealer in the Colorado, west Texas and New Mexico markets, announced that it laid off 140 workers, following three dozen layoffs in January amid the sagging economy. Before the recent layoffs the company had nearly 1,700 workers.

WGBH, a public-radio broadcaster in Boston, Ma., wants to furlough employees for a week and suspend employee-retirement payments to deal with a $3 million budget shortfall. That follows a dozen layoffs the radio station had to impose last year.

Wizzard Software Corp. in Pittsburgh, Pa. lost $1.8 million in its fourth quarter, For the full year the firm lost $7.7 million on revenue of $6.1 million. Wizzard is a podcasting and speech technology company.

World Financial Network National Bank, a card-banking unit of Alliance Data Systems Corp. of Dallas, Tx., renewed a $550 million conduit facility that finances $250 million in card assets.

World Fuel Services, a company that supplies marine, aviation and other fuels, has completed two expansion moves, buying Henty Oil Group of Cos. in England and TGS Petroleum in Chicago, Il., both for undisclosed amounts. TGS distributes fuel under long-term contracts to more than 160 retail operators, while Henty Oil has various operations in the U.K. World Fuel, Miami, Fl., had revenue last year of more than $18 billion.


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Nice to see Ticketmaster taking a shit, fuck those fuckers.


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Breand wrote:
Nice to see Ticketmaster taking a shit, fuck those fuckers.


I hate Tickmaster with all my heart.

_________________
"Hamilton is really a Colossus to the anti republican party. Without numbers he is an host within himself. They have got themselves into a defile where they might be finished but too much security on the republican part will give time to his talents and indefatigableness to extricate them. We have had only middling performances to oppose to him. In truth when he comes forward there is nobody but yourself who can meet him. His adversaries having begun the attack he has the advantage of answering them and remains unanswered himself. For God's sake take up your pen and give a fundamental reply to Curtius and Camillas" - Thomas Jefferson to James Madison


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The distressed list sure is full of distressing news!

Sign of the times I guess.

Big question I have right now, is what will be the next big bounce. Financial s and and some car companies were over sold. What the next "over sold" area.

I keep thinking transportation / shipping.

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CREDITOR’S EDGE
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Monday
April 20, 2009

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Educational Tidbits
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How Does You Credit Reporting Agency Rate?

The best credit reporting agency is one that provides you with the most comprehensive and updated business information, in both a timely manner and at a fair price. Do the major credit reporting agencies do this for you? Some say yes, some say no.
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The Business Professional’s
Q&A Corner

YESTERDAY’S QUESTION: Explain why a creditor should be aware of changes in ownership and what a creditor should do when this information is made available.
ANSWER: Creditors should be aware of a change in ownership for a number of reasons. The most obvious is the credibility and management capabilities of the new owner/management. Has their track record been successful? Are they experienced in the industry? What relationship, if any, do they have with their lenders? Is their character one you want to sell to? And look even closer when ownership changes hands in a closely-held family company–especially if that change in ownership is from a parent to a son or daughter. Will that offspring value the company in the same way their parents did?

QUESTION: Explain what a composition of creditors is.
ANSWER NEXT ISSUE



Today's Headlines:

AbitibiBowater Inc. files for bankruptcy protection...

Best Buy Co. Inc. sees one analyst anticipate 1,000 job cuts...

Briggs & Stratton Corp. reports its third quarter net income and net sales decline...

Callaway Golf Co. reports its first quarter net sales and gross profit decline...

Duckwall-Alco Stores Inc. reports a fourth quarter net loss on a revenue increase...

Gannett Co. reports its first quarter net and revenue decline...

Genuine Parts Co. reports its first quarter net and sales decline...

Harley-Davidson Inc. expects to reduce its workforce by up to 400 workers...

PPG Industries Inc. reports a first quarter net loss on a sales decline...

Upper Valley Medical Center to eliminate nearly eighty positions from its payroll...

Virco Manufacturing Corp. reports a net loss on a sales decline...




BANKRUPTCY NEWS

(For more information on these (or any) bankrupt firms
call the 800-number in your U.S. Bankruptcy Court Directory
available through Bastien Financial Publications.)

AbitibiBowater Inc., the giant Canadian newsprint firm which was formed two years ago with the merger of U.S.-based Bowater Inc. and Abitibi-Consolidated of Canada, has filed for bankruptcy protection under Canada’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The company filed along with more than thirty of its affiliates as it attempts to restructure its overall operations. The company’s subsidiaries outside Canada and the United States have not field. The Montreal company listed assets and liabilities in its Delaware filing of $9.9 billion and $8.8 billion respectively.
In a separate motion, the company has requested the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to approve both post-petition financing and authorization to use certain cash collateral.
For more information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware at 302-252-2560.

All American Semiconductor Inc. has seen the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Miami confirm the third amended plan of liquidation which was submitted by the unsecured creditors’ committee. For more information contact the court at 305-536-5979.

Autobacs Strauss Inc. has seen the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware set 5/22 as the final date for filing proof of general claims in the case. The government proof of claim deadline was set at 8/3. The case number is 09-10358. For more information contact the court at 302-252-2560.

Bettina Corp. dba Blue Dog Inc. of Dallas, Tx. has filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The maker of electronic bingo equipment listed assets and liabilities of $1.4 million and $4.4 million respectively.
For more information contact the court at 800-886-9008.

Foothills Texas Inc., has seen the U.S. Bankruptcy Court set the final date for filing proof of claims as 5/11. The case number is 09-10452. For more information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware at 302-252-2560.

General Growth Properties, the Chicago, Il. mall operator which recently filed for Chapter 11 protection, is seeking U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval to hire certain attorneys and agents at as much as $965 an hour.

JPA Furniture Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Arizona. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $100,000 and $1 million each. A meeting of creditors is scheduled for 5/19. The case number is 09-07585. For more information contact the court at 888-549-5336.

M&D 1 LLC has filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-12936. For more information contact the court at 800-326-5879.

Oil and Gas Equipment Leasing LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Colorado. The company, headquartered in Lone Tree, Co., listed liabilities of $5.5 million. For more information contact the court at 720-904-7419.

Petrozone Inc. has seen an involuntary Chapter 11 petition filed against it in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana. No schedules were listed. The case number is 09-21449. For more information contact the court at 800-755-8393.

Polaroid, the bankrupt camera company, has seen Hilco Trading LLC, a Northbrook, Il. firm, become part of an investment group that obtained U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval to purchase most of the assets of the 70-year-old firm.

Renew Energy LLC, which operates Wisconsin’s largest ethanol production operation, is selling its facility. The bankrupt firm reported that if it cannot find a buyer it will simply close the facility.

Roosevelt Lofts LLC has filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. The firm listed assets of less than $500 million. The company’s largest unsecured creditors are Muir-Chase Plumbing Co. and Kultur Flooring USA Inc. For more information contact the court at 213-894-4111.

Rouse Co. at Owings Mills LLC and several of its affiliated firms filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The case numbers range from 09-12236 to 09-12249. Assets and liabilities were estimated at more than $1 billion each. For more information contact the court at 212-668-2772.

Santee Village Partners LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. The company, a real estate firm, listed assets of less than $50 million. For more information contact the court at 213-894-4111.

Schiappa Foods Corp., a Florida operator of fifteen Arby’s restaurants, has filed
Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida. The company is based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fl. For more information contact the court at 305-536-5979.

Smart Office Systems Ltd. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan. The firm listed assets of between $100,000 and $1 million and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. The case number is 09-04503. A motion was made to sell nearly all of the debtor’s assets. For more information contact the court at 616-456-2075.

Sun-Times Media Group Inc. has seen a 4/29 meeting of creditors scheduled at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, De. For more information contact the counsel for the debtor in Wilmington, Jamie Luton, at 302-571-6600.


Tusca Mediterranean Tapas has filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Pittsburgh listing assets of less than $500,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million.




DISTRESSED / RAPIDLY-EXPANDING COMPANIES
&
OTHER COMPANY NEWS

American International Group Inc., the beleaguered New York insurance firm which is trying to sell a number of its units in order to repay $182 billion to the Feds, is selling its 21st Century car insurance operations to Farmers Insurance in a transaction valued at $1.9 billion.

Allstate Insurance Co., the giant auto insurance firm, is expanding in the state of Georgia as it attempts to increase its market share. The company anticipates having an unspecified number of offices throughout Georgia as it seeks to hire laid-off professionals who received severance packages. Allstate is looking to hire agents that can spend the $50,000 needed to open an agency in that state.

