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24 posts from April 2013

04/30/2013

First-quarter profits decline 28 percent at Del Frisco's

First-quarter profits at Del Frisco's Restaurant Group declined by 28 percent as sales growth was soft and the Southlake-based steakhouse chain spent money to open new units, the company said today.

Net income totaled $3.6 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, compared to $5 million, or 18 cents a year ago, a year ago.

Consolidated revenue was up 13 percent to $59.8 million, including five new restaurants added since the first quarter of 2012. But total comparable restaurant sales decreased by 0.5 percent, including a decline of 4 percent at Sullivan's and a gain of 1.9 percent at Del Frisco's.

CEO Mark S. Mednansky said sales were soft early in the quarter due to macro-economic factors and adverse weather affecting some high-grossing locations, but picked up significantly during March. "In fact, all three brands generated positive traffic during the last four weeks of the first quarter and that momentum continued into our April fiscal period as well," Mednansky said in a statement.

While new restaurants are performing well "from a top-line perspective," they did weigh down profits during the quarter, Mednansky said, and the company "did not efectively manage operating costs when sales were softest, particularly at Sullivan's."

The company reiterated guidance for fiscal 2013, predicting comparable restaurant sales growth of 1.5% to 2.5%, and adjusted earnings per share of 92 to 96 cents.

As of March 19, Del Frisco's Restaurant Group operated 10 Del Frisco's, 19 Sullivan's and 6 Del Frisco's Grille locations.

-- Steve Kaskovich

04/26/2013

Fewer FW-Arlington homeowners falling behind on mortgage loans

The mortgage loan delinquency rate for the Fort Worth-Arlington area fell to 4.5 percent from 5.2 percent in February from a year ago, according to CoreLogic.

The delinquency rate is the percent of loans that are more than 90 days late. The area includes Tarrant, Wise, Parker and Johnson counties.

In Texas, the delinquency rate fell to 3.9 percent from 4.6 percent in Feburary from February 2012, CoreLogic said. Nationwide, the rate fell to 6.1 percent from 7.1 percent.

_ Sandra Baker

04/25/2013

Cash America earnings up as online operations grow

Fort Worth-based Cash America International said its first-quarter profit rose 6 percent to $43.9 million on slightly higher revenues of $468.1 million as higher fees on consumer loans offset lower pawn sales. Growth in the company’s online operations accounted for all of the growth in lending. Cash America’s earnings amounted to $1.40 a share, above Wall Street analysts’ consensus forecast of $1.37. Its shares (ticker: CSH) were up less than 1 percent at mid-day.
— Jim Fuquay

04/24/2013

Texas Health merges Harris, Presbyterian foundations

Arlington-based Texas Health Resources said that effective June 1 it will combine the foundations of the former Harris Methodist and Presbyterian hospital systems, which merged in 1997. Texas Health Resources Foundation will be led by President Jay McAuley, who previously was president of the Presbyterian foundation. Texas Health Harris Methodist Foundation and Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation are not-for-profit organizations that "have raised funds that support clinical, educational and research programs across the Texas Health system," THR said in a news release. According to THR, the combined foundation will have assets of more than $210 million. Texas Health Resources Foundation's 18-member board of trustees will include members from both of the existing foundation boards.

-- Jim Fuquay

Texas Health merges Harris, Presbyterian foundations

Arlington-based Texas Health Resources said that effective June 1 it will combine the foundations of the former Harris Methodist and Presbyterian hospital systems, which merged in 1997. Texas Health Resources Foundation will be led by President Jay McAuley, who previously was president of the Presbyterian foundation. Texas Health Harris Methodist Foundation and Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation are not-for-profit organizations that "have raised funds that support clinical, educational and research programs across the Texas Health system," THR said in a news release. According to THR, the combined foundation will have assets of more than $210 million. Texas Health Resources Foundation's 18-member board of trustees will include members from both of the existing foundation boards.

-- Jim Fuquay

04/23/2013

FW's Sundance Square leases first office space in new building

FORT WORTH — Fort Worth law firm Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller is the first office tenant to lease in Sundance Square’s new offic building under construction at Third and Commerce streets downtown.

Shannon Gracey will move this fall from 777 Main, formerly the Carter Burgess Plaza, after 13 years.

"Shannon Gracey is honored that Sundance Square has partnered with us on its new centerpiece for downtown Fort Worth," said Rich Lowe, managing partner of Shannon Gracey. "Consistent with our other downtown offices throughout the state, the Commerce Building will be the ideal location for us to continue to provide practical legal solutions for our business and individual clients in Texas and beyond."

The firm will take up about 36,000 square feet, or the top three floors of the five-story Commerce Building, 420 Commerce Street. The offices on the fourth and fifth floors have terraces on the north and south ends of the building.

"Interest in the Commerce Building, as well as The Westbrook and The Cassidy, has been extremely strong from day one," said Johnny Campbell, Sundance Square president and CEO. "We will continue to sign leases throughout the rest of the year which is a testament to the popularity and demand of the buildings in Sundance Square."

