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.

Category: Investments


Washington Saves Week set for next week; educational materials available

If you’re wondering what you or your organization can do to celebrate Washington Saves Week – Feb. 25 through March 2 – then the state Department of Financial Institutions has some ideas.

This will be the seventh annual iteration of the event, meant to promote the idea that pennies saved (in a savings account, in an IRA, as part of a 401(k) plan, in a piggy bank or in any other of dozens of ways) are pennies earned.

Gov. Jay Inslee recently proclaimed the week, and DFI has several programs to assist citizens and businesses in heeding the theme: “Set

Read more »


Remembering another Tacoma Broadway disappointment

Tacoma architect Jim Harris was reading Tuesday’s News Tribune story about the upcoming auction of the former Bon Marche department store  when it reminded him of another well-intended Tacoma project on Broadway that turned sour.

The building involved was 1122 Broadway, between the former Sears building at South 13th and Broadway and the Broadway hillclimb. That building was the one that the Tacoma Public Library leased when it was renovating it Tacoma Avenue building.

“Three business men who were active in the Downtown Tacoma Association saw an opportunity to help the redevelopment of downtown and acquired the building.

Read more »


Former downtown Tacoma department store on auction block

One of the historic retail cornerstones of downtown Tacoma goes on the auction block at the end of this month.

The Columbia Bank Building at South 11th Street and Broadway will be auctioned online beginning Feb. 25th and ending Feb. 27th.

The building was once downtown Tacoma’s Bon Marche department store before the retailer moved to the Tacoma Mall in 1964.

The Bon was one of five department stores – four of them on Broadway – that were the anchors of downtown Tacoma shopping for decades. The others were Rhodes, Sears, J.C. Penney and Peoples.

The five-story, 88,000-square-foot building sat

Read more »


News Tribune and Olympian parent company results in the red for 2012

The nation’s third largest newspaper chain, the Sacramento-based McClatchy Company,  today reported that both its fourth quarter and full year financial results moved into the red in 2012.

But the company said it’s encouraged by the increasing sales of digital advertising and initial results from the rollout of a digital subscription program.

The company, parent of The News Tribune, the Olympian, the Bellingham Herald and the Tri-City Herald in Washington, said it lost $30 million or 35 cents a share in the fourth quarter and $100,000 for all of 2012. The company owns 30 daily newspapers in 29 markets

Read more »


Tacoma’s TrueBlue acquires Florida-based MDT Personnel

A major Tacoma-based company is getting bigger.

TrueBlue Inc. today announced it is broadening its nationwide reach with the acquisition of the nation’s third largest general labor staffing firm, MDT Personnel.

The $48 million deal will add MDT’s 105 branch and 15 on-site locations to TrueBlue’s country-wide network.  TrueBlue is the parent company of Labor Ready, Spartan Staffing, CLP Resources, PlaneTechs and Centerline. The company employs 300 in Tacoma.  TrueBlue’s  headquarters is located  in what once was Weyerhaeuser Co.’s headquarters building at 11th and A streets in downtown Tacoma.

MDT’s locations are concentrated in 25 states mostly in the South. The

Read more »


Analysts’ expected to target 787 woes as Boeing reports 2012 earnings Wednesday

Boeing will release its fourth quarter and 2012 earnings early Wednesday, but analysts’ attention is expected to focus not on Boeing’s 2012 results but on how the company may suffer financially because of battery woes with its 787 Dreamliner.

Two battery fires, a fuel leak and a cracked windshield this month in the 787 fleet have grounded the 50-plane fleet while Boeing and investigators in the United States and Japan look for the cause of those problems.

Some analysts are predicting the grounding and fixes necessary to restore the planes’ safety and reliability may cost Boeing between $350 million and

Read more »


Record profits for Alaska Air Group

SeaTac’s Alaska Air Group announced record profits in the fourth quarter and for 2012 today as passenger traffic increased, costs declined and the airline holding company’s return on invested capital jumped to 13 percent.

Alaska Air Group is the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

Even with such encouraging results, the company’s results were a small disappointment for Wall Street which in recent months have come to expect big things from the company. Alaska earned 70 cents a share compared with Wall Street consensus expectations of 71 cents a share.

Alaska’s stock fell modestly in morning trading after

Read more »


Boeing raising dividend, restarting stock buyback program

With its production system finally expanding smoothly, Boeing Monday revealed plans to increase its quarterly dividend by 10 percent and reviving a stock buyback program to repurchase some $2 billion in stock next year.

The company doesn’t intend to issue the dividend before the end of the year as some other companies have done to dodge potential taxes increases designed to cut the federal deficit.

The company said it will increase the dividend to 48.5 cents a share. The dividend is payable on March 8 to shareholders of record on Feb. 15.

“Strong cash generation, consistently solid core operating

Read more »