(WisBusiness) FRI News Summary — 18 July 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman says Wisconsin’s unemployment rate for June was 4.9 percent, up 0.7 percentage points from May.

She called it a “seasonal phenomenon as the workforce surges due to students looking for summer jobs.”

The rate was one-tenth of a percentage point higher than the rate in June of 2007. The national rate for June was 5.7, up 0.5 percentage points from May, and up 1.0 percentage points from June 2007.

“Wisconsin’s labor market showed improvement in June, with private sector job growth across all major industry groups, particularly summer leisure and hospitality jobs,” Secretary Gassman said. “Also positive is the trend in construction and manufacturing employment, both of which showed job increases in June for the fourth consecutive month.”

From May to June, total Wisconsin non-farm jobs increased by 31,500 to 2,924,500. Private sector jobs grew by 36,500, led by strong growth in the Leisure & Hospitality sector (10,600 more jobs), Manufacturing (up 6,500 jobs), and Construction (up 5,200 jobs).

Over the year, June 2008 showed a decline of 17,800 Wisconsin non-farm jobs. Goods producers were down 17,900, led by a decline in manufacturing of 13,300. Service providers were up 100 over the year, led by a increase of 8,800 in Educational and Health Services. Government jobs increased 3,100 over the year, led by growth in local government jobs, which were up 1,900 and state government jobs, up 1,700. Federal government decreased their employment by 500 over the year.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=131380

— Hindered by a weak U.S. economy and gas prices topping the $4 mark, Harley-Davidson Inc. says its earnings fell nearly 25 percent during the second quarter. They dropped from $290.5 million, or $1.14 per share for the same period last year, to $222.8 million, or 95 cents per share, this quarter.

Officials said the Milwaukee-based company’s revenue dropped roughly 3 percent to $1.57 billion, down from $1.62 billion for last year’s second quarter.

During the second quarter the company shipped 80,326 motorcycles to its dealers and distributors, a decrease of nearly 16 percent form the same quarter last year.

See the full story:

— MGIC Investment Corp. is reporting a net loss of $98 million for the quarter ending June 30, down from a profit of $77 million for the same period last year.

The Milwaukee-based firm’s net loss for the first six months the year was $132 million. During the same period last year, it had a profit of $169 million.

MGIC Chairman and CEO Curt S. Culver said the company is being hard hit by delinquencies and foreclosures caused by falling home values and a hurting economy.

See the release:

— Johnson Controls, one of the stars of the Wisconsin economy, is reporting a profit of $439 million for its third quarter, up from $396 million for the same period last year.

Officials said sales for the period jumped to $9.9 billion, up 11 percent from $8.9 billion for the quarter last year.

Stephen A. Roell, chairman and CEO, said the company achieved record results despite the difficult conditions in the domestic automotive and residential construction markets which affect approximately 20 percent of Johnson Controls’ revenues.

But he said business is booming in the areas of energy efficiency and sustainability.

“We also continue to benefit from our strong presence in emerging growth markets and our increasing shares in the large markets for buildings and batteries,” he said.

See the release:


WISBUSINESS LUNCHEON: Global Warming Task Force Co-Chairs
Tuesday, August 12, 11:45 am, The Madison Club

WisBusiness.com, The Madison Club and Madison Magazine present “The Madison Business Luncheon” on Tuesday, August 12, with featured guests Global Warming Task force Chairs Roy Thilly of the Wisconsin Public Power and Tia Nelson of the Board of Public Land Commissioners.

Learn more about the Global Warming Task Force: http://dnr.wi.gov/environmentprotect/gtfgw/

Sponsored by Xcel Energy

This event is open to the public, and the price for lunch is $19. Call the Madison Club to register at (608) 255-4861. The luncheon starts at 11:45 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.



