(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 29 July 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The construction downturn in the United States is hurting the Gehl Co.

The West Bend-based manufacturer of compact equipment for the building and ag markets is reporting second quarter net income of $5.2 million, down from $8.7 million, for the same period in 2007.

Officials said the firm had quarterly net sales of $111.1 million, down from $135.3 million a year earlier.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=132170

— Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Kelli Trumble says she believes Wisconsin resorts and travel-based businesses are holding their own as they head into the two busiest weeks of the summer season.

Though Trumble said she doesn’t have figures on how much money tourists spent in June and July, she said some trends – including longer stays at Northwoods resorts – are positive.

But Trumble acknowledged that travel – an industry with a $13 billion yearly impact on the state’s coffers – is facing challenges because of the high cost of gas and flooding in early June. She said Lake Delton, which disappeared when County Road A was breached, will see its business fall by as much as half this summer.

See story: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=132176

— Federal workplace regulators are proposing $127,000 in fines against a Janesville computer monitor recycler.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleges that CRT Processing LLC exposed workers to carbon monoxide, lead and cadmium.

The agency began an inspection at the facility in January after receiving information about potential violations. OSHA spokesman Brad Mitchell declined to elaborate.

Mitchell said the company can respond by paying the fines or requesting a hearing. CRT Processing recycles used and obsolete computer monitors, televisions and other electronic equipment.

Company officials issued a statemeng saying they have begun an internal investigation into the OSHA allegations, but they have spent tens of thousands of dollars on protective gear for their workers, and an independent safety auditor found no problems.

— Brown Deer-based Metavante Technologies Inc. is reporting second quarter revenue of $424.8 million, up 7 percent from $395.7 million in the same period a year ago.

The company reported quarterly net income of $36.9 million, or 31 cents per share.

See story: http://www.biztimes.com/daily/2008/7/28/#metavante-reports-strong-quarter


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
Gehl Company Reports Second Quarter Results
Grainger Announces Resolution of Government Trade Agreements Act and Sourcing Case
Grief Camp for Law Enforcement Surviving Families
High school science teachers conduct summer research at UW-Whitewater
Midwest Airlines Warns E-Mail Users to be Wary of Phony E-Mails
RDA Sells Home Party Plan Unit
Smith Investment Company Increases Quarterly Dividend 7 Percent
The Manitowoc Company Appoints Cynthia Egnotovich to Its Board of Directors
Update: Great Wolf Changes Time of Second Quarter 2008 Earnings Call on August 5
Wisconsin DOT Selects WSI Pilotbrief

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


Big-name powerhouses dip into Madison business pool, stay here: Powerhouse companies are focusing on the Madison area for acquisitions, and not just to steal away their Midwest technology and talent. A string of local companies purchased over the past two years features buyers with big names, including Roche and Microsoft. Other high-profile companies also have gained a presence here over the past few years, including Amazon, Google, Sony and Shell Oil. A few years ago, being acquired by a bigger corporation often resulted in gutting the local work force. Now, employment is more likely to stay here and grow. “We’ve entered a new chapter,” said Jim Leonhart, executive director of the Wisconsin Biotechnology and Medical Device Association. “Larger companies are not just looking to acquire someone but in fact, they are interested in expanding into this area.”

GM announces five weeks of downtime: General Motors said today that workers at its Janesville plant will not build sport utility vehicles the weeks of Aug. 18, Aug. 25, Sept. 1, Sept. 29 and Nov. 3. The automaker has said five more weeks of non-production are possible during November and December. The production shutdown is being blamed on sluggish sales of the SUVs built at the Janesville plant, which GM has said will close by 2010 at the latest.

Gehl income drops 40% in 2nd quarter as housing slump continues: West Bend manufacturer Gehl Co. said Monday that its second-quarter net income was down 40% as it continues to suffer from weakness in construction. For the period ending June 30, the company that makes farm and construction equipment reported net income from continuing operations of $5.2 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, compared with $8.7 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, for the same period last year. Net sales for the second quarter this year were $111.1 million, compared with $135.3 million in the second quarter of 2007. For the first six months of 2008, Gehl reported net sales from continuing operations of $193.2 million compared with $250.6 million in the first six months of 2007.

International demand lifts Manitowoc’s profits: The Manitowoc Co. Inc. reported higher profits for the second quarter, in part because of strong international demand for its construction cranes. Manitowoc Co. (NYSE: MTW) reported net income Monday of $133.9 million, or $1.01 per share, for the second quarter, up 37 percent compared with $97.5 million, or 76 cents per share, for the same period a year ago. Net sales for the Manitowoc-based manufacturer of construction cranes, lifting equipment, food services equipment and commercial ships increased 28 percent to $1.3 billion from $1 billion. The company said operating earnings from its cranes segment jumped 39 percent because of higher demand for cranes in all of its geographic markets. Earnings from the food service equipment division grew 2 percent despite a dip in sales.

