Business

Dell
6:32 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Dell Grants Billionaire Investor Icahn a Look at the Books

People examine a Dell display at the CeBit conference last week in Hanover, Germany
Dell/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/dellphotos

Dell has agreed to open its books to billionaire investor Carl Icahn. The company’s founder, Michael Dell, is leading a group of investors who want to buy out the company and take it private for $24.4 billion. Several major investors have said that undervalues the Round Rock-based company.

Now, Icahn says he has signed a confidentiality agreement that allows him to dive deeply into Dell’s financial information. Anthony Michael Sabino is a business professor at St. John's University.

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Business
7:17 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

SpaceX Looks to Launch Texas Launch Site

NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim stands inside the Dragon Crew Engineering Model at SpaceX headquarters
SpaceX

The head of SpaceX, Elon Musk, says his commercial spacecraft company has had success in Texas with its rocket-testing facility in MacGregor and he likes the idea of building a Spaceport outside Brownsville.

Musk was in Austin Friday to talk with the Texas House Appropriations Committee.

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Economy
7:47 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Pleasant Surprises: 236,000 Jobs Added; Jobless Rate Dips To 7.7 Percent

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan earlier this month.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 8:54 am

There were 236,000 jobs added to payrolls in February — many more than expected — and the jobless rate unexpectedly dropped by two-tenths of a point, to 7.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

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Business
7:36 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Tesla Puts Electric Cars on Display in Austin

Tesla hopes to take orders for its electric cars at its Austin show space.
Tesla Motors

The electric car maker Tesla is setting up a "gallery" at the Domain shopping center this weekend. It’ll have its new electric cars on display. And while they can’t sell them in Texas without a dealership, the company can show the vehicles and take orders on the Internet.

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Economy
12:50 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

198,000 Jobs Added In February; January Growth Revised Upward

The scene at a job fair in New York City on Feb. 28.
Lucas Jackson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 8:00 am

There were 198,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in February, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report — a privately produced snapshot of the employment picture that's sometimes a signal of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it releases its data from the same month.

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Economy
3:32 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

14,253.77: Dow Rallies, Finishing In Record Territory

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Update at 4:09 p.m. ET. A New Record:

The Dow Industrials finished in record territory today. Gaining 89 points, it closed at 14,253.77, its highest level since Oct. 9,2007.

That is, the Dow has recovered all the losses it suffered during the Great Recession.

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FOOD
1:23 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Nuevo Leon Closes After 31 Years

Longstanding Tex-Mex eatery Nuevo Leon has closed after three decades.
nuevoleoninaustin.com

After 31 years in operation, east end Tex-Mex restaurant Nuevo Leon has closed. 

Owner Rachel Davila left a note on the door this weekend announcing the closure and thanking customers for their years of business. We called Davila and asked her about why she started the restaurant, the changes she’s seen in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, and what she plans for the future.

KUT News: Why are you closing your restaurant?

Rachel Davila: I am retiring and the only way I can retire is to close it and sell it.

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Business
5:25 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Austin Startup That Says You’ll Never Touch Snail Mail Again

With Outbox, a fleet of vehicles "undeliver" subscribers' mail.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

A new digital mail service is making the USPS nervous.

Update (Jan. 21. 2013): Outbox has announced it is ceasing operations. Read more here.

An Austin company is expanding its concept of undoing the work of the United States Postal Service. 

Outbox picks up its customers’ mail, scans it, and makes it available online. The company announced today that it will start serving San Francisco and parts of Silicon Valley, after testing its service in Austin since 2011.

Outbox workers open and scan letters, catalogs and flyers. Customers log in to Outbox’s website to see their – now-digital – mail. You never have to go to your mailbox. The cost? About 5 bucks a month.

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Dell
5:53 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Why is Dell Stock Rising?

Shares of Dell stock closed today at $13.92.

That’s 27 cents per share higher than the price Michael Dell and his co-investors have offered, in their efforts to purchase the computer and IT services company. Why would anyone pay more for the stock than Dell has offered?

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Immigration
3:44 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Half of All Construction Workers May Be Undocumented

The Workers Defense Project interviewed 1,200 construction laborers in Texas.
courtesy flickr.com/carlos

As many as half of Texas construction workers could be undocumented immigrants, according to a study released today.

In the study, the Workers Defense Project examined building permits in five big markets across the state, including Austin. They visited random residential and commercial building projects to survey 1,200 construction workers during lunch breaks or after their shifts.

