Sunday, August 30, 2015

Archive: April, 2011

POSTED: Friday, April 29, 2011, 11:00 AM
Filed Under: Investing, Markets

If you had bought Ford Motor Co. shares on March 9, 2009, when they closed at $1.74, you might be feeling flush enough now to consider buying a fast and furious Mustang rather than a thrifty Fiesta.

Ford shares closed at $15.50 on Thursday for a total return of 791 percent since then.

Buying any U.S. automaker’s shares would have been a rather courageous move, given the sorry state of the industry at the time. In fact, the whole stock market had cratered. The major U.S. equity indexes, including the Standard & Poor’s 500, had fallen to new lows in March 2009 since hitting all-time highs Oct. 9, 2007.

POSTED: Thursday, April 28, 2011, 9:27 AM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

A company that promises to help clothing makers better understand what customers wear and why proved to be the big winner of the annual Wharton Business Plan Competition Wednesday.

Stylitics picked up the $30,000 grand prize after an afternoon of presentations by eight student-developed companies before a panel of four eight judges.

Team leader Rohan Deuskar told those gathered in Huntsman Hall on the University of Pennsylvania campus that Stylitics hopes to become the "Nielsen for clothing," referring to the company best-known for its television ratings system.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 12:25 PM
Filed Under: Energy, Utilities

The U.S. Department of Energy has come up with a clever rhetorical way to muster support for solar energy.

Dubbed the SunShot Initiative, its program has the goal of cutting the cost of solar energy by about 75 percent before 2020. The name recalls the “moon shot” speech of President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

Affordable solar energy is the “moon shot of our generation,” said Arun Majumdar, the agency’s acting undersecretary for energy, at a solar-power conference at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia on Tuesday.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 12:38 PM
Filed Under: Energy, Utilities

Does it feel like the United States is in a race to the sun as it was back in the '60s when we sought to put a man on the moon?

Arun Majumdar, Acting Under Secretary for Energy for the U.S. Department of Energy, said it should. The nation that figures out how to lower the cost of solar energy from the current $3.50 to $4 per watt for installed utility use to $1 will win that race and create a huge business, he said.

"There is a small window of opportunity," he said. "We need to grab it, or some other country will."

POSTED: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 10:54 AM
Filed Under: Politics, Taxes

When I’d heard that AstraZeneca P.L.C. was not only cutting jobs in Wilmington, but also tearing down buildings, it sounded like a corporate variation on scorched-earth tactics.

The News Journal broke the news last week that the pharmaceutical company plans to raze 450,000 square feet of laboratory space in three buildings at its Wilmington-area campus over the next two years.

Most companies, when they resort to layoffs, don’t level the buildings, too. It sounded to me to be a little drastic.

POSTED: Monday, April 25, 2011, 2:00 AM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

It seems only natural to hold the first Philly Tech Week during the ongoing Philadelphia Science Festival.

Technology and science seem like inseparable twins, after all. But let me disabuse you from thinking that organizers of Philly Tech Week, which starts Monday morning, were inspired by the two-week-long science celebration.

No, the three founders of the two-year-old Technically Philly tech-news blog were thinking about beer - more specifically, Philly Beer Week, which has helped draw attention to the region’s suds scene in its three years.

POSTED: Friday, April 22, 2011, 3:00 PM
Filed Under: Manufacturing

No sooner had Styron L.L.C. moved into its new corporate headquarters in Berwyn than it announced a name change is in the offing.

Styron, the plastics and chemicals business with about $5 billion in 2010 revenue that Dow Chemical Co. sold for $1.6 billion in June, has picked Trinseo as the name it will adopt this year in the 30 countries where it operates.

To me, the name Styron seemed like a good fit because the company’s products, which are used in making home appliances, autos, carpets, consumer electronics, and more, were largely tied to (chemistry alert!) polystyrene and the styrene monomer.

POSTED: Thursday, April 21, 2011, 1:21 PM

Montgomery County remained among the nation's leaders in terms of per-capita personal income for 2009, according to data released by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis Thursday.

The suburban Philadelphia county had per-capita income of $63,469, ranking 16th among large U.S. counties and first among Pennsylvania's 67 counties.

Chester County's per-capita income of $57,033 was enough to place it 28th nationally, while Bucks County at $50,898 and Delaware County at $49,324 were 57th and and 70th respectively. Burlington County, with $46,516 in per-capita income, was the highest-ranking of South Jersey's counties at No. 95 nationwide.

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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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