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VOL. 130 | NO. 148 | Friday, July 31, 2015

Daily Digest

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Wright Medical Reports Sales Growth, Q2 Loss

Memphis-based medical device maker Wright Medical Group Inc.’s second-quarter report sent signals as similarly mixed as in the first quarter – a pickup in sales, yet red ink for the quarter overall.

The company, which reported earnings Wednesday, July 29, after markets closed, reported a second-quarter loss of $44.3 million. It was something of an improvement from the year-ago period, when Wright notched a loss of $56.2 million in second quarter 2014.

Sales were a brighter spot, with net sales totaling $80.4 million for the quarter ended June 30, an 11 percent increase year over year.

Wright president and CEO Robert Palmisano said the quarter’s results also reflected growth in the company’s U.S. foot and ankle business, as well as improvement in its international business.

Meanwhile, Wright is still on track to close its merger with Tornier in the coming quarter and plans to provide updated yearly guidance when the merger closes. Currently, Wright anticipates net sales for 2015 of between $325 million to $335 million.

Wright also is forecasting full-year earnings per share from continuing operations, including stock-based compensation, to range from $1.67 to $1.77.

– Andy Meek

EdR Reports Rising Second-Quarter Earnings

EdR reported rising second-quarter earnings Thursday, July 30.

The Memphis-based college housing real estate investment company reported net income of $2.9 million, or 6 cents per share. That compares to an $8.8 million, or 23-cent per share, loss over the same three-month period last year.

The company reported core funds from operations of $20.1 million, up 16.2 percent from $17.3 million a year ago. EdR, which buys, builds and manages housing for college students, reported revenue of $57.3 million, up 14.6 percent from a year ago.

“Fundamentals in the student housing industry and within EdR’s markets remain strong,” said EdR chairman Randy Churchey in a statement. “Our pre-leasing velocity for this fall continues to outpace last year, and we anticipate a second consecutive year of significant decline in new supply volume in 2016.

“Our board recognized these strong fundamentals along with our external growth opportunities when recently approving an increase in our quarterly dividend for the sixth year in a row.”

EdR increased its quarterly dividend from 36 cents per share to 37 cents per share.

– Amos Maki

Clay-Bibbs Joins Teach Plus As Executive Director

Shelby County Schools board member Miska Clay-Bibbs is the new executive director of the Teach Plus Memphis office.

Teach Plus is a national nonprofit that develops teacher leadership and seeks more involvement for teachers in setting education policies and practices.

Clay-Bibbs comes to the position from being director of community engagement for Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school operator in Memphis.

Before that and her election to the Shelby County Schools board in 2014, she was district coordinator of community and volunteer relations for Memphis City Schools.

Her duties at Teach Plus will include overseeing the organization’s policy fellowship program.

– Bill Dries

Tennessee Tops Economic Development Rankings

Tennessee has been named the No. 1 state for both automotive manufacturing strength and tech-skills education, according to Business Facilities magazine, a national economic development publication.

The state received several other high rankings in the annual report, including No. 2 in both the Best Business Climate and Best Infrastructure categories, No. 4 in Workforce Training Leaders and No. 7 in Automotive Employment Leaders.

Tennessee has ranked No. 1 for automotive manufacturing strength in five of the past six years

The state is home to more than 900 automotive manufacturers and suppliers, including the Nissan Smyrna plant and Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

This year, 20 automotive projects have committed 4,565 new jobs statewide and nearly $1.1 billion in capital investment.

Business Facilities credits Tennessee Promise, which offers two years of tuition-free community or technical college to Tennessee high school graduates, for the state’s top honors in its Education: Tech Skills Leaders category, which showcases states that have made tech skills-oriented educational programs a top priority.

The Volunteer State also ranked No. 1 for education in 2014.

In 2013 and 2014, Tennessee was named State of the Year by the magazine. It was the first state to receive Business Facilities’ top honor in back-to-back years.

– Daily News staff

Metropolitan Bank Grows Income in Second Quarter

Metropolitan Bank, which has co-headquarters in Memphis and Ridgeland, Miss., has closed out another quarter of growth in profit and other key performance metrics.

Net income was up 6 percent, growing from $1.3 million in second quarter 2014 to $1.6 million during the same period this year. During that same period, diluted earnings per share also grew 11 percent, from 18 cents to 21 cents.

Year-to-date gross loan originations were up 24 percent, to $183 million from $147 million in the same period of 2014. And for the first six months of the year, Metropolitan’s earnings were $3 million, compared to $2.3 million during the same period in 2014.

– Andy Meek

Backpacks Available To Memphis Families

Memphis-area families can get a hand with their back-to-school shopping this weekend, thanks to a national backpack giveaway campaign.

TCC, the nation’s largest Verizon premium wireless retailer, is donating 100,000 backpacks full of school supplies through its annual School Rocks Backpack Giveaway – including 200 backpacks at TCC’s Cordova store, 750 N. Germantown Parkway, suite 111.

Families are invited to bring their children to the store Saturday, Aug. 1, between noon and 2 p.m. to pick up a backpack filled with pencils, paper, a pencil box, folders, glue and other school supplies. One backpack per child present will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

All leftover backpacks will be donated to local schools. Since 2013, TCC has donated 260,000 backpacks filled with supplies to ensure children are well-prepared for the start of the school year.

“We are grateful to be able to play a role in ensuring that as many children as possible are set up for educational success,” said Scott Moorehead, CEO of TCC. “The backpack giveaway is something that both our employees and customers look forward to every year.”

– Daily News staff

Five Memphis Tigers Claim Scholar-Athlete Awards

Five University of Memphis student-athletes claimed Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards for their efforts on the field and in the classroom during the 2014-15 season, the American Athletic Conference has announced.

The Tigers’ five honorees were the most by any school in the league. UConn had the second-most behind Memphis with four Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards, while East Carolina and SMU each had three honorees.

The Tigers’ five awardees include three male athletes – Fabien Fiege (cross country), Luis Hanssler (outdoor track & field) and Charles Harris (football) – and two female athletes – Kylie Davis (soccer) and Alyssa Hibberd (tennis).

Fiege, a native of Germany, competed at the NCAA South Cross Country Regional in 2014 after he had a season-best performance at the American Athletic Conference Championships.

Hanssler, also of Germany, owns a 3.87 cumulative grade point average and is majoring in international business.

Harris graduated magna cum laude with a 3.64 GPA in sport & leisure management.

Davis, one of the most decorated players in Memphis women’s soccer history, is a candidate for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year. She graduated with a 3.48 GPA in biomedical engineering.

Hibberd earned International Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete honors, posting a 3.50 GPA or higher, for a fourth straight year in 2015. She and doubles teammate Anki Wind competed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as the program’s first-ever doubles entry in the NCAA Championships.

– Don Wade

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 39 190
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0