Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

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Tanzania: Hearing on Business Laws Act Fails to Take Place


2012
03.12

A proposed public hearing on the Business Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, 2011, failed to take place on Thursday as members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Trade and Industry were not satisfied with the turnout of stakeholders, particularly small-scale traders.

The committee Chairman, Mr Mahmoud Mgimwa (Mufindi North-CCM), said, as a result, the committee will inform the Speaker of the National Assembly to remove the Bill from the list of items to be discussed during the Bunge session expected to start next week.

We could not proceed with the public hearing because only three stakeholders turned up, the Bill is crucial for large, medium and small businesses and thus we wouldnt be doing justice to the three groups if we continued with the hearing, Mr Mgimwa said.

It is only representatives from the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) and an organization of petty traders (VIBINDO).

Mr Mgimwa was of the view that for the legislation to be meaningful, it should carry on board views of all concerned stakeholders, particularly petty traders. If the Bill passes in its current form, petty traders will be affected the most, hence it is important for them to be included in the process, the legislator said.

According to some provisions of the bill, any person found to be in possession of counterfeit products will be apprehended and arraigned in a court of law. This means that a petty trader selling fake merchandise on the streets will be more vulnerable since he/she is the one selling the product unlike the producer of the same, he said.

The legislation was supposed to be presented to the National Assembly during the last session last year but it did not go through due a low turnout of stakeholders during a public hearing then. The Deputy Chairman of the parliamentary committee, Mr Gaudence Kayombo (Mbinga East-CCM), said official procedures were underway to inform the Office of the Speaker on the development.

We however call upon all stakeholders to turn up in big numbers next time we call for a public hearing. They should participate in the process by airing their views instead of complaining when the legislation has been passed, the MP remarked. The committee will now arrange another date for a public hearing on the proposed bill so that it can be presented in the august House during its session in April.

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Berks Co. – Lane restrictions on various roads for miscellaneous construction …


2012
02.21

PennDOT announced lane restrictions will be enforced on the following roads in Berks County:

Friedensburg Road between Route 73 and Antietam Road in Oley and Lower Alsace townships, 7 am-3 pm Jan. 23-27 for brush cutting;

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Lehigh & Northampton counties – Lane restrictions for miscellaneous road work …


2012
02.20

PennDOT announced lane restrictions will be enforced on the following sections of Route 22 in Lehigh and Northampton counties for the week of Jan. 23:

Both directions between 13th Street and Route 248 in Easton, 7 am-3 pm Jan. 23-26 for median repair;

Westbound between Route 145 and Airport Road in Whitehall Township, 9 am-2 pm Jan. 24 for bridge inspection;

Westbound between Schoenersville Road and Route 512 in Hanover Township, Northampton County, 9 am-2 pm Jan. 24-25 for crack sealing; and

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Neda unit okays P13.27B for miscellaneous projects


2012
02.19

THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) has recently approved P13.27 billion worth of projects for irrigation, flood control and education that are geared towards promoting agricultural growth, disaster-risk reduction and climate-change adaptation.

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Cat Financial Announces 2011 Year-End Results


2012
02.09

PEORIA, Ill., Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
Cat Financial reported revenues of $2.645 billion, an increase of $93 million, or 4 percent, compared with 2010. Profit after tax was $378 million, a $100 million, or 36 percent, increase from 2010.

The increase in revenues was principally due to a $76 million favorable impact from higher average earning assets (finance receivables and operating leases at constant interest rates), a $54 million favorable impact from miscellaneous net revenue items and a $49 million favorable change from returned or repossessed equipment. These increases in revenue were partially offset by an $86 million unfavorable impact from lower interest rates on new and existing finance receivables.

Profit before income taxes was $504 million for 2011, compared to $329 million for 2010. The increase was principally due to a $54 million favorable impact from miscellaneous net revenue items, a $49 million improvement in net yield on average earning assets, a $49 million favorable change from returned or repossessed equipment, a $37 million decrease in the provision for credit losses and a $28 million favorable impact from higher average earning assets. These increases in pre-tax profit were partially offset by a $54 million increase in general, operating and administrative expense.

The provision for income taxes for 2011 reflects an annual tax rate of 25 percent compared to 19 percent in 2010. The 2011 tax rate was reduced by a benefit of $15 million related to prior years, while the 2010 tax rate was reduced by a benefit of $22 million related to prior years. The annual tax rate increased during 2011 primarily due to changes in our geographic mix of pre-tax profits.

