Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire



Isle eco-tourism restorations set

The Old Volcano Trail on the Big Island, an ancient royal Hawaiian fishpond in Kihei, Maui, and the Fern Grotto on Kauai will receive a restoration from their respective county as part of a larger state tourism-environmental program.

The state Hawaii Tourism Authority is also doing an inventory and assessment of about 100 natural resources visited by isle tourists, including the Pali Lookout on Oahu, the Iao Valley State Monument on Maui and the Wailua River State Park on Kauai.

The list includes 25 sites on Oahu, 20 sites on Maui, 23 sites on the Big Island, 19 sites on Kauai, four sites on Molokai and six sites on Lanai.

Local environmental groups have been advising the HTA on its environmental initiatives, which include the allocation of $1 million in state hotel room taxes for the improvement of parks and trails. For more information, visit

Matson Intermodal changes name

Matson Intermodal System, a subsidiary of Matson Navigation Co., said yesterday it is renaming its business entity Matson Integrated Logistics to better reflect the company's continued growth, a changing mix of business and introduction of new services.

The subsidiary's services include domestic intermodal rail, long haul and regional highway, international intermodal, and specialized hauling. New air freight services will be introduced in the coming months, Matson Navigation said.

Matson Intermodal posted a 60 percent increase in revenue and a "substantive" growth in volume in 2002, Matson Navigation said. This year, Matson Intermodal was ranked the No. 1 intermodal marketing company in Logistics Management magazine's Quest for Quality award. It was the third straight year the company has received the award and the second time it was ranked first.

Matson Navigation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin Inc.

BIA seeks more tenants for show

The Building Industry Association of Hawaii is seeking more tenants for booths at its big Home Building and Remodeling Show, scheduled to run Feb. 5-8 at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall.

The 10th-anniversary show, showing all kinds of home remodeling and building ideas and equipment, is expected to sell out fast and is already 80 percent reserved by businesses that have taken part before, according to Jim Byxbee of Homework Construction, chairman of the 2004 show.

The theme of this year's show is "Seek Professional Help, Before It's Too Late."

For information about having an exhibit in the show, call Nalani Blane of BIA-Hawaii at 847-4666, ext. 206, or visit

Safeway's profit plunges 28%

SAN FRANCISCO >> Safeway Inc.'s third-quarter profit dropped 28 percent, the latest sign of the disheartening times facing the supermarket giant as it struggles to reverse declining sales amid stiffer competition, a soured acquisition and labor strife.

The company said yesterday it earned $202.5 million, or 45 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 6. That compared with net income of $281.3 million, or 60 cents per share, at the same time last year.

The results included an $800,000 loss from the company's Chicago-based Dominick's chain, which management is trying to sell at a price substantially below the $1.2 billion that it paid for the chain in 1998. If not for Dominick's, Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway said it would have earned 46 cents per share. That was a penny below the consensus estimate among analysts.

Employee buyouts and severance pay, primarily in its Alberta, Canada, operations, shaved another $9.7 million from its profit. The buyouts of 715 Canadian workers will save Safeway $6.5 million annually, Chief Executive Steve Burd said.

Quattrone jurors seek reviews of testimony

NEW YORK >> Jurors deciding the fate of Frank Quattrone made extensive requests yesterday to have testimony read back to them, suggesting they are focusing on the star banker's role in stock allocations at his bank.

On their first full day of deliberations, jurors said they wanted to hear Quattrone's testimony for a second time on exactly what influence he had on who got shares of hot new stocks taken public by his bank during the dot-com boom.

Jurors also asked for a reading of testimony on Quattrone's talks with a top lawyer at the bank, Credit Suisse First Boston, just before Quattrone sent an e-mail urging workers to destroy documents -- the subject of the criminal case.

The rereading was to begin today and stretch well into the day, raising the prospect jurors could stretch their deliberations into next week.

Sun's quarterly loss widens to $286 million

SAN JOSE, Calif. >> Sun Microsystems Inc. reported a larger fiscal first-quarter loss yesterday as the computer-and-software maker continued to struggle with weak demand from its corporate customers and questions about its strategy.

For the three months ended Sept. 28, Sun lost $286 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with a loss of $111 million, or 4 cents a share, in the same period last year. Sales were down nearly 8 percent in the first quarter, to $2.54 billion from $2.75 billion.

Analysts were expecting Sun to lose 8 cents per share on sales of $2.5 billion, according to a survey by Thomson First Call.

Last month, Sun revised its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings from a meager profit to a $1.04 billion loss and warned that it would lose up to 10 cents per share in the first quarter.


[Hawaii Inc.]



>> First Hawaiian Bank has promoted Kimberly K. Greenly to assistant vice president and product management analyst in the deposit products department. She joined the bank in 1994 as a marketing and production coordinator and was most recently a product management analyst officer. The bank has also promoted Dennis H. Miyashiro to Waianae branch manager and appointed Andrew B. Conboy to trust real estate officer. Miyashiro joined the company in 1993 as a loan representative and was promoted to personal banking officer in 1999. Conboy joined in 2002 as a senior trust real estate administrator.

New jobs

>> Attorney Neil Verbrugge has joined the law firm of Wagner Choi & Evers as an associate. He will assist clients in litigation matters arising from bankruptcy and business transactions. The firm handles business bankruptcy, creditor- debtor relations, financial restructuring and workouts and related litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Verbrugge was a commercial litigation attorney with Carlsmith Ball LLP and has served as a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a major in the Marine Corps Reserve.

>> Aston Hotels & Resorts Hawaii has promoted David Vargas to senior systems administrator. His responsibilities include the overall system design, administration, security and technical support of the company's UNIX and Microsoft Windows server systems.


E-mail to Business Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --