27. March 2012 · Comments Off on Centro finances available before share slump: lawyers · Categories: Finances · Tags:

All the information about Centros debt levels in 2007 and its need to refinance would have been available to investors long before December 2007 when a statement to the stock exchange triggered a crash in its share price, Centros lawyers have told the Federal Court.

As well, in the months before the shares slumped, Centros directors were repeatedly assured by management and general economic commentary that rumbles in world credit markets were a temporary phenomenon and amounted to a shake-out of companies with higher risk profiles.

Putting aside the liquidity problem the company faced in late 2007 … it was profitable … it was not one that was on the road to financial demise by virtue of its performance, Centros counsel Michael Garner told Justice Michelle Gordon.

26. March 2012 · Comments Off on Audit could lead to legal action over Harrisburg’s finances, city receiver … · Categories: Finances · Tags:


M. Diane McCormick, The Patriot-News

The Patriot-News


24. March 2012 · Comments Off on Buttoned Up: Improving your finances · Categories: Finances · Tags:

Buttoned Up: Improving your finances

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24. March 2012 · Comments Off on Abraxas’ 4Q finances dip, earnings up for full 2011 · Categories: Finances · Tags:

Abraxas Petroleum Corp.

Abraxas Petroleum Corp.
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concluded 2011 with notable increases in net income, oil and gas production and revenues.

However, Abraxas’ finances took a tumble in the fourth quarter as the company experienced reduced gas production. A number of dry gas wells were shut-in and curtailed due to pipeline and gas plant capacity issues, according to the company.

The company posted a net loss of $5.26 million, or 6 cents per basic share, on revenues of $16.4 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011. This compares to a net loss of $13.86 million, or 18 cents per share, on revenues of $13.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2010.

For the full year, Abraxas reported net income of $13.7 million, or 15 cents per share, on revenues of $64.6 million. This compares to net income of $1.8 million, or 2 cents per share, on revenues of $58 million for 2010.

San Antonio-based Abraxas (NASDAQ: AXAS) is a crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, the Rocky Mountain region of North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming and the Pekisko formation in Canada.

The company’s full operational update can be found at this link.

In other news, Abraxas’ management has promoted Pete Bommer to the position of vice president of engineering. CEO Bob Watson attributes much of Abraxas’ success in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas and Bakken/Three Forks formation in North Dakota to Bommer.

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James Aldridge oversees online content of the newspaper; edits and reports stories for the online edition.

23. March 2012 · Comments Off on TEXT-Fitch:Pressure on national finances reaches Italian public transport · Categories: Finances · Tags:

(The following statement was released by the rating agency)

March 12 – Fitch Ratings says in a newly-published special report that the Italian national
governments fiscal adjustments and spending cuts for local and regional governments will force
the local transportation sector (bus and metro) to increase tariffs by 20%. The sectors
highly-rigid cost structure makes it difficult to manage cuts in subsidies by reducing the
level of service. Lower resources will also delay the planned liberalisation of bus transport.

Fitch expects the sector to adjust its funding mix over the next years. It will
have to increase tariffs by about 20% to offset cuts in subsidies of about
EUR400m by 2014, equivalent to 5% of the sectors budget. Prices increases for
urban tickets started in Bologna (up 20%), Milan (up 50%) and Naples (up 10%)
while Turin and Rome have announced tariff increases in 2012. Market revenue
will cover about 50% of costs by 2014 (from current 40%), a value closer to that
of the European average.

Fitch does not believe that cuts in subsidies can predominantly be managed by
reducing the level of service. The sectors cost structure is highly rigid –
personnel accounts for 60% of costs – and heavily exposed to the volatility of
fuel bills (15% of costs). After a 19% rise in 2011, fuel prices are expected to
increase again by about 15% in 2012, mainly as a result of tax hikes on
gasoline. Under Fitchs scenario, a reduction of 5% in service levels will only
contribute to limiting cost growth to 1.5%, below the inflation rate of 2%-3% in

Despite the revenue-raising and cost-cutting measures, Fitch expects the
aggregated losses of the bus transportation sector will top EUR300m in 2014,
from an average of about EUR100m in the past five years.