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Business
1:01 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

In Wal-Mart's Earnings Report, a Lesson on the Tax Code

A Walmart store in Paramount, Calif. in November of 2012.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:31 pm

The New York Times points out something rather interesting about an otherwise mundane business story. Wal-Mart's fourth-quarter earnings report tells the tale of how changes in the tax code has both helped corporations and hurt them.

As the Times puts it, during the fourth quarter of last year, "the tax code gave and the tax code took away."

The paper explains:

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Business
5:56 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Report Finds EU Trade Pact Would Bring Texas Billions

A U.S.-European trade agreement could increase imports and exports.
courtesy Port of Houston

The deputy head of mission of the British Embassy is in Austin this week trying to raise support for a free-trade deal between the U.S. and the European Union.

At the Texas Capitol today, the official, Phillip Barton, said he and the United Kingdom want to make sure the deal is as comprehensive as possible.

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real estate
1:35 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Austin Home Sales Up 33 Percent in January

Fewer homes are on the market than a year ago - and that appears to be driving demand.
flickr.com/digallagher

The number of single-family homes sold in the Austin area rose by 33 percent last month compared with January 2012, according to an analysis of the Multiple Listing Service by the Austin Board of Realtors

The group also says the median price for homes grew by 10 percent over the past year to reach almost $200,000, although experts say those price increases vary wildly from neighborhood to neighborhood.

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Business
9:41 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Law Change Makes It Harder To Unlock Cellphones

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:41 am

Maybe you don't like your mobile phone carrier, but you like your phone and you want to keep it but change providers. An obscure change in federal law makes it illegal to switch without permission from your carrier.

If you have, for example, AT&T, in order to switch to T-Mobile you have to unlock the phone, and AT&T can now stop you from doing that.

The change in the copyright law has some people upset, and they're petitioning the White House for a fix.

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Business
7:55 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Austin Company NetSpend Acquired for $1.4 Billion

Austin-based NetSpend is being acquired for $1.4 billion.
netspend.com

One of the largest public companies in Central Texas is changing hands. Austin-based NetSpend Holdings Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Total System Services (TSYS) for around $1.4 billion.

TSYS is a payment processing company based in Columbus, Georgia. It provides credit solutions to financial institutions, businesses, and governments in more than 80 countries.

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National
7:29 am
Wed February 20, 2013

'It Felt Like An Earthquake': One Still Missing After Kansas City Explosion

Fire fighters and utility workers at the scene of a massive gas explosion and fire Tuesday night in Kansas City, Mo.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:13 am

"It sounded like thunder, but it felt like an earthquake," Tracey Truitt, a lawyer who was working in a nearby building, tells the Kansas City Star about an explosion Tuesday evening that leveled a restaurant in the city's Country Club Plaza.

At least 16 people were injured and as of early this morning one person remained missing, the Star says.

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Business
4:35 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

HeyRide Bought Out by San Francisco Rival

The ride-sharing app HeyRide is now part of SideCar.
courtesy Heyride

SideCar, a San Francisco company that uses smartphones to connect car owners with people who need a ride, has acquired HeyRide, an Austin company that tried to do the same thing.

HeyRide received a cease and desist order in November from the city of Austin. The city said the startup operated like a cab service but didn’t take the same safety and regulatory precautions.

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Business
3:42 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Toyota Settles Its Recall Lawsuit with Texas

The suit involved whether Toyota did enough to notify drivers of dangerous defects.
courtesy flickr.com/danielctw

Toyota has settled with Texas and 29 other states that investigated the car company for dangerous defects that came to light in 2009.

The states investigated whether Toyota adequately disclosed that voluntary recalls included popular models like the Camry, Tundra and Prius.

Toyota is now required to enhance safety procedures, pay back customers, and pay $217,000 in attorneys’ fees for the state of Texas.

Business
6:12 am
Thu February 14, 2013

American, US Airways Boards Approve Merger

A US Airways jet rests on the tarmac near an American Airlines plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:56 am

Update at 6:50 a.m. ET, Feb. 14: News Is Confirmed.

Statements confirming the news that directors of US Airways and American Airlines have agreed to merge the airlines have now been released by both companies.

American says:

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Business
2:49 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Second Dell Shareholder Opposes Buyout

An image from Dell Technology Camp 2013
Dell/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/dellphotos/

Another major shareholder of Dell says the Round Rock-based computer company is shortchanging its shareholders on a buyout offer to take the company private.

T. Rowe Price CEO Brian Rogers said in a statement that the proposal of $13.65 a share "does not reflect the value of Dell and we do not intend to support the offer as put forward.”

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