Business Notes


Central Bancshares announces earnings dip for third quarter

Central Bancshares announced earnings Tuesday of $2.3 million, or $6.62 a share, for the third quarter of 2008, compared with $3.4 million, or $9.73 a share, for the same three months last year. For the nine months that ended Sept. 30, the Lexington banking company earned $8 million, or $23.03 a share, compared with $8.8 million, or $25.17 a share, for the same period of 2007. Central's assets totaled $1.8 billion on Sept. 30. "We are faced with some challenges presented by the economy right now," said Luther Deaton Jr., Central's chief executive, "but we believe we are well positioned for the future." Central has 28 locations in Bath, Boone, Clark, Fayette, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Madison and Scott counties.

Wind-turbine maker closes plant

A wind-turbine manufacturer based in Kentucky closed its Morgantown manufacturing facility after a little more than a year in business. Wind Energy Corp. promised about 260 new jobs in five years when it opened in July 2007. Instead 17 employees lost their jobs when the plant closed its doors last week. Greg Thomson, president and chief operating officer, said the plant was closed to focus on making the turbine operate more efficiently before producing more units. Wind Energy, with headquarters in Elizabethtown, currently operates one turbine unit in Texas. Thomson said he hopes production lines will be running again in the next six months.


McDonald's profits exceed outlook

McDonald's Corp. showed Wednesday that although the the global economy might be crumbling, there's still strong demand for cheap eats, as the fast-food giant posted a blowout third quarter, besting Wall Street expectations. Meanwhile, company executives said a decision is coming soon on a possible price increase for McDonald's hallmark $1 double cheeseburger. McDonald's posted third-quarter net income of $1.19 billion, or $1.05 a share, an 11 percent increase from the year-ago quarterly net of $1.07 billion, or 89 cents a share. Its third-quarter per share profits topped by 7 cents the forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

Amazon profits up, outlook down Inc. said Wednesday that its profit climbed 48 percent during the third quarter, but the company reduced its full-year sales outlook, showing that the online retailer cannot escape the weak economy. Its shares dived. The company now anticipates 2008 revenue of $18.46 billion to $19.46 billion. The high end of that forecast is less than the $19.52 billion expected among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. In July, Amazon had predicted sales of $19.35 billion to $20.10 billion.

Boeing's profit drops 38%

Boeing Co.'s third-quarter profit dropped 38 percent as a strike and supplier production problems hurt results at the world's No. 2 commercial airplane maker. Its shares fell 7.5 percent Wednesday. Boeing has endured several setbacks, including a 46-day strike that analysts estimate has cost roughly $100 million a day in deferred revenue, and production delays on its highly anticipated next-generation passenger jet. The aircraft maker reported net income of $695 million, or 96 cents a share, for the three months that ended Sept. 30, down from $1.11 billion, or $1.44 a share. The latest results include a 60-cents-a-share erosion in earnings as the strike and a shortage of key parts lowered Boeing's airplane deliveries.

Bennigan's, Steak & Ale bought

The Bennigan's and Steak & Ale chains, whose parent company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection this summer, have a new owner. Atalaya Capital Management, a private-equity firm, said Wednesday it is buying the brands, their trademarks and equity for an undisclosed price. The acquired assets include the Bennigan's Franchising Co., formed by franchisees after the company filed for bankruptcy. Atalaya said the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas has approved the deal, which is expected to close on or before Oct. 31.

Compiled from Staff, wire reports