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Thursday, 01 August 2013 10:25

Aug. 1, 2013: Spartan Motors reports Q2 results; Biz leaders optimistic about state; Rockford Ventures to announce new company Urbaneer; Furniture industry on the upswing

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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Spartan Motor’s Gladiator fire/rescue chassis Spartan Motor’s Gladiator fire/rescue chassis

Charlotte-based Spartan Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR) today reported revenues of $120.9 million for the second quarter, up 5.7 percent from the same period a year earlier. The manufacturer of specialty chassis and specialty vehicles reported quarterly earnings of $1.1 million or $0.02 per diluted share. The company's performance beat analysts' average estimates by $2.77 million in revenue, and hit their forecasts for earnings per share. The company reported all of its business segments improved compared to the first quarter, according to a statement. [10:44 a.m.]

A new report from Business Leaders for Michigan has some positive news for hiring in the state. Some 52 percent of the 80 BLM members surveyed indicated they planned to add positions in the next six months and more than one third expect to make capital investments, according to a release. In addition, 44 percent of executives think the Michigan economy will grow over the next six-month period and none expect it to get worse. Looking farther ahead, 60 percent of leaders expect the state to grow over the next 18 months. [10:30 a.m.]

Rockford Ventures, a division of Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction, is set today to announce the formation of new company, Urbaneer. The focus for the new outlet is innovative technologies in the multi-family building market. Urbaneer representatives, along with a representative of its new strategic partner, Leggett and Platt, will focus on micro-housing in the Grand Rapids metro market, particularly the next generation of physical living space in tomorrow’s economy and societal shifts, according to a release from the company. Rockford is hosting an open house at GRid 70 in downtown Grand Rapids from 2 - 3:30 p.m.

Battle Creek-based Kellogg Co. reported net sales of $3.71 billion for the second quarter of 2013, a nearly 7-percent increase compared to the prior year, the company announced today in a press release and a call with analysts. Earnings for the quarter were $352 million, or $0.96 per diluted share, which includes a $0.03 per share charge for integration costs of the Pringles business it acquired last year and a $0.01 charge to take into account mark-to-market accounting. Exclusive of the charges, earnings were $1.00 per share. While the company beat analysts' estimates for earnings by $0.02, it underperformed revenue estimates by $110 million. Kellogg reaffirmed its prior guidance for full-year earnings of $3.84 to $3.93 per share, but lowered its sales growth forecast for the year from 7 percent to 5 percent. 

The latest activity index has the office furniture industry on the upswing. Based on a survey of executives at furniture makers and suppliers, the quarterly index from Michael A. Dunlap & Associates registered a 55.07 for July, which compares with a 52.84 three months earlier. That’s also the highest index since October 2011 and is well above the average score of 54.03 since Dunlap & Associates started the quarterly survey in August 2004. The index for the personal outlook among executives registered a 60.44, versus a 54.73 in April. “I think that the industry is doing better than any time since the 2008-2009 recession. What we described as ‘flat’ three months ago, is now better described as ‘climbing,’” Mike Dunlap said.

Representative from Glosten Associates, an international marine architecture and engineering firm from Seattle, will discuss the company's newest offshore wind technology system, the Pelastar, at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon on August 15. The Glosten Pelastar, is a deep-water wind turbine platform system. It provides an alternative to traditional bottom-fixed construction that installs wind turbine towers on lake or ocean bottoms, according to release from MAREC.

On Monday, Aug. 5, John Zevalkink, CEO of Columbian Logistics Network will be presented SHARP certification by Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for his company’s commitment to workplace safety. The ceremony will take place at noon at Columbian’s 33rd Street facility in Grand Rapids. State senators Mark Jansen and Dave Hildenbrand will be present, along MIOSHA’s director. There will be a picnic lunch and a tour of the facility.

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