Monthly Archives: February 2012

Business taxes a heavy burden in Tennessee

Tennessee is in the bottom half of a new study that measures the tax burden businesses would face in each of the 50 states.

The Tax Foundation study released today ranks states based on the tax liability for both mature and new businesses. Tennessee is 29th in both categories, which means it has a heavier tax burden than most of the country.

“Corporate taxes on the state level rarely treat all comers equally, leading to sometimes dramatic disparities in the cost of doing business,” Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge said in a news release. “Tax preferences and incentive deals can distort the playing field based on how long a business has been operating, whether it’s a manufacturing or retail operation or whether it’s moved from another state to set up shop.”

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Tenn. companies make little progress on board room diversity

Regal Entertainment Group CEO Amy Miles remains the only female chief executive of a Tennessee-based public company, according to an annual report by Lipscomb University and Nashville CABLE, a diverse network of professionals.

The report “shows little progress toward gender diversity” in corporate boardrooms across the state in recent years. Since 2007 when the university researched the issue women have held between 7.9 and 8.3 percent percent of the board positions for Tennessee public companies, the report says.

The “Women in Corporate Leadership” study found that while 47 percent of the Tennessee work force was female in fiscal 2010, women held only 8 percent of the 566 public company board seats. Of the 17 new independent board directors appointed in Tennessee during fiscal 2010, only three were women.

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Reuters: S&P places Xinergy on CreditWatch

A mild winter hasn’t been good for Knoxville-based coal company Xinergy, says Standard and Poor’s.

The ratings agency said it is placing its Xinergy ratings on CreditWatch with negative implications.

“The CreditWatch listing reflects our concern that  weak demand for thermal coal due to an unseasonably warm winter in the company’s regional end market result in lower-than-expected 2012 earnings, leading to additional deterioration of the company’s fragile liquidity position,” according to a report on the Reuter’s website.

Xinergy’s key has mining operations are in West Virginia and Kentucky. The company provides coal to electric utilities and industrial users.

Read more from Reuters here.

 

Can you afford to retire?

 

Job OpeningsA new survey of workers close to traditional retirement age finds 57 percent plan to keep working after retiring from their current job.

 Eleven percent of the workers surveyed said they don’t expect to ever retire, according to the CareerBuilder survey released this month.

Finding a new job isn’t always easy for older workers who often find themselves overqualified. But the market for mature workers is improving, the survey found.

 

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Motley Fool makes nice with Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday lost a bunch of money in the last quarter, but there are reasons to feel good about the restaurant chain’s future, says a Motley Fool report.

“On the face of it, Ruby Tuesday’s $2 million loss in the last quarter may not be exactly good news. And some people are complaining about the salad bar. I would, however, put my money on the company,” says the report by Priya Singh.

Among the positives cite by Singh are “licensing agreenments with concept restaurants such as Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, Marlin & Ray’s, and Truffles Cafe. These restaurants have good brand positioning in the fast casual segment, which is a growing segment in an industry where demand exceeds supply.”

Motley Fool: Ruby Tuesday Won’t Go Out of Tune 

A voice of reason on the economy

Despite what we hear from the far right, the U.S. economy is not circling the drain.

Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher made that clear in an interview with CNBC today. Fisher said that CEOs around the country tell him that they feel better about the economy.

” …The tone is a lot better. It’s not brilliant; we don’t have enough new hiring taking place, (but we’re) definitely moving in the right direction. … Things are better than the numbers might suggest or at least moving in the right direction,” Fisher said.

Fisher noted that exports and manufacturing are picking up and that the American private sector is “the most efficient in the world. They have cut costs to the bone. They are hyperproductive. They are still sitting on a pile of cash. I’m not sure all that cash has been put to work. We know there is a lot of cash on the sidelines.”

After listening to the drumbeat of doom that is the Republican presidential primary, it’s refreshing to hear a voice of reason.

Here’s the full Fisher interview:
CNBC Video: Dallas Fed President: Economy Getting Better

Time: No ‘Farting Dog’ but Dollywood is still weird

DSC_0243.JPGAmusement park fans looking for something weird to do this spring can find it right here at Dollywood, one of the 10 weirdest theme parks in the world, according to Time.com.

That’s right, Dollywood, the pride of East Tennessee, ranked among the weirdest parks on the planet.

Country music star Dolly Parton’s park is “a full-fledged amusement extravaganza with rides like Dolly’s Demolition Derby bumper cars and the Dollywood Express steam engine,” Time says.

If that’s not weird enough for you, grab your passport and book passage to Denmark. Near Copenhagen you will find BonBon Land, a park that Time describes as a “whimsical, wacky and vaguely disturbing theme park home to attractions like the “Farting Dog” and “Skid Mark” rollercoasters.”

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Analysts say E.W. Scripps to report 4Q profit, revenue decline

Wall Street expects media company E.W. Scripps to report a profit of 17 cents per share and a continued decline in revenue for the 2011 fourth quarter.

The parent company of the Knoxville News Sentinel and the Memphis Commercial Appeal plans to release its latest earnings report on Friday.

Scripps beat analyst expectations in the third quarter after missing in the previous two quarters.

Looking ahead, the company projects a strong increase in television revenue in 2012 due to increased political advertising and the recent acquisition of nine TV stations from McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Co.

ce last summer.

 

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FedEx looking at European expansion?

Talk is heating up that Memphis-based FedEx Corp. will make a bid for European shipping company TNT Express.

TNT late last week rejected an offer from FedEx competitpor UPS.

Here’s some of the speculation on FedEx:

Bloomberg: FedEx Seen as Possible TNT Suitor

Wall Street Journal: Will There Be A Bidding War for TNT Express?

A tax even conservatives can like

Now that Congress has passed the payroll tax cut bill maybe it will move quickly to close the online sales tax loophole.

Sen. Lamar Alexander on Thursday urged the Senate to do just that. lamar_alexander.jpgConservative support for Marketplace Fairness Act is building and now is the time to pass the bill, the Tennessee Republican said.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Alexander listed a number of notable conservatives who support closing the loophole that will cost state and local governments $23 billion this year alone. About the only name he didn’t drop was Grover Norquist.

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