The Biz Buzz

Get the most up-to-date news, insights and analysis of Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound business.

NOTICE: The Biz Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved The Biz Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Archives: Jan. 2008

Jan.
30th

Venture Bank reports record earnings for 2007

DuPont-based Venture Bank this week reported record net income of $12.7 million for 2007 – $1.6 million, or 14.4 percent, above the figure for 2006.


For the fourth quarter, Venture reported income of $3.2 million, $100,000 above the figure for the same quarter a year before.


Total assets at Venture were $1.2 billion at year-end, up 22.7 percent from the end of 2006.


Non-performing loans as a percentage of total loans were 0.40 percent at year-end, up from 0.10 percent a year before. The allowance for credit losses increased to 1.34 percent from 1.25 percent.


Read more »

Jan.
30th

100-calorie packs cost you more

File this in the news-you-can-use-but-won’t category:


Those 100-calorie packs filled with a smattering of Oreos may be good for your waistline but they aren’t good for your wallet.


You are going to pay a premium for having the food manufacturer dole out those smaller portions in cute little packages.


A survey by the Center for Science in the Public Interest found that 100-calorie packs cost, on average, 2 1/2 times as much per ounce as similar products in larger packages, the Rocky Mountain News reports.


A CSPI comparison of 30 different 100-calorie packs found that

Read more »

Jan.
30th

Dreamliner problems not slowing Boeing

Production problems nagging Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner program will have minimal financial effects on Boeing Co. finances, the airplane maker’s chief executive said today while announcing robust earnings and higher projections for next year.


Full-year 2007 earnings per share grew 85 percent to $5.28 a share over 2006 while full-year revenues rose eight percent to $66.4 billion. Operating income rose 93 percent over the previous year.


Those record earnings for the year were $4.1 billion up from $2.2 billion last year.


“Our 2007 results demonstrate the kind of quality financial performance we can achieve through our simultaneous

Read more »

Jan.
29th

Boeing begins assembly of 777 Freighter

Boeing workers began major assembly work today on the sixth version the company’s popular twin-jet 777.


The 777 Freighter will be the largest twin-engine air freighter in the world.


The first 777 Freighter will be delivered to Air France in late 2008.


That freighter is based on the 777-200LR passenger aircraft. The freighter is equipped with a strengthened floor, a large cargo door, a permanent bulkhead between the cargo and pilots’ compartments and a cargo-handling system.


Boeing has sold 80 777 Freighters to date amounting to about 20 percent of the backlogs for 777s.

Read more »

Jan.
29th

Wal-Mart lowers prices

The battle for discount shoppers continues: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is discounting some products by as much as 30 percent.


The price reductions will be available on thousands of items, including food, televisions, gym equipment and home products, the discount chain said today in a statement, according to Bloomberg News.


Wal-Mart is marketing itself as the lowest-cost retailer for groceries, drugs and consumer electronics after an attempt to boost sales with designer items at higher prices in 2006 trailed the company’s expectations.


More aggressive price- cutting worked for Wal-Mart during the holiday shopping season, helping the retailer

Read more »

Jan.
29th

Indy Car great Johnny Rutherford joins LeMay board

Increasing its outreach to various sectors in the automobile world – business, collecting, restoration, design – the LeMay Museum announced today that racing legend Johnny Rutherford has joined the board of directors.



Rutherford has an extensive racing record that includes 27 Indy car victories with 23 pole positions. He ranks seventh on the all-time Indy car win list, and he set an all-time Indy Car qualifying lap speed record of 215.189 mph in 1984 at Michigan International Speedway.


Rutherford is one of only four drivers in Indy Car history to

Read more »

Jan.
29th

Alaska Air inspecting 737 flaps

Alaska Airlines has begun inspections of its fleet of 39 Boeing 737-400s after three incidents in which wing flaps on Alaska 737s fail to deploy fully.


The inspections, done at night while the planes are out of service, are expected to take about two weeks.


The voluntary inspections by the SeaTac-based airline came after three emergency landings in Alaska. In each, the wing flaps, which increase the size of the wing surface and improve the aircraft’s ability to fly at low speeds, failed to extend to the extent commanded by the pilot.


The planes are able to

Read more »

Jan.
29th

Washington Mutual keeps its fingers crossed for a rate cut

An interest rate cut may help Washington Mutual Inc.


The company, which reported its first quarterly loss since 1997 this month after a $1.6 billion writedown in its home-loan unit, said it expects income to increase as the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates, Bloomberg News reports.


Kerry Killinger, chief executive officer of the biggest U.S. savings and loan, said today net-interest income would increase by about $150 million for every 25 basis point cut in the Fed’s benchmark rate. Killinger spoke at a financial services conference in New York sponsored by Citigroup Inc.


The Federal Open Market

Read more »