Associated Banc-Corp, the Green Bay , Wi. firm which reported its first quarter net declined 47%–to $35 million and which reported its provision for loan losses jumped to $105 million from $65 million in the fourth quarter, reported its would cut its dividend payouts. At the end of the first quarter, the company reported non-performing loans reached more than $450 million. This compares with $340 million as of 12/31.

AXS-One Inc., the Rutherford, N.J. $13 million software firm, has been purchased by Unify Corp., a Roseville, Ca. software maker, in a transaction valued at $8 million. The transaction is expected to be finalized by 7/31.

Beck Imports of the Carolinas, an operation of Sonic Automotive Inc. which owns 160 automotive dealerships nationwide, has been purchased by Hendrick Automotive Group for an undisclosed amount.

Best Buy Co. Inc., the giant Richfield, Mn. electronics retailer which is attempting to reduce costs, has seen one analyst anticipate the company may reduce its workforce by 1,000 employees. Best Buy recently announced a demotion among its senior sales associates that would cut salaries by nearly 50%. The demotions are expected to affect nearly 8,000 employees.

Bioheart Co., the Sunrise, Fl. biotechnology firm which had only $50,000 in cash and cash equivalents as of 12/31, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $2.6 million. This compares with a loss of nearly $9 million for the same period in 2007. For the year, the company lost just over $14 million, an improvement from the $18 million it reported losing in fiscal 2007. The company’s auditors included a “going concern” letter along with the financial report..

Briggs & Stratton Corp., the Wauwatosa, Wi. small engine manufacturer, reported its third quarter net income declined 35%–to $25.3 million, on a 7% decline in net sales–to $674 million. The decline was partly a result of falling sales in its engines segment. The firm projected net income, for fiscal 2009, of as much as $32 million.

Callaway Golf Co., Carlsbad, Ca., reported net sales for its first quarter declined 26%–to $272 million while its gross profit declined 10%–to $116 million or 43% of net sales. A company spokesman reported that he believes the firm will outpace the industry, where industry-wide sales are expected to decline by as much as 20% this year.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., the Sandusky, Oh. amusement park operator which owns and operates the Knott’s Berry Farm park in California and which operates ten additional amusement parks, has hired Merrill Lynch & Co. to help it explore strategic alternatives that could include selling certain assets. In order to reduce its debtload, which, in part, was a result of its $1.2 billion purchase of Paramount Parks more than two years ago, the company is attempting to sell four of its amusement parks. Cedar Fair reported a fourth quarter net loss of nearly $57 million.

Charlotte Russe Holding Inc., a San Diego, Ca. mall-based specialty store retailer which operates nearly 500 outlets throughout the U.S., reported a second quarter net loss of $820,000. This compares with earnings of $4.2 million for the same period one year earlier. Net sales increased 3%–to $191 million.

Citigroup Inc., the financially-challenged New York banking firm, reported first quarter earnings of $1.6 billion, a turnaround from a $5 billion loss one year earlier and a $17.5 billion loss in the fourth quarter. The company now has $32 billion in capital reserves to provide for loan losses.

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. of San Jose, Ca. reported a first quarter loss of $91 million. This compares to a loss of $24 million for the same period one year earlier. Revenue declined 17%–to $139 million. Revenue beat analysts’ expectations.

Cytec Industries Inc., the Woodland Park, N.J. firm which experienced declining sales across all of its chemical products lines, reported a first quarter net loss of $100,000. This compares with income of $49 million for the same period one year earlier. Sales declined to $612 million during the first quarter from $973 million for the same period in 2008. At its Cytec Surface Specialties operations, sales declined 46%–to $243 million, while reporting an operating loss of nearly $21 million. At Cytec’s Engineered Materials operations, sales declined 15%–to $170 million while reporting operating earnings of $33 million. At Cytec Performance Chemicals, sales declined 28%–to $132 million while operating earnings declined more than 50%–to $5.8 million.

DVL Inc., the New York-based commercial finance and real estate firm, reported fiscal income from continuing operations declined to $1.8 million. This compares with $2.5 million for fiscal 2007. Revenue declined slightly–to $10.3 million.

Deltek Inc., the Herndon, Va. provider of enterprise applications software, expects its first quarter revenue to be below guidance estimates of $68 million. The company anticipates revenue of nearly $62 million. Citing the BearingPoint bankruptcy, Deltek expects its earnings per share to be no more than 6 cents as opposed to prior guidance of as much as 7 cents per diluted share. The company, which managed to reduce its debtload by more than $10 million during the first quarter, expects operating cash flow for the period of nearly $17 million.

Duckwall-Alco Stores Inc., the Abilene, Ks. retailer, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $715,000. This compares with income of $1 million for the same period one year earlier. Revenue increased 2%–to $138.5 million while gross margins for its fourth quarter declined from 30.3% to 29.7%. For the year, the company reported a widened loss of $5 million, up from a $224,000 loss for fiscal 2008. Revenue for fiscal 2009 increased 4%–to $478 million. Same-store sales for the company’s fourth quarter declined 3.3%, an improvement over the 6.3% decline during its third quarter.

Fidelity Southern Corp., the Atlanta, Ga. banking an insurance firm, reported a first quarter net loss of $3.4 million. This compares with earnings of $1.1 million for the same period one year earlier. During the quarter the company’s mortgage operations originated $85 million in new loans. This compares with only $6 million in new loans during the first quarter of last year.

First Horizon National Corp., the parent of First Tennessee Bank which received $860 million at the end of last year from the Fed’s TARP program, reported a first quarter net loss of $65 million on an 11% revenue decline–to $605 million. The loss compare with income of $12 million for the same period one year earlier.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wa. reported that as a result of declines in both investment income and philanthropic giving, the firm is laying off more than eighty employees in order to reduce costs.

Gannett Co., the giant McLean, Va. newspaper and broadcasting firm which saw advertising revenue for its publications decline by more than a third in its most recent quarter, reported its first quarter net declined 60%–to $77 million. Overall revenue declined 18%–to $1.4 billion. While broadcasting revenue declined 15%–to $143 million, on the bright side, the company’s digital revenue jumped tenfold–to more than $140 million.

General Electric Co., which has been adversely affected by the weak economy at its financial operations, reported its overall first quarter net declined 35%–to $2.9 billion. Revenue at the Fairfield, Ct. conglomerate declined 9%–to $38 billion. While revenue at the company’s industrial operations were flat, earnings at its finance unit declined 58% on a year-over-year basis.

General Environmental Management Inc., the Pomona, Ca. firm whose earnings didn’t meet those required in certain of its loan covenants, is seeking a waiver from its lender, CVC California LLC. The company lost $7 million last year, an improvement over the $16 million loss reported in fiscal 2007. Revenue increased 14%–to $35 million. Its deficit of nearly $12 million was cited as one reason for doubt in the firm’s ability to continue effectively operating.

Genuine Parts Co., the Atlanta, Ga. maker of industrial and automotive parts, reported its first quarter net declined 27%–to $89 million, on an 11% sales decline–to $2.4 billion. The company anticipates overall sales to improve throughout the year.

Google Inc., the giant Mountainview, Ca. internet firm, reported first quarter net of $1.4 billion, an improvement from the $1.3 billion reported for the same period one year earlier. Revenue increased 6%–to $5.5 billion. Analysts had expected net earnings of just under $1.6 billion for the company which reduced its workforce by 340 positions in its most recent quarter. It should be noted that the company recorded a $275 million charge for stock compensation during the period. Only last month, Google completed an offer to exchange certain employee stock options issued under the company’s 2004 stock plan. The company anticipates SBC charges for grants to employees prior to 4/1 to be just over $1 billion this year. As of 3/31, the company had cash and cash equivalents of nearly $18 billion.

Harley-Davidson Inc., the Milwaukee, Wi. motorcycle maker which reported its first quarter net declined 36%–to $117 million, now expects to reduce its workforce by as many as 400 additional workers. This is in addition to the 1,100 job cuts announced earlier in the year. Net sales for its most recent quarter declined slightly–to $1.3 billion.

Hawker Beechcraft Acquisition Co. LLC of Wichita, Ks. reported a first quarter operating loss of $41 million. This compares with an operating loss of $1.5 million for the same period one year earlier. Net sales for the first quarter declined to $538 million, down from $576 million for the same period in 2008. Over the past six months Hawker has announced reductions in its workforce of more than 2,700 jobs.

Insteel Industries Inc., the Mount Airy, N.C. maker of steel wire reinforcing products, reported a loss of $16.3 million for its first quarter. This compares with earnings of nearly $7 million for the same period one year earlier.

