Ready Mix earnings decline in quarter

Ready Mix, a Las Vegas supplier of ready-mix concrete, on Wednesday said its first-quarter net income fell compared with a year earlier.

In a statement, the company said net income was $698,486, or 18 cents per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, down from net income of $1.01 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 3.3 percent to $20.4 million from $21.1 million.

Ready Mix said it had a 12 percent year-to-year decrease in cubic yards of concrete sold, partially offset by a 9.5 percent increase in the average unit sales price.

Reflecting on the results, Chief Executive Officer Bradley Larson said: “While still soft, residential activity in our primary Phoenix and Las Vegas markets in the first quarter was slightly ahead of the pace in the fourth quarter of 2006, and we continue to believe that the worst of the decline is behind us.”

Global Cash Access profits up 13 percent

Global Cash Access, a Las Vegas-based supplier of cash access, financial management and customer relationship marketing technologies to the casino industry, on Wednesday said its first-quarter net income rose 13 percent from a year earlier.

In a statement, the company said its net income was $7.9 million, or 10 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31, up from net income of $6.96 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 14.6 percent to $148.7 million from $129.8 million.

GCA President and CEO Kirk Sanford said the company had double-digit revenue growth in its cash advance and automated teller machine business.

Morgans Hotel Group reverses quarterly loss

Morgans Hotel Group Co., the hotelier owning the Hard Rock Hotel, said Tuesday it posted a first-quarter profit, reversing a year-earlier loss, on better sales.

Net income was to $436,000, or 1 cent per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $15.9 million, or 36 cents per share, a year earlier. Year-ago results included higher tax costs of $10.8 million related to the company’s Feb. 17, 2006, initial public offering.

The current quarter includes $4 million expense from debt retirement.

Revenue rose 20.8 percent to $78.4 million from $64.9 million. Improved occupancy and higher room rates, boosted results. Total occupancy increased to 81 percent from 75.5 percent; the average daily rate rose to $323.27 per room from $316.20 per room.

Microsoft buys stake in

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, bought a 4 percent stake in to lure more job seekers and advertisers to its MSN Web sites.

With the transaction, newspaper companies Gannett Co., Tribune Co. and McClatchy Co. reduced their ownership in CareerBuilder, said Jennifer Sullivan, the site’s spokeswoman. Gannett and Tribune now own 40.8 percent of the Chicago-based company, and McClatchy has 14.4 percent.

The investment may help Microsoft capture more revenue from ads linked to Web searches, an area where the company lags behind Google and Yahoo. All three companies are working more closely with the newspaper industry to share information such as job listings and sell advertising.

Nevada State Bank to sell grocery branches

Nevada State Bank on Wednesday said it agreed to sell three branches in Food4Less supermarkets to Amalgamated Bank.

Almalgamated Bank is a commercial bank was established in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America to serve labor unions and working people. Amalgamated has $4.5 billion in assets in New York City, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Southern California.

The out-of-state bank agreed to buy locations at 3250 E. Flamingo Road, 4001 S. Decatur Blvd. and 2255 Las Vegas Blvd. North.

Nevada State Bank loan and deposit accounts will be transferred to nearby branches.

Nevada State President Bill Martin said no employees will lose their jobs as a result of the transaction, which is scheduled for completion in early fall. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.


Eager buyers lining up for Smart mini cars

United Auto Group, the nation’s second largest auto retailer, Wednesday said that in just over five weeks it has received $99 deposits from 12,600 people eager to be among the first buyers of DaimlerChrysler AG’s two-seat Smart mini car when it hits U.S. showrooms in 2008.

United Auto Group, which owns the Smart USA division of DaimlerChrysler’s Smart unit, kicked off a program in March that offers people the opportunity to be a Smart “insider” and get on a waiting list in return for a refundable $99 deposit. United Auto Group Vice President Tony Pordon said the company has seen considerable interest in the product due to a growing demand for fuel-efficient cars and a continued interest in unique cars.

Smart cars are about the size of golf carts but more technologically advanced than many of the cars already on U.S. roads. Though Smart products are dwarfed by most vehicles, they are certified with four-star crash worthiness.


Bond prices decline as Fed holds interest rate

Treasury bond prices fell Wednesday after the Federal Reserve kept its key lending rate on hold.

At 5 p.m. EDT, the 10-year Treasury note was down $2.19 per $1,000 in face value, or 0.22 points, from its level at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction, rose to 4.67 percent from 4.64 percent.

The 30-year bond fell 0.53 points. Its yield rose to 4.84 percent from 4.81 percent.

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