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Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 5:59 PM
Filed Under: Manufacturing

Is it really necessary for Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett to form a public-private council on manufacturing?

Probably not, and I doubt he'll be counting the days until he can read the report that the 23-member panel, announced on Nov. 21, will cobble together during 2012.

In fact, you and I could probably toss off the highlights right now: lower taxes on manufacturers, reduced regulation, more support for exporting, lower energy costs, new incentives for research and development, and renewed emphasis on math and science education.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 9:37 AM
Filed Under: Consumer Products

Campbell Soup's new CEO Denise Morrison warned earlier that fiscal 2012 would be a "transition year."

On Tuesday, the Camden food processor announced first-quarter results that showed sales declined 1 percent to $2.16 billion. Net income was down 5 percent at $265 million, while earnings per share were flat at 82 cents per share, for the quarter ended Oct. 30.

Shares of the 142-year-old company were down 6 percent, or $2.18, to $31.44 shortly before noon.

POSTED: Monday, November 21, 2011, 10:08 AM
Filed Under: Real Estate

Horsham-based Toll Bros. has acquired CamWest Development, which it says was one of the biggest privately held home builders in the Pacific Northwest.

The amount of cash that traded hands was not disclosed by Toll, the luxury home builder. CamWest houses typically sell from the mid-$300,000s to the $700,000s, according to Toll. The 22-year-old CamWest expects to deliver about 180 homes in the Seattle area in 2011, generating revenues of about $90 million.

Earlier this month, Toll released preliminary results of $1.48 billion in revenues for its fiscal year 2011, which ended Oct. 31. It also delivered 2,611 units. (Final results are due out Dec. 6.)

POSTED: Thursday, November 17, 2011, 12:52 PM

I have noted in other columns that I am a notoriously bad shopper. It's not that I don't know how to price compare. I do it to such a degree that I wind up rarely making a purchase.

That's why, in theory, shopping over the Internet should appeal to me. Price discovery is a click away, there are always many choices, and I don't have to leave the house.

However, I really haven't bought much online over the years. I remain a window shopper, usually talking myself out of many purchases that I sort of wanted, but certainly didn't need.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 1:56 PM
Filed Under: Energy, Utilities

Layoffs at ConocoPhillips' Trainer refinery, which is in the process of being shut down, will occur during the last two weeks of January 2012.

That's according to a filing with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

In all, 409 workers will lose their jobs when ConocoPhillips permanently closes the Delaware County refinery it has owned since 2002. That refinery can process up to 185,000 barrels of crude oil per day, but it is one of several that the oil company has targeted for closure.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 1:15 PM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech

Tengion Inc., one of the most innovative life-sciences companies to call the Philadelphia region home, is in full restructuring mode.

When it is done, the company will have far more presence in North Carolina than in Montgomery County where its corporate headquarters has been located since its founding.

Tengion said it will cut 30 employees, or about 58 percent of its workforce. All research and development functions will be moved to its Winston-Salem, N.C. location.

POSTED: Monday, November 14, 2011, 1:23 PM
Filed Under: Energy, Utilities

The Parsippany, N.J. company that restarted the Delaware City oil refinery earlier this year wants to become a public company.

PBF Energy Inc. has filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a possible initial public offering. That registration statement does not list how many shares PBF is looking to sell or their price range.

The privately held PBF's primary financial backers have been the private-equity firms Blackstone Group and First Reserve Corp. since its formation in March 2008.

POSTED: Monday, November 14, 2011, 8:31 AM

Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings has halted development of an implant to treat the abnormal growth of hands and feet that caused by the body's overproduction of growth hormone. The Chadds Ford company had been asked by the Food and Drug Administration in February for more animal studies on the implant, Reuters reports.

Worth reading is a Wall Street Journal update on online-only annual shareholder meetings. Nutrisystem is one of the 25 companies nationwide that have held their annual meeting online since December 2009. But, as Joann Lublin reports, the format's not exactly catching on in a big way.

In other local business news, Kenexa acquired Batrus Hollweg, a human resources consulting firm based in Dallas. Kenexa, a Wayne-based tech firm focused on the HR world, did not disclose what it paid, but is picking up an organization that has strong sales into the hospitality sector.

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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