Kmart Corp., in a filing with the state of North Carolina, reported it would lay off more than seventy workers at one of its Wake County retail outlets. Kmart is a subsidiary of Sears Holding Corp. of Hoffman Estates, Il.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., the Winston-Salem, N.C. firm which reported, in its most recent quarter, a narrowed loss and which recently reported reaching certain credit agreements with its lenders that would provide it with sufficient liquidity, saw its stock price rise more than 50%.

Landstar System Inc., a Jacksonville, Fl. trucking company, reported its first quarter earnings declined 40%–to just under $14 million. Revenue declined 23%–to $469 million. Purchasing $12 million of its own shares during the first quarter, the company, nevertheless, was reluctant to provide second quarter earnings guidance.

Media General Inc., the Richmond, Va. operator of newspapers and television stations, reported a first quarter net loss of $21 million, up slightly from a loss of $20 million during the first quarter of last year. Revenue declined to $159 million from $195 million for the same period one year earlier. While traditional ad revenue declined 25% during the quarter, online advertising increased 30% and digital revenue jumped 25%.

Meridian Bioscience Inc., the Newton, Oh. biomedical firm which was adversely affected by the mild flu season, reported flat earnings for its second quarter of $7.3 million. Net sales declined 8%–to $33 million. Earnings and sales were below analysts’ expectations.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Columbus, Oh., which earlier in the month announced it was reducing its workforce by 480 workers in order to save more than $16 million this year, has advised its more than 34,000 worker that it would cut back on a number of perks including the carry-over of vacation days and its associate referral program. The company lost $340 million last year.

Organic to Go, the rapidly-expanding Seattle, Wa. restaurant chain with more than 125 outlets nationwide, continues to expand in the Washington, D.C. area. The company, which was the first such restaurant to be certified as organic, is opening up its fifth D.C. outlet at the end of this month.

Orlando Opera Co. in Orlando, Fl., affected by the weak economy and declining ticket sales, will suspend its operations as of the end of this month.

PharmEcology Associates LLC, a Wauwatosa, Wi. firm which provides waste management consulting services to the pharmaceutical industry, has been purchased by WM Healthcare Solutions Inc., a unit of Waste Management Inc. of Houston, Tx., for an undisclosed amount.

Plexus Corp., the Neenah, Wi. electronics contract manufacturer, anticipates its second quarter will include charges of nearly $8 million as a result of goodwill impairment and its restructuring efforts. Earnings for the period are expected to be no more than 24 cents a share while revenue could reach just over $400 million.

Polaris Industries Inc., a Medina, Mn. maker of all terrain vehicles, saw its stock price increase 14% on news that its first quarter earnings, despite declining 55%, came in better than analysts expected.

PPG Industries Inc., the Pittsburgh, Pa. paint manufacturer, reported a first quarter net loss of $111 million. This compares with earnings of $100 million for the same period one year earlier. Sales declined 30%–to $2.8 billion. The loss included restructuring and after-tax charges of more than $140 million.

PPG Industries Fiberglass Products Inc., the unit of Pennsylvania-based PPG Industries, announced plans to reduce its workforce by ninety employees as of 5/1, citing a reduction in demand for its fiberglass products.

Renaissance Learning Inc., the Wisconsin Rapids firm which is the world’s leading provider of computer-based assessment technology for preschool through the 12th grade and whose learning tools have been adopted by more than 74,000 schools, reported first quarter net of $3.9 million, an increase from $2.6 million for the same period one year earlier. Revenue declined just under 2%–to $29 million.

Shaheen’s Department Store, the family-owned Louisville, Ky. apparel retailer, is expanding its operations in the Kentucky area with a new store expected to open by 4/30.

Sony Ericsson, the Swedish mobile phone maker, announced it would cut an additional 2,000 jobs from its workforce, citing a decline in global demand for its products. The company recently reported a first quarter loss of $386 million.

Sun Microsystems, the giant Santa Clara, Ca. firm which only weeks ago had been sought after by IBM of Armonk, N.Y. only to see Sun reject the $7 billion offer, has seen the New York firm react unresponsively to Sun’s recent efforts to restart purchase talks.

Sunoco Inc. of Philadelphia, Pa. is selling a Tulsa, Ok. refinery to Holly Refining & Marketing-Mid-Con LLC, a subsidiary of Holly Corp., a Dallas, Tx. petroleum refiner, in a transaction valued at $65 million.

Tempur-Pedic International Inc., whose world headquarters is in Lexington, Ky., reported first quarter net income of $13.3 million, down slightly from year-earlier quarter net of $13.5 million. Net sales declined 28%–to $177 million. The company, which is one of the world’s largest makers and distributors of mattresses and pillows, maintains its 2009 financial guidance for its earnings per share at no more than 90 cents per diluted share. The company, however, reduced its net sales guidance to no more than $740 million.

The Saint Louis Science Center, as part of its efforts to reduce costs, has offered early retirement packages to more than two dozen of its workers in St. Louis. The acceptance deadline was set at 5/4.

The News & Record, the Greensboro, N.C. newspaper which, like so many in the newspaper industry has been adversely affected by both the weak economy and reduced advertising revenue, is reducing its workforce by twenty-five jobs while also making changes to its newspaper in order to reduce overall expenses.

Toshiba Corp., the giant Japanese electronics conglomerate which is attempting to reduce its capital spending by 40%, intends on reducing its workforce by 3,900 temporary jobs in Japan. This comes on top of the 4,500 temporary workers the firm has already laid off.

Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems, the Lowell, Ma. unit of Tyco Electronics Ltd., is being purchased by Harris Corp., a Melbourne, Fl. communications and information technology firm, in a transaction valued at $670 million.

Umpqua Holdings Corp., the Portland, Or. parent company of both Strand, Atkinson, Williams & York Inc. as well as Umpqua Bank, reported a first quarter net loss of $10.6 million while operating revenue declined 17%–to $133 million. The loss, in part, was a result of loan losses from residential developments.

Unisys Corp., the Blue Bell, Pa. information technology firm, has landed a $92 million contract with the General Services Administration to provide help desk services for more than 14,000 computer systems.

Upper Valley Medical Center, the Troy, Oh. facility which is trying to save $5 million, is eliminating nearly eighty positions from its payroll. The company also intends on eliminating wage increases for its management staff this year.

Virco Manufacturing Corp., the Torrence, Ca. firm which recently extended its $65 million credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank for the next two years, reported a net loss of $3.2 million for its most recent quarter ended 1/31. This compares with a loss of $3.1 million for the same period one year earlier. Sales declined 15%–to $27.7 million. Gross margins, on a year-over-year basis declined from $10.4 million for the quarter ended 1/31/08 to $8.6 million in its most recent quarter. The company ended its fiscal year with no bank debt.

Werner Enterprises Inc., the Omaha. Ne. firm which is one of the nation’s largest truckload transportation and logistics firms, reported its first quarter revenue declined 23%–to $395 million. Earnings declined more than 16% during the period.

West Marine Inc., the Watsonville, Ca. boating supply firm, reported its first quarter revenue declined 10%–to $101 million. Part of the decline was a result of a nearly $4 million sales decline due to store closings over the past five quarters.

Womble Carlyle PLLC, the Winston-Salem, N.C. law firm, is reducing expenses. With several offices on the East Coast, the company has initiated a 10% paycut for most of its staff while eliminating positions that it does not consider “essential”.


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Sun Micro got greedy and now may die. They screwed the pooch.


Vllad


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Vllad wrote:
Sun Micro got greedy and now may die. They screwed the pooch.


Vllad


Oracle is going to pay them 9.50 a share.

_________________
"Hamilton is really a Colossus to the anti republican party. Without numbers he is an host within himself. They have got themselves into a defile where they might be finished but too much security on the republican part will give time to his talents and indefatigableness to extricate them. We have had only middling performances to oppose to him. In truth when he comes forward there is nobody but yourself who can meet him. His adversaries having begun the attack he has the advantage of answering them and remains unanswered himself. For God's sake take up your pen and give a fundamental reply to Curtius and Camillas" - Thomas Jefferson to James Madison


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:50 pm 
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Posts: 6396
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CREDITOR’S EDGE
(The Nation’s Oldest Daily Business E-Newspaper)

—The Day’s News in Capsule Form—

A Product of Bastien Financial Publications


(For more information contact us at 847-491-1900
or email usbj7@yahoo.com)


Wednesday
April 22, 2009

(This daily e-newspaper is a copyrighted publication for the exclusive use
of the recipient only and is not to be forwarded or copied
in whole or in part for use by any other party.)



