(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 22 May 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— Ademi & O’Reilly LLP, a Cudahy law firm that specializes in class action law suits involving securities, has filed a class action suit against mortgage insurer MGIC Investment Corp.

The suit alleges the Milwaukee-based company’s leadership team violated terms of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing a series of misrepresentations to the market that led to the artificial inflation of the company’s stock price.

Investors who bought MGIC stock between Feb. 6, 2007, and Feb. 12, 2008, may be eligible to join the class action suit.

In February, MGIC reported a $1.5 billion fourth-quarter loss and a net loss of $1.67 billion for 2007. In April, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the company from AA- to A with a negative outlook, a move that affected MGIC’s status with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, government-established corporations that buy mortgage loans.

In a recent interview, MGIC CEO Craig Culver said the company’s business fundamentals are sound. He also said that while the company’s capital position has improved through the completion of a stock offering and debenture sale in March that raised $848 million, S&P wants to see a return to profitability extending over two years before reviewing the company’s debt ratings.

See more:
http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=126773

— The Buffalo Water Beer Company, Milwaukee’s newest microbrewer, will begin bottling its beer for the first time this afternoon at its brewery on Milwaukee’s near south side.

The company will begin bottling its flagship lager, Bison Blonde, at its brewery, which is located at 613 S. Second St.

Since its introduction to the market in 2007, Buffalo Water has been available on tap at various local taverns, including the Milwaukee Ale House, the Carleton Grange Pub, Triskele’s, the Donges Bay Clubhouse and Dairyland Greyhound Park.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/5/21/#milwaukee-microbrewer-begins-bottling

— Milwaukee-based Brady Corp., a maker of labels and coatings, is reporting that its fiscal third quarter net income rose 18.5 percent to $34.4 million, or 63 cents per share, from $29.0 million, or 53 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Fiscal 2008 earnings per share calculations reflect the completed repurchase of approximately 944,000 shares in the quarter. Brady Corp.’s sales for the quarter were $381.9 million, up 10.3 percent from $346.3 million a year earlier.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=126801

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Press Releases
‘American Idol’ Ruben Studdard, Broadway’s Sarah Pfisterer to Perform at Bradley Prizes Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Birds & Blooms Announces National Backyard Video Contest
Brady Reports F’08 Third-Quarter Sales and Earnings
Briggs & Stratton Corporation Announces Adoption of Rule 10b5-1 Plan By Executive Officer
Broadwind Energy Company, R.B.A., Doubles Size and Capacity
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Honors Michelle Mays of Rhinelander, WI As Youth Advocate of the Year
Don’t Let High Food Prices Put Out Your Summer Grilling Plans
Gander Mountain Opens New Store in Eau Claire
Johnson Controls Announces Quarterly Dividend
Johnson Controls Provides Disaster Relief Assistance to China
Journal Communications Boosts Clickability’s Booming Roster of Media Customers
MGD 64 Continues Rolling Across the Country
Midwest Airlines Extends Codeshare With Northwest Airlines to Include Eight Additional Nonstop Routes From Indianapolis
United Vacations Launches Economic Stimulus Program

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


TOP STORIES
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Harley-Davidson sells $1B in bonds amid flagging sales: Harley-Davidson Inc. on Wednesday said it has sold $1 billion in bonds, providing cash that one analyst suggested could help the struggling motorcycle maker weather a deteriorating market outlook. The announcement comes a month after the Milwaukee-based maker of one of America’s most iconic rides said it will cut its work force by 8 percent and trim bike shipments by the thousands. Harley-Davidson agreed to sell the bonds on May 15, according to documents filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “We expect proceeds to be used to repay commercial paper borrowings and for general corporate purposes,” wrote Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Andy Liu.
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/05/22/wi/07wis.txt

Unemployment rate decreases in all Wisconsin counties and metro areas in April: The latest figures released by the Department of Workforce Development show declines in unemployment rates for all Wisconsin counties and metro areas over the last month. Unemployment rates went down in every one of the state’s 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) from March to April. Madison’s rate, the lowest of the state’s metro areas, dropped to 3.2 percent. LaCrosse had the second-lowest rate at 3.6 percent. The unemployment rate of the Racine area dropped to 5.3 percent but remained the highest of the state’s metro areas. Decreases in unemployment were seen in every one of Wisconsin’s 72 counties in April.
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287560

State wages lag behind U.S. average: Wisconsin wages are lagging behind national averages, according to statistics released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Labor. Outagamie County was the only one of the seven counties in the state with more than 75,000 employees to have a greater percentage growth than the national average wage growth of 4.3 percent, with weekly wages in Outagamie County going up 4.9 percent from the third quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2007. In Wisconsin’s biggest employment counties, wages went up 3.9 percent in Winnebago County, 3.2 percent in Racine County, 3 percent in Waukesha County, 2.8 percent in Milwaukee County and 1.8 percent in Brown County.
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287468

