Business news from Charlotte and the Carolinas. For more business news, listen to Marketplace every weekday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Family Dollar's earnings up 33 percent

Apr 8, 2009

Family Dollar's earnings jumped 33 percent in the second quarter as many other retailers continue to struggle during this downturn. Family Dollar has been on a roll this recession. It topped the list of Standard & Poor's 500 best performing stocks last year and sales are up 6.4 percent in the second quarter. 

Banks defend sports marketing

Mar 25, 2009

Last year, money spent on sports marketing was estimated at $10 billion. That includes things like stadium rights and NASCAR sponsorships. Nearly 10 percent of that money came from banks and other financial services companies. But in light of bailouts and billion dollar losses, these companies are under intense scrutiny. And as a result, banks say they're walking away from money-making deals, just to avoid the controversy. No company is more prominent in the world of sports than Bank of America. Its home city of Charlotte is a perfect example. It spent $44 million on sporting event last year, including NASCAR's Bank of America 500. 

UNC Charlotte Economics Professor John Connaughton says in the second half of the year, the recession will show signs of ending. He says in 2010, it will quote "really take off." 

New reality in realty

Mar 17, 2009

In 2006, Charlotte's real estate market was hot. More homes were selling than ever before. For realtors, life was good. But in the past year and a half, that's changed. A once hot market has cooled significantly, and all of a sudden, what it means to be a realtor in Charlotte has changed too. 

Bank of CEO Ken Lewis from a lot of people these days. Add to the list Sydney Finkelstein. He specializes in businsess leadership at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business. Sydney Finkelstein specializes in business leadership. He wrote an article last week for Forbes magazine called Why Ken Lewis Destroyed Bank of America . Finkelstein says Lewis had a strong record until the purchase of the investment firm Merrill Lynch. In this segment, he tells WFAE's Scott Graf why that purchase changed everything.

Charlotte targets California businesses

Mar 9, 2009

The number of companies interested in moving to Charlotte has slowed along with the economy. So the Charlotte Regional Partnership is focused on luring business from the other side of the country. This is a more aggressive campaign than usual for the Charlotte Regional Partnership.

Survey: CFOs pessimistic on economic recovery

Mar 6, 2009

The survey shows that executives who hold the purse strings of U.S. companies expect the recession to last well into 2010. They also expect to pull back on hiring and capital spending. And they predict company earnings will continue to drop for the next year. Lead researcher John Graham is a professor of finance at Duke University. He says CFOs have a good track record at predicting the future economic climate. "And when we've compared the CFO outlook for the next 12 months to what actually happens over the next 12 months. CFO's are surprisingly accurate in terms of anticipating employment, capital spending and overall domestic product- GDP," he says. Graham says CFOs were overall neutral on what they thought of President Obama's stimulus package. A third said it was working, another third said it wasn't and the rest had no opinion. Every quarter Duke University and CFO Magazine survey more than a thousand chief financial officers around the world.

Blue Cross profits anger advocates

Mar 6, 2009

Blue Cross Blue Shield is under fire from advocacy groups over its contract to administer the state health plan for employees. A week ago, the state revealed it paid Blue Cross more than $97 million last year to administer the health plan for state employees and process 9.4 million claims. That breaks down to $10 per claim, compared to an average of 41 cents the state paid another firm to process Medicaid claims in 2007.