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VOL. 124 | NO. 97 | Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Daily Digest

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Bank Buys 63 Lots In the Vinings of G’town

The 63 lots of the Vinings of Germantown Subdivision have yet another owner, following the sale of the property back to the lender, Merchants & Farmers Bank. The bank on May 13 paid $5.1 million for the 63 lots from RAM Holdings Inc., which had bought the lots last year for just less than $6 million from St. James Place LLC. RAM Holdings is managed by Michael Bourne.

St. James Place, whose chief manager is listed as local developer William “Rusty” Hyneman of The Hyneman Cos. LLC, had acquired the property from Levitt and Sons of Shelby County LLC in a $9.6 million transaction that included other properties.

The Vinings at Germantown is on the north side of Winchester Road between Forest Hill-Irene and Crestwyn roads. A site plat filed in March 2007 with the Shelby County Register of Deeds shows the 63 lots on 31.02 acres.

RAM Holdings financed the January 2008 purchase of the lots with a $6 million loan through Merchants & Farmers Bank.

The company also had a $6,325 lien filed against it by Al Cooper, doing business as Star Paving Co., for paving work done in the subdivision.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Medtronic to Report Q4 Earnings Today

Medical device maker Medtronic Inc. will report earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter 2009 today. The following is a summary of key developments and an analyst opinion related to the period.

Medtronic’s third-quarter earnings edged past Wall Street expectations, as tighter cost controls and spinal implants sales offset slowing sales of the company’s heart devices.

In recent months Medtronic has lost market share for its top-selling devices, implantable cardiac defibrillators, to rivals Boston Scientific Corp. and St. Jude Medical. The devices use electrical shocks to stop irregular heart rhythms that can occasionally be fatal. Last quarter, sales of heart rhythm products, its largest business, fell 4 percent to $1.17 billion, as U.S. sales of pacemakers and defibrillators came in weaker than expected.

Earlier this month, the company won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new wire for use with its heart-pacing implantable devices. The FDA approved the company’s Attain Ability wire for treatment of heart failure, according to a company statement. The wire, known as a lead, connects a patient’s heart to a pacemaker-like device that helps synchronize irregular heart contractions.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect earnings of 82 cents per share on revenue of $3.8 billion.

Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Gregory Simpson said he expects Medtronic’s share of the heart device market to have rebounded slightly during the last quarter, though he added this could simply be a seasonal effect.

“However, any convincing evidence ... that the company is, in fact, stabilizing recent market share losses in a sustainable fashion could provide an attractive catalyst for the stock,” Simpson said in a note to investors.

Minneapolis-based Medtronic holds its annual meeting for institutional investors and analysts June 2. Last year, the company laid out a plan to generate between $20 billion and $22 billion in free cash flow over the next five years, returning about half of that to shareholders annually. The company went on to stumble in the second fiscal quarter with disappointing earnings.

Simpson said he expects the company to reiterate its plan at this year’s meeting.

Medtronic’s Spinal and Biologics Business is based in Memphis.

Husch Blackwell Sanders Named Among Top Trademark Firms

Memphis law firm Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP has been recognized as one of the 2009 Top Trademark Firms in the country by Intellectual Property Today magazine.

The firm took seventh place in the rankings among nearly 300 firms throughout the U.S.

The magazine’s report also showed Husch Blackwell Sanders’ trademark work increased more than 12 percent in 2008 compared to 2007.

Intellectual Property Today is considered one of the leading legal intellectual property publications. It determines its rankings by the number of issued U.S. utility patents that firms obtained on behalf of their clients in a given year. It also reports the number of U.S. plant and design patents firms have issued.

Former MBA President, Attorney Goff Dies

Memphis attorney Marvin C. Goff Jr. died last week at age 93 at Ave Maria Home. Goff was president of the Memphis Bar Association in 1965.

He received his juris doctorate degree from the University of Virginia in 1947 and practiced law in Memphis until he retired in 1983. Goff was a World War II U.S. Army major, serving in the South Pacific.  

Goff is survived by his son, Robert, of Germantown, and his daughter, Janice Hetzler of Peachtree, Ga., five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services were Friday at Memorial Park Funeral Home. The family requests in lieu of donations, memorials be sent to Independent Presbyterian Church, of which Goff was a member, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Fitz Tunica Parent Misses Debt Payments

The Majestic Star Casino LLC, the parent company of Fitz Casino & Hotel Tunica, is still trying to find a way to settle debt obligations that could put the gambling company in bankruptcy.

In a quarterly earnings report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, the company continued to give a “going concern” warning and noted that it has missed debt payments of $24 million each on Oct. 15 and April 15. The company has $579.7 million in long-term debt.

The company said it is unlikely that any restructuring plan can be consummated other than a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Majestic Star Casino, which has properties in Indiana and Colorado in addition to Tunica, had a net loss of $13.24 million for first quarter of 2009, ending March 31, compared to a net loss of $7.35 million for the same period a year ago. At the Tunica property, the company reported operating income of $2.8 million for the quarter compared to $2.5 million last year.

Victorian Village Leader Honored for Preservation

The Victorian Village Inc. Community Development Corp.’s executive director, Scott Blake, has been given the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Historic Preservation Medal.

The group is a nonprofit, nonpolitical women’s service organization, and Blake is a local preservation advocate who has personally restored several historic properties in Memphis. His organization is working on a master plan to promote heritage tourism focused on historic churches and homes in Downtown Memphis.

MCS Nutrition Division Conducts Online Survey

The Memphis City Schools’ Nutrition Services Division is conducting an online parent survey about MCS food and nutrition services that will continue through May 30.

Parents are encouraged to participate in the brief survey, where they can give feedback about MCS’ current menus, and offer suggestions.

The survey is anonymous and can be accessed by visiting http://parentsmemphiscityschools.questionpro.com.

The MCS Division of Nutrition Services serves 112,500 meals a day and more than 20 million meals a year that meet nutritional federal requirements.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 124 481 17,865
MORTGAGES 127 530 20,565
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 4 48 2,693
BUILDING PERMITS 195 891 36,836
BANKRUPTCIES 52 262 11,426
BUSINESS LICENSES 24 139 5,848
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 26 116 6,830
MARRIAGE LICENSES 26 133 4,049