Educational Tidbits
For Today's Financial Executive

Has TARP Money Boosted Credit?

The Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program money may not be doing much to unclog the nation’s credit markets. According to a recent survey of the twenty-one biggest banks in the U.S. that have been recipients of TARP money, credit being offered by those banks in the commercial and consumer lending categories slipped more than 2% in February from the month earlier. While home loans edged up a bit in February as borrowers took advantage of low interest rates, big banks are providing less credit overall for businesses and consumers. Already, Treasury has committed $95 billion of its TARP funds to its strategy to get credit flowing once more for both consumers and businesses.



The Business Professional’s
Q&A Corner

YESTERDAY’S QUESTION: Identify a checklist of important things to consider in being sure your company has a clear credit policy.

ANSWER: To be sure your company has a clear credit policy, there are a number of steps you can take. First, you should have written credit policies and a standard document for credit agreements. Contracts, invoices and followup letters should be clearly defined and policy manuals should outline the guidelines for assessing credit risks. Methods for collections should be clear for the customer and timetables for collection set out. As a backup, you should have a creditors’ rights attorney available and your company should also have an established relationship with a good collection agency. Finally, as a last resort, there should be well defined criteria for making decisions about when to further pursue or write off a delinquent account. Taking steps to be clear will optimize the credit relationship with your customers and improve your chances of being paid in a timely fashion.

QUESTION: Explain the responsibilities of the creditors’ committee in a bankruptcy filing.
ANSWER NEXT ISSUE



Today's Headlines:

Asyst Technologies Inc. to file Chapter 11...

Brown-Forman Co. announces 250 job cuts...

Coca-Cola Co.’s net income slides in the first quarter...

Delta Air Lines Inc. narrows its loss for the first quarter...

Emulex Corp. to get an unsolicited $800 million buyout offer from Broadcom Corp....

Erving Industries Inc. files Chapter 11...

Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc. warns of reduced profit for the first quarter...

Merck & Co.’s first quarter net income sinks...

New York Times Co. reports a wider first quarter loss on a revenue decline...

Tenet Healthcare Corp. turns around a year-earlier first quarter loss...

TitleMax Holdings LLC files Chapter 11...

Teradyne Inc. to cut 350 jobs...




BANKRUPTCY NEWS

(For more information on these (or any) bankrupt firms
call the 800-number in your U.S. Bankruptcy Court Directory
available through Bastien Financial Publications.)

Asyst Technologies Inc., a Fremont, Ca. maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, announced that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, also saying that its Japanese affiliates have already filed similar proceedings under Japanese law. Asyst, which will continue its core operations under Chapter 11, will look for a buyer. In the final quarter of 2008 Asyst lost $7.3 million on revenue of $83 million. As of the end of last year the company had $77 million in cash on its books.

Colby Management Group LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-031290. For more information contact the court at 919-234-7655.

Dubose Development LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-30975. For more information contact the court at 888-457-0604.

Erving Industries Inc., a paper-products manufacturer in Erving, Ma., filed Chapter 11 as a result of tough competition, the sagging economy and years of operating losses. The company, whose pension plan is underfunded by $15 million, added that it will continue operating as it reorganizes. Also filing for bankruptcy protection were its Eresco Inc. and Erving Paper Mills Inc. subsidiaries. Erving’s filing, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Massachusetts, was under case number 09-30624. The company listed assets of between $100,000 and $1 million and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. Erving has annual sales of about $50 million.

Gulf States Long Term Acure Care of Covington LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The firm listed assets of less than $100,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. The case number is 09-11116. For more information contact the court at 866-375-7879.

Magna Entertainment Corp. received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for a modified financing plan of $38.4 million, down from $62.5 million that was originally proposed. A hearing regarding sale procedures in the Ontario-based racetrack owners’s bankruptcy is scheduled for 5/4.

Motor Coach Industries International Inc., a Schaumburg, Il. manufacturer of long-distance buses, emerged from its Chapter 11 reorganization plan with Franklin Mutual Advisers LLC assuming majority ownership through a debt-for-equity swap. Motor Coach filed for bankruptcy protection seven months ago with a prepackaged reorganization plan.

Pacific Microwave filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The firm listed assets of less than $100,000 and liabilities of more than $1 billion. The case number is 09-12400. For further information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, N.Y. at 212-668-2870.

Quebecor World filed its joint reorganization plan and disclosure statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, saying it doesn’t anticipate any recovery for various shareholders. A related reorganization plan will be submitted in Canadian courts next month and a hearing on the disclosure statement is scheduled for 5/15.

RAD Realty Corp. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maryland. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-16800. For more information contact the court at 800-829-0145.

Red Top Rentals Inc. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-05229. For more information contact the court at 800-335-8003.

Redwood Reliance Sales Co. filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-11070. For more information contact the court at 888-457-0604.

TitleMax Holdings LLC, a privately-held title lending company with more than 500 locations, filed Chapter 11. The Savannah, Ga.-headquartered firm filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Georgia listing assets and liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million each. The case number is 09-40805. Also filing for bankruptcy protection were fifteen TitleMax affiliates.

TOUSA Inc., the bankrupt homebuilder, filed its amended Chapter 11 reorganization plan and disclosure statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The plan calls for monetizing its assets over the next two to three years.

Tribune Co. has a suitor for its Chicago Cubs baseball team, with local investment banker Tom Ricketts looking around to find investors to help finance a proposed $900 million acquisition of the Cubbies. Mr. Ricketts wants to attract about ten investors to pump in about $25 million apiece in exchange for an ownership interest in the team.

Viking Industries LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Alabama. The firm listed assets of between $100,000 and $1 million and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. The case number is 09-11778. For more information contact the court at 251-441-5638.




DISTRESSED / RAPIDLY-EXPANDING COMPANIES
&
OTHER COMPANY NEWS

Acorn Capital Management in Pennsylvania and its principal, Donald Young, were charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with running a Ponzi scheme and misappropriating $23 million in clients’ assets.

Allegiant Travel Co., the Las Vegas, Nv. parent company of Allegiant Air, reported its first quarter profit nearly tripled–to $28.2 million, on a 7% revenue increase–to $142 million. The company benefitted from lower fuel prices.

Allina Hospitals and Clinics, a Minneapolis, Mn.-based operator of forty-five clinics, is merging its clinic in Litchfield, Mn. with another one owned by Affiliated Community Medical Centers for an undisclosed amount.

American International Group Inc., the Manhattan, N.Y. insurer, is having to pay a price for its notorious bonuses, saying that it closed a deal for $30 billion in federal funding, although the government will subtract from that amount the $165 million that AIG shelled out in executive bonuses.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., San Diego, Ca., said that investor Carl Icahn, who’s in a proxy battle with the company, suggested that Amylin put itself up for sale, although Amylin said that’s not going to happen at the present time.

Aurora Catholic Federal Credit Union in Denver, Co. merged with Security Service Federal Credit Union for an undisclosed amount.

Baldor Electric Co., an Arkansas-based manufacturer of electric motors and other products, is shutting down a plant in Fort Mill, N.C. and shifting production to a larger facility in Kings Mountain, N.C. The move affects 140 workers who are being offered jobs at the Kings Mountain location.

Bank of America Corp. reported strong first quarter results, or did it? Despite logging $2.4 billion in net income for this year’s first quarter, the banking giant’s shares plunged in Wall Street trading as the company also said it set aside more than $13 billion to cover potential future credit losses, up nearly 60% from the reserves it announced in the fourth quarter. Further, CEO Kenneth Lewis warned that credit is still in the dumps and could even further deteriorate before the situation stabilizes. Bank of America’s nonperforming assets rose almost another percent from the year-ago quarter–to 6.25%, and the North Carolina bank lost almost $1.7 billion on its credit-card operations and chalked up a $500 million insurance loss. And while the profit for the quarter was up almost threefold from a year ago, it stemmed mostly from the trading business at its Merrill Lynch & Co. unit.

Blackrock Inc., the big Manhattan, N.Y. money manager, reported its first quarter profit tanked 56%–to $110 million, about in line with analysts’ estimates. Revenue sank 24%–to $987 million, while its assets under management declined 6%. The firm was hurt by wide-ranging investment losses.

Boston Scientific Corp., the Natick, Ma. maker of medical devices, reported a first quarter net loss of $13 million, down from a $322 million profit in the year-earlier period. Revenue slipped 2%–to just over $2 billion. The recent results included $240 million in after-tax charges related to patent-related payment costs. As a result of those costs, and another $1.1 billion the firm has set aside for other patent-infringement payments, Boston Scientific also lowered its projection for 2009 earnings.

