All posts by Richard

Harvest Christian Bookstore deflects internet with customer service

By Richard Foster-Shelton
Medill Reports

“In these times of online stores and books that can be delivered immediately to your favorite device, one independent bookstore on the South Side of Chicago has weathered the storm by turning to a very specific demographic: Christians.

Harvest Christian Bookstore, at 10600 S. Western Ave., specializes in Christian products. The business, which was founded in 1988 by Pastor Dorothy Jacobs of Consuming Fire Ministries, has gained a loyal following by prioritizing customer service over all.

“There were other bookstores when we opened and they didn’t have very good reputations,” Jacobs said. “The one thing that we were most concerned about was treating our customers well by serving them and ordering what they needed if we didn’t have it. We found our niche to serve the community the way they want to be served. Almost every Christian on the south side of Chicago knows about us.”

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Navistar posts loss but beats estimate, remains optimistic

By Richard Foster-Shelton
Medill Reports

Navistar International Corp. (NYSE:NAV) based in Lisle, Ill., reported an exacerbated net loss but beat analysts’ expectations, for its first quarter ended Jan. 31.

The company reported a net loss of $73 million, or 74 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $62 million, or 76 cents per share, on fewer shares outstanding, in the year-earlier quarter.

The first quarter net income included $46 million of charges resulting from the company’s debt refinancing in November 2017. Excluding the debt refinancing, the indicated net loss for the quarter was $27 million, or 27 cents per diluted share. Analysts estimated a loss of 29 cents per share.

The truck and bus manufacturer generated revenues of $1.9 billion, a 15 percent increase from the $1.7 billion in the same quarter the previous year. Driven by a 24 percent increase in the company’s core business, Class 6-8 trucks and buses, revenue figures were in line with analyst estimates.

Navistar stock closed at $38.17, up $1.13. Continue reading

Factory orders decrease for first time in six months

By Richard Foster-Shelton
Medill Reports

The U.S. Census Bureau announced new orders for manufactured goods in January were $491.7 billion, a decrease of $6.9 billion or 1.4 percent from December’s $498.6 billion. The month-to-month decrease comes after five consecutive monthly increases from July to December.

Unfilled orders dropped to $1.14 trillion from $1.44 trillion, a 0.3 percent decrease. The decline follows four consecutive monthly increases.

Beyond new and unfilled orders, other measures increased.

Shipments, up 13 of the last 14 months, increased $2.8 billion or 0.6 percent to $498.8 billion. This follows a 0.6 percent increase from November to December.

Inventories rose to $674.2 billion, an increase of $2.1 billion or 0.3 percent from December’s $670.3 billion.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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Kohl’s beats estimates but stock falls

By Richard Foster-Shelton
Medill Reports

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE:KSS), based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., reported increases in revenues and net income, exceeding analysts’ expectations, for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 3. But the stock fell.

Helped by strong holiday sales, tighter inventory control and a tax benefit, the company reported net income of $468 million, or $1.87 per diluted share, up from $252 million, or $1.44 per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts estimated $1.77 per share.

The department store chain generated revenues of $6.8 billion, a 10 percent increase from $6.2 billion in the same quarter the previous year. Analysts estimated $5.7 billion.

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reinforces NBA’s stance on sports betting

By Richard Foster-Shelton
Medill Reports

LOS ANGELES – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver emphasized his belief that the NBA should receive a 1% “integrity fee” if the Supreme Court gives all 50 states the option to legalize sports gambling as expected later this year.

“From the NBA’s standpoint, we will spend this year roughly $7.5 billion creating this content, creating these games,” Silver said during his annual state of the league address. “This notion that as the intellectual property creators that we should receive a one percent fee seems very fair to me.”

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Stars turn out for All-Star Weekend bowling fundraiser for LadyLike Foundation

By Richard Foster-Shelton
Medill Reports

LOS ANGELES — Publicly, All-Star Weekend is notable for being a time when celebrities descend on the host city to enjoy a work-free weekend. Privately, one woman worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes to make sure the gathering of big names was not in vain.

On Thursday, Leah Cher Pump, president and CEO of the LadyLike Foundation, hosted the inaugural NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Bowling Classic at Lucky Strike Lanes at L.A. Live. The event, which featured appearances from celebs such as Paul Pierce, Isiah Thomas, Terrell Owens, benefited the non-profit organization.

It seems the planning for such an event would have waited until the NBA announced this year’s host city of Los Angeles, which was March of 2016. But Pump explained to Medill Reports that this moment was years in the making. Continue reading

Madison Square Garden beats estimate

By Richard Foster-Shelton

Medill Reports

Madison Square Garden Co. (NYSE:MSG), based in New York City, reported healthy increases in revenues and net income, exceeding analysts’ expectations, for the second quarter ended Dec. 31.

Helped by a tax benefit, the company reported net income of $189.6 million, or $7.96 per diluted share, up from $57.7 million, or $2.39 per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts estimated $2.01 per share.

The second quarter net income included a non-cash income tax benefit of $113.5 million, which the company said will reduce net deferred tax liabilities.

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