Lawsuit alleges Rayovac lithium batteries violate two Energizer patents: Spectrum “strongly” refutes charges… Energizer Holdings Inc. on Monday announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Spectrum Brands Inc., claiming the company’s Rayovac lithium batteries infringe on two of its patents. Spectrum, which has its Rayovac unit based in Madison, in response issued a press release “strongly” refuting Energizer’s charges and stating that it “will vigorously defend itself against the complaint.” Energizer said its lawsuit filed in federal court in Madison accuses Spectrum of infringing on two of its patents by importing and selling primary lithium batteries under the Rayovac Lithium brand at a “major U.S. retailer.”

KPMG ranks Milwaukee high for favorable tax structures: Milwaukee scored high marks on a national and international ranking of cities with the most favorable tax structures for businesses, according to a study released Monday by KPMG International. Among 24 mid-sized U.S. cities ­— defined as having populations of half million to 2 million — Milwaukee ranked at No. 4. Out of about 60 U.S. cities ranked by the study, Milwaukee ranked 15th. The KPMG study ranked cities by the total taxes paid by corporations in a particular city, and expressed as a percentage of total taxes paid by similar corporations in the United States. The tax index for the United States is 100, and is the benchmark against which other countries and cities are measured.

State keeps cheese crown: On taste, and volume, Wisconsin beats arch-rival California… Fresh off a heady victory in the Oscars of the cheese world, Wisconsin cheesemaker Sid Cook was asked about the battle between America’s Dairyland and California, the state that claims happy cows. “It’s about quality, not quantity,” said Cook, master cheesemaker-owner of Carr Valley Cheese in La Valle, who won Best of Show honors in last week’s American Cheese Society competition for his fruity, cave-aged Snow White Goat Cheddar. The competition in Chicago drew 1,149 entries from America and Canada. Wisconsin cheesemakers captured 91 ribbons, more than any other state. California received 46. Yet, equally important for the health of the state dairy industry, Wisconsin remains No. 1 in overall cheese production.


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)
– XM and Sirius complete merger

– Feds propose fines for Wisconsin computer recycler

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program Distributes Checks

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Survey: State residents cut back on spending in slow economy

– Wausau Paper reports loss

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Mercury Marine cutting 60 more jobs

– GM Janesville could be idled last 2 months of the year

– Raw material, energy costs hurt Ladish earnings

LABOR (back to top)
– Half of Janesville’s GM work force returns to plant

– Call center closing to eliminate 44 jobs

– Don’t ‘sabotage’ job search

– Local 139 lets loose the rats

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Furnishings by Ludwig will close its doors

INVESTING (back to top)
– Anchor BanCorp declares dividend

– Dow down in early trading

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Allied Drive breaks ground on redevelopment project

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Wisconsin cheese wins best of show

– Fertilizer, fuel costs biting farmers’ profits

– Crop Report: State-Wide Conditions Looking Good

– State Groups Win USDA Conservation Innovation Grants

– Door County has cherries and cherry products, despite weather

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– AirTran adopts e-ticketing for biz travelers

RETAIL (back to top)
– Oscar Mayer unit grows as Kraft’s earnings rise in second quarter

– Shopko adding national apparel brands

REGULATION (back to top)
– Spectrum Brands sued by Energizer

– Area business taxes below U.S. average

– President Bush urges Congress to approve water compact

– OSHA cites Janesville recycler for workplace violations

– State considers increasing inspection fees

– Journal unit to pay $200,000 in EPA settlement

TOURISM (back to top)
– City gets a deal on design costs for proposed Central Park

– Work begins on Lake Delton; should be filled by spring, officials say

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Charged meeting: Power line opponents dominate council discussion

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– New dental clinic will target needy Fox Valley children

– Financial state of county nursing home improves

– 53 percent of flood-affected Wisconsin households get federal help

– Metavante’s earnings rise

– Bank invests in custom looks

– A sinking IndyMac sought lifelines

– Banks try to reassure customers

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Hermsen named VP at Nsight

– Recruiter says 1 in 6 executives lied on resume

– Plexus adds director to board

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Arlen Boardman: Shift to a four-day workweek has been tried before

– Jacque Georgia: Legislation may hurt new homebuyers

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

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

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