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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 20, 2006

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Bigger cruise ship coming

Advertiser Staff

NCL Corp. will bring in a larger ship next year to replace the Norwegian Wind on its 10- and 11-day Hawai'i cruises that include a stop in the Fanning Islands, the company announced yesterday.

The addition of the Norwegian Sun to NCL Corp.'s Hawai'i-based fleet will increase the company's capacity in the Islands to 450,000 passengers in 2007, NCL said. The new ship is scheduled to arrive in Hawai'i next June.

NCL, through its subsidiary NCL America, also operates the U.S.-flagged Pride of Aloha and Pride of America in Hawaiian waters. The company's newest U.S-flagged ship, the Pride of Hawaii, is scheduled to begin interisland cruises June 5.


HOKU SHARES HIT NEW LOW

Shares of Kapolei-based Hoku Scientific Inc. closed at a new low of $4.43 a share yesterday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Hoku's share price has been falling since the maker of fuel-cell membranes this month said it expected revenues of $5 million to $7 million during the current fiscal year, compared with $5.5 million in the prior fiscal year.


TED TURNER LEAVES ... SOFTLY

ATLANTA Ted Turner was uncharacteristically understated yesterday as he left Time Warner Inc., the media conglomerate that swallowed his cable network company and sidelined him as a mover and shaker in the businesses that he helped to create.

The CNN founder told Time Warner shareholders at their annual meeting he regrets not being able to do more for them. "I just wish the last five years I could have made a bigger contribution," Turner, 67, said. "I hung in there as long as I could. I've done my best."


FORD READY FOR STRIKE, CEO SAYS

DETROIT Ford Motor Co. has made preparations for a strike by auto supplier Delphi Corp., but Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford said he's been encouraged by reports of progress in negotiations that could avoid a strike.

Ford also said he supports President Bush's effort to let the administration not Congress set new fuel economy standards for cars, saying that would ensure the rules are dictated by science instead of politics. But he said he was hurt when Bush implied that the Big Three automakers aren't making relevant products.


CASINO OWNER TAKES RIVAL'S BID

LAS VEGAS Tropicana hotel-casino owner Aztar Corp. ended a bidding war yesterday by breaking with suitor Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. and accepting a rival buyout bid of $54 per share from Columbia Sussex Corp.

Phoenix-based Aztar said it paid Las Vegas-based Pinnacle a $78 million breakup fee to accept the cash bid from Columbia Sussex casino subsidiary Columbia Entertainment, the business name for Wimar Tahoe Corp.