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VOL. 123 | NO. 217 | Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Daily Digest

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FRS Powersports To Build New Shop

FRS Industries Inc., the company that owns and operates FRS Powersports, has filed a $2 million construction loan through BancorpSouth Bank to build an 18,000-square-foot motorcycle and ATV shop at 2175 Whitten Road, just north of the Interstate 40 and Whitten Road interchange.

The company broke ground this week, and construction is expected to take six to eight months, said store manager Brantley Gaither, son of FRS Industries owner Harold Gaither.

The shop will replace the company’s existing location at 6695 Fletcher Creek Cove, which FRS Powersports has been leasing. Its existing shop is just 8,000 square feet, enabling the company to more than double in space with the move.

“We’ve increased in business and we wanted to have a new, state-of-the-art facility for our customers,” said Brantley Gaither.

FRS Powersports is an authorized dealer of Victory Motorcycles and Can-Am ATVs. Gaither said sales of motorcycles in particular have increased as fuel costs rose.

“Motorcycle business has stayed strong during the economy,” Gaither said. “Gas prices give people the excuse to have something fun.”

Renaissance Group is the architect of record and Chris Woods Construction Co. is the general contractor for the project. FRS Powersports earlier this year filed a permit application with the city-county Department of Construction Code Enforcement to build the store.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Design Review Board To Discuss 309 Union Signage

The Center City Commission Design Review Board today will discuss a proposal to install a single-faced, LED component to an existing piece of signage at 309 Union Ave.

Also on the board’s agenda today is the discussion of a proposal to install 10 art panels in the South Main Historic Arts District that would be decorated with song lyrics about the city of Memphis.

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. at the CCC, 114 N. Main St.

Tenet Swings to Q3 Profit On Investment Sale Gain

Tenet Healthcare Corp. reported Tuesday it swung to a third-quarter profit on an investment sales gain, but the results fell shy of Wall Street expectations and the hospital operator cut its full-year outlook.

The Dallas-based company earned $104 million, or 22 cents per share, after a loss of $59 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent to $2.16 billion.

Excluding a $140 million investment gain and other items, the company lost 6 cents per share. In August, Tenet finished selling its interest in health care services company Broadlane Inc. to TowerBrook Capital Partners LP.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 3 cents per share on revenue of $2.21 billion. Those estimates normally exclude one-time gains.

Tenet now expects adjusted earnings of $700 million to $750 million for the year, cut from prior guidance of $750 million to $825 million because of weakening economic conditions.

Tenet operates Saint Francis Hospital in Memphis along with 49 other hospitals.

Total admissions at hospitals open at least a year rose 1.7 percent to 129,576 patients. But commercial admissions, the company’s most lucrative type of revenue, fell 3.4 percent to just less than 35,000 while government managed-care admissions rose 13.5 percent to 27,485 patients.

Meanwhile, bad debt rose 5.8 percent to $163 million from $142 million. Bad debt is the amount of debt a hospital incurs from treating uninsured or underinsured patients and has been unable to collect.

The company said it is continuing its plan to expand its medical staff, which grew 3.3 percent, or by 426 physicians, in the third quarter. It hopes to add a total of 1,000 doctors by the end of 2008.

GTx Announces Conference Presentation

GTx reported Tuesday that its management will present a company overview Monday at the Rodman & Renshaw 10th Annual Healthcare Conference in New York.

The presentation will begin at 4:05 p.m. A simultaneous webcast of the presentation will be accessible from the investor relations section of the company’s Web site at www.gtxinc.com. An archived replay will be available on the site until Nov. 24.

Golden Triangle Airport Targets Memphis

Officials from Golden Triangle Regional Airport, in the Starkville, Miss., area, are targeting Memphis in planned talks with Delta Airlines in providing the airport with westbound service.

The merger of Delta and Northwest makes Memphis an important hub because of constraints on flights in and out of Atlanta.

GTRA is presently served by Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a Delta Connection carrier, which flies to and from Atlanta.

In the past six months, Delta has added two additional departures per week from GTRA – one on Saturday and one on Tuesday.

Officials say PACCAR, Weyerhauser and American Eurocopter have headquarters to the west of GTRA and would use Memphis for westbound service.

Factory Orders Drop More Than Expected

Factory orders dropped for the second straight month in September as businesses cut back on purchases of steel, computers and other equipment amid the economic downturn, the government reported Tuesday.

The Commerce Department reported factory orders fell by 2.5 percent from August, much worse than the 0.7 percent drop analysts expected. That’s on top of a revised 4.3 percent decline in August.

Excluding autos and aircraft, orders fell 3.7 percent, the steepest drop since 1992 when the department began tracking sector-specific changes.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, considered a good indication of business investment plans, fell by 1.5 percent. That follows a 2.3 percent drop in August and indicates companies are cutting back on investments, likely due to the economic downturn and difficulty getting credit.

The Commerce Department reported last week that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.3 percent in the third quarter. Consumer spending fell 3.1 percent in the July-September period, its first drop in 17 years and steepest fall since 1980.

Businesses also cut back, reducing their spending on equipment at a 5.5 percent pace. Orders for autos and auto parts recovered somewhat, increasing by 2.7 percent, after plummeting 10.6 percent in August, the department reported.

Still, automakers had two disastrous months in September and October. The reluctance of banks to lend has hurt automakers by making it difficult for potential buyers to get auto loans.

According to October sales data released Monday, sales sank 45 percent at General Motors Corp., 30 percent at Ford, 25 percent at Honda Motor Co. and 23 percent at Toyota.

Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., Chrysler LLC and Nissan reported sales drops of more than 30 percent in September.

Harvard Professor to Receive Inaugural Lipman Award

Dr. Eleanor Duckworth, a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will be awarded with the inaugural Barbara K. Lipman Award for Advances in Early Childhood Education on Nov. 13 at the Holiday Inn–University of Memphis.

The award is made possible by a gift from Ira A. Lipman in honor of his wife, whose name is also carried by the Barbara K. Lipman Early Childhood School and Research Institute at the University of Memphis. It will be given annually to a researcher, writer or program designer who has significantly influenced early childhood education or child growth and development.

Duckworth has been an elementary school teacher and has worked with curriculum development, teacher education and program evaluation in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Canada.

Gospel Hymn Project Offers Concert Series

The first monthly concert series for The Gospel Hymn Project will be held Sunday at The Madison Hotel at 79 Madison Ave.

There will be shows at 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. featuring Keia Johnson, Sandra Bray, Irene Stevenson and others.

The project serves as a conservatory of hymns and is dedicated to the preservation of hymn singing. The other concerts all occur at the Hattiloo Theatre at 656 Marshall Ave. at 3 p.m. on Dec. 14, Jan. 11, Feb. 22, March 29, April 26 and May 31.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Saint Francis to Host Diabetes Health Fair

Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis will have a Diabetes Health Information Fair from 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 15.

The fair is sponsored by the hospital’s Diabetes Care Center and will take place in the St. Catherine Meeting Room. New diabetic care products will be offered. Participants can also talk with skin care experts, podiatrists and pharmacists.

The hospital is at 5959 Park Ave.

PROPERTY SALES 61 61 6,453
MORTGAGES 46 46 4,081
BUILDING PERMITS 113 113 15,474
BANKRUPTCIES 19 19 3,289