All posts by alexaadler2018

Dom and Tom: twins’ $11-million firm is still friends and family

By Alexa Adler
Medill Reports

Dominic and Tom Tancredi, the twin brothers who co-founded Dom and Tom, a privately-owned, nine-year old digital product development company with offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, believe the “secret sauce” behind their company’s success is working with friends and family, because they are “people who trust you” and whom you can trust.

Armed with this philosophy, the Tancredi brothers have grown company revenues from $4.13 million in 2013 to $11.87 million in 2017 and almost doubled the number of employees over the same period from 34 to 66.

While their basic business model of receiving “dollars for expertise and services” is “thousands of years old,” according to Tom Tancredi, their close-knit staff has proved adaptable in providing the corporate clients they serve with a menu of products and services that has evolved over time, beginning with their core expertise of “web services and development on an engineering level, to project design, development, ownership, quality assurance, project management and visual project development from inception to completion.”

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U.S. jobless claims drop, signaling robust labor market

By Alexa Adler
Medill Reports

The number of Americans filing initial unemployment claims dropped slightly last week, signaling continued soundness in the labor markets.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that for the week ended March 10, seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims decreased by 4,000 to 226,000 from the revised figure of 230,000 for the week ended March 10. The four-week moving average, which is considered to be a more reliable measure because it tends to not be as volatile as a one-week figure, was 221,500, a decrease of 750 from the prior week’s revised moving average of 222,250.

The initial claims were a bit more favorable than the economists’ consensus outlook of 229,000, reported by the Econoday Economic Report.

Weekly initial jobless claims have been below 300,000 for more than a year. Jobless claims, however, have increased by a modest amount from the 210,000 reported for the week ended Feb. 24, which marked their lowest level in nearly 50 years, according to MarketWatch.

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Methode Electronics reports loss from tax legislation

By Alexa Adler
Medill Reports

Shares of Methode Electronics Inc., a global developer of custom-engineered and application-specific products and solutions, plunged 4.94 percent after the company reported a loss of 65 cents per share for the third quarter of its 2018 fiscal year, as compared to 63 cents per share of earnings for the comparable prior-year period.

The loss largely resulted from a $1.52 per share charge related to the recent tax reform legislation. The company failed to meet Wall Street expectations, as compiled by Yahoo Finance, of earnings of 66 cents per share.

The company’s net income for the quarter ended Jan. 27 fell to a loss of $24.3 million from the year-earlier quarter net income of $23.7 million, despite a $32.4 million, or 16.6 percent, period-over-period increase in net sales to $228.0 million from $195.6 million.

In a press release, Methode attributed its higher net sales for the quarter primarily to a $34.5 million, or a 22.9 percent, increase in automotive net sales, driven primarily by the impact of two recent acquisitions, Pacific Insight and Procoplast, which increased net sales in North America and Europe, respectively.

Methode Electronics, Inc. Graph
Methode Electronics Inc. net sales and net income. (Alexa Adler/MEDILL)

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Japan uses robots in nursing home care; an example for America?

By Alexa Adler
Medill Reports

Tokyo–The Japanese nursing home industry, facing a demographic crisis that combines an increasing number of nursing home patients with a decrease of eligible caregivers, has turned to robots to provide patient care designed to be both more effective and safer, while making caregivers’ jobs a little easier.

Silver Wing Social Welfare Corp., a Tokyo-based nursing home operator, fueled by a 5.2-billion-yen fund provided by the Tokyo metropolitan government for robot use, is one of the leaders in nursing home robotic innovations.

Declining birth rates and increased longevity have made the Japanese population increasingly elderly. According to the Statistics Bureau of Japan, people aged 65 or older, the group from which nursing home patients generally come, constitute a staggering 27.3 percent of the population, and the proportion is rising. The U.S. Census Bureau says that only 14.9 percent of Americans are 65-plus.

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Brunswick reports loss despite growth in marine business, shares drop

By Alexa Adler

Medill Reports

Brunswick Corp., operator of marine, fitness and billiards businesses, swung to a quarterly loss, primarily due to increased pension settlement and restructuring charges and a charge reflecting recent tax legislation, as well as weakness in the fitness business.

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Cabot Microelectronics reports strong operating results but net loss due to tax charge

By Alexa Adler
Medill Reports

Despite record quarterly revenue and strong operating results, Cabot Microelectronics Corp., which supplies planarization polishing slurries and pads used in the manufacture of semiconductor devices, reported a loss of 12 cents per share for its first quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017, compared with earnings per share of 88 cents in the prior-year period.

The loss was driven largely by a one-time charge of $32.9 million occasioned by the recent tax reform legislation. On a non-GAAP basis, excluding the tax charge and an amortization charge, earnings per share were $1.19, compared with analysts’ estimate of $1.02 per share compiled by Yahoo Finance.

The stock closed at $102.66, up 95 cents.
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Experts say blockchain technology will be useful in many industries

By Alexa Adler
Medill Reports

As bitcoin prices fluctuate, indicating uncertainty about the ultimate viability of cryptocurrency, other use of its underlying blockchain technology is increasing and may represent the future of information transfer technology in many industries, including banking, and to some extent, healthcare.

In downtown Chicago, cryptocurrency experts gathered Wednesday evening to discuss future uses of blockchain in multiple industries before an audience of many developers at a Future of Blockchain meetup.

“I think everybody views bitcoin as the first proof of concept of blockchain and everybody is waiting to sort of see what’s next, what happens, and how does it evolve,” said Dr. Tejas Shastry, vice president of data science at GreenKey Technologies.

In blockchain transactions, data is transmitted and stored in multiple nodes distributed throughout the cloud. While it has potential applicability in many industries, some industries might be better suited for it than others, the experts said, notably industries that handle transactions and data fully digitally.

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