14.1.29 gongwer news service ohio report january hiring release

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14.1.29 gongwer news service ohio report january hiring release

  1. 1. Gongwer News Service, Ohio Report Volume #83, Report #19 -- Wednesday, January 29, 2014 Ohio Business: Fourth Quarter Earnings Up For AK Steel, M/I Homes, PolyOne; AT&T Still Hiring Ohioans; Kroger; AEP; Hercules; Bob Evans AK Steel had a much better fourth quarter last year than the previous fourth quarter, reporting net income of $35.2 million, or $0.26 per diluted share of common stock, compared to a net loss of $230.4 million during that time period in 2012. The West Chester-based company reported $87.2 million, or $61 per ton, in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to $16.8 million, or $12 per ton, for the fourth quarter of 2012. The results were also an improvement over a third quarter 2013 net loss of $31.7 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, and the third quarter's adjusted EBITDA of $53.5 million, or $43 per ton, AK Steel said. Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2013 were $1.46 billion on shipments of 1.42 million tons, compared to net sales of $1.42 billion for the fourth quarter a year ago. The fourth quarter increase in shipments from the prior year fourth quarter was primarily due to stronger demand in automotive sales, partially offset by lower carbon shipments to the spot market, the company said. "I am delighted with our fourth quarter 2013 results and our strong finish to the year 2013," said AK Steel's President and CEO James Wainscott said in a statement. "As we enter 2014, we will build upon our solid foundation for the future as we continue to make progress and add value to AK Steel." For the full year, AK Steel reported a net loss of $46.8 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of more than $1 billion, or $9.06 per diluted share, for 2012. Sales for 2013 were $5.57 billion, a decrease of 6% compared to $5.93 billion for 2012, and shipments were 5.3 million tons, a decrease of 3% from the previous year as a result of lower shipments to the carbon spot market. The average selling price for 2013 was $1,056 per ton, approximately 3% lower than the $1,092 per ton reported for 2012. The lower average selling price for full-year 2013 was primarily due to lower spot market selling prices in the first half of 2013, lower selling prices for electrical steel and reduced raw material surcharges, partially offset by a more favorable mix of value-added products, AK Steel said. M/I Homes, Inc.: The Columbus-based company reported net income of $14.3 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2013, a significant boost over net income of $5.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. For the 2013 year M/I Homes reported net income of $38.6 million (excluding a non-operating benefit of $112.8 million from the reversal of a majority of our deferred tax asset valuation allowance), or $1.32 per diluted share, compared to $13.3 million, or $0.67 per diluted share for 2012.
  2. 2. New contracts for 2013's fourth quarter totaled 793, an 18% increase from 2012's fourth quarter. For 2013, new contracts increased 25% to 3,787 compared to the previous year. M/I Homes CEO and President Robert Schottenstein said 2013 was a very good year for the company, with pre-tax income increasing more than 200%, revenue growth of 36% and new contracts, homes delivered, backlog units, and backlog sales value each improving by over 25% from 2012. "While our results were aided by improving housing market conditions, they also reflect our success in strategically shifting and diversifying our geographic footprint," he said. "In 2013, we also gained market share in nearly all of our markets as we opened 65 new communities and increased our community count by 20% from a year-ago. With our fourth quarter new contracts up 18%, we ended 2013 with 315 more units in backlog and a 44% increase in backlog sales value than in 2012," he said. PolyOne Earnings: PolyOne Corporation reported $924 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013, a 42% increase compared to $651 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. GAAP earnings per share totaled $0.25 in the fourth quarter of 2013, versus $0.03 in the fourth quarter of 2012, the Avon Lake polymer company said. Full year revenue in 2013 was $3.8 billion, 32% higher than 2012, primarily driven by the acquisitions of Spartech and Glasforms, the company said. GAAP earnings per share were $2.53 for the full year, which included the gain on the sale of the non-core resin assets in May 2013. "I am extremely pleased with our fourth quarter performance, which brings to a close another record year for PolyOne," President and CEO Stephen Newlin said. "Due to our unwavering focus on executing our four pillar strategy, we have now delivered 17 quarters of consecutive double-digit adjusted earnings per share growth, with a compounded annual growth rate of 24%, a distinguished performance that all of our associates are justifiably proud of." AT&T: The telecommunications giant is still looking to fill about 300 jobs in Ohio, including nearly 200 new positions after hiring nearly 840 Ohioans in the first ten months of 2013. In the first half of 2013, AT&T invested more than $225 million in its Ohio networks as a part of Project Velocity IP, a three-year investment plan announced in 2012 to expand and enhance IP broadband networks. The company deployed new macro cell sites, small cells and Distributed Antenna Systems across the state and expanded and enhanced its 4G LTE network. The first half 2013 network investment builds on the more than $1.5 billion that AT&T spent on its Ohio wireless and wired networks from 2010 through 2012, according to the company. "AT&T continues to expand its customer base in Ohio and invest in our network to ensure we are providing the high level of service customers have come to expect of the nation's fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network," AT&T Ohio President Adam Grzybicki said. "As part our commitment to this level of customer service and to support our growth in Ohio we are pleased to have the opportunity to welcome about 300 Ohioans to the AT&T family." Military veterans and their families will get special attention as part of the company's effort to hire 10,000 service members across the country in the next five years.
