West Nile Virus

first_imgWith its shocking impact on babies and mothers, the Zika virus has gotten a lot of attention. However, some entomologists are looking at the current, abnormally dry weather and becoming concerned that another mosquito-borne illness could become a threat later this summer.Climatically, the stage has been set for West Nile virus to spread later this summer, said Elmer Gray, a public health entomologist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.The northern half of Georgia experienced extremely dry or drought conditions throughout June. That dry weather has suppressed some mosquito populations, but it may be setting the state up for late summer’s southern house mosquitoes, which carry the West Nile virus.Despite their name, southern house mosquitoes don’t breed in homes. They prefer the stagnant waters and stable temperatures of storm drain systems and catch basins, Gray said.During non-drought periods, southern house mosquito eggs and larvae are washed out of storm drains by frequent rainfall. But when rainfall is scarce, the eggs are left to develop in the stagnant water that often stands in catch basins and storm drains.During times of drought, public health experts and entomologists often see an uptick in southern house mosquito populations and cases of West Nile virus.In 2012, during the state’s last prolonged and serious drought, Georgia saw 117 cases of West Nile virus, more than four times as many as reported in 2011, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.Southern house mosquitoes are most active — and West Nile virus transmission is most common — during late summer and early fall, with the period from August 15 to September 15 being the historical peak of the transmission season.About 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms. A small population of those infected will experience body and joint aches, rashes, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Of those patients becoming ill, some will experience an inflammation of the brain and surrounding tissue, causing neurological symptoms with recovery periods lasting weeks or months. Older Georgians are much more likely to become seriously ill from West Nile virus.Since families are often not able to control the nearby population of southern house mosquitoes, they need to protect themselves from bites by using repellents, including DEET; wearing lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants; and making sure their houses are fitted with working window screens.For more information about mosquitoes in Georgia, visit ent.uga.edu/pubs/mosquitos.htm.last_img read more

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Safe Holiday Bird

first_imgEveryone has seen that idyllic Norman Rockwell painting of a proud mother placing her perfectly cooked turkey on the table as the crowning jewel of a holiday feast. Although our family dinner tables may not be so picturesque, they do usually include a turkey. Many family chefs opt for roasting the turkey, but there are several other methods that yield wonderful results.If you want to cook turkey with a different twist this year, read on for some tips from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension for a delicious, juicy and safe final product.No matter the cooking method, be sure to cook the turkey to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and check for that temperature in several places on the bird with a calibrated food thermometer recommended for poultry. This is required to make sure your food is safe to eat.Some favorite tools for cooking turkeys include electric roaster ovens, grills, smokers and even deep fat fryers. These offer a different way to cook the traditional turkey, while freeing up oven space for other dishes.Electric roaster ovens are tabletop appliances made specifically for cooking poultry. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended temperature settings, but temperature requirements are generally the same as they are for conventional ovens. Check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. To remove the pink appearance and rubbery texture, cook turkey to a higher temperature, such as 180 F.Grilling has become a popular method for cooking turkey. Place a pan of water below the grill rack to catch turkey drippings. It is only recommended that you grill turkeys that are 16 pounds or less, as larger turkeys stay in the danger zone too long and may lead to foodborne illness. Grilled turkeys should never be stuffed, as it takes too long for the stuffing to reach 165 F, the safe zone.Smokers are usually cylinder-shaped and can use gas, electric or charcoal. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for operating and cooking with the smoker. The necessary cooking time depends on several factors, such as the size and shape of the turkey, temperature of the coals and distance from the heat source. Generally, it will take about 20 to 30 minutes per pound, but always check the turkey with a food thermometer. Whole turkeys can be safely cooked in a deep fat fryer as long as the turkey is fully thawed and unstuffed. For frying, choose a pot that is large enough for the turkey to be completely submerged in oil at 350 F. Ideally, a commercial fryer designed for frying whole turkeys should be used. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for heating the oil and cooking the turkey. Carefully lower the turkey into the fryer; once submerged, it should take about three to five minutes per pound to cook the turkey. (Check the internal temperature with a food thermometer as described above.) If the turkey is not done, return it to the cooking oil and let it finish cooking. Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving and serving it.last_img read more

