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TrophyCentral.com opens in Brewster

August
18

TrophyCentral.com, an on-line retailer of trophies, medals and plaques, recently opened an office in Brewster at 16 Mt. Ebo Road, Suite 12A.

The Brewster office provides support to the company’s main offices in Marquette, Mich., and also serves as an East Coast location for shipping.

The office will be open to the public by appointment so that local customers can purchase items assembled and engraved in Brewster. Items available include corporate awards, promotional items, lapel pins, custom apparel and personalized gifts. There also is a selection of trophies, medals and plaques. For more information, go to www.trophycentral.com.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 at 1:43 pm
Category: New office

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Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty expands in Dutchess County

August
17
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty has increased its presence in the Hudson Valley by expanding into Dutchess County through the acquisition of three Coldwell Banker Currier and Lazier Realtors offices. The acquisition by the White Plains-based brokerage adds 47 sales associates and offices in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck to its footprint in the region. The company now has 22 offices and more than 800 sales associates in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange and Dutchess counties. “Expanding into Dutchess County was a logical move for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. It completes our footprintand allows us to service the entire Hudson Valley marketplace,” said Greg Rand, the brokerage’s managing partner.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 3:41 pm
Category: Expansion

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Pace University names chief information officer

August
17

Pace University named a chief information officer as it looks to integrate the latest developments in information technology with the campus learning environment.

Ganesan Ravishanker comes to Pace from Wesleyan University in Middltown, Conn., where he was nationally recognized for technology initiatives that transformed teaching and learning. Ravishanker, associate vice president for information technology at Wesleyan since 2006, encouraged the spread of wireless networking on campus and in more than 200 houses Wesleyan owns. He also helped create a new media lab to support increasing uses of multimedia in teaching and learning.

“Dr. Ravishanker has created powerful templates to help professors teach and students learn in the classroom and the digital domain,” said Geoffrey L. Brackett, Pace’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “He’s bringing his well-known expertise to Pace just as we’re aggressively mapping out exciting new initiatives that will make Pace a quality leader in twenty-first century pedagogies.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 3:30 pm
Category: Uncategorized

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Stock broker is fined $5,000

August
17

Regulators have taken action against an Armonk stock broker who was accused of making unauthorized transactions in a customer’s account over a two-year period.

Charles Edward Roden, a broker at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., was fined $5,000 and suspended from associating with any industry company for 10 business days, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Roden executed 41 discretionary transactions in a customer’s investment account from Nov. 9, 2006 until Sept. 3, 2008 without obtaining written permission from the customer, according to FINRA. He also violated his employer’s policy by conducting such trades, FINRA added.

The 10-day suspension ended July 31. Roden could not be reached for comment.

In other action, FINRA barred Gregory J. Duffy from association with an industry company member in any capacity. Duffy, a former investment broker from Brewster, was disciplined for failing to appear for a on-the-record interview with regulators, according to FINRA. Duffy could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 3:04 pm
Category: Uncategorized

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Legislation allows Internet sales of public bonds

August
14

Gov. David Paterson has signed state legislation that allows Westchester County government to conduct public bond sales through nationally recognized Internet securities bidding services under a three-year pilot program.

Officials say that conducting bond sales over the Internet are not only a technological advance over the traditional methods of paper bids or fax machines but also a way for the county to save money.

“This bill will streamline the bidding process for our county, and save money on administrative costs,” said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, who sponsored the legislation.

The bill passed unanimously in the state Assembly and Senate.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, August 14th, 2009 at 2:16 pm
Category: Uncategorized

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Treasures & Tales opens in Croton-on-Hudson

August
14

Treasures & Tales recently opened at 139 Grand Street in Croton-on-Hudson. The boutique sells women’s fashions, shoes, jewelry and home decor items. The owner is Liz Jacobson.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, August 14th, 2009 at 1:49 pm
Category: New business

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LesserEvil makes list of fast growing companies

August
14

LesserEvil, a Tuckahoe-based snack food company, recently ranked No. 355 on the 28th annual Inc. 500, a list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

The company, which touts its “better-for-you” popcorn and potato snacks, increased its revenue 696.6 percent over the from 2005 to 2008 to $3.4 million.

The company ranked No. 7 in the Top 100 Food & Beverage Companies and No. 27 in the Top 100 Businesses in New York. It was the only company in Westchester, Rockland or Putnam counties among the top 500 companies.

The company’s snacks are sold at retail and grocery stores in the Unites States, Canada, and Japan.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, August 14th, 2009 at 1:22 pm
Category: Uncategorized

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Profits fall sharply at Hudson Technologies in 2Q

August
14

Hudson Technologies Inc., a Pearl River-based refrigeration services company, reported net income of $164,000, or 1 cent a share, during the second quarter, worse than the net income of $2.99 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenues decreased 37 percent to $8.3 million.

Chief Executive Officer Kevin J. Zugibe said the results fell well short of expectations.

