Business

Dell
2:42 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Blackstone Pulls Dell Offer

Dell's bid may be the only one left.
Flickr.com/Oracle_Photos_Screenshots

Michael Dell may be the last man standing as he fights to take his company private.  Today, rival bidder The Blackstone Group dropped out.

It was David Johnson, formerly Michael Dell’s key turnaround executive, who led the Blackstone offer.  Johnson left Dell in January.  Today his group withdrew its bid, saying in a letter obtained by the Wall Street Journal that Dell’s outlook and finances are worse than they thought.

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Business
5:50 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Casinos in Texas? It Might Happen Sooner Than You Think

John Carona speaks to members of the media Monday afternoon at the Capitol.
Bobby Blanchard, KUT News

Texas voters would decide whether or not casinos would be allowed in the state, if state lawmakers approve a referendum that would amend the state Constitution.

State Senator John Carona (R-Dallas) said his proposal would allow 21 casinos to be distributed throughout the state, and would create a gambling commission. Carona, the author of the bill, said it is time Texas allows for casinos and slot machines, so the state doesn't fall behind other states economically.

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Business
4:03 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz Discusses Business with Austin Chamber (Update)

Senator Ted Cruz spoke to the Austin Chamber of Commerce today.
KUT News

Update: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz says he's not giving up his attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Cruz spoke at a sold out luncheon hosted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce Friday. Topics ranged from  healthcare reform and the economy to Cruz's cowboy boots and reputation as a "bomb thrower."

Cruz deflected the question about his "bomb throwing" reputation and instead touted his ability to follow through on campaign promises and get things done in Washington. 

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Real Estate
3:26 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Austin-Area Home Starts Up 27 Percent

Garreth Wilcock/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/gjmj/5793428199/

New home construction is up by 27 percent in the Austin area, according to MetroStudy. The real estate tracking firm says there were 1,952 starts in the first three months of the year. That’s 413 more than the same quarter last year.

MetroStudy’s Austin market director Madison Inselmann says the surge in new building is helping to lift pay for construction workers.

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Business
2:22 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

What's Next for RunTex? Retail May Become Less of a Priority

RunTex owner Paul Carrozza says he's not sure if selling shoes will remain the focus of his business.
twitter.com/RunTex

RunTex is losing its prime store location on Riverside Drive and South First Street. The Austin-American Statesman reports the company is being evicted because they didn’t pay the $20,000/month rent. But there’s also the fact that the location is reportedly set to become a mixed-use development.

As far as criticism of his business decisions go, RunTex owner Paul Carrozza told KUT News he’s learned a “valuable lesson and an expensive lesson around expansion and what it takes to go from one store to five stores.”

Looking forward, Carrozza says RunTex will continue its commitment to fitness and creating a healthier Austin. He says that may mean that retail sales become less of a priority.

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Business
4:22 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Women's Wage Gap Persists in Texas

Pay for women in Texas, especially for non-Anglos, lags behind that of men.
Todd Wiseman & Mikhail Popov, Texas Tribune

Women working full-time in Texas earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to a new analysis of Census figures by the National Women’s Law Center.

The Center's senior counsel Liz Watson says it compares with a nationwide average of 77 cents, but the overall number masks some racial disparities.

economy
7:18 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Austin Unemployment: 5.4 Percent

Construction saw the largest percentage gain in Austin metro job growth.
KUT News

The Austin metro area’s unemployment rate is down almost one percentage point from a year ago, according to numbers released Friday. The jobless rate in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area was 5.4 percent in February. That compares with 6.2 percent from a year ago.

The industry sector with the largest percentage gain was construction. For real estate analyst Mark Sprague with Independence Title, it comes as no surprise.

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Economy
4:02 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

S&P 500 Closes at All Time High

A trader on floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 25, 2013. U
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 3:31 pm

The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index broke new ground today, closing at 1,569, an all-time high that erased the record set on Oct. 9, 2007.

The S&P joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which broke its 2007 record earlier this month.

Both indices have now recovered all the losses they suffered during the Great Recession.

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Economy
8:14 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Slow but Better Than Thought: 4th Quarter GDP Revised Up Again

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 9:22 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 0.4 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2012, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

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Business
6:16 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

New Offers For Dell

A briefing center used by Dell executives
Dell

Michael Dell may need to increase a $24.4 billion offer to buy out one of the largest employers in Central Texas. That’s after two new acquisition offers emerged today for Round Rock-based Dell.

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Business
6:14 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Dell Deadline Nears

One of Dell's data storage systems, the EqualLogic Storage Systems
Dell

Round Rock-based Dell is facing a key deadline tonight in efforts to take the company private. A so-called “go shop” time period ends at midnight, when a Dell special committee will stop actively seeking alternative bids to the current $24.4 billion buyout offer.

But St. John’s University business law professor Anthony Sabino says the buyout is not a done deal at midnight.

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Austin City Council
6:20 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Council Delays Vote on Project Duration Ordinance (Update)

At a press conference on Wednesday, Save Our Springs Alliance director Bill Bunch said repealing expirations could harm Austin.
KUT News

Update: The Austin City Council decided to delay their vote Thursday night, citing concerns that they did not have enough information.

City staff will return next week with a sampling of how many properties repealing the Project Duration Ordinance would affect. Mayor Lee Leffingwell was the only council member against the delay last night.

Original Story (March 20, 7:22 p.m.): Permits for building projects may lose their expiration dates, depending on a vote at Thursday’s City Council Meeting.

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Business
6:37 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Why Fredericksburg Could Be In For a Great Peach Crop This Year

The cool winter may mean sweeter peaches this summer.
@Cevola Flickr/http://flickr.com/21444245@N00

Fredericksburg peach trees are just starting to bloom, and growers in the Hill Country are cautiously optimistic about this year’s crop.

The cool weather early in the year that can lead to especially sweet peaches also can ruin them if there’s a cold snap too late in the season.

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Economy
4:07 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Fewer Texas Workers Earning Minimum Wage Or Less

Below-minimum wage work dropped in 2012.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fewer Texans are earning minimum wage or less. The number dropped by 21,000 last year to 452,000 people in Texas earning no more than $7.25 an hour. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analyst Cheryl Abbot says the decline reflects the fact that the minimum wage hasn’t gone up since 2009.

“Every time it did bump, we saw a larger share of workers receiving the minimum wage or less,” Abbot said. “Now that those increases have fallen off a bit, we’re seeing that share start to decline.”

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Business
3:35 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Beer Distributors, Craft Brewers Reach Tentative Deal

Brew pubs like Austin's Black Star Coop would be allowed to sell beer in stores under the tentative compromise.
Flickr/BackAmp http://www.flickr.com/photos/backamp/6036402206/in/pool-austinbeer

Following a week of tense negotiations, a divided beer industry reached a compromise Monday on legislation to amend the state's alcoholic beverage code, beating a deadline set by state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, the Senate Business and Commerce Committee chairman. But the parties aren't disclosing any details until the official language is hammered out this week. 

“When I started working on this four years ago, no one would listen to me,” Scott Metzger, the legislative chairman of the Craft Brewers Guild, which is pushing to loosen restrictions on small brewpubs in the state. “Today, we have a deal.”

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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, Report Shows; 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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