Signature hires lab chief

THURSDAY, NOV. 6, 2008

Spokane-based Signature Genomic Laboratories has hired Dr. Allen Lamb to work as a lab director and help the company develop more diagnostic tools to meet growing demand for its services.

Lamb has worked as a medical director at the University of Utah’s ARUP Laboratories and before that, for 16 years, at Genzyme Genetics in Santa Fe, N.M.

Lamb said he’s moving from Utah for two reasons: to work with Signature Genomic, which, he said, has the “best current technology in the field of molecular cytogenetic diagnosis,” and because he looks forward to the recreation choices in Eastern Washington.

Signature Genomic Laboratories was the first commercial laboratory to provide microarray-based cytogenetic diagnostics with its trademarked and patented SignatureChip. A microarray is a slide with thousands of microscopic spots of human DNA.

Clinics and medical researchers use those microarrays to examine human DNA samples to help identify genetic disorders.


Hecla Mining posts loss

Hecla Mining Co. reported a third quarter loss of $7.2 million compared to income of $12.3 million for the third quarter of 2007.

Third quarter 2008 results were impacted by higher smelter costs and diesel fuel prices, decreased metals prices, and increased interest expense resulting from Hecla’s earlier purchase of the Greens Creek joint venture in Alaska. Hecla has $161 million in debt remaining from the $750 million purchase of Greens Creek. The company remains on track to meet the estimate of about 9 million ounces of silver production in 2008, at an average total cash cost in the range of $3.50 per ounce.

For the first nine months of 2008, Hecla recorded a loss applicable to common shareholders of $39.5 million, or 31 cents per share, compared to income of $44.6 million, or 37 cents per share, for the first nine months of 2007. In addition to higher operating costs, results for the first nine months of 2008 were affected by Hecla’s purchase of the remainder of the Greens Creek joint venture, as well as the loss on the sale of Hecla’s Venezuelan properties.


Mills closing temporarily

Potlatch Corp. will temporarily close three sawmills, including its St. Maries, Idaho plywood plant, due to “continuing poor market conditions,” the Spokane-based company announced Tuesday.

Potlatch’s Post Falls particleboard plant will remain closed until orders increase, the company said in a press release.

The company will close its St. Maries mill Nov. 10-14, resume production Nov. 17-24, then stop again until Dec. 1.

Potlatch’s Lewiston sawmill will shut down Nov. 10-Dec. 1; its stud mill in Gwinn, Mich., will be closed on a schedule similar to the St. Maries plant.


Red Lion earnings drop

Red Lion Hotels Corp. Wednesday reported lower earnings as the slowing economy eroded room occupancy and the company renovated recently acquired properties in Anaheim, Calif., and Denver.

The two hotels helped boost revenue for the third quarter 4.3 percent over last year to $56.9 million. But net income slipped, down 23.5 percent to $4.4 million, as did earnings per share, down 33.3 percent to 24 cents. EBITDA – net before interest, taxes and other expenses – fell 7.6 percent to $14.1 million.

For the first nine months of the year, revenue increased 2.4 percent to $146.2 million. Net income fell 64.8 percent to $2.2 million, earnings per share fell 67.6 percent to 12 cents, and EBITDA dropped 15.2 percent to $24.1 million.

Spokane-based Red Lion owns or franchises 47 hotels in nine states.

From staff reports

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