Texas named the number one wind energy state
Texas in 2007 extended its lead as the nation’s No. 1 wind-energy state and hosts four of the nation’s five biggest wind farms, says a new report by the American Wind Energy Association. Still, the proportion of electricity produced by wind in Texas is below a number of other states. Here’s a look at how the states stack up.
In megawatts and as a percent of state’s total electricity generated (a megawatt is 1 million watts):
Texas 4,446 (2.0 percent)
California 2,439 (2.6 percent)
Minnesota 1,299 (4.6 percent)
Iowa 1,271 (5.5 percent)
Washington 1,163 (2.0 percent)
Capacity added in 2007
Largest wind projects in operation
Horse Hollow, Texas 736
Sweetwater, Texas 585
Peetz Table, Colorado 401
Capricorn Ridge, Texas 364
Buffalo Gap, Texas 353
Source: American Wind Energy Association
Sally Beauty Holdings doubles second-quater net income
By The Associated Press
Denton-based Sally Beauty Holdings doubled its fiscal second-quarter net income noting its “recession resistant nature,” but sales were hurt by foreign currency exchange rates.
The beauty supply retail and wholesale company reported net income of $24.6 million, or 13 cents a share, in the period ended March 31, compared with net income of $12.4 million, or 7 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.
Analyst surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 10 cents a share.
Same-store sales, or sales from stores open at least a year, increased 2.1 percent.
Total sales fell slightly to $641.5 million from $643.3 last year, offset by new store growth, but below the analyst consensus forecast of $650.9 million.
Sally Beauty Supply ended the quarter with 2,873 Sally Beauty Supply stores, an increase of 134 stores from a year ago. The company also operated 934 Beauty Systems Group stores, adding 29 over the past 12 months. Stores are located in the U.S., U.K., Belgium, France, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Japan, Ireland, Spain and Germany.
“Our solid financial results in the second quarter reflect strong operational performance and further demonstrate the recession resistant nature of our business,” said Gary Winterhalter, president and chief financial officer.
Sally Beauty heads into the second half of its fiscal year, and officials remain calm.
“We remain cautiously optimistic as economic conditions remain challenging,” Winterhalter said.”
The company ended the quarter with $104.7 million in cash and has no borrowings on its revolving bank loan and $1.7 billion in long-term debt.
Exxon Mobil Corp.’s first quarter earnings fell 58%
By JOHN PORRETTO AP Energy Writer
Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday first-quarter earnings fell 58 percent from a year ago, its lowest profit in more than five years, as the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company saw crude and gas prices fall precipitously.
The quarterly profit also fell short of Wall Street expectations and company shares fell 3 percent.
Exxon Mobil, based in Irving, Texas, said earnings for the first three months of the year came to $4.6 billion, or 92 cents a share, down from $10.9 billion, or $2.02 a share, a year ago. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for net income of 95 cents a share.
The last time Exxon had lower earnings was the third quarter of 2003, when its net income was $3.65 billion.
Revenue tumbled 45 percent to $64 billion from $116.9 billion a year ago. Analysts, on average, had forecast revenue of about $54 billion.
Yet even as many producers postpone or even cancel some oil and gas projects, Exxon increased capital spending in the first quarter by 5 percent from a year ago, evidence of its strong balance sheet. Exxon has said its capital spending this year is expected to reach $29 billion, up from $26.1 billion in 2008.
“In spite of the dramatic changes to the global economic environment, Exxon Mobil is maintaining its long-term focus and disciplined approach to capital investment,” Rex Tillerson, the company’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
Exxon also spent $7.9 billion buying back its own shares during the quarter.
The profit falloff was no surprise given the steep drop in oil and natural gas prices from a year ago. This time last year crude was in the triple digits, in the midst of a historic ride to almost $150 a barrel. But prices spent the rest of the year retreating and have hovered around $50 a barrel since March.
Still, anytime Exxon Mobil reports such a big profit decline, it’s likely to prompt a double-take. Just three months ago, it posted a $45.2 billion profit for all of 2008, breaking its own earnings record for a U.S. company.
The oil giant, which replaced Wal-Mart atop the 2009 Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies, has made a habit of setting quarterly and annual profit marks in the past few years amid rising commodity prices.
It’s a different story these days.
Exxon, which pumps 3 percent of the world’s oil, said earnings at its exploration and production, or upstream, business fell 60 percent to $3.5 billion. The company said lower crude prices reduced earnings by about $4.4 billion, while falling natural gas prices lowered results by about $500 million.
Overall production was roughly flat from a year ago.
On the refining and marketing side, earnings were down about 8 percent from a year ago to $1.1 billion. The company said it was hurt in part by lower volumes and higher operating expenses, although margins improved.
Exxon wasn’t alone reporting sharply lower year-over-year profits among major oil companies. The numbers were even uglier for ConocoPhillips (down 80 percent) and Europe’s BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (both down 62 percent.) Chevron Corp., the No. 2 U.S. oil company behind Exxon, is scheduled to report earnings Friday.
Also Thursday, Marathon Oil Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. integrated oil company, said its profits for the first three months of 2009 fell 61 percent.
Exxon shares fell $2.17 to $66.27 on Thursday.
U. S goverment awards $60.3 million contract to Bell
hBy BOB COX
Bell Helicopter has been awarded a $60.3 million contract by the U.S. government for 24 helicopters that will be provided to the Iraqi air force as part of a planned larger arms sale to that country.
Bell will supply the civil Model 407 helicopters to the U.S. Army, which will modify them for military use as armed scout helicopters. The aircraft are produced at Bell’s civil helicopter assembly plant in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, but contain key parts and components manufactured at Bell plants in Tarrant County. The contract includes an option to purchase up to 26 additional helicopters.
The Pentagon news release said 55 percent of the contract would be performed by Bell locally, but a company spokesman said he didn’t know how that number was arrived at.
In February, the Army purchased three Model 407s from Bell that are being used as prototype aircraft for the development and testing of the required military modifications. Once the Army has finished testing the prototype aircraft, the military modifications will be applied to the 24 production aircraft before they are delivered to the Iraqi air force.
Bell , with its solid backlog of military orders, is one of the few bright spots for parent company Textron. Bell revenue grew 29 percent in the first quarter, while Textron’s revenue overall fell 24 percent.
Textron’s biggest division, business jet maker Cessna Aircraft Co. in Wichita, Kan., is being hammered by a swift decline in orders for new planes and cancellations of planes already in production.
Cessna had 92 jet orders canceled in the quarter, half of them planes that were to be delivered this year. The company now expects to deliver 300 planes this year. That compares with 476 plane deliveries last year and an original 2009 target of more than 500.
Textron CEO Lewis Campbell said the company is focused on generating cash to pay down some of the $6.5 billion in debt that it has coming due this year and next.
Campbell had warned in February that it was possible that Textron could have to sell one of its prime divisions, such as Bell, if it was unable to generate enough cash to meet debt commitments or refinance the debt. But Wednesday he said the company was ahead of schedule in raising cash.
“We intend to complete our plan without selling any of our core assets,” Campbell said in the conference call.
Textron’s financial performance and plans to raise more than $500 million by selling new debt and common stock were not greeted warmly on Wall Street. Textron shares (ticker: TXT) dropped 39 cents to $10.81 a share. Fitch Ratings cut Textron’s credit rating to junk bond territory, while Moody’s and S&P cut the rating to just one notch above junk.
This report includes material from wire services.
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