Business briefs


POSTED: Thursday, July 16, 2009

Central Pacific stock hits another low

Central Pacific Financial Corp., which lost more than a quarter of its value Tuesday in falling to a 21-year bottom, dropped an additional 6.5 percent, or 17 cents, yesterday to $2.45.

It was the lowest level for the parent of Central Pacific Bank since the shares hit $2.39 on April 13, 1988.

The decline was triggered by the company's announcement that it would be reporting a loss of $33 million to $37 million in the second quarter and that it would be raising $100 million through a secondary offering, which will dilute its stock.

New law benefits Hawaiian Telcom

A bill that proposes to level the playing field for local telecommunications carrier Hawaiian Telcom has become law without Gov. Linda Lingle's signature.

Senate Bill 603 reduces the state Public Utilities Commission's oversight of Hawaiian Telcom, eliminating the need for its approval before the company introduces new bundles of products and services, for instance.

Hawaiian Telcom spokesman Brian Tanner says the company previously had to file its new promotions and rates with the PUC and wait for 30 days to receive approval.

During that time, the filing would be available to the public and competitors, such as Oceanic Time Warner Cable.

If Hawaiian Telcom were to increase basic phone rates, however, it still would be subject to PUC regulations, said Tanner. Hawaiian Telcom supported the bill; the PUC opposed it.

35 states settle with drug firms

NEW YORK » Drugmakers Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. said yesterday they will pay $5.4 million to settle an investigation by Hawaii and 34 other states that the companies delayed the release of test results casting doubt on the effectiveness of two blockbuster cholesterol drugs, Vytorin and Zetia .

The companies settled with the attorneys general from the 35 states, as well as the District of Columbia, but did not break down the amount each state would receive, although Kentucky, where the agreement was filed, will get $100,000.

The investigation centered on allegations the companies kept quiet the results from an unfavorable study, violating consumer-protection laws.

Feds won't give CIT second bailout

WASHINGTON » The Obama administration drew a line in the sand on financial bailouts yesterday, denying emergency aid to CIT Group Inc., a struggling commercial lender on the brink of bankruptcy.

After days of round-the-clock talks with regulators about a possible government bailout, CIT late yesterday said those negotiations had ceased.

The company said its management and directors were “;evaluating alternatives.”;

CIT is one of the nation's largest lenders to small and midsize businesses. The company has warned that its failure could imperil about a million corporate borrowers, including retailers, restaurants and airlines.

American Air parent loses $390M

DALLAS » American Airlines parent AMR Corp. lost more money in the second quarter as fewer people got on its planes and those who did paid lower fares than a year ago. AMR's revenue plunged 21 percent from the same period in 2008, swamping the savings that American reaped from cheaper jet fuel prices. Still, American raised more money from extra fees on baggage and other items, and the financial results weren't as bad as Wall Street had feared.

AMR said yesterday it lost $390 million, or $1.39 a share. Excluding charges related to the sale and grounding of planes, it would have lost $319 million, or $1.14 a share. In the same quarter last year, AMR lost $1.46 billion, or $5.83 a share, mostly for writing down the value of its fleet.

Revenue in April through June fell to $4.89 billion, a decline of nearly $1.3 billion from a year ago.


;  » KilaKila Employer Services has named Myles Dias as business development manager. He was previously a senior account manager for the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and has more than 17 years' experience in sales, marketing, group health care, labor/union advocacy and the communications industry.

» John Whalen, a principal of Wealth Strategies Group and a financial professional with AXA Advisors, has been inducted into the company's Hall of Fame. This achievement is reserved for financial professionals who have set themselves apart from their colleagues by consistently achieving an outstanding level of sales production driven by client service.