Business Notes


PNC to cut 5,800 jobs after posting 4th-quarter loss

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. said Tuesday it plans to cut 5,800 jobs after its acquisition of National City Corp. last year as the bank swung to a loss during the fourth quarter. With its acquisition of National City, PNC becomes the largest bank in Kentucky by deposits. Pittsburgh-based PNC said it posted a loss of $248 million, or 77 cents a share, because of increased credit provisions and costs associated with its purchase of Cleveland-based National City in December. A year earlier, PNC earned $178 million, or 52 cents a share. Revenue rose 3 percent to $1.68 billion from $1.63 billion. Excluding merger and integration costs, PNC said it earned $132 million, or 32 cents a share.

Fazoli's signs with Somerset Food

Somerset Food Service has signed a multi-year contract to be the lead distributor of food items to 260 Fazoli's restaurants in 30 states. Somerset will directly supply 63 Fazoli's restaurants in five states while nine other members of the Unipro food distribution co-operative will supply the other 197 Fazoli's in 25 states. Both Somerset Food Service and Fazoli's are privately owned and based in Kentucky. The value of the contract was not disclosed, but Somerset said its sales are expected to reach $115 million in 2009 from $90 million in 2008. The company has more than 135 employees in the Lake Cumberland area of Kentucky.

Central Bank's 2008 earnings top 2007

Central Bancshares earned $9.2 million, or $26.44 a share, compared with $8.15 million, or $23.43 a share, for 2007. Earnings for the three months that ended Dec. 31 were $1.19 million, or $3.41 a share, compared with a loss of $607,237, or $1.75 a share, for the fourth quarter of 2007. Central, a Lexington-based banking company, said its assets surpassed $1.9 billion in 2008, a gain of 3.2 percent from 2007. The company is also participating in the federal bank capital purchase program and has been approved for an investment of at least $20 million "to spur lending and generate economic growth," said Central chief executive Luther Deaton Jr. The new capital will free up $200 million for new loans, he said.

Yum Brands 4th-quarter profit slides

Yum Brands says its fourth-quarter profit slipped 12 percent as the strengthening dollar hurt business for the operator of Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Yum Brands' profit slid to $204 million, or 43 cents a share, compared with $231 million, or 44 cents a share, last year. The results include 3 cents in charges. Sales rose nearly 4 percent to $3.38 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who usually exclude one-time items, expected profit of 45 cents a share on sales of $3.38 billion. Louisville-based Yum Brands warned that a stronger dollar will cause a "significant negative impact" on its first-quarter results and in the rest of 2009.

Fayette Mall Macy's to retain workers

The manager of Macy's in Fayette Mall said the Lexington department store will not be affected by Macy's plan to eliminate 7,000 jobs, or nearly 4 percent of its 180,000 employees. Store manager Tom Bruenderman said the reduction primarily will be made by restructuring Macy's corporate and regional offices. The Cincinnati-based retailer also said Monday that it will reduce its contributions to employee retirement funds and cut its dividend to save cash during a severe drop in consumer spending. The Fayette Mall store is the only Macy's in Lexington. It has 300 to 400 full- and part-time employees, Bruenderman said.


Existing-home sales rebound

An index that tracks signed contracts to purchase existing homes rebounded in December, as buyers snapped up properties at deep discounts, especially in the South and Midwest. It was the second positive sign in the past two weeks for the troubled U.S. housing market, and could indicate that a bottom is forming — at least for home sales. Analysts, however, caution that prices are likely to keep falling through 2009, and say the outlook for home sales is uncertain.

Compiled from Staff, wire reports