Lower subsidies and growing cost pressure will weigh on the planned
liberalisation of bus transport. Although the aggregation of transportation
companies should be promoted by the possibility that catchments areas for the
assignment of transportation services are set at least at provincial level,
Fitch believes that the related cost-efficiency measures will take time to show
results. Only a growing awareness of the sectors financial needs could make
further revenue-strengthening measures and/or higher subsidies acceptable. This
would allow the loss-making sector to become profitable and therefore remunerate
the invested capital.

The bus sector has a strong need for investment. The average age of the bus
fleet reached 10 years in 2010, from nine years in 2005, significantly higher
than France (eight), Germany (seven), Spain (six) and UK (six). To align the
Italian average life of fleet to the European average, investment should total
around EUR5bn over the next 10 years, equivalent to about EUR10 per inhabitant.
As an alternative to private funding, the public sector could make these
resources available through EUR600m multi-annual subsidies to underpin
debt-funded investments in the near future. This would also act as a
countercyclical measure in the current depressed economic environment.

In the local railway sector, the risk of cuts in public subsidies (70% of
revenue) continues to weigh on the sectors investment plans. From 2013,
subsidies will be replaced by a share of fuel excise but final resources will
depend on progress in balancing national finances. Fitch expects public funds to
remain close to about EUR2bn unless a deeper than expected recession in
2012-2013 exerts downward pressure on these funds. Under Fitchs downside
scenario, EUR500m cuts in subsidies would force regions to increase ticket
prices by 40% and operators to cut their three-year investment plans (EUR1bn) by

The report, entitled Pressure on National Finances Reaches Public Transport is
available at www.fitchratings.com.

Link to Fitch Ratings Report: Pressure on National Finances Reaches Public Transport


21. March 2012 · Comments Off on In GOP Senate battle, McMahon’s finances dwarf Shays’ holdings · Categories: Finances · Tags:

The SP 500 is suffering from a case of envy — courtesy of Linda McMahon.

The two-time Republican Senate candidate and her famous husband, Vince, own between $92 million and $355 million in stocks, bonds and other securities that routinely pay the power couple millions in dividends and interest, according to an analysis of McMahons 2011 financial disclosure report that was filed with the secretary of the Senate.

Candidates and sitting members of Congress are not required to give a specific amount of their investment holdings, just a range.

The couples joint portfolio runs the gamut, from publicly traded stocks such as Apple, Target, McDonalds and Whole Foods Market, to municipal bonds in their home state of Connecticut, as well as private hedge fund investments.

Linda has lived the American Dream. She has experienced hardships and success, said Erin Isaac, McMahons campaign spokeswoman.

A major narrative of McMahons second campaign, like her first, is that she and her husband had to overcome personal bankruptcy before they could realize prosperity.

As she meets with people across the state, her story is something people relate to, Isaac said.

In contrast, the biggest source of income listed by Christopher Shays, McMahons main rival for the GOP Senate nomination, is dock rental fees on his waterfront property in St. Michaels, Md.

Isaac additionally referred to video on McMahons campaign website in which the professional wrestling magnate from Greenwich voiced her support for the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge or STOCK Act.

The ethics bill, which is grinding its way through Congress, bars lawmakers and their aides from insider trading.

I will insist that my investments be put in a blind trust account that I will neither see nor have any control over, McMahon said in the video, which was released last month. I strongly believe members of Congress should be treated the same as everyone else, no preferences, and there should be zero opportunities for personal gain.

Upon request, both the McMahon and Shays campaigns provided copies of their financial disclosure statements.

A separate request for the candidates tax returns was denied by McMahons campaign. Tax returns were not immediately available from Shays, whose campaign said he had not done his taxes yet this year.

