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Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 5:57 PM
Filed Under: Consumer Products

It was one year ago that the CEO of Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack told analysts that his intent was to grow the auto-parts retailer, not sell it.

Mike Odell’s comments came shortly after a Los Angeles-based private-equity firm had dropped plans to take Philadelphia-based Pep Boys private in a deal worth $15 per share.

As Pep Boys shareholders prepare to gather for their company’s annual meeting Wednesday, I hope one will ask whether when Odell expects to deliver that growth, because there have been scant signs of it in the last three years. The 763-store retailer generated total revenues of $2.09 billion in its fiscal year ended Feb. 2 compared with $2.06 billion in the previous year and $1.99 billion the year before that.

POSTED: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 11:42 AM
Filed Under: Consumer Products

Skinny Nutritional Corp., the local flavored-water marketer that saw most of its board resign earlier this year, has filed a Chapter 11 petition to restructure its operations.

Now based in Bryn Mawr, the company listed total assets of $2.93 million and total debts of $6.01 million in documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia. Skinny Nutritional makes Skinny Water, which has been marketed as a zero-calorie, zero-sugar bottled water beverage.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Skinny Nutritional stated that the "decision to seek protection under Chapter 11 was triggered" by an attempt by its New York-based lender, Trim Capital L.L.C., to foreclose on certain assets, including its portfolio of trademarks.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 12:10 PM

You never know when an acquisition involving the automobile industry in the Midwest in 1998 might affect a drug-development firm in the Philadelphia area in 2013.

But that’s apparently the backstory of $15 million in financing completed last week by Exton-based AltheRx Pharmaceuticals.

That round of investment was led by Becker Ventures L.L.C., a family office- investment management firm that manages the wealth of Charles E. Becker, who had been chief executive and co-owner of Becker Group Inc., a privately held automotive- interior supplier.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 6:30 PM
Filed Under: Technology

Unisys Corp. would love to finish 2013 with flat revenue over 2012.

Well, that's going to be a tough slog after the Blue Bell information technology services company reported a 13 percent decline in revenues for the first quarter.

Revenue fell to $810 million from $928 million for the first three months of 2012.

POSTED: Monday, April 22, 2013, 1:01 PM
Filed Under: Economic Development

Center City District president and CEO Paul R. Levy would like the city to set a goal of adding 50,000 to 100,000 jobs to its employment base by 2023.

The head of the special services district made the comment in presenting the organization's latest "State of Center City" report, which compares the downtown area of Philadelphia to the suburbs and other cities on a variety of measures.

Here is a link to the full report.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 4:44 PM
Filed Under: People

Thomas S. Robertson will resign as dean of the Wharton School, the prestigious business school at the University of Pennsylvania, in June 2014.

He made the announcement in a letter to the faculty Wednesday in which he said he intended to return to the school's marketing department to teach and pursue research.

"It is fulfilling to be Dean at Wharton – both exciting and challenging – and I believe that I have accomplished what I set out to do," Robertson wrote in the letter.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 2:33 PM

"Modest" is the word for the state of business activity in the Philadelphia region, according to the latest Federal Reserve Beige Book report.

With a few "moderates" thrown in to describe residential real estate sales and sales of new and used automobiles.

There is not much in the report that hasn't been said many times before since the financial crisis. The line that is sure tamp down enthusiasm for a pickup in the economy locally is: "Many contacts continue to hold off on their plans to expand capacity and hire more staff."

POSTED: Monday, April 1, 2013, 6:06 PM
Filed Under: Financial Services

It’s bad enough when a stock loses 10 percent of its value over the course of one quarter. It’s even worse when the same stock loses twice that amount in one day.

As I wrote in the Sunday Inquirer, DFC Global Corp. was worst performer in terms of stock performance among the Philly 50 local stocks so far in 2013.

The 10.2 percent drop in the price of DFC’s common stock between Dec. 31 and March 28 came during a quarter when the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose a robust 10 percent.

About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at marmstrong@phillynews.com.

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