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Press Releases
A. O. Smith Reports Record Second Quarter Earnings of $1.06 Per Share; Increases 2008 Forecast to $2.70 – $2.85 Per Share
AIG Travel Guard Launches ‘Adventure’ Travel Insurance Plan
Bayside, Wisconsin Police Officers and Dispatchers Join Teamsters Local 200
Blackhawk Bancorp Announces Record Results for Second Quarter 2008
Deadline extended for flood-related tax relief
Facility to House a New Instrument to Speed Biomedical Research
Governor Doyle Announces $225,000 to “Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin”
Harley-Davidson Announces 2008 Second Quarter Results
Hologic, Inc. Accepts Shares of Third Wave Technologies, Inc. in Tender Offer and Commences Subsequent Offering Period
Johnson Controls Earnings Increase 11% on Record Third-Quarter Sales
June Unemployment Rates Announced
Knupp & Watson Announces New Hire and Promotion
Maximum Back-to-School Options from Lands’ End: Makes Cents!
MGIC Investment Corporation Reports Second Quarter Results
Renaissance Learning, Inc. Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend
Rep. Tammy Baldwin Receives 2008 Congressional Partnership Award for Support of Community and Economic Development Efforts
Top of the Food Chain: Snap-on Unveils 1/2-Inch Magnesium Impact Wrench

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


MGIC loses $97.9M in 2Q but sounds optimistic tone: MGIC Investment Corp., the nation’s largest mortgage insurer, said Thursday it lost nearly $100 million in the previous quarter, but its shares soared almost 40 percent amid optimism over its long-term outlook. Mortgage delinquencies and home foreclosures remain high, the Milwaukee-based company said, leading to a loss of $97.9 million in the quarter ended June 30. That translates to a loss of 79 cents per share, or 74 cents per share after excluding one-time expenses. In the same quarter last year, MGIC reported profits of $76.7 million, or 93 cents per share. Thomson Financial says analysts expected a loss of 61 cents per share.

State unemployment rate up slightly: A surge in the work force due to students looking for summer jobs pushed Wisconsin’s unemployment figure to 4.9 percent in June, up 0.7 of a point from May but only 0.1 point higher than the unemployment rate a year ago. Figures released Thursday by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) showed Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is still below the national unemployment rate of 5.7 percent. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June was 4.6 percent, up 0.2 of a point from May but down 0.5 of a point from June 2007. Even though unemployment numbers were up, total non-farm jobs in Wisconsin increased by 31,500 to 2,924,500.

Walgreens chain sues city of Eau Claire: Eight days after the release of a state Supreme Court decision that the city of Madison had been charging two Walgreens stores too much in property taxes, the drugstore giant made a similar claim against the city of Eau Claire. In a civil suit filed Wednesday, Walgreens is asking an Eau Claire County judge for a property tax refund totaling more than $43,500 plus interest. The suit also is asking the court to find that the 2007 assessment on the store at 1106 W. Clairemont Ave. should be no higher than $2.32 million and its property taxes for 2007 should be no higher than $43,978. For 2007, the city’s assessor set the property’s assessment at $4.6 million, and based on that assessment the property tax totaled $87,487, according to court records.

Johnson Controls 3Q profit rises: Johnson Controls Inc., which makes building and automotive systems, said Thursday its fiscal third-quarter profit rose 11 percent on a jump in sales at its building efficiency division. But the Milwaukee-based company also issued a fourth-quarter profit outlook below Wall Street predictions and cut its fiscal-year outlook, blaming charges related to an acquisition and higher commodity costs, along with the ongoing downturn in the automotive and housing markets. Johnson Controls shares rose 50 cents to $30.11 Thursday, after initially dropping to $26 earlier in the day and passing its previous 52-week low of $27.17. For the quarter ended June 30, Johnson Controls earned $439 million, or 73 cents per share, compared with $396 million, or 66 cents per share, for the same quarter last year.

Harley’s profit off but beats forecasts: International sales grow for motorcycle-maker… A weakened U.S. economy and lower consumer confidence continue to put the brakes on Harley-Davidson Inc.’s domestic motorcycle sales, although increased international sales have helped the company overcome some rough patches in the road. On Thursday the company stood by its full-year earnings outlook of between $3 and $3.18 per share. The company said its earnings for the quarter that ended June 29 fell 23% to $222.8 million, or 95 cents per share, from $290.5 million, or $1.14 , in the same quarter last year. The second-quarter results, although not stellar, beat Wall Street estimates. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 76 cents per share on $1.4 billion in revenue, on average.

