Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, October 11, 2001

Retail check purchases rise during September

Retail purchases by check in September rose 4.6 percent in Hawaii from the year earlier, the strongest showing in the nation, according to check acceptance firm TeleCheck Services Inc.

The national average was a 0.9 percent increase, with New York City posting a 14.1 percent drop in check purchases as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks. Another site of the attack, Washington, D.C., posted a 4.7 percent decrease in sales, TeleCheck said.

TeleCheck, a subsidiary of Colorado-based First Data Corp., issues monthly data based on same-store sales. Checks generally account for about one-third of retail purchases.

Photo lab Light Inc. files for bankruptcy

Light Inc., a 26-year-old Kakaako photo processing lab, has filed for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, saying it has no funds to pay creditors.

The company was originally founded in a Palama basement in 1975 by three partners, who moved to South Street in 1980. The firm's assets are estimated to run between $100,000 and $500,000 while its debts are between $1 million and $10 million, according to the bankruptcy petition filed Oct. 3.

Among Light Inc.'s creditors is Snapshot Inc., a Kakaako photo equipment seller that went out of business two months ago partly because its customers couldn't pay their bills. Light Inc. officials could not be reached for comment.

NBC buys Spanish language Telemundo

NEW YORK >> NBC announced today it is buying Telemundo Communications Group Inc., the No. 2 Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States, for about $2 billion in cash and stock.

The deal would give NBC a strong foothold in the burgeoning arena of Hispanic media, which has attracted the attention of major media conglomerates due to the rapidly growing Latino population.

Hispanic media has been expanding even as other media businesses have slumped due to the poor advertising climate, which was worsened by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

NBC is paying $1.98 billion for the Hialeah, Fla.-based Telemundo in a mix of half cash and half stock in NBC's corporate parent, General Electric Co.

In other news ...

SAN JOSE, Calif. >> Third-quarter earnings at Yahoo! Inc. met Wall Street expectations yesterday, pleasing investors who sent the stock higher in after-hours trading. The stock move came even as the Internet bellwether warned it would fall short of analysts' fourth-quarter revenue estimates and said it was considering further job cuts. The earnings report was being studied closely because it was one of the first from a major Internet company since last month's attacks.

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