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VOL. 128 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 4, 2013

Daily Digest

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Collierville Acreage Sells for $1.1 Million

A partnership called Crisscross Partners LLC has paid $1.1 million for a 22.19-acre vacant parcel at 115 Crisscross Lane in Collierville.

The partnership bought the land Dec. 28 from Premier of 1950 West Poplar LLC, which had acquired it in 2005 for $2.9 million when it was part of a larger tract.

The parcel is on the north side of Poplar Avenue, between Houston Levee and Bailey Station roads behind Enterprise Rent-A-Car in the Criss Cross Village Subdivision. It also abuts Bailey Station Elementary School.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2012 appraisal was $3.2 million.

Crisscross filed a $2.6 million loan Dec. 28 through BankTennessee in conjunction with the purchase. According to the trust deed, the partnership’s members include Joel H. Porter of Forest Hill Development LLC; David J. Wilder, secretary of The Longtown Co. LLC; and Samuel D. Stover, president of The Longtown Co. LLC.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Fred’s December Sales Fall 4.2 Percent

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. said Thursday revenue at stores open at least a year fell 4.2 percent last month as shoppers spent less money on fears about the economy.

The company also lowered its fourth-quarter earnings expectations.

The December sales decrease was worse than Wall Street expected. Analysts, on average, expected a 1.5 percent decline, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue from stores open at least a year is considered a key gauge of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Fred’s said its total sales for December fell 1 percent to $209.9 million. For the year, total sales rose 2 percent to $1.78 billion, but fell 1.4 percent in stores open a year.

The company said that it expects fourth-quarter earnings between 25 cents per share and 31 cents per share. That’s lower than the 31 cents per share to 36 cents per share it predicted in November.

CEO Bruce Efird said in a statement that customers cut spending of discretionary and weather-related items because of the economy. Despite the drop in sales, Efird said the company’s layaway program was a success and prescriptions in its pharmacy department rose.

In 2013, the Memphis-based company plans to increase the number of pharmacies it operates and add more auto and hardware products. The company also plans to open a “smaller drug and dollar store concept,” said Efird.

Fred’s operates 712 discount stores in the southeastern United States.

– The Associated Press

High Cotton Brewing Kicks Off Renovations

Plans are moving forward for High Cotton Brewing Co. LLC’s facility in Memphis’ Edge District.

A $133,000 building permit was filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the renovation and repair of the existing building at 598 Monroe Ave. That includes “installation and brewery equipment, modification of building infrastructure to accommodate new equipment.”

The Class D, 8,778-square-foot warehouse was built in 1928 near Marshall Avenue and is owned by Philco Properties LLC, an entity associated with Massey’s Auto Parts Inc. in Millington.

High Cotton’s focus is small-batch ales that will be distributed to local bars and restaurants, as first reported by The Daily News last April. The brewing company will join Boscos Brewing Co., Ghost River Brewing Co. and the recently announced Memphis Made Brewing Co. LLC in Cooper-Young in bringing locally crafted beers to the Memphis market.

High Cotton’s partners include Mike Lee, owner of Mid-South Malts; Brice Timmons, an attorney with Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee PC; Ryan Staggs, an engineer with Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division; and Ross Avery, a pilot with United Airlines.

– Sarah Baker

International Paper Takes Majority Stake in Olmuksa

International Paper Co. is majority shareholder of Olmuksa, a Turkish corrugated packaging company.

The Memphis-based company said Thursday, Jan. 3, it acquired the shares of Sabanci Holding in Olmuksa for $56 million giving International Paper 87.5 percent of Olmuksa’s outstanding shares.

Sabanci is a joint venture partner with International Paper.

The market for corrugated packaging in Turkey is estimated to be the seventh largest in Europe.

– Bill Dries

Norman Named New Memphis NAACP President

The Rev. Keith Norman, pastor of First Baptist Church-Broad, is the new president of the Memphis branch NAACP.

Norman succeeds Dr. Warner Dickerson in the post. Dickerson was president of the Memphis branch for 11 years, making him the longest serving president in the 95-year history of the branch.

Norman is a former chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party.

The Memphis branch has produced numerous leaders of the national NAACP organization including the late Jesse Turner, who served for years as national treasurer and the late Benjamin Hooks who was national executive director.

It was also the foundation of the city’s civil rights movement in the civil rights era from the 1950s and through the 1970s.

The organization most recently was a visible presence and supporter as the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. pursued the Tennessee Supreme Court decision that held photo library cards in Memphis are valid photo voter identification required under state law.

Madeleine Taylor remains as the Memphis branch’s executive director, a position of longer tenure with the person holding it traditionally working with the president on the day-to-day affairs of the organization.

– Bill Dries

Regions Bank Announces Financial Fitness Events

Every Friday this month, select Regions Bank locations across 16 states will host “financial fitness” events in branches covering topics like budgeting, borrowing, identity protection, investing and more.

As part of its company-wide commitment to financial education, Regions also is expanding its My GreenGuide online financial resource center to help people save, plan, and make smarter financial decisions. My GreenGuide is available at regions.com/advice and features tips, advice, articles, and calculators on financial topics.

More information about Financial Fitness Fridays, including a list of participating locations, is available at regionsbanknews.com/fridays.

– Andy Meek

Weekly Jobless Aid Applications Rise to 372,000

More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, though the winter holidays likely distorted the data for the second straight week.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications rose by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000 in the week ended Dec. 29. The previous week’s total was revised higher.

Many state unemployment offices were closed this week for the New Year’s holiday and did not submit complete data for last week. As a result, the department relied on estimates for nine states. Two weeks ago, the department estimated 19 states because of Christmas closings.

In a typical week, the government estimates only one or two states.

The broader trend has been favorable. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, was little changed at 360,000. That’s only slightly above the previous week’s 359,750, which was the lowest in more than four years.

Weekly applications are a proxy for layoffs. They have mostly fluctuated this year between 360,000 and 390,000. At the same time, employers have added an average of 151,000 jobs a month in the first 11 months of 2012.

The government will release the December’s jobs report Friday. Economists forecast it will show employers added about 150,000 jobs last month, barely enough to lower the unemployment rate.

The number of people receiving benefits fell to 5.4 million in the week ended Dec. 15, the latest data available. That’s down about 70,000 from the previous week. The figure includes about 2.1 million people receiving emergency benefits paid for by the federal government. The White House and Congress agreed earlier this week to extend that program for another year.

– The Associated Press

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PROPERTY SALES 119 482 10,051
MORTGAGES 119 497 11,811
BUILDING PERMITS 268 1,056 21,366
BANKRUPTCIES 50 263 6,700

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