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Business Briefs

For Wednesday, June 22, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:27 p.m. HST, Aug 05, 2011


Walgreen, Express Scripts at impasse

NEW YORK » Walgreen Co. said that it is willing to walk away from more than $5 billion in annual revenue because pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts does not pay it enough to fill prescriptions.

If the companies don't settle their dispute, people whose prescription benefits are handled by Express Scripts won't be able to get their prescriptions filled at the biggest drugstore chain in the United States, and Walgreen would give up about 7 percent of its annual revenue.

The announcement Tuesday follows a similar contract fight a year ago between Walgreen and CVS Caremark Corp. that was resolved less than two weeks after it became public.

The impasse with Express Scripts overshadowed news that Walgreen's net income climbed 30 percent in its fiscal third quarter.

JPMorgan settles fraud charges

WASHINGTON » JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $153.6 million to settle civil fraud charges that it misled buyers of complex mortgage investments just as the housing market was collapsing.

J.P. Morgan Securities, a division of the powerful Wall Street bank, failed to tell investors that a hedge fund helped select the investment portfolio and then bet that the portfolio would fail, the Securities and Exchange Commission said.

The settlement announced Tuesday is one of the most significant legal actions targeting Wall Street's role in the 2008 financial crisis. It comes a year after Goldman Sachs & Co. paid $550 million to settle similar charges.

Gannett laying off 700 more workers

McLEAN, Va. » The nation's largest newspaper publisher is laying off another 700 employees to cope with an unrelenting advertising slump.

Gannett, the owner of USA Today and more than 80 other daily U.S. newspapers, hoped to complete the cuts Tuesday. The layoffs are occurring at most Gannett newspapers but not at USA Today.

The payroll reductions represent about 2 percent of Gannett's 32,600 employees. The layoffs are Gannett Co.'s biggest in two years and are the latest austerity measures triggered by a steep drop in newspaper advertising that began in 2006.

Barnes & Noble's losses add up

NEW YORK » Barnes & Noble reported a deeper fourth-quarter loss than analysts expected Tuesday as the bookseller continues to invest in its e-book reader Nook and as liquidation sales by rival Borders hurt its revenue.

The results come as the largest U.S. specialty book retailer considers a $1 billion takeover offer from cable mogul John Malone's Liberty Media Corp. Barnes & Noble declined to give 2012 guidance as it considers the bid.

Barnes & Noble has been spending heavily on its e-book readers and e-bookstore in an effort to stay afloat amid changes in how people read books and tough competition from discounters and online retailers that brought down its chief rival, Borders Group. Borders filed for bankruptcy protection in February.

Home sales tumble to 2011 low

WASHINGTON » Fewer people bought previously occupied homes in May, lowering sales to their weakest point of the year.

Home sales sank 3.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million homes, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That's far below the roughly 6 million annual sales rate typical in healthy housing markets.

Since the housing boom went bust in 2006, sales have fallen in four of the past five years. Analysts say they expect sales to level off at about 5 million a year. That's not much better than the 4.91 million homes sold last year, the worst showing in 13 years.

ON THE MOVE

Jones Lang LaSalle has named Kirk Horiuchi senior vice president of its retail division. He has 24 years of commercial real estate experience including as senior asset manager for Kamehameha Schools, vice president/regional manager and principal broker for Jones Lang LaSalle Americas and president of Wagner & Wagner Property Management Inc. He also serves on the board of the Hawaii Certified Commercial Investment Member Chapter and is vice president of the Shidler College of Business Alumni Association.

 

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Outrigger Enterprises Group has named Nicole Nagashima director of sales and marketing for the Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach. She will oversee all promotional activity for the property including development and implementation of special packages and programs, and also serve as the hotel's liaison with travel partners and clients. She has seven years of hospitality experience including as sales manager, leisure sales manager and westbound leisure sales administrative assistant at Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, and concierge shift supervisor at the Mandarin Spa at Hilton Hawaiian Village.






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