Bankruptcy Trustee Edwin Allman III asked for and received permission to destroy some 1,300 boxes of employee records as part of the bankruptcy proceedings. The records which contain employment records were used to determine pay and benefits owed by the bankrupt company.

The records themselves were apparently removed from the company location in the final days by Lee Booth which we have mentioned before and were recovered after Allman took over as trustee.

The Employment benefits portion of the bankruptcy have been closed with the rest of the case to close later this month and a final hearing to be around the end of the year.

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Primo Water Corporation released their Second Quarter 2012 numbers and to say the least the stock market nor the analyst were impressed. The stock hit a 52 week low by breaking the $1 mark trading as low as 0.96 before recovering by the end of the week to $1.20. Primo did report advancing water and dispensers sales however took almost a one million dollar loss on it’s Flavorstation product, a carbonated flavored water dispenser.

 

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Since it’s IPO the stock has not any major upswing in price and gone nowhere but down since August 2011. It continues to face strong pressure as analyst have not been impressed and even made a rather negative comment during the conference call which is all but unheard of.  In reference to Prim’s comments during the conference call that Primo was going to concentrate on it’s core water business through the dispensers and refill locations analyst Jim Duffy responded, “I look forward to that flawless execution, because we haven’t seen it yet, Billy.” Primo also still faces a Class Action by investors claiming the company or it’s executives made false and misleading statements about the company’s financials.

The Complaint names Primo Water, certain of its officers and directors and the underwriters of the Offerings as defendants and alleges they have violated the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants’ positive statements about the Company were lacking in a reasonable basis of fact and were materially false and misleading when made. Specifically, (a) neither demand nor sales of the Company’s products were as robust as represented; (b) stores owned by the Company’s largest retail customers did not carry the Company’s products so the Company was not generating any revenue from those locations; (c) the Company’s growth and business prospects were heavily dependent upon the ability of the Company’s two largest customers to sell products from other, unrelated companies before those customers would order products from Primo Water; (d) the Company’s primary retail customers would not be in position to order any of the Company’s products until after those retail customers cleared out other inventory sitting on their shelves, including inventory related to products sold by competitors to the Company; (e) the Company’s largest retail customers had delayed promotions of the Company’s products, which negatively impacted the Company’s sales; (f) the Company’s growth rate had slowed and would be slower for the rest of 2011, if not beyond; and (g) the Company would not meet the financial guidance it provided to investors.

The Street.com

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In a spat over money Time Warner has dropped WXII from your cable lineup. If you did not notice on Tuesday WXI was replaced by WBRE out of Wilkes-Barre, PA. This boils down to Time Warner being unable to negotiate a new contract with Hearst Television over rebroadcast fees. Time Warner of course says the fee increase wanted by Hearst is unreasonable while Hearst says it is inline with cost and other contracts they have.

If you have a digital TV with a Digital TV Antenna you may be able to watch WXII “over the air” but due to the changes from old school TV signals we have used for decades to the new digital spectrum your reception could vary greatly depending on where you live. Digital signals do not travel as far and are very line of sight so putting a small digital antenna on that basement TV is probably not going to work. The other problem is most TV’s must be set to “cable” or “antenna” requiring you to switch your TV to antenna, search for channels then finally view the available channels and repeating the whole process when you switch back to cable.

Of course now we have Nexstar Broadcasting which owns the Wilkes-Barre station is now saying Time Warner has misappropriated their broadcast and is threatening to take action against Time Warner for using it’s signal for viewing in the Winston-Salem market. One has to remember who gets to view what content is governed by a host of contracts between the various cable, TV, broadcasting companies and so forth. Just because WBRE is an NBC affiliate does not mean the money has changed hands to allow another market (Winston-Salem) to view a professional basketball game being broadcast in Pennsylvania’s market. There are other money considerations right down to the commercials being broadcast, those drug advertisements are very targeted to specific markets and they pay huge sums of money to air their adverts to specific, agreed upon market segments, do they get a free ride to now be broadcast in Winston-Salem or does the rebroadcasting of the Wilkes-Barre station require new contracts. These are the types of things being discussed and argued in these negations and in the meantime local citizens are in general unable to view local content and news.

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Who didn’t see this coming. Winston-Salem wants Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Novant to help cover the cost of running city buses. The city has bent over backwards for these two groups as they have expanded year after year but as they do so you must remember they are tax-exempt. When you have your two largest businesses in town not paying huge chunks of taxes, well who couldn’t see the end result of that? If you haven’t noticed Novant for one has been buying up property all over the town and that takes more and more land out of the property tax base. Currently the two have combined property worth over $1.2 Billion which basically takes $14.3 million out of tax coffers.

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Had a switch go bad and nobody noticed. Guess I need to put a server monitor in place to alert me when the external connections are not working.

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Sorry about both the lack of postings as well as the downtime. I have been moving the server to Hyper V and faster hard drives. You should see the site and pages load much faster.

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If anyone would like to explain this one to me I am all ears.

Consumer Confidence In U.S. Fell In May To Four-Month Low

May 29, 2012 4:13 PM ET

The Conference Board’s index decreased to 64.9 this month from a revised 68.7 in April, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. The decline in the Conference Board’s measure is in line with readings from the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. The share of Americans expecting fewer job opportunities in the next six months climbed to the highest level since November, raising the risk that consumers will limit spending. A 30-cent decline in gasoline prices since early April failed to brighten spirits, showing that more progress is needed in the job market. Homebuilders are reporting their most-improved spring selling season in seven years, propelled in part by record-low mortgage rates. At the same time, the market faces challenges as mortgage credit is difficult to obtain and slow wage growth is keeping some would-be buyers on the sidelines.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-29/consumer-confidence-in-u-s-fell-in-may-to-four-month-low.html

But wait didn’t I just read the week before the opposite was true?

Consumer Sentiment In U.S. Climbs To Highest Since 2007

May 25, 2012 4:59 PM ET

Consumer confidence rose in May to the highest level since October 2007 as Americans became more upbeat about the prospects for employment.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of sentiment climbed to 79.3, the ninth straight increase, from 76.4 the prior month. The gauge was projected to hold at the preliminary reading of 77.8, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. A record number of households said they’d heard better news on the jobs outlook, which combined with cheaper gasoline and an improving housing market may help sustain consumer spending and shield the economy from Europe’s debt crisis.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-25/consumer-sentiment-in-u-s-climbs-to-highest-since-2007.html

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Novant Healthcare announced they will be laying off roughly 300 employees with 150 of those cuts coming to Winston-Salem. The primary losses will be at Forsyth Medical Center in “non-clinical” positions while around 20% will be in positions that directly interact with patients.  Novant cited a drop in healthcare use during the recession as well as declines in reimbursement for services provided. Overall Novant has seen a dramatic cut in it’s income of $45 million in the past year.

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