Monday, July 6, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, February 24, 2011, 12:00 PM
Filed Under: Energy, Utilities

Oil experts this week seem to be tripping over themselves to offer dire predictions of where the price of a barrel of oil is headed.

Nomura Holdings Inc. analysts said they expect $220 a barrel if production is disrupted further in Libya and Algeria. Someone else burped up $300 to $400 a barrel.

Prediction is a fool’s game for reporters, so don’t look for one here. But recognize that such high estimates represent Armageddon-style planning. (How many Americans still have duct tape and bottled water in their basement?)

Mike Armstrong @ 12:00 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 6:22 PM

Even if they're not binding on boards of directors, the "say on pay" proposals that many shareholders will see for the first time this spring on proxy ballots promise to enliven the stodgy process of corporate governance.

It's not that shareholders have suddenly gained the power to replace the often-complex pay schemes for the chief executive and other senior managers with straight-time paychecks at $15 an hour.

But the exercise could begin to send some not-so-subtle messages to boards about how they pay corporate leaders and how often shareholders want the chance to vote publicly on those compensation practices.

Mike Armstrong @ 6:22 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 1:25 PM

Comcast Corp. CEO Brian L. Roberts and DuPont Co. CEO Ellen Kullman were added Wednesday to a business/labor group that the White House wants to focus on American jobs and competitivness.

Called the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the panel emerged out of ideas President Obama discussed in his State of the Union speech last month.

The White House released a list of 22 men and women from industry and labor to serve on the council, which is being chairman by General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey Immelt.

Mike Armstrong @ 1:25 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 12:24 PM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

It’s been a long time since Unisys Corp. could say that it had more cash on its books than it owed.

But that was the case as 2010 ended. The Blue Bell information-services provider had cash of $828 million and debt of $824 million. The previous year, Unisys had cash of $648 million and debt of $912 million.

That factoid had escaped my attention when Unisys announced its 2010 financial results Feb. 1. Chief executive J. Edward Coleman made sure to highlight it during a conference call with financial analysts.

Mike Armstrong @ 12:24 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 11:24 AM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech

A ruling released Tuesday by the U.S. Supreme Court gives a victory to Wyeth and other vaccine makers in a lawsuit that sought to determine whether patients could sue over side effects.

The decision, by a 6-2 vote, answered that by saying that a 1986 federal law that limited patient lawsuits against vaccine makers prohibits suits over side effects.

Here's a link to a PDF of the decision on the Supreme Court website.

Mike Armstrong @ 11:24 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, February 21, 2011, 11:47 AM
Filed Under: Small Business

To put a face on new statistics about the number of black-owned businesses in the Philadelphia area, I called accountant John Milligan.

First of all, I knew he’d be good with numbers. But also, over the last 25 years, he’s built Milligan & Co. L.L.C. from its base in Center City into an accounting and consulting firm with 52 employees in four offices. So he’s lived these numbers, too.

The U.S. Census Bureau earlier this month released data from its 2007 Survey of Business Owners. On the face of it, the headline numbers reflect well for the state of black enterprise here and across the country.

Mike Armstrong @ 11:47 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 18, 2011, 12:13 PM

After 15 years as CEO, A. James Dearlove will retire from Penn Virginia Corp., the Radnor natural gas and oil exploration company, after the annual shareholders meeting in May.

The board promoted H. Baird Whitehead from chief operating officer to president Thursday and elected him to the board. The company said in a statement that the board is expected to name the 60-year-old Whitehead CEO in May.

Whitehead joined Penn Virginia in 2001 after more than 20 years as an executive with Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.

Mike Armstrong @ 12:13 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 18, 2011, 11:42 AM

AmerisourceBergen Corp. shareholders have spoken, and they want the right to vote annually on the pay packages of the company’s senior executives.

At the annual shareholders meeting Thursday, a majority of the votes were cast in favor of holding an advisory vote, or “say on pay,” each year, rather than every three years, as the board of the drug wholesaler had recommended.

In addition, shareholders approved the compensation arrangements for the top management of the Valley Forge company.

Mike Armstrong @ 11:42 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
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Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at

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