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Southwest Michigan First announces new alliance

Updated: Friday, January 11 2013, 09:03 AM EST
Southwest Michigan First announces new alliance story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Southwest Michigan First and the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced a new alliance.

The groups are teaming up to help meet the needs of small businesses in the area.

“Strategically, we will reduce duplication of programs and services, take advantage of regional dynamics and provide maximum value to our members. This partnership provides us with an advanced platform to grow business around the region,” said Jeffrey Hawkins, President of Envirologic and Chamber Board Chair.

The groups will also collaborate on educational programs and services focused on improving efficiencies and building small businesses.



Southwest Michigan First announces new alliance
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EARNS-SIX FLAGS

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (AP) -- Six Flags Entertainment Corp. reports earnings that climbed by 40 percent in its second quarter. The results matched analysts' expectations.

The Grand Prairie, Texas-based company says earnings rose to $66.3 million, or 67 cents per share, from $47.4 million, or 47 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The amusement park operator says revenue increased 3.5 percent to $376.6 million from $363.7 million in the same quarter a year ago, and missed Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $396.6 million, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Six Flags shares have climbed $4.18, or 11 percent, to $41 since the beginning of the year. The stock has risen $5.15, or 14 percent, in the last 12 months.

EARNS-HASBRO

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) -- Hasbro Inc. reports profit that decreased by 8.2 percent in its second quarter, and missed analysts' expectations.

The Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company says net income decreased to $33.5 million, or 26 cents per share, from $36.5 million, or 28 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Earnings, adjusted for pre-tax expenses, were 36 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 37 cents per share.

The company says revenue rose 8.2 percent to $829.3 million from $766.3 million in the same quarter a year earlier, and missed Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $842.8 million, according to Zacks.

Hasbro shares have declined $1.80, or 3.3 percent, to $53.21 since the beginning of the year.

EARNS-HALLIBURTON

HOUSTON (AP) -- Halliburton Co. says its second-quarter earnings rose 20 percent, and it's raised its share buyback authorization to $6 billion.

The Houston-based company, which provides drilling services to oil and gas operators, earned $774 million, or 91 cents per share, for the period ended June 30. That's up from $644 million, or 69 cents per share, a year ago.

The average per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a profit of 92 cents.

Revenue climbed 10 percent to $8.05 billion from $7.32 billion, beating Wall Street's forecast of $7.88 billion.

It also declared a third-quarter dividend of 15 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Sept. 24 to shareholders of record on Sept. 3.

Halliburton gained 41 cents to $71.34 before the market open.

The company's shares have climbed $20.18, or 40 percent, to $70.93 since the beginning of the year.

ALLERGAN-LAYOFFS

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) -- Botox-maker Allergan says it is cutting about 13 percent of its workforce, or roughly 1,500 employees, as part of a push to become more efficient and productive.

The Irvine, California, company also says it will eliminate about 250 vacant positions. The company says its restructuring plan will yield annual pre-tax savings of about $475 million in 2015, but costs tied to it will total between $375 million and $425 million.

Allergan also says its second-quarter earnings grew 16 percent to $417.2 million, or $1.37 per share. Its revenue also climbed more than 16 percent to $1.86 billion.

Allergan is fending off acquisition bids from Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. in an aggressive takeover battle that has drawn complaints from Valeant over statements Allergan has made about its business.

DETROIT BANKRUPTCY

DETROIT (AP) -- The city of Detroit is expected today to report the results of voting on pension cuts by retirees and former and current workers.

The outcome will have an impact on the city's bankruptcy case, which goes to trial on Aug. 14. Support for pension changes would give Detroit's bankruptcy plan a big boost as Judge Steve Rhodes decides whether the overall strategy is fair and feasible.

General retirees would see a 4.5 percent pension cut and lose annual inflation adjustments. Retired police officers and firefighters would lose only a portion of their annual cost-of-living raise.

Approval of the pension changes would trigger $816 million from the state of Michigan, foundations and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

SEVERSTAL-SALE

NEW YORK (AP) -- Russian steel company Severstal is exiting the U.S. market, selling a pair of steel plants to AK Steel and Steel Dynamics for about $2.33 billion.

Word of a possible sale began to circulate earlier this year as the West threatened sanctions against Russia for its activity in the Ukraine, but Severstal has not among those companies targeted by those actions.

Steel Dynamics Inc. says it will pay about $1.63 billion for Severstal Columbus, which is located in northeast Mississippi. The acquisition will increase Steel Dynamics' annual steel shipping capacity by approximately 40 percent to 11 million tons.

Steel Dynamics anticipates the deal will immediately add to its earnings per share.

The boards of both companies have approved the sale, which is expected to be completed before year's end.

BRITAIN-TESCO

LONDON (AP) -- Tesco says Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke will be stepping down after the latest earnings figures showed Britain's largest retailer by revenue struggled at home.

Tesco says Dave Lewis, currently an executive at Unilever, will become CEO in the fall after the company issued a profit warning describing challenging trading conditions.

Since being named CEO in 2011, Clarke had taken steps to bolster the company's U.K. business by striving to improve the customer experience, but the company faced intense competition from retailers catering to customers cutting costs in tough economic times.

Phil Dorrell, director of retail consultants Retail Remedy, says Clarke tried to "boil an ocean" and that the result of "trying to change everything was that he achieved little and both customers and shareholders were let down."

VERIZON-REWARDS PROGRAM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked so the company can help target ads that match their interests.

Verizon is the first wireless carrier to roll out a comprehensive rewards program, and it's expecting big benefits. The program has already been offered for a few months in some states, helping explain Verizon's strong subscriber figures in the second quarter.

The company says Smart Rewards is designed as a loyalty program, but the company is also using it to encourage enrollment in Verizon Selects, a separate program that uses subscriber surfing and location data to better target Web ads they see.

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