In 2010, Linda and Vince McMahon filed joint tax returns. They paid just under 25 percent in federal and state taxes, and donated $1,750,000 individually and through their foundation, according to McMahons campaign, which said it had released more than 100 pages of disclosure materials.

McMahons financial disclosure report covers 105 pages, compared to just six pages for Shays, who lost his seat of 21 years in the House during the 2008 election.

McMahon, who three years ago this month rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange when she was chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, earned between $8.2 million and $29.9 million in interest and dividends with her husband over a 12-month period ending Oct. 20, 2011.

State Republican Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. downplayed the wealth factor of McMahon, who spent $50 million on an unsuccessful bid for Senate in 2010 after leaving the executive ranks of WWE.

Someones financial accomplishments should not negate their ability to connect with people, Labriola said.

Matt Wylie, the campaign manager for Shays, characterized it as presumptuous of McMahon to be discussing blind trusts.

Between three bank savings accounts and one at a credit union, Shays listed between $117,004 and $330,000 in assets. His home near the Chesapeake Bay is valued between $1 million and $5 million, generating $5,001 to $15,000 in annual dock rental income. Shays did not list any stock holdings.

McMahon listed her spouse as owning over $1 million in WWE stock on her report, which did not require her to give a range because Vince McMahons assets in the wrestling entertainment conglomerate are independently held.

The McMahons joint stock holdings include $100,001 to $250,000 in each of the following companies — Bed Bath Beyond, Costco, IBM, Intel, Nike, Target, Verizon, Whole Foods Markets and Priceline.com.

The couple owns between $50,001 and $100,000 of stocks in the following companies — Starbucks, Time Warner Inc. and Tiffany Co.

They also have substantial holdings in the bond market, owning some $34 million to $121 million in assets. In addition to general obligation bonds of the state of Connecticut and the University of Connecticut, the couple is invested in municipal bonds for the following cities and towns — Norwalk, Wilton, Danbury, Glastonbury, Newtown, New Milford and Middletown.

We wouldnt have any schools, roads or bridges if people didnt invest in municipal bonds, Labriola said.

The couple also owns between $500,001 and $1 million in state of New Jersey Tobacco Settlement bonds, which are tax-free bonds backed by the revenue from the landmark 1998 settlement between four tobacco companies and 46 states.

Non-publicly traded assets accounted for between $5.7 and $18.5 million of the McMahons total portfolio.

Of that, $1 million to $5 million is tied up in UBS Quadrangle Fund LLC, which is a hedge fund that invests primarily in media companies.

neil.vigdor@scni.com; 203-625-4436; http://twitter.com/gettinviggy

20. March 2012 · Comments Off on Railways finances messy budget, but hope drowns experience · Categories: Finances · Tags:

The expected did not come to pass and the Indian Railways has once again missed an opportunity to make this giant infrastructure operationally viable.

The rail budget speech has made the appropriate noises when it comes to stressing its importance in theeconomy by saying that it was at the crossroads and even moots a national plan for this premier transportation network.

True, for the first time in the recent past, it has proposed a hike in fares across-the-board – a few days earlier, there was a stiff increase in freight rates but this effort is no more than tokenism and it does very little towards rationalisation of the fare structure. Nor to restore to a modicum of financial health.

17. March 2012 · Comments Off on Tightening of campaign finances raises question: Will Mitt Romney self-finance … · Categories: Finances · Tags:

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul did not respond to a Globe inquiry about whether tapping the candidate’s personal wealth is an option, other than to say in an e-mail that the campaign had its “second best fund-raising month to date in February.”

A week earlier, Romney told reporters: “I don’t have any plans with regard to my campaign finances at this stage other than to keep on raising the money necessary to go forward.”

