Sunday, January 18, 2004

Queen City Rewind


The week in business news in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

WINNERS

More than 1,200 Cincinnatians who paid $10 a share to buy stock in the new parent of Cheviot Savings Bank. The nation's first IPO in 2004 (ticker symbol CHEV), the stock is now trading at more than $13. An early Christmas gift for 2004.

LCA-Vision Inc. The stock jumped 17 percent after profit estimate jumped 50 percent. Rewind can see it clearly: America has fallen in love with laser eye surgery, and companies like LCA-Vision will continue to reap the benefits.

Job-seekers in Piketon. The 500 jobs from a uranium enrichment plant would be big deal in anywhere USA, but in this southeastern Ohio town, it's huge.

LOSERS

John Brinker and Gary Bentz. The two local men, principals in the offshore bank Wellington Capital that enticed plenty of local investors, face 102 counts of securities fraud charges in Ripley County, Ind. But investors also are losers, because Brinker and Bentz don't appear to have any money left. A sad and all too familiar story.

Delta Air Lines. In a struggling industry and a bad economy, it's almost not Delta's fault that it's become a regular in this category. But as Rewind's high-school basketball coach said before final roster cuts: The numbers don't lie. A $773 million loss in 2003 speaks for itself.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"When we began Vital over 58,000 children were dieing (sic) daily from starvation and mild nutrition. Today it is 32,000 daily that totals over 11 million a year."

That from a letter to investors from Stanley Cox, president of Vital Investments in Kenwood, which was sued last week for allegedly running a promissory note scheme that offered up to 400 percent interest. To us, it looks like a case of investor malnutrition.

APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE

To the Cincinnati Health Department, for moving toward making a list of smoke-free restaurants available on its Internet site. This follows similar effort by Hamilton County Health District. Rewind likes to know what Group A carcinogens are coming along with dinner.

THE CRYSTAL BALL

More "sustainable packaging" like that now offered at Wild Oats Market in Norwood, which is replacing plastic deli containers with containers made from corn. Actually, a "corn-based resin." Other countries are ahead of the U.S. on this one, but there's more coming.




BUSINESS HEADLINES
Chiquita's timing is ripe
Look Who's Talking
Queen City Rewind
Project big for firm, Piketon
When you say Budejovicky, you're in court!
Tristate business notebook
Go against grain, Ind. makers say
Check out your firm's competitors
Couple finds brides are big business
Bunless burgers not likely to get big slice of market
Maglev train still too expensive
Business Agenda