Monthly Archives: July 2012

Tennessee tops Tax Foundation sales tax rankings

Tennessee ranks highest among all 50 states in a new study of state and local sales taxes released today by The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research organization.

Tennessee has the highest combined state and local sales tax rate with an average of 9.43 percent, according to the study.

Arizona is the next highest at 9.12 percent. Rounding out the five highest states are Louisiana (8.86 percent), Washington (8.83 percent) and Oklahoma (8.68 percent).

Tennessee shoppers will get a break from nation’s highest sales tax rate this weekend with the annual state sales tax holiday Friday through Sunday.

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Analysts positive about Scripps Networks 2Q earnings

Analysts are expecting strong second quarter earnings from Scripps Networks Interactive when the Knoxville-based company files its financial report on Thursday.

The lifestyle media company is expected to post a profit of 87 cents a share, compared to 78 cents in the second quarter last year, according to Forbes.

2Q revenue is expected to be around $592 million, up 11 percent from the year-earlier period.

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Green Mountain merger target?


Is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters a merger target? If so, what does that mean for the company’s relatively new roasting and distribution plant in Knox County?

Green Mountain Coffee

Green Mountain Coffee

The maker of the Keurig single cup brewer system has seen its share price plunge from nearly $116 a few months ago to less than $18 today. As its stock has spiraled lower, talk of a takeover has increased.

Green Mountain expanded to Knoxville in 2008, investing millions in a distribution and production plant in Forks of the River Industrial Park, where it employs several hundred workers.


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Scripps Networks boosts London leadership team

Scripps Networks Interactive is strengthening its United Kingdom leadership team as part of its “ongoing international expansion initiative,” the Knoxville based company said Wednesday.

Jonathan Sichel, who joined Scripps when it acquired the Travel Channel in 2009, has been named  managing director of operations in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the company said.

Also is Nick Thorogood has been named senior vice president of content and marketing for the same area. Thorogood has been part of the Scripps international team since 2010.

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Forward Air bumps dividend 43 percent


The air cargo business is doing well despite the sluggish economy and that means Forward Air shareholders will get a 42.9 percent dividend bump in September.

The Greeneville, Tenn.-based company said Tuesday its board has approved an increase in the cash dividend to 10 cents per share, up from the current 7 cents a share.

The dividend is payable on Sept. 7 to shareholders of record on Aug. 23.


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Ruby Tuesday stock downgraded by The Street

The Street Ratings has changed its mind about Ruby Tuesday, downgrading the Maryville-based restaurant chain’s stock from buy to hold.

Despite Ruby Tuesday’s revenue growth and “and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt level,” The Street Ratings cited “deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity” as reasons for the downgrade.

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TVA named Freedom Award winner

TVA is one of 15 employers nationwide selected to receive the 2012 Freedom Award in recognition of the Knoxville-based utility’s commitment to workers who serve in the National image003.jpgGuard and Reserve.

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given to civilian employers by the Department of Defense.

Nashville marketing firm iostudio was also named a Freedom Award winner. More than 3,000 employers nationwide were nominated for the 2012 award.

The 2012 winners were announced Friday by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense agency.

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RockTenn closing Knoxville box plant

Packaging manufacturer RockTenn is closing its corrugated box plant in Knoxville, a company official confirmed today.

Thirteen salaried and 75 hourly workers will lose their jobs. The plant will cease all operations by the end of August, said Robin Keegan, director, corporate communications.

The closure is “an economic decision based on plant capacity,” Keegan said.

RockTenn, based in Norcross, Ga., recently purchased Mid South Packaging LLC, a specialty corrugated packaging manufacturer with operations in Cullman, Ala., and Olive Branch, Miss.

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Gigmark featured by Entrepreneur magazine

Knoxville tech company Gigmark Interactive Media got some national exposure recently with a feature story in Entrepreneur magazine, a trade publication covering startup businesses.

The story published in the June edition tracks Gigmark’s development of a thriving interactive flash drive business.

Gigmark was launched in 2008 by co-founders Rob Balchunas, Parker Frost and Mark Myers

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Haslam video touts state for CNBC Twitter Battle

CNBC on Tuesday will reveal the results of its sixth annual look at “America’s Top States for Business.”0115inauguration27_asb.jpg

New this year is a Twitter Battle — featuring short videos from the states’ governors. All 50 guvs were invited to submit videos detailing what makes their state the best for business.

In less than two minutes Gov. Bill Haslam makes the case for Tennessee. He mentions, among other things,  the state’s growing automobile manufacturing sector and a wide variety of consumer products made in Tennessee  — M&Ms, solar panels, chemicals, Jack Daniels and more.

Haslam makes sure to note that Tennessee has “one of the lowest state tax burdens in the country.”

Click here for Haslam’s video

All of the videos are on Viewers can vote for their favorite via state-specific hastags — as in #TopStatesTN for Tennessee.