Archive: February 24, 2008 - March 1, 2008

Early Briefing: Another Departure

*BioVeris, AstraZeneca and Digene were all bought in 2007. And now another change in Maryland's biotech industry: Celera, founded to map the human genome, said it will move its headquarters to Northern California. About 30 employees will remain in Rockville. See story *Maryland sued Constellation Energy in attempt to force...

By Terri Rupar | March 1, 2008; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Jumping On The Leap Year Bandwagon

By Kendra Marr Just like the 7-7-07 wedding frenzy, a number of local businesses are jumping on the Leap Year bandwagon today. The Honor Society for Leap Year Day Babies estimates that there are 200,000 "leapers" (with Feb. 29 birthdays) in the United States and about 4 million worldwide. Those...

By Dan Beyers | February 29, 2008; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Early Briefing: Development at Metro

*Metro's board of directors approved new rules designed to spur development around Metrorail stations. The focus will be not just on raising cash but on increasing transit-oriented residential and commercial development to encourage Metro ridership and reduce automobile traffic. See story *We posted yesterday on earnings reports, but here is...

By Terri Rupar | February 29, 2008; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Networking It

By Tom Heath Ted Leonsis hosted a reception Wednesday night in the auditorium at the National Georgraphic Society for his new documentary, "Kicking It," directed by Susan Koch. The 93-minute movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month and is expected to be shown at other upcoming film festivals....

By Dan Beyers | February 28, 2008; 3:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Sprint Reports Huge Loss; Warns Of More Difficulties

By Zachary A. Goldfarb The depth of the challenge facing new Sprint Nextel chief executive Dan Hesse was laid bare today when the wireless carrier announced a $29.5 billion loss for the fourth quarter of 2007 and warned of ongoing troubles. Sprint eliminated its dividend and wrote down the full...

By Zachary Goldfarb | February 28, 2008; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (71)

Freddie Mac Reports $2.5 Billion Loss; Launches Probe

By David S. Hilzenrath Freddie Mac said today it lost $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter and disclosed that its board has formed a special committee to investigate allegations of mismanagement by directors, senior officers, and the company's outside auditors. The McLean-based mortgage funding company said the board received two...

By Dan Beyers | February 28, 2008; 9:15 AM ET | Comments (2)

Early Briefing: Mind the District's Gap

*The economic slowdown isn't missing the District; its chief financial officer said the city is facing a projected budget gap of $96 million next year and said more bad news could be on the way. Barbara Lang, president of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, said businesses would strongly oppose any...

By Terri Rupar | February 28, 2008; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Fannie Posts $3.6 Billion Loss; Gov't Eases Portfolio Cap

Here's an update to our earlier report: By David S. Hilzenrath Fannie Mae, the mortgage funding giant, today reported that it lost $3.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared with a profit of $604 million in the comparable period a year earlier. The deepening red ink reflected rising...

By Dan Beyers | February 27, 2008; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (11)

Early Briefing: Yelp!

*Yelp.com launched in the Washington area last year, and some local business owners are keeping an eye on users' reviews and responding to them. See story *Legislators and higher-education leaders proposed a $5 million state program to try to make Maryland a hub of biotechnology research through awarding research grants...

By Terri Rupar | February 27, 2008; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Early Briefing: No Deal, New Deal

* A developer who offered to buy an entire neighborhood near downtown Bethesda has dropped his plans, saying that homeowner holdouts, reluctant county officials and a weakening real estate market made it impractical to pursue his plan. Jeffrey Neal of Monument Realty told Sacks residents he was ending his efforts...

By Dan Beyers | February 26, 2008; 7:11 AM ET | Comments (1)

Up and Down: Hanger, VSE, Human Genome Sciences, Freddie Mac

It was a short week, with just four trading days. Another financial institution's shares got hit, earnings news helped a couple of companies and two got the dubious honor of making it on to our list. Hanger Orthopedics (HGR) of Bethesda had another good week, gaining 10 percent after rising...

By Terri Rupar | February 25, 2008; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Early Briefing: What Makes A Building "Green" ?

On Mondays, we turn the business section over to news about local companies: Larry Laque, a Discovery Communications executive vice president for administrative and technical facilities, led an effort to install energy-saving lights such as these and to remove light bulbs in places where they were not essential. The company...

By Dan Beyers | February 25, 2008; 8:09 AM ET | Comments (0)

 
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