Business Notes


Keeneland ex-president takes post at Fifth Third

Former Keeneland Association President William "Bill" Greely has been named a senior adviser in Fifth Third Bank's equine department. Greely, who was Keeneland president from 1986 to 2000, will be responsible for business development and will be an adviser to the bank and its equine customers, reported Thursday. Since retiring from Keeneland, Greely has been a consultant for businesses and the state racing commissions in West Virginia, Ohio, Florida and New Mexico.

Massey more than doubles profit

Massey Energy Co.'s third-quarter profit more than doubled on a 27 percent gain in revenue per ton, the Richmond, Va.-based coal mine operator said Thursday. Massey earned $54 million, or 64 cents a share, including $27.5 million in pretax charges for the period. Last year, Massey earned $21.4 million, or 27 cents a share, for the third quarter. Coal revenue rose 28 percent to $666.4 million for the quarter, from $521.9 million a year ago. Massey operates mining complexes in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.


American Express to cut jobs 10%

In a stark acknowledgment of the tough times ahead in the credit card industry, American Express Co. said Thursday that it plans to cut 7,000 jobs, about 10 percent of its worldwide work force, in an effort to slash costs by $1.8 billion in 2009. The New York-based credit card issuer — which has reported four straight quarters of profit declines as an increasing number of consumers struggle to pay off debt — said it is also suspending management-level salary increases next year and instituting a hiring freeze. The job cuts will be across various business units, but will primarily focus on management positions, the company said.

Ford plant to add 1,000 workers

Ford Motor Co. is predicting pickup sales will bounce back enough to add 1,000 workers at its Dearborn, Mich., F-150 factory in January. The company celebrated the manufacturing launch of a new version of the truck Thursday and announced that it will restore a third shift to the plant. Ford spokeswoman Angie Kozleski said the additional workers will come from those laid off earlier this year at many Ford plants when the company cut production.

Verizon gets OK to buy Alltel

The Justice Department on Thursday effectively gave Verizon Wireless the go-ahead to buy Alltel Corp. in a $28 billion deal that would create the nation's largest wireless carrier. Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Britain's Vodafone Group PLC, already has agreed to the government's condition that it sell assets in 22 states. The Federal Communications Commission is slated to vote on the merger on Nov. 4.

NYSE could drop Circuit City

Circuit City Stores Inc. said Thursday the New York Stock Exchange has warned that its stock price is not high enough for continued listing. The NYSE said shares in the nation's No. 2 consumer electronics retailer had an average closing price of less than $1 over 30 consecutive trading days as of Oct. 22, falling short of the exchange's requirement. Since the beginning of the year, shares have lost most of their value, down 93 percent, closing under a dollar in trading since Sept. 30. To return to good standing, both the common stock share price and the average share price over a consecutive 30-trading-day period must exceed $1 within six months after receipt of the notice.

Compiled from Staff, wire reports