“Simply put, during the second quarter we continued to experience a decline in the volume of our refrigerant sales due in large part to the unseasonably cold weather in the North and particularly the Northeastern portion of the United States…” he said in a written statement.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, August 14th, 2009 at 12:52 pm
Category: Earnings

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CEO of Heineken USA to step down

August
14

The top executive at Heineken USA is departing at a time when the brewery company is struggling to maintain beer sales during the economic downturn.

Don J. Blaustein will leave his post as president and chief executive officer of the American operations, based in White Plains, on August 31. It marks the second change in top management at the U.S. business in nearly two years.

Amsterdam-based Heineken and other beer makers have faced headwinds during the recession as consumers cut back on alcoholic beverage consumption or shift away from more expensive imported brands such as Heineken.

In April, Heineken announced a sales decline of 16 percent in the Americas region during the first quarter.

“This is not a decision that I made overnight,” Blaustein said in a written statement. “Given my own career aspirations and a different view of how to build our business/portfolio in the current economic climate, I thought it best that we part ways.”

Blaustein could not be reached for additional comment.

He took over the job in October 2007 after an earlier stint as as a vice president of sales at Heineken’s American business.

Heineken said that it will soon name a replacement for Blaustein. John Nicolson, regional president Americas, will oversee the U.S. business on an interim basis.

“I am pleased to work directly with the Heineken USA team until a successor is named,” Nicolson said in a written statement. “They are a talented group and I have all confidence they will excel during this transition.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, August 14th, 2009 at 12:51 pm
Category: Management changes

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Nutrition 21 expects quarterly loss of $4 million

August
13

Nutrition 21 Inc., a nutritional supplements company based in Purchase, said that it expects to report a net loss for its fiscal fourth quarter of about $4 million before taking into account an impairment charge for intangible assets.

Operating profit for the fiscal year is expected to be positive before the impairment charge, the company added. Nutrition 21 said that it expects revenues of about $5.5 million for the quarter.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, August 13th, 2009 at 1:06 pm
Category: Earnings season

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Profits drop at Visant in 2Q

August
13

Visant Corp., an Armonk-based marketer of class rings and high school graduation products, reported net income of $84.5 million for the second quarter, down from net income of $94.2 million a year earlier.

Net sales of $498.8 million dropped from $567.6 million a year earlier.

Chief Executive Officer Marc Reisch said that the company’s marketing and publishing services business was hurt by lower advertising spending. He added that dramatically lower spending by state and local governments “has significantly eroded demand for elementary/high school book components from our publishing services operations. We expect these trends to continue in the third quarter.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, August 13th, 2009 at 12:56 pm
Category: Earnings

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ITT receives $43 million order for enhanced night vision goggles

August
12
ITT Corp., a White Plains-based defense contractor, said that it has received a $43 million order for enhanced night vision goggles and spare parts from the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command Acquisition Center. The order is a followup to an existing contract between the Army and ITT. The company’s night-vision goggle business is based in Roanoke, Va.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 3:47 pm
Category: Contract

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WHI names board member

August
12

WHI Solutions, a Rye Brook-based provider of online products for the automotive industry, said that Al Giombetti has been elected to its board of directors. Giombetti is the former president of Ford Lincoln Mercury and general manager of Ford’s Customer Service Division.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 3:26 pm
Category: Board of directors

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Profits soar at SmartPros in 2Q

August
12

SmartPros Ltd., a Hawthorne-based company that specializes in professional education and corporate training, reported net income of $247,000, or 5 cents a share, during the second quarter, compared to net income of $109,000, or 2 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenues increased 15 percent to $9.1 million.

“SmartPros continues to increase sales, grow operating profits and maintain profitability while continuing to make targeted acquisitions in this tough economy,” Chief Executive Officer Allen Greene said in a written statement.

Posted by Mike Bieger on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 3:17 pm
Category: Uncategorized

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LeCroy reports quarterly loss of $3.4 million

August
12

LeCroy Corp., the Chestnut Ridge oscilloscopes maker, reported a net loss of nearly $3.4 million, or 28 cents a share during its fiscal fourth quarter, worse than the net loss of $810,000, or 7 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenues fell to $27.2 million from $40.7 million a year earlier.

“LeCroy’s fourth-quarter results were consistent with our expectations,” Chief Executive Officer Tom Reslewic said in a written statement. “Reflecting the ongoing global recession, overall market demand was similar to the third quarter. Expected sequential declines in the European market were more than offset by improvements in the U.S. and selected Asian markets.”

LeCroy said that “aggressive restructuring” during the past two quarters has helped the company cut operating expenses and “be properly sized” for a challenging economy.

On the positive side, recent order trends “suggest that our business has stabilized overall, with some pockets of strength emerging as we enter the new fiscal year,” Reslewic said.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 3:05 pm
Category: Earnings

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Pacific Asia Petroleum begins operations at Chinese oil well

August
12

Pacific Asia Petroleum Inc., a Hartsdale-based oil and natural gas company, said that it has started operations at its first oil well in the Liaoning Province of China through the work of its Hong Kong subsidiary and a Chinese partner. Production at additional wells in the province are expected to follow.

