Jerry Butler, president and chief executive of Bothell-based Eden Bioscience Corp., resigned Monday. He’ll be replaced by Bradley Powell, vice president and chief financial officer, while the company’s board looks for a permanent replacement. Butler’s move follows a disappointing third-quarter earnings report for the young company, which sells a product called Messenger that enhances crop production. In leaving the firm, Butler is receiving $480,000, the company said.
Housing construction declined in October as builders displayed more caution in the face of sagging consumer confidence and rising unemployment. The Commerce Department reported Monday that last month, builders broke ground on 1.55 million housing units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, a 1.3 percent drop from September. The decline, which came after a 0.8 percent increase, pushed housing starts to their lowest level in 10 months.
If Phillips and Conoco hadn’t decided to join forces, analysts said Monday, they risked losing market share to competitors in an unhealthy business climate for all but the largest petroleum companies. Oil prices have already plunged to their lowest level in more than two years despite efforts by OPEC to trim production and stop the free fall. Gas is now selling for less than $1 a gallon in some parts of the country and is averaging $1.23 a gallon at stations nationwide, according to the Lundberg Survey.
Shares of Lowe’s Companies Inc. climbed nearly 7 percent Monday after the company said increased consumer spending on homes and a tightening of corporate expenses led to a 24 percent rise in third-quarter earnings, narrowly beating Wall Street expectations. The company said net earnings were $250.5 million, or 32 cents per share, compared with $202.3 million, or 26 cents per share, a year ago.
The Treasury Department sold three-month bills at a discount rate of 1.9 percent, up from 1.815 percent last week. Six-month bills sold at 1.96 percent, up from 1.82 percent. The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors – 1.936 percent for three-month bills with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,952.50 and 2.006 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,901.50. The Federal Reserve also said Monday that the average yield for one-year constant maturity Treasury bills, the most popular index for changing adjustable rate mortgages, rose to 2.24 percent last week from 1.99 percent.
Herald news services