New retail financing was $11.32 billion, an increase of $1.9 billion, or 20 percent, from 2010. The increase was primarily related to improvements in our Asia/Pacific and Mining and North America operating segments.

During 2011, Cat Financial’s overall portfolio quality reflected continued improvement. At the end of 2011, past dues were 2.89 percent, down from 3.54 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2011 and 3.87 percent at the end of 2010.

Write-offs, net of recoveries, were $158 million for the full-year 2011, compared to $237 million for 2010. Full-year 2011 write-offs, net of recoveries, were 0.70 percent of average annual retail portfolio, compared to 1.04 percent in 2010.

At year-end 2011, Cat Financial’s allowance for credit losses totaled $369 million or 1.47 percent of net finance receivables, compared with $363 million or 1.57 percent of net finance receivables at year-end 2010. The overall increase of $6 million in allowance for credit losses during the year reflects a $31 million increase in allowance due to an increase in the Cat Financial net finance receivables portfolio, partially offset by a $25 million decrease associated with the lower allowance rate.

Fourth-Quarter 2011 vs. Fourth-Quarter 2010 Cat Financial reported fourth-quarter 2011 revenues of $662 million, an increase of $29 million, or 5 percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2010. Fourth-quarter profit after tax was $95 million, a $25 million, or 36 percent, increase from the fourth quarter of 2010.

The increase in revenues was principally due to a $35 million favorable impact from higher average earning assets (finance receivables and operating leases at constant interest rates), a $17 million favorable change from returned or repossessed equipment and a favorable impact from miscellaneous net revenue items. These increases in revenue were partially offset by a $34 million unfavorable impact from lower interest rates on new and existing finance receivables.

Profit before income taxes was $111 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $74 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. The increase was principally due to a $17 million favorable change from returned or repossessed equipment, a $13 million favorable impact from higher average earning assets and a $12 million favorable impact from miscellaneous net revenue items. These increases were partially offset by an $18 million increase in general, operating and administrative expense.

The provision for income taxes in the fourth quarter reflects an annual tax rate of 25 percent compared to 19 percent in 2010. The annual tax rate increased primarily due to changes in our geographic mix of pre-tax profits. Additionally, the 2011 fourth-quarter provision for income taxes included a benefit of $18 million related to prior years. The 2010 fourth-quarter provision for income taxes included a $13 million benefit related to a decrease in the 2010 estimated annual effective tax rate.

New retail financing in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $3.0 billion, an increase of $306 million, or 11 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2010. The increase was primarily a result of improvements in our Asia/Pacific and Mining operating segment.

“We are very pleased with the excellent improvement in Cat Financial’s results in 2011. In addition to increased profitability, new retail financing is up 20 percent from 2010 and portfolio performance has significantly improved, with past dues and full-year write-offs at their lowest levels since 2008,” said Kent Adams, Cat Financial president and vice president of Caterpillar Inc. “Our strategy for continued success remains focused on providing an outstanding customer experience for Caterpillar customers and dealers.”

For over 30 years, Cat Financial, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., has been providing financial service excellence to Cat customers. The company offers a wide range of financing alternatives to customers and Cat dealers for Cat machinery and engines, Solar® gas turbines and other equipment and marine vessels. Cat Financial has offices and subsidiaries located throughout the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe, with headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee.

STATISTICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

FOURTH QUARTER 2011 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2010
(ENDED DECEMBER 31)
(Millions of dollars)
2011 2010 CHANGE
Revenues $ 662 $ 633 5%
Profit Before Income Taxes $ 111 $ 74 50%
Profit After Tax $ 95 $ 70 36%
New Retail Financing $ 3,010 $ 2,704 11%
Total Assets $30,112 $28,752 5%

FULL YEAR 2011 VS. FULL YEAR 2010
(ENDED DECEMBER 31)
(Millions of dollars)
2011 2010 CHANGE
Revenues $ 2,645 $ 2,552 4%
Profit Before Income Taxes $ 504 $ 329 53%
Profit After Tax $ 378 $ 278 36%
New Retail Financing $ 11,323 $ 9,458 20%