  3. 3. "I'm happy to see AT&T increasing their infrastructure and workforce investment in Ohio by directly investing in our military veterans. They're a company that clearly recognizes the unique skills that veterans have to offer in any number of fields," Ohio Department of Veterans Services Director Timothy Gorrell said. "Jobs in the communications industry offer a great opportunity for veterans to showcase what they can do. Both AT&T and our state will be well served to see veterans counted in the numbers of Ohioans hired by the company." Kroger Merger: The Kroger Co. and Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. announced completion of the merger transaction between the two companies this week. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Harris Teeter shareholders will receive $49.38 per share of Harris Teeter common stock. "This merger brings the exceptional Harris Teeter brand and a complementary base of stores in attractive markets to the Kroger family. We have long respected Harris Teeter's customer orientation, friendly and professional associates, strong management team, and company values which are consistent with ours. Together, through our Customer 1st Strategy, we are going to be an outstanding combination," Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said. Thomas Dickson, the outgoing chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc., stated, "We are excited that Kroger, one of the best food retailers in the U.S., has recognized the value in Harris Teeter. This successful transaction is, first and foremost, a tribute to our outstanding management teams and associates." The transaction allows Kroger to expand with the Harris Teeter brand and a base of 227 stores in the fast-growing southeastern and mid-Atlantic markets and in Washington, D.C. Harris Teeter also operates distribution centers for grocery, frozen and perishable foods and a dairy facility in North Carolina. Harris Teeter, which reported revenues of $4.7 billion for fiscal year 2013, will continue to operate its stores under the Harris Teeter brand name as a subsidiary of The Kroger Co. AEP & Lima: AEP Ohio and the city of Lima are partnering to help residents and businesses reduce energy use and costs through a pilot program called Community Energy Savers, which promotes the utility's energy efficiency programs. "AEP Ohio continually seeks to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. That's why we are enthusiastic about joining with communities in our new Energy Savers program," said Jon Williams, energy efficiency and consumer programs manager for AEP Ohio. With the city of Lima, AEP has established a goal of 750 participants by June 30. If this goal is reached in time, the city will use the incentive award from AEP Ohio to complete energy efficiency lighting upgrades at Simmons Field, home of the Lima Locos and other areas baseball teams. "We are excited to partner with AEP Ohio on Lima Energy Savers and help our residents and businesses become more energy efficient," says Howard Elstro, Lima's director of public works. "In addition, we look forward to the opportunity to improve the lighting quality and efficiency at Simmons Field for continued use by the Locos, other regional baseball teams and all of the fans."
  4. 4. Hercules Tire: American Tire Distributors, Inc. announced this week that it has reached an agreement to acquire all of the capital stock of the Findlay-based Hercules Tire & Rubber Company, a leading marketer of replacement tires. "Hercules is a well-run company with an outstanding reputation in the industry," William Berry, president and CEO of American Tire Distributors said. "Joining forces with the Hercules team is a very positive step for American Tire Distributors." American Tire Distributors is one of the largest independent suppliers of tires to the North American replacement tire market, with 130 distribution centers serving about 70,000 customers in the U.S. and Canada. Bob's Bylaws: Bob Evans Farms' Board of Directors amended the company's bylaws to lower the voting threshold required for stockholders to amend most provisions of the bylaws from 80% to a majority vote of the holders of the common stock outstanding. The sole exception to the majority vote standard would be those provisions that required an 80% stockholder vote for amendment pursuant to the bylaws as last amended at the 2011 Annual Meeting. The board intends to propose to stockholders to eliminate these exceptions at the 2014 Annual Meeting. Other changes: eliminate the concept of "continuing directors" and the corresponding restrictions on the board from taking certain actions; and eliminate provisions that would prohibit a director-nominee from receiving compensation, reimbursement or indemnification from any person other than the company in connection with service as a director of the company. The company also said that a search process for additional independent directors has been underway since August 2013, with the assistance of an independent search firm. The company expects one to three new independent directors joining the board at or prior to the 2014 Annual Meeting.

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