Monthly Archives: May 2013

Eastman Chemical plans $1.6B East Tennessee investment

Eastman.2.JPGSpecialty chemicals maker Eastman Chemical Co. on Wednesday signaled a long-term commitment to East Tennessee with announcement of $1.6 billion plan to modernize its Kingsport, Tenn. facility

The investment will be made over the next seven years and create 300 new jobs, company and state officials said in a news release.

The so-called Project Inspire initiative will include investment in  “new growth opportunities, safety and environmental projects, increased warehouse capacity, building renovations and expansion of its corporate campus,” according to a news release.

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Xinergy shareholders say ‘no’ to CEO stock options

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Xinergy shareholders on Wednesday endorsed management’s
nominees for the company’s board of directors, but defeated resolutions that
would have awarded CEO Matt Goldfarb options to buy more than a half-million
shares of company stock.

Goldfarb easily held onto his  board seat, but the 32.1 percent of
shareholder votes withheld from the CEO were easily the largest such “no” votes
for director candidates, according to a news release.

Directors Stephen Loukas and Jay Thornton were relected with
votes at 21.7 percent and 18 percent of withheld votes, respectively.

Two separate resolutions that would have given Goldfarb
stock options were rejected by shareholders.

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Knox company named Freedom Award finalist

Knoxville metal shop Steel Plate Fabricators is one of two East Tennessee companies to be named a finalist for 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

Also named a finalist is specialty chemicals maker Eastman Chemical of Kingsport, Tenn., Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office announced Tuesday.

The Freedom Award is the Defense Department’s highest recognition presented annually to employers “for going to extraordinary lengths” to support their employees who serve in the Guard or Reserve.

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Tough 1Q produces opposite results for Knox energy companies

Oil and gas

A pair of Knoxville based energy companies this week both reported
decreased sales in the first quarter, but one still scratched out a profit
while the other swung to a loss.

Oil company Tengasco reported a profit of $978,000, or 2
cents per share, while coal producer Xinergy said it lost $1.9 million, or 3
cents per share.

Tengasco’s earnings for the first three months of 2012 were a
slight improvement from a profit of $954,000, or 2 cents per share in the same
period a year ago.

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Survey: Tennessee small business friendly

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Small business owners gave Tennessee good marks for supporting
small businesses in a new national survey.

Tennessee earned a B+ in the “Small Business Friendliness
Survey” released Tuesday by Thumbtack.com, a website that offers to connect
consumers and businesses.

“Tennessee ranked among the top states for its support of
small businesses,” Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com said in a news
release. “Our research points to the importance of clear and consistent
regulations in creating a friendly environment for entrepreneurs, and this is
exactly what Tennessee delivers.”

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Regal Entertainment plans new luxury theater

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Regal Entertainment Group is bringing a new level of “luxury
amenities” to the movie-going experience.

In Atlanta at least.

Every seat in a new theater that will open next year near
Atlanta  “will be a luxury recliner that
includes a footrest for added comfort and a convenient table area for dining,”
according to a news release.

Food offerings will “feature restaurant-quality food and
drink selections as well as traditional cinema snacks.”

But wait there’s more. Even the lobby will offer luxury
amenities, Knoxville-based Regal said.

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Green Mountain shares sizzle on Starbucks deal

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters shares are soaring today on
news of a renewed deal with coffee giant Starbucks.

Green Mountain Coffee

Green Mountain Coffee

Shares were up more than 24 percent at midday to $73.90.

Green Mountain has a sizable presence in Knox County with
about 900 employees and a roasting and distribution plant in Forks of the River
Industrial Park, according to the Knoxville Business Journal Book of Lists.

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Regal Entertainment gets ‘Iron Man’ boost

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Blockbuster film “Iron Man 3” is giving Regal Entertainment
Group a major boost following the movie theater operator’s rather drab first
quarter.

The super hero flick starring Robert Downey Jr. produced opening
weekend ticket sales of $174.1 million in the U.S. and Canada, second largest
of all time.

In the first 12 days of release, the movie has delivered a
monster box office of $678.9 million worldwide, according to Hollywood.com.

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Miller Energy announces stock offering, gas sales contract

It’s been a busy Monday for Miller Energy Resources.
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The Knoxville-based oil and natural gas company announced that it intends to raise additional funds in a follow-on public stock offering.

It also announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Cook Inlet Energy has inked a new commercial gas sales agreement.

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