Columbia Gas gets approval from PSC to reduce price
Columbia Gas of Kentucky has received approval from the Kentucky Public Service Commission to cut the cost of its natural gas. Effective Monday, Columbia Gas of Kentucky's gas supply cost will decrease 24 percent to $10.1224 per Mcf (1,000 cubic feet). Columbia Gas of Kentucky adjusts its prices quarterly to reflect current market conditions and this adjustment reflects the lower cost of natural gas that Columbia purchases for its customers, the Lexington-based company said in a news release. With this adjustment, a residential customer using an average of 6 Mcf a month would see a monthly bill decrease from $100.14 to $81.26. A customer's monthly bill has two primary parts: gas supply cost and delivery cost. Supply charges account for about three-fourths of a monthly bill.
Small businesses asked to list damages
Commerce Lexington is asking small businesses in Fayette County to report the estimated cost of ice and wind damage or other losses, including business revenue losses, to Dana Zinger at Commerce Lexington, before March 5. Zinger can be reached at (859) 254-4447 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The goal is to help state and federal officials estimate the cost of the recent storms and determine whether the area qualifies for a U.S. Small Business Administration disaster declaration to aid recovery efforts.
Kentucky Bank parent reduces dividend
The parent company of Paris-based Kentucky Bank is cutting its quarterly common stock dividend by 8 cents a share, or 28.6 percent. Kentucky Bancshares said the new dividend of 20 cents a share will be payable March 31 to shareholders of record on March 20. The company did not give a reason for the reduction, but it recently reported a loss of $322,000, or 11 cents a share, for the fourth quarter of 2008, largely because of a contribution of $2.2 million to its reserves for loan losses. Kentucky Bancshares' earnings for 2008 were $3.71 million, or $1.33 a share, down 44 percent from 2007. The stock is KTYB.OB.
Workers' comp insurer looks at Kentucky
West Virginia-based workers' compensation insurer BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co. wants to expand into Kentucky, Virginia, Alabama, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Greg Burton, president and chief executive officer, said the Charleston company plans to apply in those states over the next couple of months to offer workers' compensation coverage. He said the coverage initially would be for West Virginia-based energy companies that operate in those states. BrickStreet was spun off from a state agency in 2006 and had a monopoly on workers' compensation insurance in West Virginia until July 2008.
Norton is Louisville arena's first sponsor
Norton Healthcare has signed on as the first sponsor for the new arena being built in downtown Louisville. The Courier-Journal of Louisville reports that the $10 million, 10-year deal will give Norton signs inside and outside the building, plus an immediate care center at the facility. Arena officials say the Norton deal is the first of what they say will be four to eight "cornerstone" sponsors. Arena officials are trying to line up a company that ultimately will pay an expected $40 million over 20 years for the arena's naming rights. The University of Louisville's basketball teams will be the main tenants of the $238 million, 22,000-seat arena, which is being designed for multiple events.
CEO buys 50,000 shares of GE stock
General Electric chief executive Jeffrey Immelt bought 50,000 shares of the struggling conglomerate's stock Monday to demonstrate his confidence in its health even as company shares plummeted to trade at a 16-year-low. Immelt paid $8.26 for each share of the Fairfield, Conn.-based company, spending roughly $413,000. GE's vice chairman Michael Neal, also head of the company's ailing GE Capital lending arm, also purchased 50,000 shares, paying $7.90 each.
TiVo reports narrower quarterly loss
TiVo Inc. reported a narrower loss for the fourth quarter as lower costs buoyed the bottom line in the face of a 20 percent drop in revenue. The Alviso, Calif.-based maker of digital video recorders with time-shifting technology said on Monday that it lost $3.6 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with a loss of $6.4 million, or 6 cents, for the same quarter a year earlier.
Wendy's/Arby's posts $393 million loss
Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc., formed when the owner of Arby's bought the Wendy's brand last year, said on Monday that it posted a loss for its fourth quarter mainly because of a charge that resulted from poor performance at Arby's. The Atlanta-based company said it recorded a loss of $393.2 million, or 84 cents a share, compared with a profit of $33.3 million, or 33 cents a share, one year earlier.
Japanese auto sales plunge 32.4%
Japanese auto sales plunged 32.4 percent during February, the largest monthly drop since 1974 because of sinking demand stemming from the global economic downturn, an industry group said Monday. Japanese consumers bought 218,212 vehicles for the month, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said in a statement. That's the seventh consecutive month of year-on-year declines.
Compiled from Staff, wire reports