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First Wind withdraws public offering

Boston-based First Wind Holdings Inc., which operates several wind farms in Hawaii, said yesterday it withdrew its initial public offering because of unfavorable market conditions.

The company already had postponed an offering of 12 million Class A shares at $18 to $20 each last month. First Wind, which planned to use proceeds to pay down debt and fund project development and construction, earlier had cut the per-share price of its IPO from as much as $26.

Wind turbine installations in the U.S., the world’s biggest market, dropped 75 percent in the third quarter as slowing demand for new sources of electricity and cheap natural gas made renewable energy less attractive, according to the American Wind Energy Association. First Wind and 60 other companies have postponed or withdrawn U.S. IPOs this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Disney earnings leak a Goofy mistake

LOS ANGELES » The Walt Disney Co.’s early release of its earnings report this month came down to a Dumbo move: The company made the information accessible through an easy-to-guess Web address.

Disney didn’t plan on posting the link on its website until after the market closed. But a reporter at Bloomberg News found it with simple Internet sleuthing and reported results about a half-hour before the scheduled release, according to a person familiar with Bloomberg’s practices. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Jobless claims drop to 407,000

WASHINGTON » The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level since July 2008, a hopeful sign that improvement in the job market is accelerating.

The Labor Department said yesterday that weekly unemployment claims dropped by 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 407,000 in the week ended Saturday. Wall Street analysts expected a much smaller drop.

A Labor Department analyst said the claims figures are volatile during the week between the Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving holidays.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped for the third straight week to 436,000, the lowest since August 2008.

Arrest made in insider trading case

NEW YORK » The first strike in a new federal offensive to root out insider trading on Wall Street came yesterday with the arrest of a consulting firm executive who prosecutors said tipped off a hedge fund manager about corporate earnings before they became public.

The arrest of Don Ching Trang Chu of Somerset, N.J., came when investigators realized he was heading to Taiwan on Sunday. He made the trip frequently, but authorities were apparently concerned that he was traveling ahead of what are expected to be multiple arrests in the probe and after he had been interviewed by FBI agents on Sunday.

Three hedge funds with offices in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts were raided Monday in the investigation, and on Tuesday, prominent mutual fund company Janus Capital Group said it had been subpoenaed. 

Auto page moved to tomorrow

The weekly automobile page has been moved to tomorrow due to space constraints associated with Thanksgiving and Black Friday advertising.

ON THE MOVE

» Central Pacific Financial Corp. has named Catherine Ngo executive vice president and chief administrative officer. She has more than 17 years’ experience in the banking and private equity industries, including general counsel at Silicon Valley Bank, chief operating officer of Alliant Partners and general partner of Startup Capital Ventures.

» Baldridge & Associates Structural Engineering has hired Mark Hirschi as structural designer. He was previously a graduate research and teaching assistant at the University of Illinois.

» The Hawaii County Medical Society has named emergency room physician Dr. Fred Holschuh the 2010 Physician of the Year. The award was presented at the Hilo Medical Center Foundation’s eighth annual fundraiser event.

» Anthology Marketing Group has been awarded the bronze Adrian Award for excellence by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International. The award recognized Anthology Marketing Group’s promotion of Marriott Resorts Hawaii through an integrated social media contest titled "Tweet Yourself to Hawaii."

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