Business Archive

More efforts to buy Norfolk-based fertilizer company

By TOM SHEANThe Virginian-Pilot
A Canadian fertilizer producer seeking to acquire Roy­ster-Clark Ltd. stepped up its pursuit of the Norfolk-based distributor of fertilizer, farm chemicals and seeds Monday by boosting its bid and extending its deadline for action by Royster-Clark investors.Agrium Inc., which announced its initial bid in early November, increased its all-cash offer for each of Royster-Clark’s income depository securities to $11 Canadian from $10. The new bid amounted to about $305 million U.S.Agrium, based in . . .

Affordable commercial space travel close to reality

By Allison ConnollyThe Virginian-Pilot
How much would you pay for a chance to look down at Earth from the edge of space? Technology is advancing so quickly that a “suborbital hop,” more than 62 miles above Earth, may not only become possible for the average person – it may soon be affordable.Within the next two years, billionaire businessman Richard Branson promises to begin suborbital flights from a planned launch pad in New Mexico. If successful, Branson would be the first entrepreneur to own both an earthly airline, Virgin Atlantic, . . .

Reading numbers, analysts prepare for final figures

By TOM SHEANThe Virginian-Pilot
Like archaeologists armed with trowels, securities analysts will be probing corporate earnings reports in coming weeks. As the season for disclosing fourth-quarter and year-end financial results gets under way, they’ll also be asking questions.How much damage did Hurricane Katrina inflict on companies’ operations? How did companies deal with higher energy costs and rising interest rates? If they reported an increase in revenue, how much of the increase made its way to the bottom line?Despite the . . .

Pilot Media announces change in HR post

The Virginian-Pilot
Pilot Media Cos. in Norfolk said that Bill Wright, its human resources director, will become vice president of Landmark Military Newspapers on Jan. 30. Wright, a certified public accountant, earlier had served as assistant controller and then financial controller of The Virginian-Pilot. Landmark Military Newspapers and Pilot Media Cos. are units of Norfolk-based Landmark Communications Inc.Pilot Media Cos., which consist of The Virginian-Pilot and several specialty publications and online services, . . .

Sports complex project still in the starting blocks

By Susan E. WhiteThe Virginian-Pilot
VIRGINIA BEACH — Nearly eight months after plans were announced for a $16 million professional sports training complex, construction has not begun and financing for the project remains unclear. Still, developers of the proposed DLH Sports Complex remain firm: They say the 150,000-square-foot center will be built. “We’re working on it,” said Daniel L. Holland, the sports complex’s namesake and chief executive officer. “We’ll start it soon.”Holland declined to further discuss the project, including . . .

Mission director for space flights visits Langley

By Allison ConnollyThe Virginian-Pilot
HAMPTON — Doug Shane makes designing the first private piloted spacecraft sound easy. His company, Scaled Composites, built SpaceShipOne, which last year won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for flying a privately built plane to the edge of space twice in less than one week.He told a couple hundred employees Thursday at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton that SpaceShipOne took longer to build than he thought, about 3½ years. That drew chuckles from the audience of government employees, . . .

Financial resolutions for the New Year

By MEG RICHARDS Associated Press (ASAP)
Sure, New Year's resolutions are hokey, and few of us ever keep them. But there's no time like now to turn over a new leaf with your finances and make 2006 the year you take control of your money.There's no denying it can be tough for young people with lower incomes, who are already hard-pressed to cover college loans and big first-time purchases such as cars, homes and major appliances. Add credit card debt to the mix and it's easy to feel you're trapped in a world where you're merely a consumer. . . .

Ringing in the New Year with debt?

By VIVIAN CHU Associated Press (ASAP)
NEW YORK (AP) _ Nicole Horton, a freelance graphic designer in New York, loves to shop and prides herself on keeping up with the latest trends in fashion, music and electronics. But she hates the sinking feeling she's been getting when she sees her monthly credit card statements.''My credit card debt is always in the back of my mind, and lately I've been thinking of it a lot because of Christmas,'' says Horton, 29, who said she spent roughly $2,000 on holiday gifts for friends and family. ''I used . . .

New video services may offer competition to local cable

By carolyn shapiroThe Virginian-Pilot
Consumers who have decried the limited number of alternatives to cable television will soon find themselves besieged with choices.A growing group of providers – from telephone companies to businesses working with traditional TV broadcasters – plan to bring video service that competes with local cable system operators.Two of the latest to throw their hats into the ring are U.S. Digital Television LLC, a company based in Draper, Utah, with investment from broadcast station owners, and Cavalier Telephone, . . .

Classified advertising company’s fate? Still classified.

By Battinto BattsThe Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK — A new year has dawned. Life is moving along, as construction on an office tower in downtown Norfolk shows. But one question lingers from 2005: Who will own the company for which that building is named?An announcement on the fate of Trader Publishing Co. is about a month overdue, and there is no indication that one will be forthcoming in the coming days.“I wish I could tell you,” said Conrad M. Hall, president and chief executive officer for the Norfolk-based classified advertising company. . . .

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