Business Briefs


POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Superferry resumes service today

The Hawaii Superferry said yesterday that the Alakai is resuming service between Oahu and Maui today as scheduled.

The Alakai shut down for two weeks starting February 2 to complete its annual maintenance inspection and U.S. Coast Guard re-certification process.

“;The annual inspection went very smoothly, and we're geared up to continue service for the people of Hawaii for 2009,”; Hawaii Superferry President Tom Fargo said in a statement.

The Superferry is offering sale fares for specific bookings that can be made through today for travel through August 31. Call (877) 443-3779 for more information.


Isle shippers snag defense contracts

Three Hawaii shipping companies have been awarded U.S. Department of Defense contracts amounting up to $260 million.

The U.S. Transportation Command awarded Horizon Lines LLC of Charlotte, N.C., up to $100 million in a fixed price contract for sea and intermodal freight service between U.S. West coast ports and Hawaii and Guam as well as between Alaska ports and Guam. Matson Navigation Co. of Oakland, Calif., was also awarded up to a $100 million fixed price contract for service between U.S. West Coast ports and Hawaii and Guam.

Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines LLC of Corte Madera, Calif., was awarded up to a $60 million fixed price contract for service between U.S. West coast ports and Hawaii.

Work on all three contracts is expected to begin March 16, with completion by November.


Island Air forms coffee partnership

Island Air said yesterday it has established a new partnership with Molokai's Coffees of Hawaii.

Beginning March 1, the interisland carrier will serve its passengers coffee made exclusively by Coffees of Hawaii under an agreement that helps both companies reduce costs through cross-promotion.

Island Air said its flight attendants have prepared for the new service by spending time at the plantation to get educated on the art of cultivating and roasting the coffee.

“;We are excited about our new partnership with Coffees of Hawaii because during these tough economic times, this relationship will help strengthen both companies,”; Island Air Chief Operating Officer Les Murashige said in a statement.


Wal-Mart profit falls 7.4 percent

NEW YORK » Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it is still pulling shoppers away from its main rivals and enjoying a rise in customer traffic as the world's largest retailer released better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings yesterday.

Still, Wal-Mart is hardly immune from economic pressures. It issued a cautious earnings outlook as it feels the pinch from the stronger dollar in its important international business, a trend officials said could hurt profits over the next three quarters.

Wal-Mart's fourth-quarter profit fell 7.4 percent to $3.79 billion, or 96 cents a share, in the quarter ended Jan. 31, dragged down by the strong dollar and a charge from settling labor lawsuits. That compares with $4.096 billion, or $1.02 a share, a year earlier.


Liberty Media and Sirius team up

NEW YORK » Facing a likely bankruptcy, Sirius XM Radio Inc. found a savior in Liberty Media Corp., which will lend $530 million to the satellite radio provider and block a bid for control that had been waged by a rival both companies share: Dish Network Corp. CEO Charlie Ergen.

Sirius had warned it could file for bankruptcy as early as yesterday if it could not successfully negotiate with its debt holders.

Sirius XM Radio has 20 million subscribers who use the service to listen to sports, music and talk, including Howard Stern's show.

The company found itself on the brink as credit markets dried up and auto sales plunged - a critical factor for Sirius because many new subscribers buy the service in package offers with cars and trucks.