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16 posts from July 2013


Cash America earnings slip on gold sales

The decline in scrap gold prices cut into Cash America International's second-quarter earnings as the pawn shop chain reported net income of $25.1 million, or 81 cents a share, on revenues of $411 million. That compared to earnings of $29.2 million, or 94 cents a share, on $411.6 million in revenues the same quarter a year earlier. Earnings fell short of its own previous guidance and of Wall Street's consensus estimate of 84 cents a share, and the Fort Worth-based company's shares were down about  7 percent in morning trading. Cash America said the decline "is primarily attributable to a decline in gross profit on disposition proceeds primarily associated with the commercial sales of refined gold" by its pawn stores. It said the   shortfall from its previous outlook was "primarily due to reduced customer demand for loan products" at its U.S. locations, higher personnel expenses and additional interest related to debt issued in early May.

-- Jim Fuquay


Moncrief Cancer Institute announces new services

Moncrief cancer instituteFort Worth's Moncrief Cancer Institute, which since opening in November has provided cancer educational and counseling services, will add chemotherapy treatment, imaging services and clinical trials using $10 million in new pledges. Moncrief is part of UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, which committed $5 million, and Moncrief Cancer Foundation committed $5 million to underwrite the expansions. Work on the new services will begin next spring and should be completed by spring 2015. "The Fort Worth community will benefit from a cancer  center that delivers comprehensive services, including infusion therapy and cancer imaging in addition to Moncrief Cancer Institute's current programs of cancer prevention, cancer survivorship and population research," said Dr. Keith Argenbright, the facility's director.

-- Jim Fuquay

Foreclosure and mortgage delinquency rates continue to drop for Fort Worth-Arlington area

The mortgage delinquency rate among TX_FortWorth_19100_201306Fort Worth-Arlington homeowners dropped to 4.12 percent in May, down 0.85 percentage points the same month a year ago, according to CoreLogic.

The rate looks at mortgages that are 90 days for more late. In May, the rate was 5.11 percent.

The rate of Fort Worth-Arlington area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 4.12 percent in May, down from 4.97 percent a year ago, CoreLogic said.

The Texas foreclosure rate was 3.51 percent, down from 4.36 percent in May 2012.

The U.S. foreclosure rate was 5.63 percent in May, down from 6.89 percent in May 2012.

The foreclosure rate measures the percentage of loans in some stage of the foreclosure process.

-Sandra Baker


Goodwill Industries sets Aug. 8 job fair

More than 30 employers looking for new hires and 20 health fair vendors and resource agencies will on hand for a job fair at Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth Thursday, Aug. 8.

The fair will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Goodwill Fort Worth headquarters at 4005 Campus Drive.

The job fair will provide companies and skilled individuals the chance to meet face-to-face.

Goodwill Career Centers offer free guidance in creating or improving resumes and cover letters. Learn more about Goodwill’s nine area career centers at http://www.goodwillfortworth.org/opportunities/employment-services/.

“We hope that our job fair can open doors for individuals seeking employment,” said Kevin Williams, director of Goodwill Fort Worth’s North Texas Institute for Career Development and Career Services. “Our mission is to offer a hand up, not a hand out. By connecting job seekers and employers, we are fulfilling our promise to help individuals with barriers to employment find meaningful work.”

During the job fair, organizations including the Omni Fort Worth Hotel, Lowe’s, Links Co., Sam’s Club, Temp. Team Staffing Co. and Spanish Yellow Pages will be on hand looking for qualified individuals to hire. Goodwill is a non-profit leader in providing education, training and career services for people with disabilities, such as mental or emotional disabilities, lack of education or work experience and homelessness. Last year, Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth helped place thousands of people in jobs.

_ Sandra Baker

First Cash earnings dip but shares up

Arlington-based First Cash Financial Services said it earned $15.7 million, or 53 cents a share, in the second quarter, down from 56 cents a year earlier and below Wall Street's expectation, also 56 cents, on revenues of $143 million. The operator of pawn shops and consumer lending stores said it took a charge of 4 cents a share in the quarter to reflect costs related to its purchase of a 19-store pawn chain that closed at the end of the quarter. First Cash confirmed its previous guidance for 2013, however, and the company's shares (ticker: FCFS) were up about 2 percent in early trading.

Like Fort Worth-based Cash America International two days earlier, First Cash said demand for payday and pawn loans was weaker than expected. Cash America trimmed its profit outlook significantly from earlier forecasts, and its shares fell Monday and Tuesday a total of about 8 percent. Cash America plans to report full earnings July 25.

First Cash CEO Rick Wessel said same-store pawn operations were up 9 percent, with especially good growth in Mexico, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of revenue. He said the acquisition of Valu + Pawn for $70 million was the largest in the company's history and gave First Cash a presence in Houston.

-- Jim Fuquay

More homes being built in Parks of Aledo

Parks of Aledo entry AFort Worth developer James R. Harris Partners has started development of 104 homesites on 29 acres in the second phase at Parks of Aledo, a $120 million development on Bailey Ranch Road near Aledo High School.

