June 30, 2013 |
TORONTO - Shares of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion plunged 28 percent Friday after the company posted a loss and warned of future losses despite releasing its make-or-break new smartphones this year. RIM also announced that it will stop developing new versions of its slow-selling tablet computer called the Playbook. Analysts were looking for insight into how phones running RIM's new BlackBerry 10 operating system are selling. It wasn't good. RIM said it sold 6.8 million phones overall versus 7.8 million last year.
June 27, 2013 |
Diversifying a business can make sense, but Wednesday presented an example of diversification gone awry. Pfizer, Inc., is the world leader in selling prescription medicine and has a big operation in Collegeville. But part of its legion of lawyers was in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan handling a $961 million settlement fund for some - but not all - people claiming harm from asbestos. The asbestos was contained in insulation used in blast furnaces for steel-making. What does Pfizer have to do with making steel?
June 25, 2013 |
At first glance, having one customer account for a majority of a small business' sales would seem like a good problem to have. Keep that customer happy, and it will be a stable source of revenue. But many entrepreneurs would tell you that nothing keeps them up at night more than worrying about what might happen to their business should that big customer walk away someday. Certainly, that was on Rich Trotter's mind when the Jack & Jill Ice Cream Co. and its fleet of ice cream trucks accounted for 90 percent of the annual sales of S.R. Rosati Inc. , which he bought with some partners 16 years ago. Today, Trotter said he sleeps better because the 101-year-old water-ice manufacturer he owns in Clifton Heights generates the bulk of its sales from a different source: the cafeterias of hundreds of public schools in 35 states.
June 15, 2013 |
Half a century has passed since her tragic death in 1962 at 36, yet Marilyn Monroe continues to enthrall. But why? All due apologies to Monroe fanatics, but she was hardly a George Washington, or, for that matter, a George Sand. Was Monroe all that important or interesting? Was she as significant an artist as Sarah Bernhardt? Did she really have as rich an inner life as Dostoevsky? Perhaps not. Yet we keep coming back to her: Tens of thousands of pages and hundreds of hours of film are devoted to her - including HBO's documentary Love, Marilyn , premiering Monday at 9 p.m. The film suggests that what endures about Monroe isn't the person, but the myth.
May 30, 2013 |
Vaccines are a big part of GlaxoSmithKline's pharmaceutical business, which is why, the company said Wednesday, it paid $325 million in cash for Okairos A.G., a Swiss firm whose work with monkey viruses offers a potential new way to protect people from disease. The Basel-based Okairos is a private company spun off from Merck in 2007. Since then, it has been supported by several venture-capital firms. In Okairos, Glaxo gets vaccines in early-phase trials, but also a proprietary process that might help its research efforts.
May 24, 2013 |
Continuing its efforts to shift into faster-growing areas of the supermarket, Campbell Soup Co. said Thursday that it had reached an agreement to buy Plum Organics, a California producer of baby foods and snacks for toddlers and older children. Campbell did not say what it agreed to pay for Plum, owned by the venture-capital firm Catamount Ventures. Founded in 2007 by Neil Grimmer, the current chief executive, and a partner in Catamount Ventures, Plum Organics had $93 million in gross sales last year.
May 11, 2013 |
Skinny Nutritional Corp. , the local flavored-water marketer that saw most of its board resign earlier this year, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. What appeared to be a corporate- governance revolt in January has progressed into a fight to keep the Skinny Water brand from falling into the hands of a secured lender. The Bryn Mawr company listed total assets of $2.9 million and total debts of $6.0 million in documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia.
May 9, 2013
Medical Products Laboratories Inc. has been approved for a $472,500 loan with an interest rate of 1.5 percent through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority to help buy a building near its operations in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia. The privately held company will buy an existing 22,900-square-foot building as part of a $1.03 million project that will create 14 jobs and retain 148 employees, according to a statement by the Corbett administration. Medical Products Laboratories calls itself one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of fluoride mouth rinses used in schools.
April 26, 2013
Kathryn Wasserman Davis, 106, a globe-trotting philanthropist who provided the start-up funds that her husband, Shelby Cullom Davis, used to become one of America's most successful investors, has died. She died Tuesday at her home in Hobe Sound, Fla., her family said. No cause was given. Ms. Davis' father, Joseph Wasserman, was the longtime chairman of the Artloom Corp. of Philadelphia, a maker of Wilton rugs. His fortune survived the market crash of 1929 because he was "part of a canny minority who kept their money in government bonds," John Rothchild wrote in his 2003 book, The Davis Dynasty: Fifty Years of Successful Investing on Wall Street.
April 26, 2013
AT THE JUST concluded Lightfair International 2013 trade show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the operative word was "BRIGHT. " One lighting manufacturer (Visionaire) even handed out sunglasses for those staring at its manmade solar storms. "We're in a lumens [brightness level] race," several exhibitors explained. All to prove that their new-generation fixtures - most fired up by a mess of small, energy-efficient LEDs (light emitting diodes) - put out a glow that beats older products using incandescent, halogen or flourescent bulbs.