The Biz Buzz

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Archives: Sep. 2007

Sep.
26th

British Airways splits order between Boeing, Airbus

Both Boeing Co. and its European rival, Airbus, emerged with a piece of British Airways’ $8.2 billion order for 36 new long-range aircraft today.


The London-based carrier said it is ordering 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 12 Airbus A380 superjumbo jets. The airline also took options on seven more A380s and 18 787s.


In splitting the order, BA satisfied the British government, which had lobbied hard for Airbus because the A380′s wings are built in the UK, and Boeing, which traditionally supplied most of the airline’s long-haul aircraft.


In buying the A380, British turned its back

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Sep.
26th

Venture drops IPO plans – for now

DuPont-based Venture Financial Group, Inc., parent company of Venture Bank, announced today that it has decided to postpone its initial public offering of company stock due to adverse market conditions.


Chief Executive Officer Ken F. Parsons, Sr. said the decision to postpone the offering "is primarily due to market conditions for financial institution stocks. We remain committed to enhancing shareholder value. When market conditions improve we will revisit our decision to go public."


On July 17, the company filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and had expected to raise as much as $46

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Sep.
26th

You’re earning more than most U.S. workers

If you work in the Puget Sound area, you’re better paid than people doing the same job elsewhere (at least in most of the elsewheres) in the U.S.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics today release its annual "Occupational Pay Relatives" data set, which compares pay received in 78 metropolitan areas across the nation.


Workers in the Tacoma-Bremerton-Seattle area earned 109 percent of relative wages nationwide. This means that if everybody else earned 100 percent, we earned 9 percent more.


Among those elsewheres, workers in the San Francisco area earned the most, scoring 119; followed by the New

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Sep.
26th

Puget Sound Energy customers to see rate cut

Puget Sound Energy customers will see their natural gas rates drop by 13 percent beginning Oct. 1, according to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.


The commission approved PSE’s request for a rate cut – in response to lower wholesale natural gas prices – today.


Puget Sound Energy is the state’s largest natural-gas provider. It serves more than 721,000 customers in parts of Snohomish, King, Pierce, Lewis, Thurston and Kittitas counties.


This is PSE’s first rate cut in five years. The average bill for a PSE residential ratepayer using 68 therms will drop by $11.27

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Sep.
26th

Dumb questions asked at job interviews

I received an e-mail from a Chicago p.r. agency this morning (we get a lot of mail from out-of-town p.r. agencies) concerning job interviews. I’m not sure I’ll be interviewing the client the agency was promoting, in that we don’t cover Chicago a whole lot here at The News Tribune, but there was some food for thought in the message.


Or at least – some snack for thought.


Public relations folks know that we journalists love lists. We love lists because we believe that readers love lists. They’re simple, they’re short and they’re easily digested. So here’s a

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Sep.
25th

Weak dollar helping Boeing

The weak dollar is throwing a wrench into Airbus’ plans to restructure its manufacturing network to save money.


The European aircraft maker said today that the Euro’s strength against the dollar means to the company will have to find a way to save an additional $1.4 billion to meet its financial goals.


That same weak dollar and strong Euro is a plus for Boeing. Boeing and Airbus price their airliners in dollars. Boeing pays for much of its production and parts costs in dollars. Airbus, most of whose plants are located in Europe, pays for labor and goods

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Sep.
25th

Heritage announces dividend of 21 cents

Shareholders of Heritage Financial Corp., parent of Heritage Bank and Central Valley Bank, will receive a dividend of 21 cents per share payable on October 30, 2007 to shareholders of record on October 15, 2007.


Heritage has paid cash dividends for 39 consecutive quarters since the company’s stock began trading on the Nasdaq exchange in early 1998.


Heritage Financial serves Pierce, Thurston, Mason and South King counties with 14 branches of Heritage Bank, while Central Valley Bank serves Yakima and Kittitas Counties with six branches.


Heritage stock fell 19 cents today, to $22.20. The stock

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Sep.
25th

Boeing stock continues climb

Boeing Co. stock continued its climb above the $100 per share mark today closing at $104.93 a share, up $1.88 from Monday’s close.


The company’s stock this year has managed to cast off bad news with just a little staggering and return to positive territory.


As recently as Sept. 7, Boeing was selling for more $10 a share less, $94.84 at the close. Despite news of delays in the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner and reports from news anchor Dan Rather that at former Boeing engineer believes the Dreamliner won’t withstand a crash, the stock has

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