The Parks of Aledo broke ground in October and 20 houses have been sold since February, said Justin Welborn, a partner in Harris Partners and managing partner of the development. The houses sold ranged from $290,000 to $525,000.

Parks of Aledo will eventually have 296 homes on 100 acres. The homebuilders include Village Homes, Bannister Custom Homes, Brass Key Custom Builders, Leatherwood Construction, Clarity Homes, and HD Homes.

Homes in the second phase are on larger lots and offer more amenities and scenic view of a creek and park areas. The developer said it added a 1.1-acre park surrounded by homesites.

Amenities will include two entryways featuring extensive landscaping, irrigated lawns, crushed limestone walking trails, and natural play structures. Curbside amenities will include parkways lined with shade trees, concrete sidewalks, antique street lights, mail boxes, and street signs.

Two, 15,000-pound limestone boulders from a quarry in Leuder will be placed near the Parks of Aledo entry monument. One boulder is 9-feet by 9-feet and the second, 7-feet by 9-feet.

_ Sandra Baker


New burger pub coming to FW's West 7th development

Fort Worth is getting another burger restaurant.

Brewster’s Burger Bar has signed a lease for 2,969 square feet at the southeast corner of Crockett and Currie streets in West 7th. It is slated to open in December.

Brewster's is being opened by Steve Brown of the BPSB Corp. Brown has more than 35 years restaurant experience. He opened Esparza's Restaurante Mexicano in historic downtown Grapevine in 1985. In 1997, he opened Guero’s Mexican Grill in Valley Ranch.

Brewster's will feature a full bar offering as many as 60 craft beers on tap. The restaurant  will use the freshest meat and freshly-baked buns.  

Designed by the Duncan Design Group of Dallas, Brewster's will have a classic pub atmosphere with wood, leather and brick.

Roger Smeltzer and Josue Gonzalez with Vision Commercial completed lease negotiations.

_ Sandra Baker

Hyundai adds $75,000 to its Cook Children's contributions

Cook Hyundai 2 Cook Hyundai 1Hyundai Motor America, part of the South Korean auto maker, awarded a physician at Fort Worth's Cook Children's Medical Center a $75,000 Scholar Grant on Tuesday, bring its charitable giving to the hospital to $340,000 since 1998. The award went to Dr. Karen Albritton "to support her project to develop a systematic program of adolescent and young adult psycho-oncology support" during their cancer treatment and recovery. Hyundai's Hope on Wheels program, a not-for-profit focused on curing childhood cancer, will donate $14 million to children's hospitals this year, it says, which will bring its total giving to more than $72 million in 15 years. In these photos provided by Cook Children's from the Tuesday event, Rebekah Gason (left) makes her mark on a Hope on Wheels vehicle, and Wade H. Brockway (above) described the role of support in his own treatment at Cook as a youth.

-- Jim Fuquay

Local hospitals listed on U.S. News annual rankings

Hospital ratings and rankings seem to come out every other week these days. U.S. News & World Report has a bigger-than-average presence owing to its long history with such lists, and it just released its 2013-14 Best Hospitals. In North Texas, Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas was No. 1, UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas was No. 2 and Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital was No. 3. Tarrant area hospitals with a national ranking or a Top 30 state ranking and their recognized specialties are:

  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital -- Ranked No. 3 in North Texas among general hospitals and No. 10 in Texas. High-performing in 10 specialties: cancer, cardiac/heart surgery, diabetes/endocrinology, gastroenterology/GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology/neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology
  • Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital -- No. 6 in North Texas and No. 18 in Texas. High-performing in diabetes/endocrinology, gastroenterology/GI surgery, geriatrics, neurology/neurosurgery, pulmonology and urology
  • Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth -- No. 11 in North Texas and No. 29 in Texas. High-performing in gastroenterology/GI surgery, nephrology and urology
  • Cook Children's Medical Center -- Ranked No. 24 nationally among 87 children's hospitals in neonatology (premature infant care) and in the top 50 in four other pediatric areas: cancer, nephrology, diabetes/endocrinology, and neurology/neurosurgery.
-- Jim Fuquay



Arlington's Vandergriff Town Center sold to partnership of two Arlington businesses

The struggling Vandergriff Town Center in downtown Arlington has been bought out of foreclosure by two Arlington businesses.

SkyWalker Property, headed by Gary Walker, and General Assembly Inc., led by Tony Pompa, partnered to buy the 28,221-square-foot property from Southwest Securities Bank, which foreclosed in June 2012.

General Assembly will move its headquarters to the building, 200 N. Mesquite St., and will use 5,893 square feet on the second floor. General Assembly assembles products for national retailers, manufacturer suppliers and end users.

“This opportunity was too good to pass up, as an investor and tenant,” said Pompa, who also serves a school board trustee. “Vandergriff Town Center is a centerpiece for the city’s evolving downtown’s district and will continue to be so for years to come.”

The development’s current tenants are Grease Monkey Burger Shop, Capital One Bank and Maren Karsen Salon.

_ Sandra Baker


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