Brown-Forman Co., the Louisville, Ky. wine and spirits company, announced that it will lay off 250 workers as it cuts costs. Another sixty workers have accepted early retirement. Brown-Forman, with 4,100 employees around the world, hopes that its streamlining will save it between $15 million and $25 million in fiscal 2010.

Chrysler LLC is under pressure from the Treasury Department in four-way meetings that also include Fiat SpA and the Michigan carmaker’s union workers. Some Obama administration officials have apparently decided that Chrysler apparently isn’t worth the trouble of any more government assistance and that it may be headed for liquidation. Chrysler now faces a deadline at the end of the month to reach union and lender agreements on cutting costs. One possibility is for the government to force Chrysler into a Chapter 11 or even a Chapter 7 proceeding if restructuring details aren’t reached in the next ten days. Chrysler, already the beneficiary of $4 billion in government loans, is hoping to get another $500 million in working capital this month.

Ciena Corp.’s shares sank almost 9% in recent trading after the Linthicum, Md. network infrastructure manufacturer said that it would write off the last $456 million of goodwill that remains on its balance sheet.

Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, Ga., reported its first quarter net income sank 10%–to about $1.3 billion, although not including restructuring charges and other items earnings reached $1.5 billion. Sales for the quarter slipped 3%–to $7.2 billion, shy of Wall Street estimates. The beverage company also reiterated that it hopes to achieve $500 million in annual savings by 2011.


DataSource Inc., a print-supply chain-management company in Kansas City, Mo., expanded by acquiring FRI Resources, a printing distributor in St. Louis, for an undisclosed amount.

Delta Air Lines Inc., Atlanta, Ga., narrowed its loss in the first quarter to $794 million, a big improvement over its $6.4 billion loss in the year-earlier period. The results included $684 million in fuel-hedge losses as prices for jet fuel declined. Revenue surged 40%–to $6.7 billion, thanks to its merger with Northwest Airlines last fall. Hoping to generate $100 million in fees, the carrier immediately put in place a $50 fee for most passengers who check a second piece of luggage. Delta ended the quarter with $5 billion in unrestricted liquidity.

Eli Lilly and Co., the Indianapolis, In. maker of pharmaceuticals, reported its first quarter net income increased 23%–to $1.3 billion, ahead of Wall Street expectations. Revenue was up 5%–to more than $5 billion, and gross margins surged.

Emulex Corp., a Costa Mesa, Ca. maker of computer-data-center technology, is apparently getting an unsolicited $800 million cash buyout offer from Broadcom Corp., the Irvine, Ca. manufacturer of communications semiconductors. Several months ago Emulex adopted a poison-pill defense trying to block any hostile takeover maneuvers.

Fair Isaac Corp., a Minneapolis, Mn. credit-scoring company, had its stock downgraded by an analyst who expressed concern about the firm’s second quarter results.

Florida Capital Bank NA, Jacksonville, Fl., now has no more than 120 days to propose and implement plans for reducing its credit risk and boosting its liquidity, as regulators are demanding that the bank strengthen its books. Last year the company lost $16.2 million, following a $6.5 million loss in 2007.

Galaxy Associates, a specialty chemical company in Ohio, expanded by acquiring Challenge Inc., an Indianapolis, In. maker of metal-related chemicals, for an undisclosed amount.

General Motors Corp.’s shares lost another 11% after the Detroit, Mi. carmaker, struggling to stay out of bankruptcy, announced that 1,600 more job cuts are imminent.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC gets a significantly stronger dermatology business with its recently announced deal to acquire Stiefel Laboratories Inc., a closely-held Coral Gables, Fl. dermatology products maker, for $2.9 billion. Stiefel, which makes various acne and scalp treatments, will add about $900 million in annual sales to Glaxo, which itself has a $550 million dermatology business. The big British drug firm is eager enough for Stiefel that it will assume $400 million of Stiefel’s debt and make $300 million in additional cash payments, pending future performance.

Greensboro College in North Carolina will reduce salaries of both faculty and other staffers by 20% and will cut an unspecified number of part-time jobs to deal with budget pressures.

GridNetworks Inc., a Seattle, Wa. company that provides high-definition full-screen video over the Internet, has merged with Global Media Services in Manhattan, N.Y. for an undisclosed amount.

Halliburton Co. announced 2,000 job cuts (12% of it North American payroll), as it contends with reduced production. The big Houston, Tx.-based oilfield-services provider also reported its first quarter earnings sank 35%–to $380 million, on a 3% slide in revenue–to $3.9 billion. The company blamed weak gas-drilling activity in North America.

Harris Corp., a Melbourne, Fl.-based communications and information-technology company, wants to add fifteen positions at its geospatial services production site in St. Louis, Mo.

Hasbro Inc., the Pawtucket, R.I. toymaker, reported its first quarter profit sank 47%–to $19.7 million, on a 12% revenue decline–to $621 million.

Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc., a Columbus, Oh. maker of adhesives and other products, announced that operating income for its first quarter will be no more than $15 million and perhaps as low as $5 million, compared to an $83 million profit in the year-ago first quarter. As it released preliminary results, Hexion said that its revenue for the period fell 45%–to $900 million. Hexion’s CEO, Craig Morrison, added that the company expects to be in compliance with its debt terms. The firm will expand a program to cut costs by $100 million, partly by cutting 15% of its worldwide workforce of 6,500 employees.

Hyundai, the South Korean-based automaker, is recalling more than 530,000 vehicles that were manufactured at its operations in Alabama due to a malfunctioning stop lamp switch.

InsWeb Corp., a Sacramento, Ca. online insurance marketplace, reported a first quarter loss of $500,000, down from a $670,000 profit in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell 27%–to $9.5 million. By the end of March InsWeb’s cash and equivalents had sunk to $4.1 million, down from $9.2 million at the end of 2008.

International Business Machines Corp.’s quarterly profit slipped 1%–to $2.3 billion, on an 11% sales decline–to $21.7 billion, with results hurt partly by the effects of the strong greenback overseas. More troubling in the longer term for the Armonk, N.Y. company is Sun Microsystems Inc.’s acceptance of a $7.4 billion buyout bid from rival Oracle Corp. in a deal that will enhance Oracle’s future in the market for corporate software. Earlier IBM made an offer to acquire Sun, but Sun opted in the end for the Oracle offer, which, according to some, was a surprise for IBM.

Kadant AES, a manufacturer of cleaning products for the paper industry, put its plant in Queensbury, N.Y. on the sales block as the company moves to streamline operations and move its manufacturing to another site in Massachusetts.

Legg Mason Inc., the Baltimore, Md. money manager, continued paring its payroll, saying it laid off forty more workers as it hopes to shave $120 million from its budget this year. Last month Legg Mason reduced its payroll by twenty positions and back in December the firm cut 200 positions.

Lennar Corp.’s shares slumped 19% in recent trading after the Miami, Fl. homebuilder announced a plan to sell up to $275 million in stock in a move that would dilute shareholders’ interest. The company also revealed that it’s the target of a class-action lawsuit by disgruntled homeowners regarding drywall problems.

Logos Technologies Inc., an Arlington, Va. provider of services for the intelligence, law-enforcement and other markets, is expanding by opening a new office in Loudoun County, Va.

Lumension Inc., Scottsdale, Az., will boost its risk-management and compliance-software business by acquiring Securityworks, a Dallas, Tx. governance, risk and compliance software company, for an undisclosed amount.

McClatchy Co., the newspaper company, was warned that its shares could be delisted from trading on the New York Stock Exchange for failing to maintain minimum listing requirements. The company has five weeks to submit a plan to regain compliance.

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, a law firm in Washington, D.C., will cut new associates’ salaries by $20,000 as it deals with the economic downturn.

Merck & Co., the Whitehouse Station, N.J. drug company, reported its first quarter net income tumbled 57%–to $1.4 billion, short of expectations, partly because of weak sales of some of its top drugs and declining income from partnerships. The results included restructuring charges and expenses related to its planned acquisition of Schering-Plough Corp., the big Kenilworth, N.J. drug company, for more than $41 billion. Also, the year-earlier quarter was inflated by a $2.2 billion pretax gain. Revenue in the recent quarter fell 8%–to $5.4 billion.

Microsoft Corp., which announced in January that it would pare its payroll by 5,000 positions over the next year and a half, could engage in even more workforce reductions, according to one industry analyst.

Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co., American Heritage Life Insurance Co. and Wakely and Associates Inc. agreed to pay $15 million to settle allegations that they provided inaccurate actuarial work on certain insurance policies in Missouri.

