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Business Briefs

For Friday, July 29, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:12 a.m. HST, Jul 29, 2011

Mortgage rates rise on debt-ceiling worry

Mortgage rates for 30-year U.S. loans climbed to the highest level in three weeks amid concern that lawmakers will fail to agree on an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan rose to 4.55 percent in the week ended Thursday from 4.52 percent, according to Freddie Mac. The average 15-year rate was unchanged at 3.66 percent, the McLean, Va.-based mortgage-finance company said in a statement.

President Barack Obama and Congress are under pressure to reach a deal before Tuesday to increase the amount of money the government can borrow and avoid a default. Yields for 10-year Treasuries, a benchmark for other debt, climbed 3 basis points yesterday to 2.98 percent and earlier this week crossed above 3 percent.

Nintendo shares plunge after price cut

TOKYO » Shares of Nintendo Co. shed a fifth of their value today after the Japanese video game giant posted a deep loss in the latest quarter, cut its full-year forecasts and slashed prices on its new 3DS hand-held device.

The sell-off sent the stock down more than 20 percent to 11,190 yen as investors rushed to unload a company struggling to regain momentum. It opened the trading day ask-only, meaning the market was overwhelmed with investors wanting to sell.

Nintendo posted Thursday a net loss of 25.5 billion yen ($324 million) in the April-June period, worse than the 25.2 billion yen loss a year earlier. For the fiscal year through March 2012, Nintendo expects net profit of 20 billion yen, down 82 percent from its previous outlook, on sales of 900 billion yen. The Kyoto-based company blamed its lackluster sales on a dearth of hit titles for the Wii and 3DS, as well as a strong yen.

To fuel momentum, Nintendo decided it needed to dramatically drop prices just five months after it launched the 3-D version of its DS hand-held device to high hopes. The move underscores how quickly the company’s fortunes have turned since the Wii revolutionized the industry and flew off store shelves.

The 3DS will cost $169.99 on Aug. 12, down from $249.99.

Tea seller Teavana jumps in IPO debut

NEW YORK » A day after Dunkin’ Donuts parent Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. climbed 47 percent in its IPO debut, it’s tea time.

Shares of Teavana Holdings Inc., which sells tea in 161 stores in the United States and 19 franchises in Mexico, soared 64 percent by the early afternoon after an initial public offering raised $121.4 million. Its shares had been priced at $17 a share, above the range investors had expected and a sign that demand was heavy for the tea chain.

Its shares climbed $10.89 to $27.89 in midafternoon trading Thursday. They are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TEA.

Goodyear quarterly earnings up 43 percent

CLEVELAND » Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. reported a 43 percent surge in second-quarter earnings Thursday, helped by a 24 percent revenue increase.

But Chairman and CEO Richard J. Kramer expressed caution Thursday about its core North American market. “These results will be difficult to repeat in the second half because of increasing raw material cost challenges and uncertain economic conditions,” he said.

Goodyear is the biggest tire maker in North America and the third biggest in the world. Its shares dropped $1.24, or 7.2 percent, to close Thursday at $15.93.

The Akron, Ohio-based company said its net income rose to $40 million, or 16 cents per share, in the three months ending June 30 from $28 million, or 11 cents per share, a year ago. An improved price mix helped Goodyear overcome a 2 percent decline in the number of tires sold, reflecting weaker automotive industry production, particularly in North America.

Time Warner Cable watches stock decline

Shares of Time Warner Cable Inc., the second-largest U.S. cable-television operator, fell the most in more than 10 months Thursday after subscriptions in the second quarter declined more than analysts’ estimates.

Time Warner Cable declined $3.67, or 4.8 percent, to $73.43 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the largest one-day drop since Sept. 15. The shares have gained 11 percent this year.

The company lost 130,000 residential video subscribers while gaining 54,000 residential broadband customers and 32,000 home phone users in the period ended June 30, according to a statement released Thursday.

Some of the losses can be traced to “increased competitive intensity” from companies including DirecTV, Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., which are offering new and cheaper packages in Time Warner Cable’s footprint, analysts said. Revenue from residential high-speed Internet grew 8.5 percent to $1.11 billion, helping to offset slowing demand for TV subscriptions. Residential video revenue fell 0.1 percent to $2.68 billion.


Today’s ship arrivals and departures:
Agent Vessel From ETA ETD Berth Destination
TNC Overseas Tampa 6 a.m. 31A High Seas
MNC Mahimahi 3 p.m. 52A Oakland, Calif.


Outrigger has announced Ferdinand “Freddie” Billena as the new executive chef for Kani Ka Pila Grille, a poolside restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and tropical drinks as well as live entertainment at night. Billena’s experience includes working at Service Systems Associates and being executive chef at Mid-Pacific Country Club, in charge of production of more than 3,000 lunches daily at Carval Catering as well as lead cook, sous-chef and banquet chef at Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki.


Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has announced the following new physicians:

» Dr. Julienne Aulwes, psychiatry at the Waipio clinic and Moanalua Medical Center. She completed her residency at the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine and received her doctorate from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

» Dr. Mii Hawkins, family medicine at the Koolau clinic. She was previously at the Mapunapuna clinic and also served at Memorial Prompt Care in Huntington Beach, Calif.

» Dr. Claire Coco, specialist in family medicine at the Maui Lani clinic. She was previously a private-practice physician in Alexandria, La.

» Dr. Amber Sakuda, specialist in psychiatry at the Wailuku clinic. She was previously a resident physician at the Hawaii Residency Programs.

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