Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Press Pass: Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wal-Mart Surging

One of the world’s largest businesses is not only surviving the recession but also thriving in it.  Forbes is reporting that retail giant Wal-Mart is recording record sales during the hard economic times.  While most retailers have been struggling to stay afloat Wal-Mart has seen a flood of customers attracted by low prices.  The retailer reported a company record of $108 billion in sales during the fourth quarter.  Wal-Mart stock has been going up in value, ending trading with a gain of nearly 4% today.

SiriusXM Saved

Satellite radio customers can breathe a sigh of relief; their radios won’t be going silent for a while.  Bloomberg is reporting that Sirius XM Radio narrowly avoided bankruptcy thanks to a $530 million loan.  The money is coming from Liberty Media Corporation in exchange for stake in the company.   Sirius XM has over $3 billion in debt that has increasingly put pressure on the company to act.  Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin said the company might have had to declare bankruptcy today if not for the last minute loan.

Trump Entertainment Goes Down

It seems like Donald Trump can’t win them all.  According to CNNmoney casino operator Trump Entertainment has filed for bankruptcy just four days after the Donald resigned as chairman.    The company is just one of many gambling companies facing trouble during the recession.  While gambling usually increases during rough times, analysts say consumers are unwilling to spend the money to get to casinos, which has cut into earnings.  Today’s announcement caused Trump stock to plummet 35% to 15 cents a share.

Starbucks Unveils Quicker, Cheaper Coffee

Good news for cash strapped coffee lovers.  Market Watch is reporting that Starbucks has announced the production of a new instant coffee.  Ready Brew is supposed to be just like fresh brewed Starbucks coffee, and will be sold for about one-dollar a packet.  The announcement is just the latest step in a campaign by Starbucks to reach out to consumers unwilling to pay for premium coffee during a recession.  Starbucks has also announced plans to add a value menu that will let customers pair lattes with select items.

Obama Coming To Phoenix

President Obama will be landing in Phoenix at 5:15 this afternoon.  The Arizona Republic reports that the president is coming to town to make a speech supporting his economic-recovery plan and its potential affect on the housing market.  The President will speak at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning at Dobson High School in Mesa.  Officials are asking the public to stay away from Sky Harbor as the President won’t be visible during his trip through the airport.  The President will leave Phoenix around noon tomorrow.

Wedding Bells Ring Once Again \