Brady profit sets record: Firm predicts earnings will continue to rise… Brady Corp. on Wednesday announced record sales and earnings for the quarter that ended April 30, but the Milwaukee-based manufacturer noted that sales slipped 1.2% excluding recent acquisitions from its quarterly revenue. The company stood by its prediction of rising earnings for the full fiscal year, which ends July 31, despite a slowdown in its markets in the United States, Asia and Europe. Brady aggressively has positioned itself as a parts supplier for hand-held mobile phones and communications devices such as the Blackberry, which in turn has thrust the company into the cutthroat Asian electronics business.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=753650

Doyle meets with Domtar CEO: As the Wisconsin Rapids area struggles with the impending loss of 500 jobs in the paper industry, officials are looking to strengthen the state’s economic relationship with Canada. Gov. Jim Doyle met with Domtar President and CEO Raymond Royer on Wednesday as part of a four-day trip to Canada, a company spokesman said. “We were pleased that the governor included us in his trip,” said Craig Timm, communications manager for the Montreal-based papermaker. “It is Wisconsin’s industry and the governor certainly understands that and has shown his commitment to all the paper producers in his state.”
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/WDH0101/805220621/1981/WDHnews

House revives farm bill — maybe: For only the second time in seven years, the House voted Wednesday to overturn a veto by President Bush. But lawmakers learned shortly afterward that the override vote on the $300 billion farm bill may not stand. House Republican leaders said Bush vetoed an incomplete farm bill because the bill’s trade section was missing. The section deals with foreign food aid and marketing programs. They raised constitutional concerns about the vote. Bush vetoed the bill on the grounds that it spends too much and does not go far enough in limiting federal payments to wealthy farmers and landowners.
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/GPG03/80522009/1247

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WISBUSINESS FEATURED COLUMNISTS

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
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TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– UW researcher among astronomers to witness birth of supernova
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287552

– Fox’s sports networks to go full-time HD in early 2009, report says
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287603

– UW is No. 2 in car competition
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=753655

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Biofuels and Climate Change Seminar to be held at Fox Valley Technical College
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287545

– Precision tools improve brain cancer prognosis
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=753705

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Sales, earnings decline for Brown Shoe
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/287548

– Scent provider moving to valley
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=753672

– American plans thousands of layoffs, service reductions
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/05/19/daily32.html?surround=lfn

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Oconto shipbuilding company unveils offshore yacht
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/GPG03/805220471/1247

– R.B.A. acquires second facility
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/GPG03/805220473/1247

LABOR (back to top)
– Local job situation cloudy
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=753656

– Appleton jobless rate falls to 4.3%
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/APC03/805220551/1028

– Contract ratified for Little Chute teachers
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/APC0101/805220548/1979/APCnews

– UGHS Board, teachers finally ratify contract
http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2008/05/22/local_news/doc4834f4ea382b9628957174.txt

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Restaurant stakes its claim
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/May_08/05212008_05.asp

INVESTING (back to top)
– Help with housing pays off
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=753676

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Villager mall tenants given assurances
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/287584

– Stark Company Realtors celebrates its 100th anniversary
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/287541

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Cabrera Joins UW-Madison Dairy Science Dept., Extension
http://wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=630&yr=2008

– World Beef Expo Offers All Breed Sale
http://wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=634&yr=2008

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– After hearing complaints, Metro revises proposed service changes
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/287618

– Gas prices likely will reduce Memorial Day travel
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/APC0101/805220530/1979/APCnews

– Increased accessibility
http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2008/May_08/05212008_06.asp

– Furniture shippers merge
http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/05/19/daily29.html?surround=lfn

RETAIL (back to top)
– Restaurant gets its variances
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=753836

REGULATION (back to top)
– ALRC to consider booze controls
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/287657

– Lawsuit alleges pollution sickness
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/WDH0101/805220614/1981/WDHnews

TOURISM (back to top)
– Spectating: Mallards stage a ‘circus’ that pleases the purists
http://www.madison.com/tct/entertainment/77staging/287274

– Northeastern Wisconsin boasts best small towns, agency says
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/GPG0101/805220496/1978/GPGnews

UTILITIES (back to top)
– District joins Energy Star
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/WDH0101/805220617/1981/WDHnews

– Group asks builders to let sun in
http://www.dailyreporter.com/item.cfm?recid=20048651&snippet=t&forward=%2Fitem%2Ecfm%3Frecid%3D20048651%26snippet%3Df

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Switch to BadgerCare Plus not good for all
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=753685

– Affinity sells nursing home
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/APC03/805220546/1028

– ThedaCare promotes senior executive
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/APC03/805220514/1028

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– County pension assets increase
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=753664

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Spectrum Brands finds buyer for global pet business
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/287477

– Oshkosh Corp. names new board member
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/APC03/805220536/1028

– Vorpahl is CEO of Relevant Radio
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/GPG03/805220474/1247

– Johnsonville head gives $20 million to Notre Dame
http://www.sheboyganpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/SHE0101/805220577/1973

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Gail MarksJarvis: Costlier oil offers investors new opportunities, dangers
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/yourmoney/chi-wed-gail-oil-may21,0,2631017.column

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