Morning Briefing: What's Next for Circuit City?

A sharp drop in the price of flat-panel televisions caused Circuit City to plan sweeping changes. (By Mario Tama -- Getty Images)

*Circuit City has cut staff and expenses, and investors are getting antsy. But the Richmond-based chain hopes it can turn it all around with its new, smaller stores it calls "The City," different ways of training staff and other reforms. See story.

*Sallie Mae's Albert L. Lord was going to get $3 million in salary. That was as executive chairman. But now he's vice chairman and chief executive, and the board has bumped his pay down to $1.25 million. See story.

*Activists and politicians in Montgomery County say developers and builders have been allowed by the county's housing agency to circumvent county rules aimed at expanding affordable housing. One example is on Hampden Lane, right near the Bethesda Metro station. See story.

*The setback dealt to the Dulles rail extension has given rise to worry over the Purple Line and other area transit projects. See story.

*Emergent BioSolutions, a developer of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals in Rockville, spent almost $1.3 million in the second half of 2007 to lobby the federal government. It spent the same amount in the first half of the year. Emergent lobbied on a bill that would implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and on matters related to Project BioShield. Project BioShield is a federal program designed to speed up the purchase and development of medicines to protect citizens from bioterrorist threats.

*BearingPoint said its 2007 loss widened as sales to businesses stagnated. The loss expanded to as much as $375 million last year from $213.4 million in 2006, the McLean contractor said in a regulatory filing. Net revenue was little changed, at a range of $2.63 billion to $2.65 billion. The company is scheduled to report full results Feb. 28. See press release.

*Trex, the largest U.S. maker of composite decking and fencing materials, said 2007 sales fell short of its forecast as it updated its inventory. Sales were hurt in the fourth quarter as Trex took back older-generation deck board inventory and issued $7.6 million in distributor credits.

Full-year sales will total about $329 million, less than the $335 to $345 million forecast, the Winchester, Va., company said in a statement. It will announce quarterly results Feb. 26. See press release.

By Terri Rupar  |  February 7, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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