New York Times Co., Manhattan, N.Y., reported a first quarter loss of $74.5 million, way up from a $335,000 loss in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue sank almost 19%–to $609 million, including a 28% drop in ad revenue at its publishing businesses. The newspaper company has been looking for ways to reduce costs and raise cash, including raising $225 million through a sale-leaseback of its headquarters and a $250 million loan from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

Park National Corp., a Newark, Oh. bank, reported higher-than-anticipated earnings for its first quarter of $21.4 million, although that’s down slightly from $23 million in the year-earlier period which was boosted by a special gain. Net interest income was up 11%–to $68.2 million, although its loan-loss provisions jumped by 66% and noninterest income fell 9%.

Quicksilver Resources Inc.’s shares tumbled more than 20% after the Fort Worth, Tx.
oil and gas company’s investment rating was lowered by RBC Capital, which expressed worry about Quicksilver’s pinched liquidity and covenant risks, among other matters. Quicksilver itself insisted that it’s in compliance with all of its debt obligations.

Revlon Inc., the troubled Manhattan, N.Y. cosmetics firm, received an offer to be bought out by MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., investor Ronald Perelman’s investment vehicle. Mr. Perelman has offered converting all the Revlon stock that MacAndrews doesn’t currently own into $75 million in preferred shares and forgiving $75 million out of a $107 million loan that MacAndrews earlier made to Revlon’s consumer-products business.

S&T Bancorp Inc.’s shares lost nearly a quarter of their value in recent trading after the Indiana, Pa. company said that it lost $3.1 million in its first quarter as a result of a more than $21 million provisions for loan losses. In the year-earlier period S&T recorded net income of $14.9 million.

San Francisco Chronicle’s delivery drivers’ union members approved a deal with the newspaper that will result in the loss of 100 jobs as the company, a unit of Heart Corp., seeks to reduce costs.

Stream International, a business processing outsourcing provider, will close a call center in Richardson, Tx. and cut sixty jobs.

Tenet Healthcare Corp., a Dallas, Tx. hospital operator, swung to the black in the first quarter, saying that it anticipates net income for common shareholders of $178 million for the period, a turnaround from a $31 million loss in the year-earlier period. The company also boosted its projections for the full year.

Teradyne Inc., North Reading, Ma., announced that it will reduce its payroll by 350 workers in the current quarter, among other cost-cutting moves, amid sinking demand for its semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The job cuts, on top of a 14% workforce cut that the company announced three months ago, will result in a $12 million cash charge during the second quarter. Teradyne lost $55 million in its fourth quarter.

Trojan Hardware in Troy, N.Y. is shutting down operations after nearly a century of doing business.

UBS AG is selling its Banco Pactual investment unit in Brazil to BTG Investments, which earlier owned that unit, for $2.5 billion in cash and liability assumption as the big Swiss bank continues efforts to bolster its balance sheet. UBS, which wants to reduce next year’s spending by up to $3.4 billion, is taking a loss on the sale although the deal
will also strengthen its Tier 1 capital-strength ratio.


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Ready Chryslers notation. That tells you everything you need to know about our goverments involvement into private business.


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Vllad wrote:
Ready Chryslers notation. That tells you everything you need to know about our goverments involvement into private business.


Quote:
Chrysler LLC is under pressure from the Treasury Department in four-way meetings that also include Fiat SpA and the Michigan carmaker’s union workers. Some Obama administration officials have apparently decided that Chrysler apparently isn’t worth the trouble of any more government assistance and that it may be headed for liquidation. Chrysler now faces a deadline at the end of the month to reach union and lender agreements on cutting costs. One possibility is for the government to force Chrysler into a Chapter 11 or even a Chapter 7 proceeding if restructuring details aren’t reached in the next ten days. Chrysler, already the beneficiary of $4 billion in government loans, is hoping to get another $500 million in working capital this month.


We should have let them liquidate?

Might happen anyway, but don't know if that would be the best choice of action. I think the thing people keep forgetting is that they have been given a $4 billion loan. Loan being the operative word here, and that makes us the banker. Any Banker / major stock holder that provided similar loans would be doing the same thing with them right now.

I don't know that it has anything to do with the fact that the bank is the government or not. The major difference is no other bank would have given them a loan.

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Exactly my point. They gave the loan and then decided they are a bad risk. It is supposed to be the other way around.

I would have no issue with the goverment acting as a bank if they could collect when the covenants are broken. The problem is their are no lien rights with the loan. (You can get the lien rights off of the web site).

This essentially means that once again we just through some more cash down the drain.


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Vllad wrote:
Exactly my point. They gave the loan and then decided they are a bad risk. It is supposed to be the other way around.

I would have no issue with the goverment acting as a bank if they could collect when the covenants are broken. The problem is their are no lien rights with the loan. (You can get the lien rights off of the web site).

This essentially means that once again we just through some more cash down the drain.


Vllad


No no no. they gave a loan and was fine, until they came back for another 500 million. The issues is providing more loans. The increase in the loans and the concern about the ability to pay it back is the concern.

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CREDITOR’S EDGE
(The Nation’s Oldest Daily Business E-Newspaper)

—The Day’s News in Capsule Form—

A Product of Bastien Financial Publications


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Tuesday
April 28, 2009

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in whole or in part for use by any other party.)




Educational Tidbits
For Today's Financial Executive

Quick: What’s the Relationship Between Ratings Firms
And the U.S. Constitution?

Ratings companies such as Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s came under harsh criticism for their allegedly failing to point out the risks of those mortgage-backed securities that supposedly prompted the slide into the current recession. Observers complained that the ratings firms were in an inherent conflict of interest with the companies they’re supposed to rate and ended up giving unrealistically rosy bills of health when in fact they were about to collapse under debt. The ratings companies have often protected themselves from liabilities by asserting that their ratings are, in effect, an expression of free speech as provided by the U.S. Constitution, and courts have generally supported that line of reasoning. However some investors are pushing ahead with litigation against the ratings companies, but they will have to show that the ratings firms not only provided false assessments but also provided that information with “actual malice”. Judges could rule against the ratings firms’ traditional free-speech protection if they determine that their ratings of the mortgage-backed securities amount to private commercial transactions, in which case they might be held liable.



The Business Professional’s
Q&A Corner

YESTERDAY’S QUESTION: Explain some of the problems customer deductions can present with regard to accounts receivable.
ANSWER: Customer deductions, whether valid or invalid, can be a nightmare to those who deal with accounts receivables. Often such deductions as freight, pricing and even sales tax can sit on an AR ledger for long periods of time until they are either credited or paid back by the customer. There are dozens of different kinds of deductions that customers take. In fact, numerous surveys have shown that more than 80% of the time deductions are valid and should be credited promptly. Some companies have systems in place that allow for a quick resolution of these items, yet in other firms (and it often varies by industry not necessarily firm-to-firm) deductions can sit on a company's books for as long as six months. The result? Inflated receivables that in the long run can cost your company money. If a company's credit line is, even in part, tied to its AR, then the inflation of this current asset could adversely affect the amount that company can draw against–a thought to consider when evaluating your overall AR status.

QUESTION: Explain what happens in a Chapter 13 filing, with regard to a trustee, creditors’ meetings and a reorganization plan.
ANSWER NEXT ISSUE



Today's Headlines:

Comerica Inc. cuts almost 500 jobs...

Danaher Corp. announces 2,300 job cuts...

General Motors Corp., saying it needs $11.6 billion more in government loans, warns of a bankruptcy filing if bondholders don’t exchange debt...

Honeywell International Inc.’s first quarter profit sinks on a sales decline...

Jakks Pacific Inc. reports a first quarter loss...

Kennametal Inc. reports a quarterly loss...

Marshall & Ilsley Corp. reports a loss for its first quarter...

MKS Instruments Inc. reports a widened first quarter net loss...

NOVA Chemicals Corp. reports a first quarter loss on a plunge in sales...

Spansion Inc. seeks “strategic alternatives” for its wireless operations...

SunTrust Banks Inc. reports a large loss for its first quarter...

W.R. Grace & Co. reports a first quarter loss...




BANKRUPTCY NEWS

(For more information on these (or any) bankrupt firms
call the 800-number in your U.S. Bankruptcy Court Directory
available through Bastien Financial Publications.)

Arthur Diamonds in Los Angeles, Ca. filed Chapter 7. As of February the firm had estimated liabilities of more than $1.4 million. Assets, partly in the form of more than $315,000 in accounts receivable, are considered largely uncollectible.

