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POSTED: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

HAWAII

Mesa Air anticipates net profit

Mesa Air Group, parent of interisland carrier go!, reported in a regulatory filing yesterday that it anticipates reporting a net profit for its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008.

The Phoenix-based company made the disclosure while informing the Securities and Exchange Commission that it needed an extension for filing its quarterly results.

Mesa said it is awaiting further clarity on the accounting impact of the termination of the agreements on its senior convertible notes.

The company said it anticipates it will be able to file its quarterly results within 15 days of the due date of its earnings.

 

Suit filed against Valley Isle Motors

A disability bias suit has been filed in U.S. district court against Valley Isle Motors Ltd., a car dealership on Maui.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges that Valley Isle failed to hire an employee for a salesperson position because of a perceived mental disability due to prescription medications he was taking. He was, however, medically authorized to work without restrictions and subitted normal medical test results to Valley Isle.

The EEOC says the conduct violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

“;The employee in this case was qualified, ready, willing, and able to work, but Valley Isle Motors denied him that opportunity for discriminatory reasons.”; said Anna Park, regional attorney of the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office.

 

Foodland starts scholarship drive

Foodland Super Market Ltd. said yesterday that $200,000 in scholarships will be awarded to 100 Hawaii high school seniors through its fourth-annual Shop for Higher Education program.

The statewide program begins today and runs through March 24 at all Foodland and Sack N Save stores. Since the program began in 2006, more than $630,000 in scholarships have been given to Hawaii's seniors.

A total of 100 $2,000 scholarships will be given to deserving high school seniors across the state.

 

NATION

Wholesale inventories plunge

WASHINGTON » Wholesalers cut back on their inventories in December by the largest amount in nearly 17 years, and economists say more reductions are likely amid the deepening recession.

The ongoing inventory reductions mean wholesalers likely will order fewer new goods, leading to reduced production and potentially more job layoffs.

The U.S. Commerce Department said yesterday that wholesale inventories plunged by 1.4 percent, nearly double analysts' expectations of 0.8 percent and the steepest since records began in January 1992. It also was the fourth straight monthly decline.

Sales at the wholesale level dropped 3.6 percent, slightly steeper than analysts' expectations, but less than November's record 7.3 percent drop.

 

PEOPLE

US Airways CEO says airline will trim jobs

US Airways Group Inc. Chief Executive Doug Parker told employees in a message yesterday that the company will cut 233 airport jobs in 10 cities as it trims capacity because of declining demand.

Affected workers will be given an opportunity to transfer to other jobs within the company, Parker said.

The airline had hoped to avoid the layoffs through attrition, he said.

 

Wal-Mart cuts up to 800 jobs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. » Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will cut 700 to 800 jobs at its northwestern Arkansas headquarters as it builds fewer new stores this year and makes other operational changes, the world's largest retailer announced today. The cuts are in Wal-Mart's real estate, apparel and health and wellness departments.

 

Magazine newsstand sales fall

NEW YORK » Sales of U.S. magazines at newsstands and other retail outlets dropped during the second half of 2008 as readers looked for ways to trim discretionary spending, but overall circulation was largely flat. In releasing twice-annual circulation figures for magazines, the Audit Bureau of Circulations said combined single-copy sales averaged 43,367,098, down 11 percent from the second half of 2007.

The totals are based on all 535 magazines that reported circulation in both 2007 and 2008. Overall circulation was 345,176,148 during the 2008 period, a 0.9 percent drop. Subscriptions increased slightly, by 0.5 percent.

 

Molson Coors profit drops

NEW YORK » Higher beer prices weren't enough to safeguard Molson Coors Brewing Co. from the stronger dollar, high commodity costs and declining sales volumes of Miller Lite and other brands, leading the brewer to report today a lower profit for its fourth quarter.

Molson, which partially owns the Miller brands in the U.S. through a joint venture with London brewer SABMiller, said its financial results were hurt the most by the strength of the dollar.