The campaign has said it will report next week that Romney raised about $11.5 million and spent slightly more in February, ending the month with $7.3 million cash on hand. Meanwhile, Santorum’s campaign, which has raised about one-fifth the amount Romney’s has, reported taking in $9 million in February, much more than it had in the previous 10 months combined. The campaign has not disclosed its cash on hand.

In the battle of allied super PACs, Romney-friendly Restore Our Future has outspent Red White and Blue Fund, which supports Santorum, $35 million to $6 million, according to the most recent expenditure tallies of the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation.

Three Romney advisers said that regardless of the outcome of individual contests, the campaign is sticking to a game plan that does not include the candidate’s personal funds, though none could completely rule it out if circumstances change. In 2008 Romney dumped $42.3 million of his fortune into his campaign till before dropping out in early February.

Through January of both 2008 and 2012, Romney had raised the same amount, about $63 million in contributions from others, more than any other Republican to that point in both cycles.

“There are no plans to have Mitt kick in money,” said one Romney campaign adviser, who, like the others, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. “This is built from the ground up.”

“We’ve got a plan, and we’ve been focused and disciplined,” another adviser said.

15. March 2012 · Comments Off on Fitch Affirms Croatia’s Ratings at BBB-, Negative Outlook · Categories: Finances · Tags:

Croatia had its credit rating
affirmed by Fitch Ratings at BBB-, the lowest investment grade,
with a negative outlook because of its “sizeable” budget
deficit and lack of policy steps to consolidate finances.

Risks to Croatia’s creditworthiness “remain on the
downside” with public finances “a key concern,” Michele Napolitano, associate director at Fitch’s Emerging Europe
Sovereigns team in London, said in a statement today. The rating
is on par with Iceland, Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania.

Croatia, which is set to become the European Union’s 28th
member in 2013, needs to service a growing external debt and
revive its faltering economy. Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic
said last month that the economy will grow 0.8 percent in 2012,
while central bank Governor Zeljko Rohatinski said in December
the country may slide into recession again this year after a
modest recovery in 2011.

The government, which took power in January, proposed to
cut spending by 4 billion kuna ($700 million) by approving lower
subsidies to state companies and clipping the public wage bill.

“Despite some positive initial policy steps by the new
government, further fiscal consolidation measures and structural
reforms will be required to boost economic growth and stabilize
the public finances,” Napolitano said in the statement.
“Meanwhile, Croatia’s sizeable budget deficit, relatively high
public and external debt ratios, and the difficult external
financing environment mean that risks to creditworthiness remain
on the downside.”

External Debt

The country’s external debt reached 46 percent of gross
domestic product last year. Fitch forecast that it will peak at
56 percent in 2015.

The government plans to revive investment by injecting 8
billion kuna from reconstruction banks and EU funds into
infrastructure and the energy industry. The World Bank last
month said growth this year will probably remain flat, while
Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank dd today predicted a contraction of 2
percent, citing a continued investment drought and high external

These revenue projections are “optimistic,” Napolitano
said, adding the government will have to make more cuts to meet
its budget deficit target of 3.8 percent of GDP.

“In terms of potential rating triggers, significant fiscal
slippage from the government’s targets and a failure to
introduce substantive structural reforms to boost growth would
lead to a downgrade,” Napolitano said. “Balance of payment
pressures that led to a sustained fall in foreign exchange
reserves would also put downward pressure on the rating.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Jasmina Kuzmanovic in Zagreb at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
James M. Gomez at

15. March 2012 · Comments Off on Connie Mack’s finances, past fighting become campaign issues · Categories: Finances · Tags:

Not only was it a cheap shot, but you cant even say it was close to the truth, said Mack, a four-term congressman from Fort Myers, in an angry interview with the Orlando Sentinel. It was full of lies.

The political fight erupted after reports in the past two weeks that Mack, now 44, struggled with finances in 2005 when he was divorcing his wife of nearly nine years, Ann Mack. Those piled atop previous reports linking Mack to two bar altercations one of which left him with a broken leg and two road-rage incidents that occurred in his early 20s.