Atherogenics Inc. has seen a 6/2 hearing scheduled to consider confirmation of its Chapter 11 reorganization plan. For more information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court at 800-510-8284.

Brownsburg Golf Course Inc., the owner of the Oak Ford Golf Course in Sarasota, Fl., filed Chapter 7 with the intention of liquidating. The firm listed assets and liabilities of about $4.5 million and $6.7 million respectively.

Charter Communications Inc.’s reorganization plan is coming under fire, which could in turn throw a wrench into the St. Louis, Mo. cable firm’s hopes of quickly emerging from Chapter 11. The trustee in the case expressed dissatisfaction with a stipulation in the plan that would exempt former executives, directors and others from being held accountable in litigation hitting them with securities-laws violations and other actions. In another move, Charter said that it will issue new common shares to some of its bondholders in order to raise cash.

Chisholm Properties of Pensacola LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida. The firm listed assets of less than $100,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million. The case number is 09-30782. For more information contact the court at 850-942-8358.

Circuit City Stores Inc., the Richmond, Va. electronics retailer, has seen a 5/11 asset auction scheduled in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Objections must be filed by 5/12 and a sale hearing is scheduled for 5/13. For more information contact the debtor’s attorney, Gregg Galardi, at 302-651-3000.

DBSI Inc. has seen a 6/4 deadline set for filing proof of claims in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. For further information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, De. at 302-252-2900.

Foamex International Inc. has seen a 5/19 auction scheduled for certain assets in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. For further information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, De. at 302-252-2900.

Happy Vacations, a California tour company that specializes in Hawaiian tours, shut down its operations and filed Chapter 11.

Masonite Corp. has seen a 5/21 deadline set for voting on its Chapter 11 reorganization plan. Also, a 5/29 confirmation hearing has been scheduled. For further information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, De. at 302-252-2900.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. has seen a 6/1 deadline set for filing alternative dispute resolution confirmation of loss forms in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. For more information contact the U.S. Bankruptcy Court at 800-886-9008.

Spansion Inc. of Sunnyvale, Ca., which is reorganizing under Chapter 11, will seek “strategic alternatives” for its wireless operations as it hopes to focus on its embedded-solutions technology and the licensing of intellectual property. Spansion, sitting on almost $200 million in cash to support its strategy, hopes to develop a business worth about $1 billion in revenue per year.

T. Thomas Chevrolet in Lakeland, Fl. filed Chapter 11. The filing, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, listed assets of as much as $10 million and liabilities of up to $50 million. The company does business as Michael Holley Chevrolet, T. Thomas Affordable Used Cars, Michael Holley’s Pre-Owned Wholesale Outlet and Michael Holley’s Regional Discount Chevy Store.

Ward Street Associates LLC filed Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The firm listed assets and liabilities of between $1 million and $100 million each. The case number is 09-35974. For more information contact the court in Manhattan, N.Y. at 212-668-2870.

W.R. Grace & Co., a Columbia, Md. chemicals firm, reported a first quarter net loss of $38.9 million, compared to net income of $17.7 million a year ago. Sales fell 10%–to $682 million, partly because of currency-translation effects. While reporting the loss, Grace said that it has improved its operations, partly by trimming its payroll and shrinking its working capital by $90 million. The firm, which has been in Chapter 11 for eight years, hopes to complete its reorganization plan by the end of this year.




DISTRESSED / RAPIDLY-EXPANDING COMPANIES
&
OTHER COMPANY NEWS

AT&T Inc., Dallas, Tx., is pulling the plug on its Call Vantage Internet-based phone service as it focuses on its own Voice over Internet Protocol operations.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp,, the Fort Worth, Tx. railroad company, reported that net income dropped 36% in its recent quarter–to $293 million, on a 21% slide in revenue–to $3.4 billion. The results included $96 million in extra charges.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., Calgary, Alberta, reported that net income sank 31% in its recent quarter–to $50.4 million, on a nearly 7% slide in revenue–to $863 million.

Chemed Corp., Cincinnati, Oh., reported its first quarter net income rose to $19.3 million, up from $15.9 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose to $295 million, slightly ahead of analyst’ estimates and up from $285 million a year ago. The company benefitted from Medicare-related federal stimulus funds at its Vitas Healthcare business. Chemed’s other main line of business is its Roto-Rooter service.

Columbia Sportswear Co., Portland, Or., reported its first quarter profit sank 65%–to $6.9 million, while sales fell 8.5%–to $272 million, although the sales beat analysts’ expectations.

Comerica Inc., a Dallas, Tx. financial services firm, announced that its trimmed its payroll by the equivalent of 490 full-time positions during the first quarter, following 160 layoffs in the fourth quarter. The company took $6 million in severance costs in the recent quarter, on top of $29 million in the fourth quarter. Comerica recently reported its first quarter profit plunged to $9 million, down from $109 million in the year-ago quarter.

Corning Inc., the Corning, N.Y.-based maker of fiberoptic products, reported its first quarter net income plunged 99%–to $14 million. Revenue sank 39%–to $989 million. Despite the sharp decline in earnings, results were ahead of expectations as the manufacturer benefitted from the demand for its liquid-crystal-display products.

Danaher Corp., the big Washington, D.C. manufacturer of industrial tools, will now pare its payroll by 2,300 positions, up from an earlier announcement that it would cut 1,700 jobs, as it consolidates sixteen sales and manufacturing sites. Danaher earlier said its restructuring would cost it at most $60 million but has upped that estimate to between $150 million and $170 million. The firm also said that its first quarter profit fell 14%–to $238 million, on a 13% drop in sales–to $2.6 billion.

DataSource Inc., a print-supply-chain management firm, expanded by acquiring Comet Sales of St. Louis, Mo. and MoSolutions LLC of Atlanta, Ga. Those purchases are fast on the heels of DataSource’s recent acquisition of FRI Resources.

Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union was put into conservatorship by Florida’s banking regulators, with its assets turned over to the National Credit Union Administration.

Equinix Inc., a Foster City, Ca. data-center operator, reported its first quarter net income soared fourfold–to $15.5 million, on a 26% increase in revenue–to $199 million. The results included an $11.6 million tax expense.

Evans Bancorp Inc., in a move to reduce credit exposure and focus on its core banking operations, will get out of the equipment-leasing side of its business. Also, Evans, Angola, N.Y., reported a $1.2 million loss in its first quarter, including $2 million in impairment charges related to the leasing unit.

Exaprotect Inc., a Mountain View, Ca. security technology company, is being acquired by LogLogic Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

F5 Networks Inc., a Seattle, Wa. software maker, reported its second quarter net income slipped to $19 million, down from $21.4 million a year ago. Revenue declined to $154 million, down from $159 million in the year-earlier period.

First Solar Inc., a Tempe, Az. provider of thin-film photovoltaic panels for solar arrays, and its German partner, Juwi Holding AG, won financing for development of a 53-megawatt solar plant in Germany, saying they arranged for 80% of the money needed for the project. The companies didn’t reveal the cost of the project but it’s thought that a facility of that size would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 million.

Fluke Corp., an Everett, Wa. manufacturer of portable electronic test and measurement gear, expanded by acquiring Hawk IR International Ltd. in England, a maker of infrared safety products, for an undisclosed amount.

Frontier Financial Corp., Everett, Wa., reported a first quarter loss of $33.8 million, compared to net income of $15.5 million a year ago. Nonperforming loans increased to more than 16% of its total assets, up from under 11% in the fourth quarter. Frontier, which boosted loan-loss provisions in the recent quarter, also said that it will suspend its 401(k) matching program, hoping to save $1.7 million a year.

Gander Mountain Corp., the St. Paul, Mn. seller of sporting goods, more than doubled its net income in the fourth quarter from the year-earlier period–to $13 million. Sales rose 5%–to $334 million, although same-store sales slipped a bit. The results were helped by strong sales of ammunition and other hunting gear.

General Electric Co., Stamford, Ct., is in an agreement to sell its 81% interest in its Homeland Protection business to Safran SA of France, an aerospace maker, in a $580 million cash transaction. The unit, which focuses on making narcotics and explosives detection equipment, reported sales last year of $260 million, down from $416 million in 2003.

General Motors Corp. said that a restructuring will require another $11.6 billion in government loans, at the same time warning that it will file for bankruptcy protection if its attempt to reach a debt-exchange deal with its bondholders doesn’t work out. GM told the bondholders that it is making an exchange offer for $27 billion of unsecured public notes, hoping to stay out of bankruptcy. However, the carmaker said that if it does file for bankruptcy protection, its reorganization plan would call for splitting itself into two companies, one containing its good assets, including its Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC brands, and a separate entity holdings its bad assets, which would be liquidated as GM continues trimming down its number of models. Already GM has said it will dump its Pontiac brand.

