Archive for the “Triad News” Category

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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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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There appears to be a man and woman crew stealing equipment off landscapung trucks and trailers in Kernersville. The report is at least one STIHL 600 blower was stolen Tuesday by a couple driving a Black Saturn SUV. Other thefts have been reported and may be linked to a person selling lawn equipment on Craigslist using a phone based on a 770 area code.

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Well actually it’s more to do with William Rodgers the former owner of PACE Airlines if that is even true considering the last I heard the bankruptcy administrator wasn’t sure who owned PACE Airlines. Anyway back to the subject. A hearing was held in Forsyth County Superior Court by Judge Edgar Gregory to postpone the case of William Rodgers until April 16th as he has released his prior attorney Walter Horton Jr. and hired Mark Calloway out of Charlotte.

Rodgers was arrested for failing to pay group health insurance premiums for PACE Airline employees in September of 2009 and has been out on Bond since then.

TwitThis

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This just in, there have been at least three cars broken into that were parked at Lexington BBQ Friday night. The windows were smashed in the typical smash and grab and included both employee and customer cars. Sheriffs deputies were on the scene while other deputies were responding to calls at Lewisville-Clemmons Rd and Peace Haven.

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Vitacost.com out of Boca Raton, Florida but with an distribution warehouse here in Lexington, North Carolina seems to not have a very accurate sales tax calculator. In fact it appears that it is so bad that they are routinely charging upwards of 10.9% Sales Tax for items shipped to Charlotte and over 10% for other various North Carolina zip codes.

Background: Vitacost.com is a vitamin and nutrition supplement online retailer out of Boca Raton, Florida. Vitacost sells national label items as well as items made for their own label using a distribution warehouse built in Lexington back in 2007 with expansion made possible in part by both local incentives as well as $450,000 from One North Carolina Fund in 2010. Listed as VITC on NASDAQ the stock is thinly traded and has remained in the $4.50 to $5 range since it was halted back in December of 2010 after disclosure by the company that it’s financial statements dating back to 1994 were unreliable. Legal action was taken by a group of share holders in 2010 claiming that certain Company officers and directors had “breached their fiduciary duties and unjustly enriched themselves.”

In reviewing a purchase I made with Vitacost I noticed the sales tax rate did not seem to add up and in doing the math I came up with a charge of just over 9%. I then pulled up older orders and found the sales tax rate charged had been incorrect on orders dating back for a year. I emailed the company about the errors and was told that yes they agreed the wrong rate had been charged and if I would provide background information on the orders they would take care of it. I did exactly that but I also stated I was not satisfied with the answer as it appeared this was not a single occurrence and that it looked like the company was charging the incorrect sales tax rates for all North Carolina residents. Needless to say I got no response and didn’t pursue the matter as we were talking about $3-4 so it really wasn’t worth my time. With several months of no response I decided to check their website again and not only were the sales tax rates incorrect but they had gone up to 10.2%! I again emailed the company stating I had pulled the computed sales tax rates for multiple counties in North Carolina and had found not only have they not refunded any money to me but continue to charge an incorrect sales tax rate, of course again I got no response.

So this time I decided to waste a little time and pull some information together for future reference and since I had that info I might as well post it here as well. Using zip codes pulled from Areaconnect.com and Sales Tax Rates from Zip2Tax.com I attempted to checkout using an address based in each of the following zip codes and found the corresponding tax rates being charged by Vitacost.com on a $10 item.

City/Zip Code Sales Tax Rate Vitacost Computed Rate
Charlotte, NC  28209 7.25% 10.9%
Winston-Salem, NC  28607 6.75% 10.2%
Raleigh, NC  27601 6.75% 10.2%
Wilmington, NC  28401 7% 10.5%
     

To show I am not just making this up below you will find the checkout form for each of the above zip codes. Does this look like a “math” error to you?

28209286072760128401

TwitThis

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Looks like a group is trying to repeat the game plan of PACE Airlines in applying to bring a charter jet service to Greensboro. Interestingly enough several PACE executives have signed on with the new company called Victory Jet LLC. The primary’s of the new company are  Jeff Erickson and Christopher Barnes however word is a number of former PACE employees have joined on. Those listed were Eric Winberg, Herman Gillis III, Tom Cartwright, Michele Burdick, Ellis Nelson, Barry Blumquist, and James Brown.

The company objective is to take various jets, and outfit them for VIP charter services. The current jet listed is a single 737 outfitted with 64 First Class seats and plans to add a second 737.

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