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VOL. 127 | NO. 62 | Thursday, March 29, 2012

Daily Digest

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Mike Murphy Builders Files Loan for 3 Lots in Enclave

Mike Murphy Builders LLC has filed a construction loan for three lots in Germantown’s Enclave planned development, phase 3, through Financial Federal Savings Bank for $1.1 million. The sizes of the financed lots are 6,759 square feet fronting Enclave Hollow Lane East, 7,032 square feet fronting Terrene Lane and 6,760 square feet fronting Enclave Green Lane West.

Enclave phase 3 is on the north side of Wolf River Boulevard northwest of the dead end of Forest Hill-Irene Road. The plat was originally filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds in 2008. It shows 50 lots on about 16 acres.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Analyst Upgrades First Horizon Shares

A Sterne, Agee & Leach analyst on Wednesday upgraded shares of First Horizon National Corp., parent company of First Tennessee Bank, saying the regional bank’s loan portfolio is stabilizing and it may return more money to shareholders this year.

Todd Hagerman lifted his rating on First Horizon’s shares to “Neutral” from “Underperform.”

Shares of the Memphis-based bank closed at $10.48 on Tuesday, and have nearly doubled since hitting a 52-week low of $5.38 on Oct. 4.

Still, Hagerman sees limited potential for the shares to rise significantly. The benefit to the bank from improving credit trends will moderate this year and next year, he said. He kept intact his 2012 and 2013 earnings estimates.

– The Associated Press

Clinics Planned to Help Delinquent Taxpayers

The first of four planned tax clinics to help delinquent Memphis taxpayers pay their city property tax bills will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 31, at the Hickory Hill Community Center, 3910 Ridgeway Road.

The three future clinics will be held May 19 at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, Aug. 25 at the Whitehaven Branch Library and Nov. 10 at the Orange Mound Community Center.

The clinics are sponsored by Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP, the law firm that collects delinquent taxes for the city, and the City of Memphis Treasurer’s Office. The clinics are to help property owners better understand the tax process and develop a plan to pay their taxes.

Anyone interested in attending should call 260-4058 to reserve a seat, which also will allow the law firm’s staff to research accounts prior to the clinic.

– Andy Meek

Perkins Chain Hires New CEO

Memphis-based restaurant chain Perkins & Marie Callender’s says its new CEO will start work on April 9.

According to a news release from the company, new Perkins CEO Jeffrey Warne will succeed Joseph “Jay” Trungale, who has been with the company for eight years.

Warne is the former president and CEO of restaurant chain O’Charley’s Inc. He has more than 13 years of experience in casual dining.

Perkins operates 428 restaurants in 34 states and Canada.

– The Associated Press

St. Jude's Evans Receives Pharmacists Assn. Award

Dr. William Edward Evans, director and chief executive officer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has received the 2012 Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Pharmacists Association.

Evans was selected in recognition of his research with anticancer agents and pharmacogenomics, as well as his work with the advancement of St. Jude.

The Remington Honor Medal – named for eminent community pharmacist, manufacturer and educator Joseph P. Remington – was established in 1918 to recognize distinguished service on behalf of American pharmacy.

A professor at the University of Tennessee Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, Evans earned his bachelor of science in pharmacy and doctorate of pharmacy degrees from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Saf-T-Cart Announces Mississippi Expansion

Saf-T-Cart, a manufacturer of steel welding carts and storage products for various commercial and industrial applications, is expanding its operations in Clarksdale, Miss., for the second time in five years to accommodate an increase in production.

The project represents a company investment of $240,000 and will create 20 jobs.

Privately held Saf-T-Cart was established in 1986 and currently employs 55 workers.

The Mississippi Development Authority provided funding for improvements to the county-owned building the company occupies. Coahoma County provided assistance for the project, as well.

– Sarah Baker

Elvis Fans Targeted for May Tour to Israel

Elvis Presley Enterprises is sponsoring a tour of the Holy Land, which will take Elvis fans to Israel May 12-21.

According to a news release from the company, travelers will follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Additionally, the tour group will stop at the Elvis Inn Restaurant in Abu Ghosh — an Elvis-themed diner and souvenir shop. Joining the tour will be Elvis backup singers Joe Moscheo, Terry Blackwood and Bill Baize.

Elvis won three Grammy awards for his spiritual recordings.

The cost is $3,995. Details are at www.israelthemetours.com/elvis.

– The Associated Press

More US CEOs Plan to Step Up Hiring

A growing number of chief executives at large U.S. companies say they are more optimistic about the economy and plan to step up hiring. The brighter view from the boardroom comes after the best three months of job growth in two years.

The Business Roundtable said Wednesday that a survey of its CEO members found that 42 percent expect to hire over the next six months. That’s up from 35 percent three months ago.

Nearly half plan to spend more on machinery and other capital equipment and more than 80 percent expect their sales to rise.

The chief executives’ overall outlook on the economy improved sharply from the end of last year. The group’s outlook index jumped to 96.9 in the current January-March quarter. That’s up from 77.9 in previous quarter and the highest reading since last spring.

The group is an association of the leaders of the 200 biggest U.S. companies.

The economy has added an average of 245,000 jobs per month since December. That has lowered the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent, the lowest in three years.

The CEO survey suggests the job gains “will continue,” said Jim McNerney, chairman of the Roundtable and CEO of Boeing Co.

But plenty of concerns remain, he said. Europe’s debt crisis could weigh on the U.S. recovery. Growth has slowed in China.

The survey is based on 128 responses received between March 1 and March 19.

– The Associated Press

Durable Goods Orders Rise 2.2 Percent in Feb.

U.S. companies ordered more long-lasting goods last month, showing businesses are willing to buy equipment and machinery even after an investment tax credit was halved.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders for durable goods rose 2.2 percent in February after a steep drop in January. Greater demand for machinery, computers, autos and aircraft drove much of the increase.

Orders for so-called “core” capital goods, a good measure of business investment plans, rose 1.2 percent. Demand for these goods fell in January by the most in a year, after the full tax credit expired.

A durable good is expected to last at least three years. Orders can fluctuate sharply from month to month. Still, orders have been steadily rising since the recession ended nearly three years ago.

In February, durable goods orders totaled $211.8 billion, 42 percent above the recession low. Orders remain 14 percent below their peak in December 2007.

The increase in February disappointed some economists, who had hoped to see a bigger gain in orders.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 83 405 4,276
MORTGAGES 104 424 4,814
BUILDING PERMITS 148 883 10,151
BANKRUPTCIES 53 264 3,149