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PlantTape Technology

first_imgAs Georgia Vidalia onion producers plant next year’s crop, they are transplanting the onions, or physically placing the plants into a hole dug in the ground. Farmers may soon be using a new method that literally rolls the plants into the soil.PlantTape technology could make planting by hand a thing of the past, according to Cliff Riner, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension area agent for Vidalia onions.“The way we currently plant our onions is all by hand. It’s very primitive. We have to hand pull the onions and then we have to transplant them. It’s very costly to the producer to have to pay for that much labor,” Riner said. “With a machine like this that utilizes PlantTape, you have a lot more options. You’re a lot more accurate and it’s also easier on the producer in terms of labor.”Riner and fellow UGA Extension agents in southeast Georgia are in the second phase of planting research trials this year using PlantTape technology. All parts of onion production are being evaluated, including fertilizer and herbicide applications, as well as a side-by-side comparison of transplanted plants and plants grown using PlantTape technology.“Our goal is, in one year, to learn as much as possible so we can share that information with the producers,” Riner said. “This is a huge investment from the (PlantTape) company and the Vidalia Onion Committee.”According to the PlantTape website, the tape is made of peat moss and vermiculite, a mineral that expands when heated, between two layers of biodegradable tape material. The trays of tape are created and seeds are planted in a PlantTape sowing line. Every six seconds, 630 seeds are dropped from a seeder into a premade hole in the tape. The tape material holds the seeds in place.Once in the trays, the seeded tape can be stored or wetted to start the germination process. If desired, trays can be stored for a later planting date as long as they remain dry.After germinating in a nursery, the seedlings develop normally in the plant pockets of the tape. What’s unique is that the plants can be transplanted at any stage of development, from a couple of days after germination to a fully grown seedling plant.Brian Antle, president of PlantTape, says the equipment has been used to plant lettuce, romaine, broccoli and cauliflower in California. In previous plantings, the machine reduced labor by 80 percent and usually covered twice as much ground.Using PlantTape, a normal 16-person transplanting crew could be reduced to a crew of three. One tractor driver and two workers are required to change out trays on the machine as it moves down the field.“It can create a lot of efficiencies at the field level and also at the nursery level. We can grow a lot more plants per square foot with our system. There’s a lot of efficiencies all around,” Antle said.The Vidalia Onion Committee is funding the UGA research on PlantTape because it sees the potential in decreasing a substantial burden on onion production, said Bob Stafford, committee manager.“Our work is very labor intensive, so anything we can do to cut down on the labor is what we’re after,” Stafford said. “We support (UGA) very strongly. Research is the future of our industry. Everything we can do through the Vidalia Onion Committee, through funding or support, we’re all in.”The PlantTape machine is equipped to fit all type of row patterns and can be modified to plant up to eight rows at a time. UGA researchers are using it to plant four rows.Local farmers and industry leaders witnessed the machine at work in a field operated by Generation Farms in Toombs County, Georgia, on Nov. 15. Riner estimated that they would operate another planting about three weeks later to compare different planting dates.The only downside to this new technology is its cost. Antle estimates that the machine costs anywhere between $100,000 and $200,000, depending on its configuration, along with the cost of the tape.“This way of doing it is going to be more expensive because there are just so many different odds and ends to make it work. I think over time, however, now that we’ve got everybody showing interest in it and working to try to make it work, we’re going to find ways to drive costs down,” Georgia farmer Aries Haygood said.Georgia’s onion industry leaders laud the reduced personnel required to operate the PlantTape machine and think that, over time, the tape system will be worth the investment.“We’re all used to hand labor and having to put the plants in a hole. It’s a long, drawn-out process,” Haygood said. “Labor is becoming more of a challenge, not only to get it in a timely manner but also for it to be efficient and affordable.”last_img read more

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Liz Robert resigns from Fletcher Allen Board

first_imgRobert resigns position on hospitals boardElisabeth Robert, president and CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear, resigned her seat of the Fletcher Allen Health Care’s Board of Trustees today (February 9, 2005). Robert issued the following statement: “After discussing the matter with other board members at our meeting yesterday, I have decided to resign form the Fletcher Allen Board of Trustees, effective immediately, because I believe this will be in the best interest of the organization. I believed it was necessary to have a discussion with the entire board before reaching this decision and yesterdays meeting was our first opportunity.It has been an honor to service Fletcher Allen as a volunteer during a period of tremendous challenges. I am proud of my work as chair of the board Audit Committee and as a member fo the Finance Committee and Compensation Committee, and I am especially proud of the enormous progress Fletcher Allen has made since ai joined the board in the midst of a crisis two years ago. I brought enormous energy to this board and a persistent commitment to see it succeed. There is much work remaining to be done, but I recognize that the recent controversy surrounding one of my companys teddy bears will detract from my ability to serve effectively and I cannot allow this to occur. I leave Fletcher Allen with great respect for my follow board members, its skilled leaders and dedicated employees, and will continue to support the organization in any way I can, said Robert.The teddy bear in question was the Crazy For You Valentines bear that featured a teddy bear in a straightjacket; it also came with commitment papers. The bear was very popular and eventually sold out. However, it drew opposition from mental health advocates. Fletcher Allen already had drawn criticism from such groups because of its plan, now changed, that would have moved psychiatric services out of the main hospital in Burlington.She was appointed by the Vermont Health Foundation to the FAHC board in December 2002.At the board meeting on Tuesday, February 8, a professor of psychiatry from the University of Vermont said Robert should resign her position.last_img read more

