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VOL. 128 | NO. 219 | Friday, November 8, 2013

Daily Digest

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CubeSmart Sells Storage Facility for $7.9 Million

Wayne, Va.-based self-storage real estate investment trust CubeSmart LP has sold the U-Store-It facility at 2700 Poplar Ave. in the 38112 ZIP code for $7.9 million.

CubeSmart sold the 119,085-square-foot, Class C storage facility to WCP/DSSH Holdings 16 LLC, an affiliate of Emeryville, Calif.-based Devon Self Storage Holdings LLC. No financing was associated with the sale.

Built in 1966, the multi-building facility sits on 9.2 acres along the north side of Poplar Avenue at its intersection with Collins Street. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $4.5 million.

The sale follows last month’s flurry of transactions in which CubeSmart sold 10 local storage facilities to affiliates of Devon Self Storage Holdings. CubeSmart sold the facilities in nine separate Oct. 15 warranty deeds for a combined $31.3 million.

The facilities are at 7777 Moriarty Road; 5141 American Way; 6390 Winchester Road; 4705 Winchester Road; 3040 Austin Peay Highway; 3686 Germantown Road; 3670 Old Getwell Road; 3577 New Getwell Road; 9275 Macon Road; and 6140 E. Shelby Drive.

For details on those transactions, visit the Oct. 22 edition of The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Daily News staff

Fred's Key Sales Metric Edges Higher for October

Discount store operator Fred's Inc. said Thursday that sales at stores open at least a year rose 0.8 percent in October.

The company also lowered the high end of its third-quarter earnings forecast, citing its October sales performance.

Total revenue for the four weeks ended Nov. 2 climbed 2 percent from last year, to $143.4 million.

CEO Bruce Efird said in a statement that bad weather near Halloween hurt sales and shoppers clamped down on their spending during the recent federal government shutdown. He noted that while general merchandise sales were sluggish, pharmacy sales were strong. The company also had solid performances from reconfigured departments such as auto & hardware.

For the third quarter, Fred's sales at stores open at least a year rose 1.4 percent, while total revenue increased 2 percent to $460.5 million. Wall Street, on average, was expecting sales for the quarter of $458 million, according to FactSet.

Year-to-date sales at stores open at least a year climbed 1.1 percent. Total revenue rose 2 percent to $1.44 billion.

Fred's now expects third-quarter earnings to be up 5 percent to 10 percent from a year earlier. Based on the prior-year period's earnings of 18 cents per share, that implies about 19 cents to 20 cents per share. Its prior guidance was for 19 cents to 23 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, forecast earnings of 22 cents per share.

– The Associated Press

VESTA Home Show Begins Saturday

This West Tennessee Home Builders Association is launching the VESTA Home Show Saturday, Nov. 9.

This year’s home show, which runs through Dec. 1, features six homes, built by Bryce Homes, Ruch Builders, The Dave Moore Cos., D&D Custom Homes, David Clark Construction LLC and Darin K. Halford.

The show will be located at St. James Place, a subdivision on Forest Hill-Irene Road in Germantown that was also the site of last year’s show.

The West Tennessee Home Builders Association has partnered with Neighborhood Christian Centers of Memphis for this year’s show.

General admission tickets are $12. Tickets for individuals who are 60 and older cost $10, while tickets for ages 7 to 14 are $5.

For more information, visit www.mahba.com/vesta or call 756-4500.

– Amos Maki

Visible Music College Expands Leadership

Visible Music College has a new vice president of academics.

Corey Latta will oversee all aspects of academics for the college, including hiring faculty and advancing academic programs. Latta also will teach courses in English and theology.

Latta holds a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies from Crichton College, a Master of Arts in New Testament studies from Harding School of Theology, a second Master of Arts in English from the University of Memphis and a doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi, according to Visible Music College.

– Andy Meek

Martin Institute Screens Education Documentary

The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence will present a free screening Saturday, Nov. 9, of the film “The Hobart Shakespeareans.”

The documentary, to be shown at the Malco Paradiso theater at 10 a.m., chronicles how teacher Rafe Esquith introduced Shakespeare to students at a Los Angeles school in a low-income neighborhood where English is a second language for many students, and the impact it had on their achievement.

The film also includes the reaction to the students’ work from Shakespearean actors.

Registration at martininstitute.org is required to reserve a seat.

– Bill Dries

Tennessee Leads Nation in Academic Growth

A new report shows Tennessee students are leading the nation in academic growth.

Commonly known as "The Nation's Report Card," the National Assessment of Educational Progress assesses students in fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math. The report released Thursday shows Tennessee students had the largest growth of any state from 2011 to 2013, with a 22-point growth across all subject areas. The next closest state in growth was Indiana with 15.

For fourth-grade students, Tennessee went from 46th to 37th in math and from 41st to 31st in reading.

State officials say the improvement is partially due to education reforms over the last few years including a tougher teacher evaluation process.

– The Associated Press

30-Year Mortgage Rate Averages 4.16 Percent

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly last week but remained near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.16 percent from 4.10 percent last week, which was the lowest level in four months. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.27 percent from 3.20 percent.

Rates have been falling since September when the Federal Reserve surprised investors by continuing to buy $85 billion a month in bonds. The purchases are intended to keep long-term interest rates low.

Slower hiring in recent months has many analysts predicting that the Fed will maintain the current pace of the bond purchases into early next year, which should keep mortgage rates low for the time being.

The recent drop in mortgage rates could help boost home sales, which slowed in September after rates reached their highest averages in two years.

– The Associated Press

Company Restocking Lifts US Economic Growth

The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate from July through September, a surprising acceleration ahead of the 16-day partial government shutdown. But much of the strength came from a buildup in company stockpiling.

Home construction also rose, and state and local governments spent at their fastest pace in four years. But businesses spent less on equipment, federal spending fell and consumers spent at a slower pace. All are cautionary signs for the final three months of the year.

Overall, growth increased in the third quarter from a 2.5 percent annual rate in the April-June period to the fastest pace in a year, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

The third-quarter growth was nearly a full percentage point stronger than most economists had predicted. Analysts noted that much of the unforeseen strength came from a buildup in company inventories. That suggests that businesses overestimated consumer demand.

Restocking contributed 0.8 percentage point to growth – double its contribution in the second quarter.

Consumer spending weakened to a 1.5 percent annual growth rate from a 1.8 percent rate in the previous quarter. It was slowed by flat spending on services. This category includes everything outside manufacturing and makes up about two-thirds of all purchases. One reason was a steep drop in utility spending, possibly because of an unseasonably cool summer.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 97 418 8,253
MORTGAGES 112 508 9,293
BUILDING PERMITS 194 1,059 18,126
BANKRUPTCIES 46 208 5,367