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTSCertain statements contained in this earnings release may be considered "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may relate to future events or our future financial performance, which may involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievement to be materially different from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements. From time to time, we may also provide forward-looking statements in oral presentations to the public or in other materials we issue to the public. Forward-looking statements give current expectations or forecasts of future events about the company. You may identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate to historical or current facts and may use words such as "believes," "expects," "estimates," "anticipates," "will," "should," "plan," "project," "intend," "could" and similar words or phrases. These statements are only predictions. Actual events or results may differ materially due to factors that affect international businesses, including changes in economic conditions and ongoing challenges in the global financial and credit markets, and change in laws and regulations (including regulations implemented under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) and political stability, as well as factors specific to Cat Financial and the markets we serve, including the market's acceptance of our products and services, the creditworthiness of our customers, interest rate and currency rate fluctuations and estimated residual values of leased equipment. These risk factors may not be exhaustive. We operate in a continually changing business environment, and new risk factors emerge from time to time. We cannot predict these new risk factors, nor can we assess the impact, if any, of these new risk factors on our businesses or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements. Accordingly, forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as a prediction of actual results. Moreover, we do not assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of those statements. All of the forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the factors discussed under the captions "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, and similar sections in our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q that describe risks and factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Cat Financial undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You may, however, consult any related disclosures we may make in our subsequent filings with the SEC.

SOURCE Cat Financial

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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Letter: Smorgasbord of various and miscellaneous thoughts


2012
02.06

Bob Gernot, Port St. Lucie

Letter: Smorgasbord of various and miscellaneous thoughts

If I had a nickel for every time that I said, I cant take it anymore, I could buy a new Rolls-Royce (luxury edition).

Hey Slats, why is it that very few preachers in the area write letters to the editor? American pastors hide in their comfort zones of preaching to the choir, replies Slats.

As for myself, I am so smart because experience is the best of teachers.

Once a body gets past the smorgasbord of baloney and hoopla propaganda readily served up on the radio and TV and The Associated Press, you will actually notice that real life is quite serious.

Wisdom, a byproduct of actual and costly experience, has taught little old me that many people in this nation are not under God. They worship dead presidents on a dollar bill and the collection plate more so than life after death. There is absolutely no outer limit to what some people will do for money. Heck, throw in provisions and an underground bomb shelter and the baby goes out with the bath water! The surest way to wipe the smile off their faces is to ask them to help you with 25 or 30 cents for some gasoline. That smile they just displayed will beat-feet!

Please dont even get me started about those who steal in the name of the Lord! These are those were up against; deliver us from evil, thy government come, thy will be done.

Treat your neighbor as youd like to be treated? Shoot, bang, explode — tell it to a child.

Were all cousins, because were all children of Adam and Evil (Eve).

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T-shirt maker has dual motive: Doing well, doing good


2012
01.31

LOS ANGELES — At Sevenly, a business started by young entrepreneurs in Fullerton, Calif., a key to the operation is the number seven.

Each line of T-shirts and hoodies designed by the company goes on sale for exactly seven days. No more, no less.

The company donates to seven causes: anti-slavery, hunger relief, clean water, medical help, disaster relief, anti-poverty and miscellaneous aid.

And for every item sold, Sevenly donates – you guessed it – $7.

Its a great number, said co-founder Dale Partridge, who holds the title of chief world changer. We just happened to be able to break down the worlds greatest issues into seven causes, seven days in a week, etc.

It had tons of parallel brand play.

Partridge, in the hallowed tradition of entrepreneurs, is always looking for an edge and an opportunity. At 26, he already has created and sold a small fitness company, and he currently co-owns a chain of rock climbing gyms in Californias Inland Empire.

The hook at Sevenly, which he co-founded last year with Aaron Chavez, 19, goes beyond the number gimmick. The company is following a recent trend in business models – for-profit firms that donate a major percentage of their revenue to charitable causes.

In Sevenlys case, its nearly 30 percent. That might seem like a huge cut of revenue, but its also a way to generate sales.

Consumers want to do business with brands who do good, said Loren Solomon, founder of Advertising for Good, an agency that creates marketing campaigns for nonprofits.

Since launching in June, Sevenly has sold more than 29,000 items and donated more than $200,000 to charities including Cure Childhood Cancer in Atlanta; the International Justice Mission, which fights sex trafficking abroad; and Hope International, which provides micro-financing for developing businesses in Africa.

Toms Shoes in Santa Monica, Calif., is one of the best known companies built on a social-good business model. For every pair of shoes sold, the company – founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie – donates a pair for a child in a Third World country.

