July 27, 2012 in Business

Red Lion franchises Helena’s Colonial Hotel

From Staff And Wire Reports

Red Lion Hotels Corp. has sold its Colonial Hotel in Helena.

Spokane-based Red Lion will receive $5.6 million. The new owners of the hotel in Montana’s state capital plan to stick with the Red Lion brand and enter into a franchise lease agreement.

The sale is part of Red Lion’s strategy of selling assets to pay down debts, said Jon Eliassen, president and chief executive.

The Helena hotel has 149 rooms and boasts the largest meeting space in the city. It was renovated six years ago.

Red Lion has 48 hotels in nine states and Canada. The company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the RLH ticker symbol.

New record set for rate on 30-year mortgage

WASHINGTON – The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell again, this time dropping below 3.50 percent for the first time on records dating back 60 years.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.49 percent. That’s down from 3.53 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, dipped to 2.80 percent. That’s below last week’s previous record of 2.83 percent. The rate on the 30-year loan has fallen to or matched record-low levels in 13 of the past 14 weeks.

Facebook’s first public quarter proves solid

NEW YORK – Facebook’s first earnings report as a public company had solid numbers, but in the end it landed with a thud – much like its rocky initial public offering two months ago.

Facebook reported stronger-than-expected revenue and a gain in user numbers Thursday. But investors weren’t impressed and after a brief spike, its stock tumbled stock fell nearly 9 percent, or $2.38, to $24.47 in after-hours trading. It had closed down 8.5 percent, or $2.50, at $26.84.

“They didn’t break any banks,” said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at research firm eMarketer. “They did not come out any better than anybody had expected.”

Even so, Facebook Inc. said revenue grew 32 percent to $1.18 billion from $895 million a year ago.

Adjusted earnings of $295 million, or 12 cents per share, matched Wall Street’s expectations.

Analysts, on average had expected slightly lower revenue of $1.16 billion, according to FactSet.

Facebook said it had 955 million active monthly users as of June 30, up 29 percent from a year earlier.

Overall the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company posted a loss of $157 million, or 8 cents per share in the April-June period, mainly due to compensation expenses it incurred when it gave employees $1.3 billion in restricted stock and related taxes as part of the IPO. The loss compared with earnings of $240 million, or 11 cents per share, in the second quarter a year ago.

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