Business Briefs


POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2009


Ala Moana announces new tenants

Ala Moana Center yesterday announced new retail shops and eateries that have been added to its directory this year, eight of which are opening their first Hawaii stores.

Among stores that recently opened are As Seen on TV, Blazin' Steaks, Brontibay Paris, Custo Barcelona, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Spiral Girl.

The Brontibay Paris, a French leather goods designer, and Custo Barcelona, an apparel and accessories boutique, opened their first stores in Hawaii.

Coming in May and June are: Aeropostale, Goma Tei Ramen, Miu Miu, Wetzel's Pretzels, Kate Spade, and Michael Kors.

The Michael Kors boutique is the first standalone store in Hawaii for the designer, a judge on Bravo TV's “;Project Runway.”;

Victoria's Secret is scheduled to open in September.


Hoku chief to present at conference

Dustin Shindo, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Honolulu-based alternative energy company Hoku Scientific Inc., said yesterday that he will present at the fourth-annual Piper Jaffray Clean Technology and Renewables Conference today in New York City.

The presentation will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, and will be made available over the Internet via live webcast, which can be accessed via the investor relations section of http://www.hokucorp.com. A replay will be available for seven days following the conference.



Icahn may offer to buy ailing casino

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. » Billionaire financier Carl Icahn may be rolling the dice again on an Atlantic City casino.

The former owner of the now-defunct Sands Casino Hotel is among parties who may offer to buy the troubled Tropicana Casino and Resort once it's offered in a bankruptcy auction.

Atlantic City has been struggling not only with the nationwide recession, which leaves gamblers with less money to risk, but also with competition from new slots parlors in Pennsylvania and New York. A casino authority said recently that 10 of Atlantic City's 11 casinos, including the Tropicana and the distressed Resorts Atlantic City, a foreclosure target, were shedding jobs at an alarming pace.


Goodyear cutting nearly 5,000 jobs

CLEVELAND » Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the biggest U.S. tire maker, said yesterday it plans to cut nearly 5,000 jobs this year after a sharp drop in sales led to a loss of $330 million in the fourth quarter.

The Akron-based company said demand for new tires is weak as auto sales slump and the market for replacement tires is also down because people are driving less.

The job cuts equal almost 7 percent of the company's work force and follow the elimination of about 4,000 jobs in the second half of last year.

Goodyear's loss in the three months ended Dec. 31 amount to $1.37 a share, compared with a profit of $52 million, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue dipped 21 to $4.1 billion from $5.2 billion a year earlier.


HP profit drops 13% on ink sales

SAN FRANCISCO » Hewlett-Packard Co.'s quarterly profit dropped 13 percent, and sales ticked up just 1 percent, as even the technology company's cash-cow printer ink business was hobbled by the recession.

The world's top seller of personal computers also cut its 2009 guidance, but it was still in line with Wall Street's expectations.

HP shares fell $1.08, or 3.2 percent, to $33 in extended trading, after closing down 26 cents during the regular trading session, before the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company reported its earnings.

Crippled technology spending slammed all but one of HP's major business lines. Only HP's services division, which bulked up with its $13.9 billion acquisition of Electronic Data Systems, saw an increase.


HCDA to hold Kakaako meetings

The Hawaii Community Development Authority will hold a series of meetings to hear concerns from central Kakaako landowners and businesses regarding the effects of surrounding developments.

The central Kakaako district - bound by Cooke, Piikoi, Waimanu, Kona, Halekauwila, and Queen Streets - is made up mostly of smaller lots and characterized by industrial, repair and other service-oriented businesses.

The meetings will be held at the University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine, Room MEB 301, on Wednesday and May 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Smoker's widow gets $8M

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. » Philip Morris was ordered by a jury yesterday to pay $8 million in damages to the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer in a case that could set a standard for some 8,000 similar Florida lawsuits.

The six jurors deliberated for two days before returning the award for Elaine Hess, 63, whose husband Stuart Hess died in 1997 at age 55.

The award amounts to $3 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages against Richmond, Va.-based Philip Morris USA.