Leadership change for UAW Local 95: United Auto Workers Local 95 may soon have another leadership change. Current President Brad Dutcher has accepted a position with the International Union as a Service Rep. As Service Rep for the region, Dutcher says UAW Local 95 will be included in his duties. In fact, he’ll still have an office at the Union Hall. Dutcher officially took control of the “local” last month from retiring President Mike Sheridan. Current UAW Local 95 First Vice President Andy Richardson will take over the president’s duties. The moves become official July 28th. Dutcher says he’s already gotten permission from the International Union to continue efforts to convince General Motors to keep a presence in Janesville following their announcement to close the plant.

Kohl secures funding for state ag projects in ’09 budget bill: It’s budget time again in Washington and U.S. Senator Herb Kohl says he was able to set some money aside for a range of Wisconsin agricultural research, development and conservation projects in the 2009 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Kohl, who is Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, says the measure provides over $97.2 billion in funding for the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration. “There is no better place than Wisconsin to make federal investments in agriculture research and conservation,” Kohl said. “There are many skilled minds and hands at work in our state, finding the best ways to farm, preserve the land and protect the food supply.”


GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Wisconsin governor names science adviser

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Corn Growers Free Offer for E85 Still Available

ECONOMY (back to top)
– ITW notes strong quarter

– Fox Cities chamber expo set for Sept. 9

– Pabst touts its ascent to No. 1 American-owned beer maker

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Wisconsin manufacturing employment at lowest level ever for June

– Johnson Controls profit rises 11 percent

– A.O. Smith 2Q profit up 18 percent

– Modine will now require majority-vote election for director

LABOR (back to top)
– Rapids Job Center to keep staff

– Local Workforce Development office to remain

– Sargent secures key union endorsement in 81st Assembly race

– Milwaukee museum to give ‘Body Worlds’ bonuses

– Bayside officers join Teamsters

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Erin’s Snug Irish Pub gets provisional license

– Grocer marks 100 years in business

– New downtown restaurant features locally grown and organic elements

INVESTING (back to top)
– Wall Street surges again on falling fuel prices

– Harley 2Q profit tumbles on fewer shipments

– Orion Energy to buy back shares

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Capitol West a ‘real shot in the arm’ for Downtown

– Landlord too slow to fix problems, tenants say

– Condo project would attach to historic Milwaukee mansion

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Area farmers get how-to on containing manure spills

– Amish farmer may get national legal help in permit case

– ‘Embrace’ Wins Wisconsin State Holstein Championship Show

– NASS Cheese Survey Prices Down on Friday

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– FAA advises on airspace rules during convention

– GOP convention may boost Eau Claire air traffic

– State to rebuild washed-out County A by Lake Delton

– Nestle selects Schneider as primary intermodal supplier

– Bus ridership up with rising gas prices

RETAIL (back to top)
– Heating, cooling system sales get boost

– Cod prices eating at restaurants’ profits

– Shrimp truck has customers hooked

REGULATION (back to top)
– State lawmakers seek review of state employee sick leave use

– State gives grant to buy local produce

– A la carte cable ruling faces appeal

– Green Bay’s Broadway board approves $40,000 budget

TOURISM (back to top)
– Madison to host U.S. Transplant Games in 2010

– Planners may close motorized access to 55% of forest roads

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Natural gas highs may lift winter heating bills

– PCB removal route hits traffic jam in De Pere

– ATC challengers want to bury the line

– Milwaukee could clog water deal

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Health care services in Wisconsin try to improve stroke treatment

– Dental clinic to improve access

– Mental health advocates back Walker’s plan to move center

– ResCare buys Caregivers Home Health

– EDC seeks to make ‘credit worthy’ dreams a reality

– Taxpayers in Wisconsin flood areas get extension

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Dineen named president of GE Healthcare

– Esperanza Unida director under fire

– Transfer agreement to help MATC students to UW College of Engineering

– UW-Extension names new provost/vice chancellor

– TV production company gets Emmy nomination

– MSOE reaches westward

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– John Oncken: Rain cancels Wisconsin Farm Technology Days

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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