Haemonetics Corp., a Braintree, Ma. blood-management concern, expanded by purchasing privately-held Neoteric Technology Ltd. for an undisclosed amount. Neoteric is a medical-information management company. Also, Haemonetics said that it will continue to make strategic acquisitions.

Honeywell International Inc., the Morristown, N.J. manufacturing conglomerate, reported its first quarter profit sank 38%–to $399 million. Net sales fell 15%–to $7.6 billion. The firm also lowered its outlook for the full year.

FirstMerit Corp. of Akron, Oh., a banking company, spent $126 million to buy back preferred shares that it sold last year to the Treasury Department’s Capital Purchase Program.

Igate Corp., a Fremont, Ca. outsourcing concern, reported its first quarter net income sank 32%–to $5 million. Revenue fell about 19%–to $44.8 million.

InTest Corp., a Cherry Hill, N.J. manufacturer of semiconductor testing equipment, is cutting more than two dozen jobs, hoping to save $1.4 million a year. The job cuts will result in $135,000 in severance costs.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., a Pasadena, Ca.-based provider of technical and construction services, won a contract from Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. to provide project-management consulting services for a refinery in India. Jacobs’s share of the $650 million installation project wasn’t revealed.

Jakks Pacific Inc., a Milpitas, Ca. designer and marketer of toys, reported a first quarter loss of $10.8 million, compared to earnings of $900,000 in the year-earlier period. Sales fell 17%–to $109 million.

Kennametal Inc., a Latrobe, Pa. manufacturer of mining equipment, metal-cutting tools and other products, lost $138 million in its recent quarter, compared with $23.2 million in earnings in the year-earlier period. Not including charges for restructuring and writedowns, Kennametal eked out a profit for the period, in line with analysts’ expectations. Sales for the quarter slumped 36%–to $441 million.

Kovair Software Inc., Milpitas, Ca., opened up a sales and marketing unit in India, which will serve the local market and the Middle East.

Liberty National Life Insurance Co., a unit of Texas-based Torchmark Corp., opened up two new branch offices in St. Louis, Mo. where it will hire 100 sales and management workers.

Marshall & Ilsley Corp., the Milwaukee, Wi. financial firm, reported a first quarter net loss of $117 million, compared to net income of $146 million a year ago. The recent results, which were worse than analysts had expected, included a more than $330 million increase in provisions for certain loans. Also, the quarter’s figures reflected a $51 million tax benefit and $25 million in dividends paid out to the federal government for the $1.7 billion infusion it received from the Treasury Department last fall.

Microline Pentax Inc., a Beverly, Ma. manufacturer of minimally invasive surgical devices, expanded by acquiring Starion Instruments Corp. of Sunnyvale, Ca. for an undisclosed amount.

MKS Instruments Inc., an Andover, Ma. maker of semiconductor manufacturing gear, reported a widened first quarter net loss of $16.5 million, compared to a $6.3 million loss in the fourth quarter. The recent results included $5.6 million in charges related to layoffs. Revenue sank 60%–to $76.7 million. MKS also warned that it will incur a loss in the second quarter.

National Grid, the biggest utility in the Albany, N.Y. area, filed for $120 million in federal money to help pay for a so-called smart grid pilot program in upstate New York. That money would cover about half of the cost of the program.

Nonni’s Foods, an Illinois-based unit of Greece’s Vivaritia SA that makes biscotti, bagels and other baked products, will spend $27 million to build a commercial bakery in Yardkinville, N.C., where it will hire more than 170 workers over the next three years.

NOVA Chemicals Corp., the Pennsylvania-based chemicals maker, reported a first quarter loss of $123 million on a 57% plunge in revenue–to $818 million. Recently, NOVA’s shareholders agreed to a deal for their company to be purchased by International Petroleum Investors of Kuwait, and the transaction should be wrapped up in the second quarter.

Pharmacyclics Inc., a Sunnyvale, Ca. drug developer, arranged a partnership with Servier, a French pharmaceuticals concern, to research, develop and commercialize a small-molecule anticancer agent. The deal could be worth as much as $40 million for Pharmacyclics.

Phase Forward, a Waltham, Ma. maker of software for clinical trials and drug safety, expanded by acquiring Waban Software, a privately-held Cambridge, Ma. firm, in a cash deal valued at $14 million.

Qualcomm Inc., San Diego, Ca., agreed to pay Broadcom Corp. of Irvine, Ca. $891 million to end longstanding patent litigation between them. That ends a string of battles between the two semiconductor manufacturers, which will now proceed to exchange the rights to each other’s tech patents.

Schlumberger Ltd., the big oil-services firm, reported its first quarter net income declined 30%–to $940 million. Revenue was down 4.5%–to $6 billion.

Secure Passage LLC, Overland Park, Ks. network software company, said that its first quarter revenue soared 161%. The privately-held company didn’t reveal exact figures.

St. Jude Medical Inc., a Little Canada, Mn. manufacturer of medical devices, reported its first quarter earnings rose 14%–to $201 million. Revenue increased 12%–to $1.1 billion, in line with Wall Street expectations.

Standard Register Co., Dayton, Oh., lost $11 million in its first quarter, compared to net income of $2.5 million a year ago. The recent results included almost $20 million in pension settlements, among other expenses. Revenue fell to $175 million, down from $207 million in the prior year’s first quarter.

SunTrust Banks Inc., Atlanta, Ga., landed in the red in the first quarter, reporting a net loss of $815 million, compared to earnings of $291 million in the year-earlier period. The recent results included noncash after-tax goodwill-impairment charges of $715 million. The firm also took a $994 million provision for loan losses. Revenue for the quarter was flat vis-a-vis a year ago at $2.2 billion.

Superior Uniform Group Inc., a Seminole, Fl. maker and distributor of uniforms and other apparel, reported a first quarter net loss of $500,000, compared to net income of $800,000 in the year-earlier period. Sales sank 28%–to $23.7 million. The company, which has been trimming costs by cutting jobs and streamlining operations, added that it cut all of its outstanding debt at the end of the first quarter.

Tasty Baking Co., Philadelphia, Pa., has moved into new headquarters in the Philadelphia Navy Yard Corporate Center. Next year the baking company will move its manufacturing operations into the same location.

Thomas & Betts Corp., a Memphis, Tn. designer and maker of electronic components and other products, reported its first quarter net earnings slumped 32%–to $26 million, on a 23% drop in sales–to $460 million.

3M Co., the diversified Minnesota manufacturer, reported its first quarter net income sank 47%–to $530 million, on a 21% revenue decline–to $5 billion. The results were hurt by restructuring charges and by changes in the way 3M records certain options. The company has been moving to reduce costs, recently offering early retirement to 3,600 nonunion employees, on top of 1,200 earlier job cuts.

Tractor Supply Co., a Brentwood, Tn. retailer of farm and ranch supplies, reported a $500,000 profit in its first quarter, up from a $2 million net loss in the year-earlier quarter. Net sales were up almost 13%–to $650 million, including a 4% increase in same-store sales.

Trinity Transport Inc. sold its DLT Transportation Services Inc. unit in Kansas City, Mo. to BirdDog Solutions Inc., an Andover, Ma. delivery firm, for an undisclosed amount.

TriQuint Semiconductor Inc., a Hillsboro, Or. provider of wireless communications products, reported a first quarter loss of $15.6 million on a 7% revenue increase–to $119 million.

Union Pacific Corp., the Omaha, Ne. railroad company, reported that net income fell 18% in its recent quarter–to $362 million. Revenue declined 21%–to $3.4 billion.

Vocus Inc., a Lanham, Md. provider of public relations management software, reported a first quarter net loss of nearly $480,000, compared to a $400,000 loss a year ago. Revenue rose 14%–to $20.4 million.

Volvo AB, the Swedish-based truck manufacturer, reported a net loss for its first quarter of $510 million. Revenue fell 27%–to $6.8 billion.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., anticipating strong growth in the second half of the year, will add 3,000 jobs at its operations in North Carolina.

WellPoint Inc., the Indianapolis, In. health insurer, completed its deal to acquire DeCare Dental in Eagan, Mn. for $100 million.

Xerox Corp., Norwalk, Ct., managed a profit in the first quarter of $42 million, a turnaround from its $235 million loss a year ago. However, pressured by declining sales of copiers, printers and related supplies, Xerox’s revenue slumped 18% in the quarter–to nearly $3.6 billion.


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