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Business in brief: Key Tronic earnings off, but fourth quarter revenue up

Spokane contract manufacturer Key Tronic Corp. reported fourth quarter earnings Tuesday of $287,000 or 3 cents per share, compared with $2.6 million or 26 cents a share from the same period of 2008.

For 2009 fiscal year, Key Tronic’s net income came to $1.1 million or 11 cents per share. For fiscal 2008, the company earned $5.6 million or 56 cents per share.

Despite difficult global conditions, Key Tronic CEO Craig Gates noted fourth quarter 2009 revenue increased 9 percent from the third quarter 2009, when it generated $262,000 in net income, or 3 cents per share.

Gold Reserve’s loss narrower than year ago

Spokane mining company Gold Reserve Inc. reported a second quarter loss of $787,000 or 1 cent per share, compared with a loss of $4.1 million and 7 cents per share from the same quarter one year ago.

The company’s earnings report said quarterly revenue was $1.9 million compared with $769,000 in revenue from the second quarter ending June 30, 2008.

Operating expenses for the second quarter 2009 were $2.4 million, compared with $4.7 million in the same quarter one year earlier.

Report finds inflation tame, with no change in sight

Washington – Inflation was a no-show in July and likely will stay away for months to come, giving the Federal Reserve room to keep invigorating the economy with record-low interest rates.

That was the message economists took from a report Tuesday that wholesale prices fell over the past 12 months by the sharpest amount in 62 years of record-keeping – the latest sign that inflation is posing no threat.

The Labor Department said wholesale prices sank 0.9 percent in July, triple the decline that economists had expected. Over the past year, wholesale prices have dropped 6.8 percent. That’s the biggest drop in records dating to 1947.

A steep decline in energy prices drove the overall drop. But even apart from energy and food prices, which tend to be volatile, inflation was calm. The so-called “core” inflation rate for wholesale goods – excluding food and energy – fell 0.1 percent in July.

Workers on strike at plant that produces VW Beetle

Puebla, Mexico – Workers at Volkswagen AG’s plant in Mexico – the only one in the world turning out the company’s trademark new Beetle – went on strike Tuesday after negotiations for a salary increase collapsed.

The union, which represents 9,400 workers, rejected the company’s offer of a 1 percent pay increase starting in February and one-time bonus of $425, union spokesman Arturo Monter said. Unionized workers, who earn an average pay of about $30 a day, are demanding an 8.25 percent salary raise.

Monter said the strike will paralyze production of 1,500 cars a day.

The two sides are expected to meet again for talks Thursday.

Price of PlayStation 3 cut $100 in bid for sales

New York – After months of rumors and anticipation, Sony Corp. is slashing the price of the PlayStation 3 by $100 in hopes of boosting sales of the console ahead of the important holiday season.

Sony Corp. said Tuesday it will cut the price of the currently available 80 gigabyte PlayStation 3 effective immediately, to $299. It is also launching a slimmer, lighter model with a 120 GB hard drive in early September; that version will also cost $299.

Sony also cut the price of its existing 160 GB PlayStation 3 by $100, to $399. All price cuts apply worldwide.


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