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Business briefs

Home Depot profits rise

NEW YORK » Americans are primping their lawns and maintaining their homes but holding back on large-scale remodeling, Home Depot’s third-quarter net income results showed yesterday. The largest U.S. home-improvement retailer said keeping a tight lid on expenses helped its third-quarter net income rise 21 percent to $834 million, despite a lackluster 1 percent revenue increase to $16.6 billion.

‘Hawaii Five-0’ ratings steady

CBS’ "Hawaii Five-0" held a slight advantage over its closest competitor, ABC’s "Castle," in the network prime time Monday schedule, according to the latest Nielsen ratings, .

After morning numbers had both dramas in a veritable tie — "Five-0" with 10.2 million viewers and "Castle" 10 million — final afternoon numbers released by CBS showed a larger discrepancy between the two shows, with "Five-0" tallying 10.34 million to "Castle’s" 9.98 million.

The NBC show "Chase," shown in the same time slot, registered 4.57 million viewers.

This makes the fifth consecutive week that "Hawaii Five-0" has kept steady around the 10 million viewer mark.

S&P cuts HEI to near junk status

Standard & Poor’s yesterday downgraded Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s long-term corporate credit and debt ratings to one notch above junk status.

The credit rating agency also lowered the long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings for HEI’s utility subsidiaries: Hawaiian Electric Co., Maui Electric Co., and Hawaii Electric Light Co. S&P made no change to the ratings of American Savings Bank, HEI’s other major subsidiary.

"The downgrade of rating for HEI reflects our view that HECO’s aggressive financial profile is unlikely to meaningfully improve over the next two years," S&P analyst Anne Selting said in a news release.

The "BBB-" rating assigned to HEI by S&P is one level above BB+, which the agency considers non-investment grade, or "junk."

GM IPO may set U.S. record

DETROIT » Investor demand for General Motors stock has been so strong that the company will expand its initial public offering by 31 percent, to 478 million common shares, a person briefed on the sale said yesterday.

The move could make GM’s IPO the largest in history for a U.S.-based company. If GM’s sale of preferred shares is included, the offering could have a total value of $21.6 billion, topping Visa Inc.’s $19.7 billion IPO in 2008, according to the IPO tracking firm Dealogic.

GM is expected to announce the final price of the IPO today and shares will start trading tomorrow at a price of $33 each.

Wal-Mart earnings rise 9.3 percent

NEW YORK » Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a 9.3 percent increase in third-quarter net income as the world’s largest retailer benefited from cost controls and a robust international business. The company also raised its full-year profit outlook.

The improvements come despite weakness at its U.S. business. Total revenue at U.S. Walmart stores fell as fewer customers visited and spent less when they did. Still, Wal-Mart, armed with free shipping deals and low prices on such basics as socks and underwear, remained upbeat about the holiday season and said restocking grocery items it had stopped carrying is starting to pay off.

Wal-Mart posted net income of $3.44 billion, or 95 cents a share, in the quarter ended Oct. 31. That’s up from $3.14 billion, or 81 cents a share, in last year’s third quarter. Revenue rose 2.6 percent to $101.24 billion.

On the Move

Pacific Guardian Life Insurance has appointed Amy Watabayashi as assistant vice president of employee benefits sales. She has 14 years experience, including working at Sumitomo Life Insurance Agency and Aetna in California, Marsh & McClennan, and Bank of Hawaii.


The Roofing Contractors Association of Hawaii has re-elected Charlie Beeck president of its statewide organization. He is the president of Tropical Roofing and Raingutters.


Kahala Nui has named Roberto Larios director of building operations. He will be responsible for maintaining the facilities at the continuing-care retirement community.


Sunetric has announced the following promotions and hires:

» Tammy Berger as director of human resources. She was working in the human resources department for Home Depot on Kauai.

>> Anthony Guzik as commercial project manager. He has been in the communications industry for 27 years.

» Glen Smith to residential general manager. His experience includes serving as an engineer for Provident Funding and Integration Technologies.

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