Wednesday AM August 6th, 2008

With Tropical Storm Edouard's passage, Galveston anxious to resume tourism industry…U.S. airlines improve on-time averages…Executives set to attract 6.2 percent in additional salary this year…

Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas ended the state of emergency for Tropical Storm Edouard at 5 p.m on Tuesday. The Emergency Operations Center also de-activated. The news release sent to media with her announcement also said "Galveston is open for business and encourages families and groups to visit the beaches, hotels, restaurants and world class attractions." The Galveston Daily News published a headline article on Tuesday morning called "Edouard churns; Businesses brace for hype over hurricane." Business owners complained of tourists cancelling hotel reservations and major employers sending their workers home.


The Transportation Department reports U.S. airlines were on time more often in June--compared to one year ago. The Feds say weather was a big culprit, with big hubs such as Dallas-Fort Worth International prone to thunderstorms. Customers filed fewer complaints about their baggage. DOT says 1.8 percent of domestic commercial flights were canceled in June, down from 2.7 percent in June 2007. The 19 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 70.8 percent in June, higher than June 2007's 68.1 percent. Fort Worth-based American Airlines had the worst on-time arrival rate--at 58.8 percent. Hawaiian Airlines had the best on-time arrival rate--at 92.2 percent. Among the major hub carriers, US Airways Group was best and sixth overall, at 76.3 percent, in a tie with Dallas-based Southwest Airlines.


With average executive tenure falling to a new lost of 3.2 years, an ExecuNet survey indicates companies are turning to higher salaries and non-competitive agreements to attract and retain executives. The survey says executive compensation increased 5.7 percent last year, and is expected to grow an additional 6.2 percent this year.


Earnings

Reliant Energy reported net income of $358.7 million on revenue of $3.42 billion for its second quarter, compared with a loss of $283 million on revenue of $2.65 billion in the same quarter last year.

D.R. Horton--the nation's largest homebuilder--said that its losses in the fiscal third quarter narrowed as the value of its inventory of unsold homes and land holdings showed signs of stabilizing. But the results fell far short of Wall Street's expectations. During a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Donald J. Tomnitz, Horton's president and chief executive, said an improving market is still "a couple of years away." The Fort Worth-based company posted a loss of $339.3 million in the quarter that ended June 30th. That's down from the loss of 823.8 million in the same period last year.

Tenet Healthcare says its loss narrowed in the second quarter, partly due to better contract terms with managed care providers and growth in admissions. The Dallas-based company said it had a loss of $15 million. Thomson Financial says analysts expected revenue of $2.29 billion. The hospital operator says revenue rose six percent to $2.18 billion from $2.05 billion. Tenet Healthcare says admissions and outpatient visits by paying patients both grew. Price increases from better terms in its commercial managed care contracts also helped boost profit and revenue.


Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...