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Archives: April 2010

April
30th

Frontier Bank falls; FDIC names California-based Union Bank

Here’s a press release that just came in from the State Department of Financial Institutions:

The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) closed Frontier Bank today, citing inadequate capital and severe loan losses. Immediately following the closure, DFI named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver of Frontier Bank.

The FDIC immediately entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Union Bank, NA headquartered in San Francisco. Union Bank will assume all deposits and certain assets of Frontier Bank, except certain brokered deposits, which will be paid out by the FDIC.

“Frontier Bank’s capital has been depleted by

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April
29th

The man would buy banks – and who therefore may have had an impact on the stock market

Calling himself Gabriel Infinity Acts, a man legally known as Gabor Sandor Acs on Monday posted to the Internet a notice saying his Infinite Freedom Foundation was packaging a deal to buy two Washington banks – including the troubled Frontier Bank of Everett.

The price of Frontier stock had closed on Friday at $2.98.
Following the posting, the stock closed Monday at $5.88, an increase of nearly 150 percent.

On Tuesday, Frontier issued a press release saying that although Chairman and CEO Patrick Fahey normally “would not as a matter of company policy comment on rumors, given the recent speculation on the Internet and elsewhere, he advises that to the company’s knowledge there is no basis for the rumor.”

The stock price settled, and closed today at $4.60.

Since Acs’ announcement, state and federal regulators have become aware of movement in the bank shares, and the state Department of Financial Institutions on Thursday issued a consumer alert warning that investors should use caution in assessing Internet rumors.

Acs has remained defiant, insisting his interest is legitimate and that the deal remains headed toward completion.
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April
29th

Expedia bookings, revenues and earnings all up

If Expedia Inc.’s first quarter numbers are any indication, the “staycation” is becoming an artifact of the recession.

The Bellevue-based on-line travel company today reported significantly higher bookings, higher revenues and better profits in this year’s first quarter compared with the same quarter last year.

“Expedia delivered sold first quarter results amidst a return to relatively normal economic and travel conditions,” said Expedia’s President Dara Khosrowshahi in announcing a 24 percent increase in net income for the company.

Expedia’s transactions were up 18 percent over last year’s first quarter. Its gross bookings jumped 27 percent, and its revenues bumped up

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April
29th

Attorney general suing extended auto warranty sellers

If you own a car, you’ve probably heard their sales pitches to buy an extended service contract on your car.

Many of those phone calls, letters or TV ads, contends Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna in two new lawsuits announced today, used deceptive tactics and false promises to persuade auto owners to buy the extended contracts.

“The marketing companies behind these pitches have tricked hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide into buying expensive service contracts that often don’t cover promised repairs,” said the attorney general. “Their illegal marketing practices have to stop.”

Washington was one of nine states that filed

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April
29th

Exports could kick-start jobs

Scott Mason is working on a plan he hopes will kick-start the local job market.

Mason – Tacoma’s ILWU Local 23 union president – says that farmers in Eastern Washington could immediately increase their overseas exports by 25 percent if they just had the right supply chain resources to make things happen. He’s quoting a recent federal maritime report with that figure in it.

So Mason is meeting with folks from the state farm bureau and other related groups to figure out how to make it happen.

While Mason’s plan is still in its infancy – he’s meeting with farm

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April
29th

Weyerhaeuser reports smaller loss

When is a $20 million quarterly loss considered good news?

When you’re a forest products company like Weyerhaeuser Co. struggling with the effects of the housing construction collapse.

The Federal Way-based company today reported at net loss of $20 million, or 10 cents a share for the first quarter.

That’s a $244 million improvement over last year’s first quarter when the forest products company reported losses of $264 million, or $1.25 a share.

Weyerhaeuser beat analysts’ forecasts both for earnings and sales.

Average Wall Street estimates predicted the company would lose 24 cents a share compared with the dime

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April
29th

South Carolina sells $270 million in bonds to build Boeing plant

A recent event shows how far rival states to Washington are willing to go to attract an employer like the Boeing Co.

South Carolina recently sold bonds for $270 million to help Boeing pay the cost of building a new $750 million 787 Dreamliner plant in North Charleston.

According to the Charleston Post and Courier, Boeing will use $206.1 million of the state grant money to pay for plant construction costs, $10 million for roads serving the plant and $53.9 million for site work and utilities.

Boeing won’t have to pay the money back to the state provided it fulfills

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April
29th

Hawaiian Airlines no longer all-Boeing

Hawaiian Airlines no longer flies just Boeing aircraft.

Hawaiian executives this week took delivery in France of its first Airbus A330, the initial Airbus in what may eventually become a 27-aircraft Airbus long-haul fleet.

The 294-seat A330-200s will replace the airline’s present fleet of 270-seat Boeing 767s for flights from the U.S. mainland to the 50th state.

Hawaiian’s first A330 is among three leased Airbuses it will begin flying this year. The airline itself has ordered seven more A330s and six A350XWB aircraft.

The airline also has purchase rights on five additional A330s and six A350s, a larger, composite-bodied

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