November 27, 2011 |
Question: What's wrong with Brown Shoe Co.? I am a shareholder. Answer: Sales at its Famous Footwear chain have been as disappointing as the economy. That's why it plans to close about 145 of those stores over the course of this fiscal year that ends in January and into next fiscal year. It will also close its Brown Shoe Closet stores, F.X. LaSalle stores and Sun Prairie, Wis., distribution center. The sale of its And1 athletic shoe brand was recently finalized.
November 18, 2011 |
More workers than ever filed complaints this year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concerning office discrimination, the agency said this week. A total of 99,947 allegations were filed of unfair workplace practices based on race, sex, age, religion, disability or even family medical history, according to the EEOC's annual performance report for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That's the highest number since the commission was launched through the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
July 19, 2011 |
California's biggest pension funds reported that a booming stock market and private-equity gains helped them post their largest returns in over a decade. The California Public Employees' Retirement System pension fund grew 20.7% in the fiscal year ending June 30, its best return in 14 years. The California State Teachers' Retirement System fund, known as CalSTRS, increased 23.1%, the best it has done in a quarter century. Both pension funds, which rank as the two largest in the nation, have been in a period of recovery since massive losses during the financial crisis.
July 6, 2011 |
The House began debate Wednesday on a $650-billion spending bill to fund the Pentagon and continue paying for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure would boost the Pentagon's budget by $17 billion for fiscal year 2012 at a time when Congress and the White House are in heated negotiations over the deficit and reining in federal spending. It is the only spending bill to move through the Republican-controlled House that would increase funding over 2011 levels. Any House-passed bill is unlikely to become law: The Democratic-controlled Senate still must pass its version, then negotiate with House leaders on a bill they can send to the White House.
July 3, 2011 |
Question: I am worried about my Sony Corp. stock. Do you see any kind of upturn ahead? Answer: This is a trying time for the consumer electronics and entertainment giant. Among its woes are the slow economy, a campaign of cyber attacks on the company's online video game service, and supply disruptions caused by Japan's earthquake and tsunami. Longer-term, Sony must adapt quickly and effectively to shifting trends. If it can't, it won't be able to command premium prices, despite its premium-brand reputation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2011 |
Despite the city's ongoing fiscal woes, police officers in Los Angeles will receive a considerable pay raise in coming years, according to a tentative contract agreement reached Friday. The proposed three-year contract calls for the roughly 9,900 rank-and-file officers to forgo a pay increase in the fiscal year that begins Friday and receive incremental pay hikes over the next two years, according to a summary obtained by The Times. At the start of the second year, officers' pay would rise 1% and then jump 2% midway through the year.
June 19, 2011 |
Question: As a longtime shareholder of H.J. Heinz Co., I would like to know if I should continue to hold it. Answer: The impetus for this global company's growth is expected to be a developing taste in emerging markets for Heinz baby food, ketchup and other packaged foods. The Pittsburgh company — which also makes sauces, frozen food, soups, beans and pasta meals — has made significant sales gains in Brazil, Russia and Indonesia, and expects more than 20% of sales in the current fiscal year to come from emerging economies.
June 1, 2011 |
More popular movies helped boost Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s revenue in the fiscal year that ended March 31, but higher costs caused its net loss to more than double. The Santa Monica film and television studio reported revenue of $1.8 billion, up 6% from the previous fiscal year, and a net loss of $53.6 million. The revenue was in line with an estimate the company issued this month, while the net loss came in lower than expected. The studio's motion picture group had the biggest boost, with revenue up 10% to $1.23 billion thanks to a slate with more big-budgeted releases, including the action hit "The Expendables" and the low-budget horror success "The Last Exorcism" as well as flops such as the romantic comedy "Killers" and the Russell Crowe drama "The Next Three Days.
May 27, 2011 |
Declining home entertainment revenue and the box-office failure of the costly comedy "How Do You Know" drove Sony Pictures' revenue down 8% in the recently ended fiscal year. However, improvements in the studio's television business kept operating income roughly flat. Mixed news for Sony Pictures came amid other bad news for Japanese parent company Sony Corp., which had to take a huge charge tied to the Japan earthquake in the fiscal year that ended March 31 and will be hurt in its current year by the hacking-induced shutdown of its online networks.
May 24, 2011 |
Financially speaking, the effects of the hacker attack on Sony Corp. cost the Japanese media conglomerate nearly as much as initial damage from the country's devastating earthquake and tsunami. The consumer electronics giant estimated Monday that it will have spent $171.7 million this year to repair the damages wreaked by hackers who infiltrated its computers and accessed account information of hundreds of millions of consumers who used its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services.