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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: November, 2008

POSTED: Monday, December 1, 2008, 2:30 AM

With housing nationally still on the slide, any gathering of shareholders of companies involved in the sector is likely to be a glum affair.

On Thursday, Orleans Homebuilders Inc. will hold its annual meeting at the offices of WolfBlock LLP, 1650 Arch St., on the 22nd floor. The meeting starts at 11 a.m.

Orleans, which takes its name from the family that founded it rather than the Big Easy, has seen its shares fall 58 percent over the last 52 weeks. The 16-member Bloomberg U.S. Home Builders Index is down 45 percent over that same time period.

POSTED: Friday, November 28, 2008, 10:58 AM

Like other money-losing drug development companies, Hemispherx Biopharma Inc. is now in cash-conservation mode.

The Philadelphia pharmaceutical company today said it would try a number of measures to reduce corporate expenses. Hemispherx is the company that had been unable to reach a quorum to hold its annual shareholders meeting earlier this fall.

One step it will take is to require senior staff to be paid as much as 50 percent of their compensation in restricted stock, starting no later than Jan. 1.

POSTED: Friday, November 28, 2008, 2:30 AM

It’s encouraging that the stock market rallied recently on the days when President-elect Barack Obama’s transition staff announced or leaked names of people on his economic team.

Particularly after it tanked on days when Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. provided updates on the massive federal effort to fix what’s ailing the financial sector.

If you believe that a big part of business and investing is confidence, then investors seemed to be expressing confidence in the people being chosen and the broad outlines of how an Obama administration will tackle the credit crisis and all-but-official recession.

POSTED: Thursday, November 27, 2008, 2:30 AM

Unfortunately for the top management of Hill International Inc., the national “do-not-call” list doesn’t prevent margin calls.

The Marlton project management firm said this week that CEO Irvin E. Richter and president David L. Richter had sold about two million shares in response to margin calls.

The company, which employs 2,100 people in more than 30 countries, said the Richters had personal loans backed by some of their shares in Hill International.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 26, 2008, 2:30 AM

Think QVC and the image that comes to mind is likely a TV host selling some type of jewelry.

Now when you’re selling consumer goods 24 hours a day, 364 days a year, a network can’t live on jewelry alone. But it’s been a key driver of the West Chester cable shopping channel’s business for years.

That’s why it’s a little surprising to learn that electronics is QVC’s most popular business right now.

POSTED: Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 2:30 AM

I had hoped we’d seen the last of the mega-bailouts in the financial sector.

But last week, when Citigroup Inc.’s stock price collapsed, it was clear something would have to be done. We’d seen this scenario before: American International Group, Lehman Bros., Washington Mutual and more.

All saw a massive evaporation of shareholder value just before bailout, bankruptcy or forced merger.

POSTED: Monday, November 24, 2008, 2:30 AM

The City of Philadelphia is hoping to sell $350 million in tax and revenue anticipation notes.

The thick prospectus released last week that accompanies the offering is, of course, a sales pitch to investors. It soberly describes the financial challenges facing the city’s budget.

There’s no avoiding the historical numbers showing employment declining in the city. Non-farm payroll has gone from 685,200 in 1999 to 662,400 in 2007.

POSTED: Friday, November 21, 2008, 3:58 PM
Filed Under: Investing, Markets

Remember 11 days ago Unisys Corp. got bounced from the S&P 500 Index because its low market capitalization no longer made it one of the nation's biggest companies?

Well, the Financial Times says that Standard & Poor's Corp. might as well as chuck 244 other companies too.

One requirement for being included in the widely watched measure of the U.S. stock market is a market cap of more than $4 billion. But as of the opening of the market on Friday, only 256 companies had a value greater than that.

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.

Mike Armstrong Inquirer Columnist
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