In the Commerce Building, Del Frisco’s Grille has leased 9,000 square feet between two floors, and Shannon Wynne’s Bird Café has leased 3,883 square feet adjacent to 2,586 square feet in the Land Title Building, built in 1889.

Jack Huff and Kyle Poulson with Transwestern in Fort Worth represented Shannon Gracey. Bill Booker and Robert Gamblin represented Sundance Square.

_ Sandra Baker

04/19/2013

Texas jobs fall, but unemployment rate steady at 6.4 percent

Texas experienced a rare interruption in its recent record of employment growth last month, as the state's employers trimmed 4,100 nonagricultural jobs from a month earlier. The state's jobless rate, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, remained unchanged at 6.4 percent, however, as the civilian labor force also contracted slightly. Manufacturing lost 6,200 wage-and-salary positions and the services category that includes wholesale and retail trade, transportation and utilities lost 10,300 jobs. Categories that gained jobs in March included construction, finance and leisure/hospitality. For the past year, Texas employers have added 329,500 jobs, or 3.1 percent, the Texas Workforce Commission said. The state jobless rate a year earlier was 7 percent.

In Fort Worth-Arlington, the unadjusted jobless rate was 6.1 percent, compared to the state's unadjusted rate of 6.3 percent. Metropolitan area statistics are not seasonally adjusted, while state and national figures typically are. Employers in Fort Worth-Arlington, which includes Tarrant, Johnson, Wise and Parker counties, added 1,500 jobs in March and are up 23,700 jobs in the past year. In March 2012 the local jobless rate was 6.8 percent.

-- Jim Fuquay 

04/18/2013

FW's Worthington Renaissance names general manager

FORT WORTH — John Klukan, general manager of the Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott Solana, today was named general manager of the Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel in downtown.

He replaces Bob Jameson, who left in January to become president and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"The Worthington Renaissance is an iconic hotel in north Texas and a gem in the Renaissance Hotels global portfolio," Klukan said. "I look forward to this wonderful opportunity."

Klukhan has held general manager positions at the Dallas/Richardson Hilton & Towers, Renaissance Dallas/Richardson Hotel, the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center and was market sales leader for Marriott International.

During his leadership, the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center was recognized with five national Renaissance Hotel awards. In addition, Klukan was awarded the general manager sales leadership honor during his tenure at the Renaissance Dallas/Richardson Renaissance. In 2010, he was named General Manager of the Year, Luxury Tier, by the Hotel Association North Texas.

Klukan is president of the North Texas Hotel Association and chairman of the Marriott International Business Council for Dallas/Fort Worth.

A native of western Pennsylvania, Klukan graduated from the Conrad N. Hilton School of Hotel & Restaurant management at the University of Houston. He and his wife, Linda, live in Plano.

Renaissance Hotels has 155 hotels in 35 countries worldwide.

_ Sandra Baker

Huguley hospital adopts Texas Health name

Huguley Memorial Medical Center, which nearly a year ago became affiliated with Arlington-based Texas Health Resources, has changed its name to Texas Health Huguley Hospital Fort Worth South. On May 1, 2012, the facility's owner, Adventist health System, and THR formed a joint venture to own and operate the hospital. THR controls the joint venture, and Adventist still manages the hospital's day-to-day operation. The organizations said they have made significant progress coordinating operations, including sharing electronic health records. "Texas Health Huguley Hospital has made facility improvements, and more significant expansion plans are underway on its campus," which is on Interstate 35W in far southern Tarrant County, they said.

"By combining our resources and talents, we have already begun to more effectively meet the health care needs of those we serve.  Adopting the Texas Health Resources name and logo is a visible sign that we are working together to benefit our communities, physicians, employees, and patients," THR CEO Doug Hawthorne said in a prepared release. Ken Finch, Texas Health Huguley Hospital CEO, said: "Our new name honors our heritage and signifies the collaboration between two strong healthcare providers to improve coordination of care delivery in southern Tarrant and Johnson Counties."

Huguley Memorial Medical Center opened in February 1977.  Herbert T. Huguley, a dentist and a real estate investor from Dallas, left his $6 million estate to the Seventh-day Adventist Church to build a hospital as a tribute to his parents.

-- Jim Fuquay

04/17/2013

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas sees Tarrant partners

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is seeking Tarrant-area partners for the insurer’s campaign aimed at reducing the number of residents without health insurance, a program it calls Be Covered Texas.
The effort provides educational materials to community groups, service agencies and churches for distribution to people who might benefit from the new health insurance exchanges and subsidies mandated by the U.S. Affordable Care Act. Texas’ exchange, which will be operated by the federal government, is scheduled to go into operation Oct. 1 and policies sold through the exchange go into effect starting Jan. 1, 2014.

The educational materials do not carry the BlueCross Blue Shield brand, the Richardson-based company says. Currently the insurer has 28 partners around the state, but only the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas has Tarrant ties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield President Bert Marshall said he expects to eventually have hundreds of partners and wants more in Tarrant County. “The focus is a grassroots educational program that serves the uninsured population,” Marshall said.

-- Jim Fuquay

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