For some customers, wearing Toms has become as much a fashion statement as a public proclamation that theyre socially responsible.

Its cool to be socially good today, said Aradhna Krishna, a University of Michigan professor who studies cause marketing.

A consumer study last year by the Cone Communications public relations agency found that 80 percent of those surveyed said they would be likely to switch to a brand associated with a good cause if product price and quality were comparable.

In the 18-to-24 age group – commonly called millennials – 53 percent had purchased a product or service tied to a cause in the last year.

Sevenly, which has a staff of 12 including the founders, has had $700,000 in sales since its inception, Partridge said. Even with giving away nearly 30 percent to causes, he said the company makes a small profit.

Were not swimming in the green, but were doing well, Partridge said.

The idea for the business was born in Partridges living room in Corona, Calif., in April when he and Chavez, who had dropped out of junior college to become a social media consultant, began brainstorming about how to blend charity, social media and e-commerce.

Whats the point of having a business thats not doing anything for the community? Partridge asked.

The two friends wanted to create a business that could raise money and awareness for a variety of charities that had on-the-ground resources to put donations to use in a meaningful way.

Once a charity is identified, Sevenlys designers create typography and images to go onto stock T-shirts and hoodies. For example, clothing designed for a recent sale that gave funds to Girls Educational Mentoring Services, or GEMS – a nonprofit that aids young women who have been sexually exploited – said Girls Are Not For Sale.

Like any nonprofit, we are always looking for new ways to get our message out there and fundraise, said Bianca Baquerizo of GEMS. Sevenly did that on both fronts.

Items designed for a Sevenly campaign are sold for seven days exclusively on its website. T-shirts go for $22 and hoodies are $35.

The sale is promoted via Sevenlys social media outlets, but the company also asks the causes to promote the campaigns through their own Facebook pages and tweets.

For its week in the Sevenly spotlight, GEMS, based in Harlem, NY, got $16,000. Not a huge amount, but the nonprofit also benefited from being featured on the Sevenly site.

Because they have a lot of followers, they brought a lot of attention to our cause, Baquerizo said. There are more people now who know about GEMS.

And, of course, it works both ways – people who visited the GEMS site that week were exposed to Sevenlys business.

Chavez said 85 percent of the companys sales are driven by social media.

I think its really exciting, said Solomon of Advertising for Good. Theyve tapped into the zeitgeist of social media.

Partridge said Sevenly expects to hit $1.4 million in sales in its first year of operation. Eventually he and Chavez hope to grow the company to the point where it has about 30 employees and yearly revenue of $30 million.

But maybe not more than that. Getting too big would mean a loss of hands-on control, whether in designing the products or working with nonprofits.

Wed like to stay small and efficient, Partridge said. That way we can make the most impact.

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Don Hails Passage Of University Miscellaneous Provision Act By Senate


2012
01.30

Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke of the Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia, has commended the Senate for passing the University Miscellaneous Provision Act on the retiring age of professors.

Osodeke said that passing the law was one of the necessary steps toward resolving the ongoing ASUU strike.

The Senate at its plenary on Wednesday passed the bill that seeks to extend the retirement age of university professors from 65 years to 70 years.

The Senate President David Mark, after the passage, said that it had become imperative for ASUU to call off the strike and go back to the classrooms.

But Osodeke, a former Chairman of ASUU, said in Umuahia that the move was not enough to suspend the strike.

He said that though the Senate had shown good cause towards the resolution of the ASUU/FGN face-off, the passage of the bill was just one of the issues that led to the impasse.

The professor said that members of the academia had been canvassing for the upward review of retirement age of professors since 2009.

He said, I hope that President Goodluck Jonathan will be persuaded to follow the path of reason and assent to the bill.

But the major issue that led to the strike has not been resolved and until that is done I doubt if the strike will be suspended.

The professor of Soil Science said that the major issue, which bordered on funding of the universities in the country, was yet to be addressed.

He regretted that universities in the country were grossly underfunded, adding that the situation had led to the dilapidation of facilities at various institutions of higher learning.

Osodeke said it was shameful that our country that prided itself as the giant of Africa, could not boast of world class universities.

He said the latest rating of universities in Africa; it was shocking that no university in the country was among the first three.

Osodeke said that the academia was fighting for a good course, adding that they were committed to the advancement of the universities in the country.


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