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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 7, 2008

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Homebuilding giant posts loss, devalues holdings

Associated Press

DALLAS D.R. Horton said yesterday it swung to a loss in the second quarter, as a sustained housing slump forced the nation's largest homebuilder to take hefty charges and write down the value of property.

Fort Worth, Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc. recorded a loss of $1.31 billion, or $4.14 per share, compared with year-ago profit of $51.7 million, or 16 cents per share.

D.R. Horton operates in Hawai'i as D.R. Horton, Schuler Division.

The latest period includes pretax write-down charges of $834.1 million. Revenue plunged to $1.62 billion from $2.62 billion a year ago.


OIL FUTURES NEAR $123 A BARREL

NEW YORK Oil futures blasted to a new record near $123 a barrel yesterday, gaining momentum as investors bought on a forecast of much higher prices and on any news hinting at supply shortages.

Retail gas prices edged lower, but appear poised to rise to new records of their own in coming weeks.

A new Goldman Sachs prediction that oil prices could rise to $150 to $200 within two years seemed to motivate much of yesterday's buying, although a falling dollar and increasing concerns about declining crude production in Mexico and Russia contributed, analysts say.


CISCO WEATHERING ECONOMIC STORM

SAN JOSE, Calif. Cisco Systems Inc.'s profit fell 5 percent in its fiscal third quarter but beat Wall Street's expectations, a sign the turbulent U.S. economy didn't rattle the world's largest networking equipment maker as hard as expected.

The San Jose-based firmed earned $1.77 billion, or 29 cents per share, during the three months ended April 26. That represents a drop of 5.4 percent from the $1.87 billion, or 30 cents per share, that Cisco earned during the same period a year ago.

Stripping out 9 cents per share in one-time charges for acquisition and employee stock-based compensation, Cisco earned 38 cents per share. That's 2 cents per share above the average estimate on the same basis from analysts polled by Thomson Financial.


DISNEY WORKS ITS MAGIC IN 2Q

LOS ANGELES Strong growth in its media networks, film studios and theme parks lifted The Walt Disney Co.'s second-quarter net profit 22 percent from a year ago, the company said yesterday.

Disney said it earned $1.13 billion, or 58 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 29, compared with $931 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue grew 10 percent to $8.71 billion. The results beat Wall Street estimates.


BANKS BORROW $435B FROM FED

WASHINGTON Battling to relieve stressed credit markets, the Federal Reserve said yesterday it has provided a total of $435 billion in short-term loans to squeezed banks since December to help them overcome credit problems.

The central bank announced the results of its most recent auction $75 billion in short-term loans the 11th such auction since the program started in December.

It's part of the Fed's effort to help ease the credit crunch that erupted last August.


'WIMAX' WIRELESS NETWORK IN 2009

NEW YORK Sprint and Clearwire are forming a new company to build a nationwide "WiMax" wireless network, with the goal of offering advanced wireless Internet services to millions beginning next year, people with direct knowledge of the situation say.

Google, Intel, Comcast and Time Warner also are major investors. Under terms of the $3.2 billion collaboration, Sprint and Clearwire will form a separate, publicly traded company called Clearwire to oversee the nationwide buildout.