Archive: March, 2008
Good riddance to the first quarter.
Today is the last day of it, and when the closing bell rings many will be hoping the rest of the year doesn’t follow these early trends.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down 11 percent so far this year, while the Nasdaq Composite Index has fallen even more, 15 percent.
It’s small consolation that the United States is not in a recession, because I certainly don’t feel like celebrating an economic slowdown.
The Commerce Department confirmed that the economy grew — slowly — at a 0.6 percent rate in the fourth quarter. No decline in gross domestic product, no recession, the experts tell us.
Oh well, there’s always next month, when we get the advance look at first-quarter GDP.
It looks like more change is on the way for a cable television equipment business that has long been based in the Philadelphia area.
Motorola Inc., which best-known for its mobile phones, owns what used to be called General Instrument in Horsham. Now pressured by financier Carl Icahn, Motorola said it will separate its phone business from what it calls its broadband and mobility solutions business in 2009.
The Horsham cable equipment operations have seen this before. In 1990, a New York takeover specialist Forstmann Little & Co. bought General Instrument for $1.6 billion in a leveraged buyout.
The same day a Wilmington company reiterated its plans for $500 million in development on the Chester waterfront in connection with the new Major League Soccer franchise, there came another alert in my e-mail:
Chester County wants to build a minor league baseball stadium.
I think I said out loud, “You’re kidding.”
Let’s add one more government brief to the mountain of reports and studies that delineate the banking sector’s ailments.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said Monday that the condition of both large banks and community banks continued to decline during the fourth quarter of 2007. That was true nationally and locally.
Big banks have been seeing a rise in nonperforming real estate loans, especially in the residential sector. Community banks have been experiencing loan losses primarily related to commercial real estate.
This is how you can tell DuPont Co. is a global company.
Its proxy statement this year contains five proposals that touch on executive pay, corporate governance, climate change, human rights and worker angst. That about covers the world.
Shareholder proposals often are soundly defeated. But the statements their backers offer as well as the reasons boards of directors give for voting against them are often the most entertaining parts of a proxy statement.
ViroPharma Inc. will be moving its headquarters.
The pharmaceutical company has leased 78,264 square feet of space at 730 Stockton Drive in Exton and intends to move during the summer. Currently, it’s in 33,000 square feet in a building it owns at 397 Eagleview Blvd., also in Exton.
ViroPharma has been growing again, thanks to its timely acquisition of an antibiotic from Eli Lilly & Co. that treats a sometimes deadly infection. Sales of Vancocin topped $200 million in 2007.
Besides resurrecting the entertainment sport Slam Ball, Pat Croce has another new gig.
He’s invested in a Bala Cynwyd beverage company called Skinny Nutritional Corp. The company would say only that Croce’s investment is more than $100,000.
Skinny Nutritional also says that Croce, the former president of the Philadelphia 76ers, will be the national spokesman for the company’s main product, Skinny Water. For that, he will be paid in stock.