All posts by christinehuang2017

Running a restaurant is not a piece of cake

By Christine Huang

When Brian Huston opened the doors to Evanston restaurant Boltwood in June 2014, he envisioned it as a neighborhood bistro with an emphasis on market-driven, locally sourced ingredients. A native Evanstonian, Huston credited Found Kitchen and Social House, a seasonally driven restaurant and lounge that opened in 2012, as his inspiration for the restaurant, and hoped Boltwood would fit into the city’s burgeoning farm-to-table scene.

“We’re not serving all the food off the back of one truck. We’re going to the farmers markets, we’re using good ingredients,” Huston said, noting that even before opening Boltwood, at 804 Davis St., he often sourced ingredients from the Evanston farmers market and brought them to the downtown Chicago restaurants where he worked.

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American Eagle stock sinks on soft outlook

By Christine Huang

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. stock plummeted 9.5 percent after the retailer predicted an earnings drop in the current quarter.

Shares closed at $14.34, down $1.51.

American Eagle reported net income of $54.6 million, or 30 cents per diluted share, in its fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, down 33 percent from $81.7 million, or 42 cents per share, in the fourth quarter a year earlier.

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Consumer sentiment dips slightly but remains high

Consumer sentiment remained high in February but fell slightly from the 13-year peak reached in the previous month.

The Index of Consumer Sentiment was 96.3 in February, down 2.2 percent from 98.5 in January but up 5 percent from 91.7 a year earlier, according to the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast the February index to be 96.

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Existing-Home Sales Jump to 10-Year High

By Christine Huang

Existing-home sales leapt to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million in January, up 3.3 percent from an upwardly revised 5.51 million annual rate in December 2016, beating estimates of economists polled by Bloomberg.

The National Association of Realtors reported that total sales of pre-owned homes in January was up 3.8 percent from last January and marks the highest number of sales since February 2007, when sales hit an annual rate of 5.79 million. Every region except the Midwest enjoyed sales growth.

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Groupon soars on higher adjusted earnings, expense cuts

By Christine Huang

Groupon Inc.’s stock skyrocketed 22.8 percent to $4.64 per share after the company reported increased revenues, better-than-expected adjusted income and strategic changes including reduced expenses and a scaled-back global footprint.

Groupon, a Chicago-based daily local deals platform for goods, services and experiences, has over 52 million active customers worldwide, as of the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

The company reported a net loss of $52.6 million, or 9 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $46.5 million, or 8 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expected a net loss of 2 cents per share.

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Consumer sentiment highest since 2004

By Christine Huang

Consumers expressed overwhelming optimism about the economy in January.

The Index of Consumer Sentiment reached a 13-year high of 98.5, surpassing last month’s 98.2, according to the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. It was the highest reading since 2004.

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Yelp expected to swing to profit in 2017

By Christine Huang

One month after opening the doors to Yeero Revolution, a trendy gyro joint in Evanston, co-owner John Nikolaou decided to advertise on Yelp, a popular online review platform.

The owner of the two-month-old restaurant says he’s already seeing benefits.

“Yelp definitely drives a lot of people,” Nikolaou said in an interview. “They’ll tell you, ‘We saw you on Yelp, the reviews were great, and here I am,’” he said.

Yeero Revolution
Yeero Revolution, a two-month-old-restaurant, has benefited from advertising on Yelp. (Christine Huang/MEDILL)

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