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Business Briefs: Web page set up for workers, businesses affected by fires

Fri., July 25, 2014, midnight

Washington employment officials have created a Web page for workers and businesses affected by the recent Eastern Washington wildfires.

That page explains those left out of work due to fires can apply for benefits via that site or by calling 800-318-6022.

The Employment Security Department will waive the work-search requirements for new and current affected claimants for up to four weeks.

Businesses affected by the fires can also seek a waiver in meeting the July 31 tax reports and payment deadline.

Those owners or manager can contact the tax account management center at (855) 829-9243 and selecting option 2. 

Ford posts 2Q earnings gain

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor Co. beat Wall Street’s expectations in the second quarter as it chalked up a record profit in North America and made money in Europe for the first time in three years.

But things will get leaner in the second half as Ford closes one of its U.S. pickup truck plants to prepare for the launch of its new aluminum-sided F-150. Marketing expenses for new products, like the truck and the Ford Edge in the U.S. and the Mondeo and Focus sedans in Europe, will also take a bite out of earnings.

For the April-June period, Ford’s net income rose 6 percent to $1.3 billion. Ford’s revenue fell 1 percent to $37.4 billion, but topped analysts’ expectation of $36.2 billion.

Ford shares crossed $18 for the first time since early 2011 in morning trading, and were up 20 cents to $17.98 at midday.

Starbucks posts record sales

Starbucks’ growing ability to draw people into the store for things other than a coffee run brought in record quarterly revenues and higher-than-expected profits.

The coffee giant said that in the U.S., sales for stores that were open a year ago grew 6 percent.

The majority of the bump came from people buying La Boulange bakery items, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, as well as novel drinks such as Teavana iced tea, Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead said in an interview.

Booming sales in the U.S. and other markets, including Asia, led Starbucks to post profits of $0.67 per share, above Wall Street expectations and its own guidance, and 22 percent above the same period last year. Revenues topped $4.15 billion, up 11 percent and a record for the company.

Amazon shares decline shares sank in after-hours trading after the online retail giant posted a second-quarter loss that was larger than Wall Street expected.

Amazon reported $19.34 billion in revenue, a 23 percent gain. It lost $126 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with a $7 million loss, or 2 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts expected the company to lose 15 cents a share on sales of $19.3 billion.

Amazon shares fell $26.29 to $332.32 in after hours trading.

Walla Walla item goes national

Wine Away, Walla Walla’s renowned red wine stain remover, will soon be on the shelves of Dallas retailer Container Store across the country, as well as the online shop.

“I’m a huge Container Store fan and have been working on getting Wine Away into their stores for the past two years,” Wine Away President Staci Wanichek said in the announcement. “We are very excited about the partnership.

The stain spray will hit the stores the week of Aug. 17, Wanichek said.


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