Business in brief: Itron posts loss for first quarter

Liberty Lake water and electric meter company Itron Inc. reported losses of 55 cents per share and $19.7 million for the first quarter of 2009.

For the same first quarter of 2008 the company reported earnings of 3 cents a share and $953,000.

Total revenues for the first quarter of 2009 were $389 million, or 19 percent lower than 2008 first-quarter revenues of $478 million.

CEO and President Malcolm Unsworth noted in a release, “Business was soft in the first quarter. We are seeing effects of the slowdown in the U.S. economy, and our international results have been affected by a stronger dollar. Nonetheless, we had very strong bookings and our total backlog is at record levels, which gives us confidence in the longer term.”

Tom Sowa


NW Bancorporation reports loss

Spokane-based Northwest Bancorporation Inc. on Wednesday reported a 15-cent-per-share loss and a loss of $256,000 for the first quarter of 2009. For the first quarter of 2008, it reported earnings of 18 cents per share and $440,000.

Northwest Bancorporation is the holding company for Inland Northwest Bank, which operates eight branches in Eastern Washington and four in Kootenai County.

The company noted one factor behind the first-quarter results was a $950,000 increase in the provision for potential loan losses.

The earnings report noted the bank has assets of $399.2 million, a decrease of $1 million or 0.3 percent, compared to December 2008, and an increase of $47.5 million, or 13 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008.

Tom Sowa

Charlotte, N.C.

BofA shareholders oust chairman

Ken Lewis was ousted as chairman of Bank of America Corp. on Wednesday after shareholders angry about the company’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. voted to separate the job from that of chief executive.

Lewis will remain the CEO of the bank, but board member Walter E. Massey, president emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, will become BofA’s chairman.

Shareholders narrowly voted at the bank’s annual meeting Wednesday to split the jobs following months of rancor over the Merrill Lynch acquisition. After the deal was sealed Jan. 1, Merrill Lynch reported $15 billion in fourth-quarter losses.

Associated Press

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