“We are targeting hundreds of wells to add to our production portfolio and are aggressively pursuing such opportunities not only in the China market, but elsewhere in Asia,” said Frank C. Ingriselli, president and chief executive officer of Pacific Asia Petroleum.

Ingriselli is a former executive with Texaco Inc., the petroleum giant formerly based in Harrison. He started Pacific Asia Petroleum in 2005 to reach deals to explore for oil and gas in Asia. One of the company’s strategies is to negotiate with national energy companies in China to gain access to oil fields.

Pacific Asia Petroleum said that China may hold more than 20 billion barrels of unrecovered oil that could be extracted with the help of its technology.

Ingriselli said start of operations at the first well “is a significant milestone for our company that will generate cash flow and revenues in the third quarter.” That is earlier than the company previously anticipated.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 12:18 pm
Category: Uncategorized

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PepsiCo buys Brazilian maker of coconut water

August
12

PepsiCo Inc., the Purchase-based beverage and snack food giant, is buying Brazil’s largest coconut water company as it looks to expand its business in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

The acquisition of Amacoco Nordeste Ltda. and Amacoco Sudeste Ltda. also marks another step in PepsiCo’s ongoing efforts to capture additional customers by broadening its beverage portfolio into new categories.

PepsiCo’ food and beverage lineup already includes 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual sales. Executives see promise in adding coconut water to a product mix that also includes soft drinks, Gatorade sports drinks and Tropicana orange juice because coconut water is a popular beverage in Brazil and other countries.

Amacoco makes and sells Kero Coco and Trop Coco, Brazil’s top-selling coconut water brands.

“Amacoco will complement our current business and enhance our growth prospects throughout Latin America and beyond,” Massimo d’Amore, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, said in a written statement. “Even in the nascent U.S. market, coconut water sales are enjoying extraordinary growth.”

PepsiCo touts coconut water as a good source of nutrients that “contains calcium and magnesium, and the same amount of heart healthy potassium as a banana or a glass of orange juice.”

PepsiCo gains contracts with coconut water suupliers and takes over two Brazilian factories as part of the acquisition. The company added that it hopes to expand sales in Brazil and other countries by building on the strength of its own distribution system and a network of independent distributors that currently distribute Kero Coco and Trop Coco.

The acquisition, which must be approved by Brazilian regulators, follows other investments that PepsiCo has made in Latin America. Those include buyouts of of Brazilian snack company Comercio de Doces Lucky Ltda. and the Peruvian snack business Karinto S.A.C.

“Within the last year, PepsiCo has announced plans to invest more than $3.3 billion in Latin America over the next several years,” said Luis Montoya, president of Latin America Beverages for PepsiCo.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 11:58 am
Category: Acquisitions

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CMS Bancorp reports narrower loss

August
11
CMS Bancorp Inc., the White Plains-based parent of Community Mutual Savings Bank, reported a net loss of $119,000, or 7 cents a share, for the quarter ended June 30, an improvement from a net loss of $178,000, or 10 cents a share, a year earlier. “While we experienced a loss in the quarter…we have continued to see improvement in higher net interest income and better management of our costs,” Chief Executivve Officer John Ritacco said in a written statement. He added that the bank’s assets have jumped 18.2 percent since September 30, primarily related to deposit growth iand the opening a new branch in Mount Kisco. The bank’s allowance for loan losses was 0.32 percent of loans at the end of the quarter. “The company continues to see a modest increase in the level of loan delinquencies, primarily due to the high levels of unemployment, but had no non-performing loans,” Ritacco said.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 4:31 pm
Category: Earnings

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MBIA shares fall 13 percent after analyst report

August
11

Shares of MBIA Inc. fell nearly 13 percent today after a Wall Street analyst downgraded the stock and raised questions based about the financial outlook facing the Armonk-based bond insurer.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., which cut its rating on the stock to “underweight” from “neutral,” issued a research report that cited “concerns over earnings quality and potential losses” at MBIA.

The company, hit hard by the home mortgage crisis and the weak housing market, said last week that its insured second-lien residential mortgage loan exposures worsened in the second quarter. The end result was a $353.7 million increase in incurred losses. Shares of MBIA fell 78 cents to $5.39 in regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 4:02 pm
Category: Uncategorized

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Bunge to sell 10 million shares

August
11

Bunge Ltd., the White Plains-based agribusiness giant, expects to raise about $697 million by selling 10 million shares to investors. Bunge said that it expects to use the proceeds from this offering to repay debt and for other corporate purposes. The company added that it expects to grant the offering’s underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.5 million shares to cover over-allotments.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 2:41 pm
Category: Uncategorized

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About this blog
Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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