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Maui Electric gets OK to raise rates

Maui Electric Co. will increase rates on Maui, Molokai and Lanai by 3.3 percent, or $10.3 million, on Sunday after getting approval from the state Public Utilities Commission this week.

The typical residential household in Maui will pay an added $5.43, bringing the total bill to $186.02.

The increase will help pay for more than $122 million in new capital projects to improve reliability.

MECO’s last general rate increase was 3.7 percent in December 2007.


Benefit helps lift Tesoro net to $67M

Tesoro Corp., which operates the larger of two refineries in Hawaii, swung to a profit of $67 million in the second quarter from a year-earlier loss of $45 million largely due to a one-time $24 million benefit related to changes in the company’s post-retirement benefits programs.

The San Antonio-based company’s revenue rose 23 percent to $5.1 billion from $4.2 billion. Earnings per share were 47 cents versus 33 cents a year ago.

Tesoro’s refining margin in Hawaii increased to $5.35 a barrel from $2.52 a barrel in the year-earlier period. The refining margin is the spread between the cost of crude oil and price of refined products.

The Campbell Industrial Park facility’s yield, or the total number of barrels of refined products of gas, jet fuel, diesel fuel and heavy oils, edged up 1.5 percent to 68,000 barrels a day from 67,000 barrels a day a year earlier. The total throughput in Hawaii increased 1.5 percent to 67,000 barrels a day from 66,000 barrels a day.


U.S. rail and bus repairs costly

It will cost $77 billion to bring the nation’s rail and bus systems into a state of good repair, according to a recently released Federal Transit Administration study. On average, $14.4 billion a year is required to maintain those systems.

The actual level of investment in the rehabilitation, replacement and improvement of the nation’s existing transit systems was $12 billion to $13 billion in 2009.

The report does not specify sources of funding to repair and maintain train and bus systems.

"Transit remains one of the safest forms of transportation, but this report shows the clear need to reinvest in our bus, subway and light rail systems," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Most of the $77.7 billion backlog can be attributed to rail. The FTA has pledged to provide $1.55 billion to help build Honolulu’s planned $5.5 billion elevated commuter rail. The remaining costs would be funded by a half-percentage-point general excise tax surcharge that began in 2007 and runs to 2022.


CVS teams with Aetna, but net falls

NEW YORK » CVS Caremark Corp. reported yesterday weaker quarterly earnings and lowered its profit forecast, but shares rose as investors approved of a large pharmacy benefit management services contract struck with Aetna.

CVS Caremark will administer Aetna’s retail pharmacy store network and manage customer service. It will also handle prescription drug purchasing, manage inventories and fill prescriptions for Aetna’s mail-order and specialty pharmacy operations. The contract will ramp up over several years and bring in revenue of $8.2 billion next year.

The contract offsets other major contracts lost in the past year. That lost business pushed second-quarter net income down 7 percent to $821 million from $886 million. On a per-share basis, profit was unchanged at 60 cents as the company had fewer shares outstanding this quarter. Revenue fell 3 percent to $24 billion from $24.87 billion.



» Outrigger Enterprises Group has promoted Joel Pearlman to controller of the condominium division. Her experience at Outrigger includes assistant controller, accounts receivable and general accounting supervisor, manager of the treasury area and handled the accounting for the retail leasing department as well as worked at Price Waterhouse, Pacific Beach Hotel and Waikiki Parc Hotel.

» Marsh has appointed the following to managing directors in the firm’s Honolulu office: Kathy Y. Dang has more than 27 years of insurance industry experience including client manager at Jardine Emmett. Rocco C. Sansone has more than 40 years of insurance industry experience including property and casualty underwriter at Pacific Insurance Co.

» Westaff Hawaii has promoted Angela Coloretti to staffing manager. Her experience includes working in residence life, TRIO programs and academic advising at UCLA.

» Thinh Tien Nguyen has joined Hawaii Human Resources as a client relations administrator. His experience includes working in accounting, record keeping and tax services.


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