IN BRIEF

Paperless billing initiative launched by NV Energy

Just in time for Earth Day, NV Energy has rolled out a new paperless billing initiative.

Executives with the local power utility said Wednesday that they hope to enroll 100,000 customers who are receiving monthly paper invoices in the company’s online billing program in 2010.

Meeting the objective would annually save 48 tons of paper and eliminate greenhouse-gas emissions equal to that of nearly 70 passenger cars.

To enroll in paperless billing, visit www.nvenergy.com and sign up under MyAccount.

NV Energy’s paperless billing features an automatic e-mail notification when bills are due, as well as online bill-viewing and options to track payment histories, analyze bills and set up automatic bank deductions to pay invoices.

Earth Day marks its 40th anniversary today.

Shuffle Master boss to take medical leave of absence

Shuffle Master Gaming Chief Executive Officer Tim Parrott will take a four- to six-week medical leave of absence from the company, the gambling equipment provider announced Wednesday.

In the interim, a four-person management committee will oversee Shuffle Master’s day-to-day operations.

In a statement, Shuffle Master said Parrott is being treated for an intestinal infection. He contracted the infection during ongoing treatments for a cancerous growth on his liver.

Parrott is expected to resume his normal duties upon his return. During his leave, he will continue to serve as a member of the company’s board of directors.

The interim management committee will consist of Chief Financial Officer Linster Fox, Executive Vice President David Lopez, General Counsel Jerry Smith and Executive Vice President Roger Snow.

Parrott will continue as the company’s CEO and remain involved in major strategic decisions during his absence.

NEW YORK

Goldman Sachs CEO will testify before Senate panel

Goldman Sachs is taking its fight against a government civil fraud case to Capitol Hill.

Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein will testify before a Senate panel on Tuesday in what are expected to be his first public comments on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit charging that the bank defrauded two investors, according to a person familiar with the plans. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the appearance hasn’t been publicly announced.

A 31-year-old Goldman employee at the center of the lawsuit, Fabrice Tourre, is also expected to be questioned at the hearing, according to media reports. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. spokesman Samuel Robinson declined to comment on the reports.

WASHINGTON

Treasury’s new Benjamins have a little high-tech magic

The folks who print America’s money have designed a high-tech makeover of the $100 bill. It’s part of an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters as technology becomes more sophisticated and more dollars flow overseas, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said.

The makeover, unveiled Wednesday by Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, may leave people wondering if there’s magic involved.

Benjamin Franklin is still on the C-note. But he has been joined by a disappearing Liberty Bell in an inkwell and a bright blue security ribbon composed of thousands of tiny lenses that magnify objects in mysterious ways. Move the bill, and the objects move in a different direction.

The new currency won’t go into circulation until Feb. 10.

NEW YORK

Contract-customer count dips for AT&T; quarterly profits fall

AT&T Inc. added fewer wireless customers with contracts in the first quarter than it has since 2004, an indication that the saturation of the market is even starting to catch up with the carrier of the iPhone.

The country’s largest telecommunications provider said Wednesday that it added a net 512,000 wireless customers under contracts, down 43 percent from a year ago.

AT&T earned $2.48 billion, or 42 cents per share, in the first three months of the year. That was down 21 percent from a year ago. But excluding one-time items, AT&T earned 59 cents per share, beating the average forecast of 54 cents per share by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. The items included a previously announced charge of $995 million, or 17 cents per share, to reflect a change in the health care reform package regarding the tax treatment of benefits.

Revenue was $30.6 billion, flat with a year ago and below analyst expectations for $30.7 billion.

LOS ANGELES

Ex-KB Home chief convicted in option-backdating scam case

The former head of construction giant KB Home was convicted Wednesday of four felony counts in a stock option backdating scam.

A federal jury in Los Angeles found Bruce Karatz guilty of two counts of mail fraud, one count of lying to company accountants and one count of making false statements in reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Karatz was acquitted on 16 other counts, including three counts of securities fraud, the most serious charges against him.

The 64-year-old former CEO showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. He remains free on bond and faces up to 80 years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 8, prosecutors said.

SAN FRANCISCO

Added subscribers help push earnings higher for Netflix

Netflix Inc.’s first-quarter income rose 44 percent as the movie subscription service added 1.7 million more customers to extend a torrid streak of growth.

The results announced Wednesday are the latest evidence of Netflix’s rising popularity. The service has picked up more than 5 million subscribers in the past 18 months as more households embrace Netflix’s digital video disc-by-mail and Internet video packages that start at $9 per month.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company earned $32.3 million, or 59 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, up from net income of $22.4 million, or 37 cents per share, a year earlier. The earnings per share came in a nickel above the average estimate among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose 25 percent to nearly $494 million, matching analyst estimates.

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