Business

Business news from Charlotte and the Carolinas.

BofA Stock "Most Improved" For 2012

Jan 1, 2013

One of North Carolina's most publicly-criticized companies also saw the biggest improvement in stock price during 2012.   

Bank of America's stock ended the year at $11.61 a share, which is more than double its starting price in 2012.  

Keep in mind, of course, that five years ago BofA was trading around $40 a share, so there's a good distance to go if a full rebound is in the cards.

Duke Shuffles Executives

Dec 18, 2012
Duke Energy

Another Progress Energy executive is out at Duke Energy in the latest personnel shuffle of the merged companies.  A Duke Energy spokesman says changes required in a settlement with North Carolina utility regulators sparked a "domino effect."  

Seven top executives are shifting titles and roles in what resembles a game of musical chairs.

Duke CEO: Don't Fear The Fiscal Cliff

Dec 17, 2012
Julie Rose

The Charlotte business community gathered Monday for a diagnostic take on the U.S. economy from the city's top industries. Executives of Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Duke Energy, Nucor and Premier health care alliance offered a grim picture of slow growth and high unemployment. 

If the U.S. economy had a life coach, every pep-talk these days would be along the lines of "Look pal, you gotta 'Fake it 'til you make it.' Confidence breeds success.  All this worry is bringing you down."

Ben Bradford/WFAE

The U.S. government and the nuclear industry are betting on new, much smaller nuclear reactors that can be mass produced in factories, and shipped around the world. 

"We are trying to jumpstart a new U.S. industry," says Assistant Secretary of Energy Pete Lyons. "That’s my goal: A U.S. industry, U.S. jobs, clean energy."

Last month the Department of Energy partnered with Charlotte-based nuclear company Babcock & Wilcox to finish development, in a deal that could total over $400 million. But critics worry that the model for the new reactor is flawed at its core.

Eat Local? Try Locally-Processed Food

Dec 10, 2012
Julie Rose

To "eat local" typically means dining on fresh produce, meat and dairy from nearby farms. But WFAE's Julie Rose discovered another way to "eat local" that is a thriving industry in the Charlotte region.

The Charlotte Regional Partnership estimates there are more than 200 companies processing food locally with some 15,000 employees and $5 billion in yearly sales.

Let's dine on the fruits of their labor.

First to the meat counter. Perdue and Tyson have huge poultry processing plants in our region.

A Sign Of Surging Construction In Mecklenburg

Dec 6, 2012
North Carolina Department of Transportation

Mecklenburg County is adding 18 new building inspectors, in response to an expected surge in construction, but that has not necessarily led to a surge in construction jobs.

Mecklenburg Code Enforcement Director Jim Bartl says his office has been steadily getting busier. By spring, he expects to be so busy that his office will need the new staff.

“What we’ve been observing, which is a trend for 21 months especially on the commercial side, is a slow climb out of the depths of the recession,” Bartl says.

An Ear Around Charlotte On Black Friday

Nov 24, 2012
Ben Bradford / WFAE

Super stores, including Walmart, K-Mart, and Target opened on the night before Black Friday this year. At the Target near Uptown, Juanita Stinson sketched out her shopping plan.

"I don’t plan on getting home 'til seven in the morning or later," Stinson says. "Go to sleep, get up around 3 in the afternoon, hit it again."

But, some people don’t approve of Black Friday’s encroachment into the holiday.

S&D To Add 200 Jobs In Concord

Nov 19, 2012
Nishant Khurana/flickr

If you’re a coffee drinker, there’s a good chance you’ve had a cup of S&D Coffee and don’t know it. The Concord-based company supplies McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Circle K, and Krispy Kreme, among others, with coffee, tea, and creamers. S&D has over 600 employees in the state and now plans to add another 200 to that count.

Lowe’s Home Improvement says its profits jumped 76 percent in the third quarter from the same period a year ago. The company headquartered in Mooresville says it made $396 million. Part of the increase comes from sales related to Hurricane Sandy.

flickr/Todd Austin

In the late 1990s, there were what were called "Crystal Meetings". Top executives from ten Asian-based tech companies met in hotels and bars in Taiwan to set the price of LCD screens.  In other words, price-fixing.

Charlotte Aims To Do Business With Local Startups

Nov 12, 2012

Charlotte has a reputation for fostering big business. Monday night the city council will vote on a plan to encourage the little guys - what it calls "High Growth Entrepreneurs."

Any small business with the potential to grow quickly fits the category – it could be a hot local restaurant starting to franchise, or a start-up with technology borne of a program at UNC Charlotte. 

Progress Boosts Duke Earnings, Challenges Ahead

Nov 9, 2012

Duke Energy says earnings in the third quarter rose 26%, primarily because it was the first full quarter to include Progress Energy.  That figure slightly exceeded analyst expectations, but questions remain about challenges Duke Energy faces going forward.

The list includes:

Duke Energy says earnings in the third quarter rose 26%, primarily because it was the first full quarter to include Progress Energy.  That figure slightly exceeded analyst expectations, but questions remain about challenges Duke Energy faces going forward.

The list includes:

Julie Rose

Chiquita Brands International announced a $67 million third-quarter loss Wednesday, but the company's new CEO Ed Lonergan  said that was better than he expected in a year beset with relocation expenses and volatility in European markets.  It was Lonergan's first earnings announcement since being hired last month to replace Fernando Aguirre. 

Can You Really Lift 100 Pounds?

Oct 25, 2012
Tasnim Shamma

If you’re applying for a job with a construction company and say you can lift 100 pounds, you better make sure you can do it comfortably. One Kannapolis employer is now using a new fitness exam for prospective hires aimed at reducing worker’s compensations claims.

At the Northeast Rehab center in Concord, physical therapist Sandie Warantz is showing off one of the first things someone applying for a position with the Wayne Brothers construction company might have to do.

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