Roundup: Sirius XM, Washington REIT, Fan & Fred

From staff and wire reports

*Sirius XM Radio chief executive Mel Karmazin said he is confident the company can refinance debt coming due next year and reiterated forecasts for cost savings and earnings. "We're certainly engaged in discussions with the people who hold our debt," Karmazin said at Dow Jones and Nielsen Co.'s Media and Money conference in New York today. "As of this morning, we feel very confident that we'll be able to deal with any of the speed bumps that any of the maturities offer."

The company faces $1.1 billion in loan repayments in 2009, including $300 million in convertible bonds in February. Karmazin said in August the debt will "be dealt with sooner rather than later, just to get that issue behind us."

*Washington Real Estate Investment Trust of Rockville named William T. Camp as chief financial officer, succeeding Sara L. Grootwassink. The company said Grootwassink, who is resigning because she is moving to the West Coast, will stay in her job until Feb. 28. Camp has held positions at Wachovia Securities, most recently as vice president, assistant director of equities, and A.G. Edwards & Sons.

*Yields on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac corporate debt rose to records relative to Treasurys as the government said it would guarantee borrowing by banks, providing bond buyers with competing U.S.-backed investments. The difference between yields on District-based Fannie's five-year debt and similar-maturity Treasurys rose 15.8 basis points to 118.2 basis points as of 3:35 p.m. in New York, according to data complied by Bloomberg.

*Circuit City Stores of Richmond has started offering the same prices in its stores as on its Web site in an effort to beef up its rapport with customers and increase store traffic and sales, the company said. Retailers sometimes offer different prices on Web sites and in stores, though some retail consultants say such practices can make customers less trusting when they find out about them.

The move comes as the nation's No. 2 electronics retailer heads into a crucial holiday shopping season that could determine its future, amid a weak consumer spending environment that has even the least vulnerable retailers worried.

It's "no secret this holiday season is probably one of the most important ones in our history as a company and with these equities in place, we feel pretty good about it," said Jeff Maynard, Circuit City's vice president of marketing.

By Terri Rupar  |  October 14, 2008; 4:00 PM ET  | Category:  Roundup
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