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Who wants a coal plant?, slow and steady, small firm woes, and cars sales boom...

From Business Today:

Pity the poor coal burning power plant. In these days of decliningAES plant FINANCIAL AES PLANT LEWIS  natural gas costs, the old, dirty coal plants are finding themselves unwanted and unloved. AES, the publicly traded power company, announced it is selling four of its coal plants in New York State, including the plant in Somerset in Niagara County. Normally that would not be such a big deal, but the Somerset plant is the largest property tax payer in the country, which makes it crucial for schools and other civic needs. The concern is that since AES has already written off the cost of the plant, it can sell it for a very cheap price. A new owner will then seek a property tax reduction, and that could put a serious crimp in Niagara County's budget. Stay tuned...

Western New York's slow and steady real estate market has been the envy of the nation for the past two years. In highly desirable locations, speculation ran rampant, driving up costs and setting up the big REAL ESTATE PANEL collapse of prices. The region's real estate development heavyweights gathered to hear and discuss a report by the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Land Institute. The conclusion: things around here will remain slow, and hopefully steady, for some time.

Following the earnings of small, publicly traded companies can be like following a bouncing ball. The firms are buffeted by changes in sales, tax laws and anything else that might hit them. Mod-Pac, the printing company, reported an 81 percent plunge in profits for the quarter, but company officials were upbeat about being profitable for six straight quarters and they expect good things in the future. Stay tuned...

General Motors reported a 49 percent jump in U.S. sales for January. Toyota reported a 42 percent jump. Other car makers reported strong gains. The car industry Buffalo Auto Show has made an amazing recovery. In the case of GM and Chrysler, it has come with a big boost  from shedding costs in bankruptcy. But also, people have been nursing their old cars along for so long, they're finally dragging them into the dealerships as trade-ins.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?


 

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