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Isle firm to help build Navy hospital

Honolulu-based Watts Constructors and two other companies were awarded a $158.1 million contract to build a Navy hospital on Guam.

Watts is the lead contractor in a joint venture with California-based Webcor Builders and Japan-based Obayashi Corp. that won the contract to demolish the existing naval hospital and replace it with a new facility. The work is expected to be completed by October 2014.

Watts Constructors is headquartered in Honolulu and has offices in California, Colorado, Washington and Guam.

 

Two big threats to economy shrink

WASHINGTON » Economists are less worried that the U.S. will experience another round of mass layoffs and its first bout of deflation since the 1930s after the release of two government reports yesterday.

The third drop in jobless claims in four weeks and a mild uptick in wholesale prices in August add to evidence that a second recession is unlikely.

Concerns about another downturn intensified last month when jobless claims spiked past the half-million mark. Wholesale prices, meanwhile, fell in early summer for three straight months. But those trends have, for now, reversed themselves, leaving an economy that is still growing, but at a pace too slow to create many jobs.

 

FedEx delivers profits, cuts U.S. jobs

NEW YORK » FedEx Corp. indicated yesterday that the global economic recovery remains uneven. While strength in international shipments is boosting net income, FedEx is cutting 1,700 jobs in its U.S. freight business to offset losses there.

The world’s second-largest package delivery company did raise its financial outlook as it said first-quarter net income doubled. But projections for the second quarter and full year fell shy of Wall Street expectations. FedEx shares dropped almost 4 percent.

International air shipments have driven FedEx’s results for more than a year; international revenue rose 24 percent in the quarter ended Aug. 31. But while FedEx earned $380 million in the first quarter, the FedEx Freight segment lost $16 million and has been unprofitable for four straight quarters.

 

Oracle’s net income grows 20 percent

SAN FRANCISCO » Oracle Corp.’s net income swelled 20 percent in the latest quarter as the world’s biggest maker of database software prospered from freer technology spending by corporations.

Oracle’s results, reported yesterday, came as the company finds itself in a starring role in Silicon Valley’s latest soap opera, this one involving Mark Hurd, the ousted chief of Hewlett-Packard Co. Oracle has scooped Hurd up to help sharpen its attack on its longtime partner HP.

Hurd’s hiring keys up the drama between Oracle and HP at a time when Oracle is muscling into HP’s turf by selling computer servers. That’s a business Oracle picked up with the $7.3 billion purchase earlier this year of Sun Microsystems, a struggling server maker and fallen idol of the tech world.

 

FDA says ‘no’ to experimental diet pill

ADELPHI, Md. » Federal health experts rejected a highly anticipated weight loss pill yesterday that was thought to offer a safer way to shed pounds than older medications linked to dangerous side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration’s panel of experts voted 9-5 against Arena Pharmaceuticals’ drug lorcaserin, saying a series of unresolved safety questions outweighed the drug’s modest benefits.

ON THE MOVE

Dale Hazlehurst has been promoted to general manager of Hawaiian Tug & Barge/Young Bros. Ltd. He will be responsible for overseeing the maritime operations and vessel maintenance of both companies. Hazlehurst, who previously worked with HTB/YB as a mate, rejoined the companies in 2009 when he held the position of manager of regional operations III Hawaii. Prior to rejoining HTB/YB, he worked for Matson Navigation Co. for 10 years as marine manager and 20 years as assistant marine manager.

Halekulani Corp., which owns and manages Halekulani and Waikiki Parc Hotel in Waikiki, appointed Chi Hoon Bang as director of sales, Asia. He will be responsible for both Halekulani and Waikiki Parc Hotel’s Asia sales division and strategic sales initiatives. Prior to his appointment, Bang was regional director of marketing and planning, Asia, for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii.

Olomana Marketing LLC has promoted Natalie Cook to vice president of marketing from director of marketing. She will contribute to the strategic leadership of the firm as well as continue to oversee marketing, advertising and data-driven direct marketing initiatives for corporate and nonprofit clients.

 

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