Legal cannabis competes with black market

Cannabis in Denver 1

By Steven Porter Buying marijuana legally isn’t as easy in Illinois as it is in certain other states, but the regulatory hoops aren’t stopping consumers. Richard Park is a retail consultant for Dispensary 33 in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, the city’s first shop to sell marijuana under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program […]

Hydraulics manufacturer Actuant feels profit pressure

Actuant logo

By Steven Porter The strong U.S. dollar, soft energy market and weak demand are keeping hydraulic tools manufacturer Actuant Corp. under pressure. The company reported a net loss of $159.2 million, or $2.70 per diluted share, for second-quarter ended Feb. 29. That’s a much deeper deficit than the same period a year prior, when it […]

Millennials’ ambition tops loyalty

Millennial advice

By Steven Porter Andrew Jachna switched jobs this month, less than a year after he finished college. The 23-year-old real estate analyst didn’t hesitate when he spotted an opportunity with another company he felt could keep his career moving forward. That mentality places him in good company for his age bracket.

Mild winter chills Dick’s Sporting Goods earnings

Dick's Sporting Goods store

By Steven Porter After a mild winter that bogged down fourth-quarter sales for Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., the retailer turned in earnings Tuesday that were just shy of expectations. Net income was $129.0 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, for fourth-quarter ended Jan. 30, down 17 percent from $155.5 million, or $1.30 per share, the […]

Community-minded City Lit Books thrives despite paper-thin margins

City Lit Books exterior

By Steven Porter City Lit Books, an independent store just off Logan Square in Chicago, has been part of the neighborhood since 2012. Although it has sold more books year-over-year every month since its launch in 2012, its sales are but one measure of its success, according to owner Teresa Kirschbraun. “I do everything I […]

AutoZone Inc. hits gas pedal on earnings journey

AutoZone Inc. store

By Steven Porter AutoZone Inc., the leading retailer of replacement car parts, posted better-than-expected earnings Tuesday, reaping the benefit for higher profit margins on its merchandise. The company reported net earnings of $228.6 million, or $7.43 per diluted share, for the second quarter ended Feb. 13, an increase of 8 percent over the $211.7 million, […]

Blockchain could decentralize clearinghouses; regulators take notice

Chicago Board of Trade

By Steven Porter J. Christopher Giancarlo released a podcast last month alerting financial markets to the biggest trends he expects them to face in the coming decade. Among the most pressing issues he named were cyber threats and disruptive technology. Giancarlo, a commissioner with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, devoted a good portion of […]

Even landscapers use content marketing

Keys to content marketing

By Steven Porter Freyja Conrad took a seat in the back of the room Tuesday evening inside a modern office space built into an old manufacturing building off West Irving Park Road. Clutching a stemless glass of red wine, Conrad, a landscape designer who works primarily in Chicago’s western suburbs, attended a special event designed […]

Dip in new home sales merely a bump in market’s recovery road: economists

New home sales

By Steven Porter New home sales fell short of expectations in January, but economists remain confident the housing market’s recovery will continue bit by bit. Single-family houses sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 494,000 last month, 9.2 percent below the 544,000 economists surveyed by Yahoo Finance had been expecting,  according to a report  […]

Media behavior research firm comScore Inc. posts modest profit

Media research firm comScore Inc.

By Steven Porter Consumer behavior measurement firm comScore Inc., which has set out to research cross-platform multiscreen media consumption, posted a profit Wednesday, modestly outperforming expectations. Fourth-quarter net earnings were $4.4 million or 11 cents per diluted share, swinging upward from a loss of $2.7 million, or 8 cents per share,  in the same period […]