Business Briefs


POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2009


Hoku execs decline cash bonuses

All four executive officers of Hoku Scientific Inc. said yesterday they have declined their cash bonuses for the company's fiscal year ending March 31.

In March 2008, Hoku's directors approved an executive compensation plan for stock and cash bonuses that would be awarded based on the company's progress in raising capital and in operating the planned polysilicon production facility in Pocatello, Idaho.

“;In the current economic climate, we are asking our customers, vendors, suppliers, and employees for continuing support to manage our cash. We are each fully committed to the long term success of Hoku, and we respectfully ask that the Board of Directors forego consideration of cash bonuses to each of us for fiscal year 2009,”; the executives wrote in a letter to the board.


A&B donated $2.1 million in 2008

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. said earlier this week that it donated $2.1 million in 2008 to nonprofit organizations in Hawaii and the mainland.

Most of that amount - $1.7 million - went to charities serving a broad range of community needs in Hawaii and the Pacific islands. An additional $400,000 went to mainland charities.




Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages fall

McLEAN, Va. » Rates on 30-year-fixed mortgages fell this week, offering homeowners a chance to refinance their loans, Freddie Mac said yesterday. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped to 5.16 percent this week from 5.25 percent last week. A year ago, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.72 percent. Average rates for 30-year-fixed mortgages had been rising since hitting a record low of 4.96 percent a month ago.

The average rate this week on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.81 percent, down from 4.92 percent last week and 5.25 percent a year ago.



Chrysler exec: Firm ready for sales slump

CHICAGO » Even if U.S. auto sales stay near their current depressed levels for four more years, Chrysler LLC has contingency plans to remain viable, a top executive said yesterday.

Vice Chairman and President Jim Press, speaking to the Economic Club of Chicago, said the new reality for the U.S. auto market may be around 10 million in annual sales, and companies will have to adjust to that.

Sales in 2008 totaled about 13.2 million, but automakers only sold about 657,000 vehicles last month, and analysts and automakers expect this year's total to fall as low as 10.5 million.


Monettes to open in Mauna Kea

Prince Resorts Hawaii said yesterday that the owners of Flagstaff House Restaurant, brothers Mark and Scott Monette, will develop and operate a new restaurant called Monettes and a bar/cafe in the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island.

Monettes, which is scheduled to open next month, will serve American-French cuisine with island influences, and will also offer a more casual dining experience within the restaurant.


HomeOwnership Center gets grant

The Hawaii HomeOwnership Center said earlier this week that it has received a $25,000 grant from American Savings Bank that will help to fund programs which provide education and counseling to families interested in home ownership.

Each family will receive an average of 10 to 12 hours of counseling and a nine-hour education program. Educational class topics include: Managing money, understanding credit, getting a mortgage and shopping for a home. In July, the center reached its 500th home buyer milestone.


Bubba's to open third Kauai eatery

Bubba's Hawaii said yesterday it is opening its third Kauai location at Kukuiula Village at the end of summer.

The 1,500-square-foot restaurant will join Quiksilver and Maui Divers, situated at the entrance to Poipu.

Bubba's has served old-fashioned burgers on Kauai for 19 years.


Live Nation merger opposed

NEW YORK » Live Nation Inc.'s largest shareholder, Shapiro Capital Management Co., said yesterday it opposes the proposed merger with Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc., saying the concert promoter is better off on its own.

While the deal would benefit Ticketmaster, “;Live Nation is much better going it alone,”; Sam Shapiro, president of Shapiro Capital, said in an interview. The Atlanta-based firm owns 11.9 million shares, or 15 percent, of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Live Nation.

Spokesmen for Live Nation and Ticketmaster had no immediate comment.


Coca-Cola profit beats estimates

ATLANTA » Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest soft-drink maker, reported fourth-quarter profit that fell less than analysts estimated after income rose in Europe and costs fell because of improved technology to track sales.

Shares jumped 6.3 percent in New York trading after Coca-Cola reported earnings of 64 cents a share, excluding a writedown tied to its distribution business. That beat the 61-cent average of analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The volume of drinks sold rose 4 percent.