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David Krupa joins Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont’s Management Team

first_imgDavid Krupa joins Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont’s Management TeamBerlin, VT — David Krupa, of South Burlington, VT, has been named the Vice President of Marketing at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) and will be accountable for Sales, Business Service and Retention, and Product Development functions. He is also responsible for the development and coordination of product advertising. Prior to joining BCBSVT, Mr. Krupa was employed at ConnectiCare, Connecticuts largest privately owned health plan serving over 250,000 members with nationally recognized service and quality. He has extensive experience in consumer and business-to-business marketing including brand management, business development, broker relations, marketing, communications, product management, and market research.Mr. Krupa is a graduate of the University of Connecticut. He is a licensed life and health producer and is a Certified Business Communicator. His volunteer work has included United Way and Junior Achievement.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest private health insurer, providing coverage for about 180,000 Vermonters. It employs over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and branch office in Williston, and offers group and individual health plans to Vermonters. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available on the Internet at www.bcbsvt.com(link is external). Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.(End)last_img read more

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Vermont Historical Society named a 2010 Editors’ Choice by Yankee Magazine

first_imgThe Vermont Historical Society’s award-winning Vermont History Museum and the annual Vermont History Expo have been recognized as 2010 Editors’ Choices in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England.  This designation is awarded by Yankee’s editors and contributors, who name select restaurants, lodgings, and attractions in New England to the exclusive list.”Yankee’s editors and our trusted legion of travel writers select our Editors’ Choice winners,” says Yankee editor Mel Allen. “From their own experiences and extensive travel, they research and find the most deserving establishments in New England. Recipients range from the rustic to the refined, but all are noteworthy and memorable destinations.”The Vermont History Museum, located next to the State House in Montpelier, was voted “Best Place to Time Travel” by Yankee Magazine editors and contributors. The museum’s permanent exhibit, Freedom and Unity: One Ideal, Many Stories, opened in March 2004 and won a national award. The multimedia exhibit, which represents Vermont’s history from 1600 to the present, fills 5,000 square feet in the Pavilion building in Montpelier. Visitors walk through time and experience a full-sized Abenaki wigwam, a re-creation of the Catamount Tavern where Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys gathered, a railroad station complete with a working telegraph and a WWII living room furnished with period music and magazines. The Vermont History Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. For more information and directions go to www.vermonthistory.org(link is external).The Vermont History Expo was voted one of the “Top 20 Vermont Events” by Yankee Magazine editors and contributors.  At the Vermont History Expo, a collection of 150+ local historical societies, museums, and heritage organizations have been meeting annually to create a fresh picture of Vermont history with exhibits, music, family activities, music, food, presentations, performances, and lots more! This year, the tenth annaul History Expo, has a theme of “Back to the Land, Again,” featuring heritage animals, exhibits from 100 Vermont communities, re-enactments and other history presentations, traditional music, dance, and children’s games . The dates for this year’s History Expo are June 26 and 27. For more information and directions go to www.vermonthistory.org/expo(link is external).For 34 years, Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England has been the most widely distributed and best-selling guide to the six-state region, providing readers with a comprehensive vacation-planning tool and daily reference. “Our special travel issue includes page after page of secrets and whispers. It covers New England’s unique landscape, its attractions, and the people who create the flavors, crafts, and lodgings that lend their richness to memorable travel,” says Yankee editor Mel Allen. “It’s about the secrets we whisper to family and friends when we come home from seeing new places. With invaluable help from our ‘Best of New England’ contributors, we offer more than 300 stories-in-waiting inside this issue. We think of our ‘Bests’ as secrets whispered to friends-in this case, the loyal readers of Yankee Magazine.”The 2010 Travel Guide features 312 “Best of New England – Editors’ Choice” selections, which include the best restaurants, lodgings, attractions, local secrets, and bargains in the region. Yankee tells readers where to find the “Best Taste of Europe” in Maine, the “Best Music Hall” in Connecticut, the “Best Rainy-Day Excursion” in Rhode Island, the “Best Inn for Foodies” in Massachusetts, the “Best Sushi” in Boston, the “Best Art Fix” in New Hampshire, the “Best Aquarium” in Vermont, and many more. This special issue also names 120 top events around the region, plus 50 waterfront dining recommendations; food and home articles are also featured. The Vermont History Museum and the Vermont History Expo will also be recommended on YankeeMagazine.com. For more information visit: YankeeMagazine.com###About The Vermont Historical Society : The Vermont Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that operates the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier, the Leahy Library in Barre, and programming throughout the state. Established in 1838, its purpose is to reach a broad audience through outstanding collections and statewide outreach. The Vermont Historical Society believes that an understanding of the past changes lives and builds better communities. Visit the Society’s web site at www.vermonthistory.org(link is external) for directions, admission fees, and hours, or call Vermont History Education Programs Manager Victoria Hughes at 802-828-1413. About Yankee Magazine: Yankee Magazine was founded in 1935 and is based in Dublin, New Hampshire. It is the only magazine devoted to New England through its coverage of travel, home, food, and features. With a paid circulation of more than 350,000 and a total audience of nearly 2 million, it is published by Yankee Publishing Incorporated (YPI), a family-owned and independent magazine publisher. More information about Yankee: New England’s Magazine is available at: YankeeMagazine.comSource: Vermont Historical Society & Museum – Vermont History Center. 4.30.2010last_img read more

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$25 million in popular Vermont Citizen’s Bonds to go on sale November 16

first_imgInterested Vermont residents and businesses are about to have a limited opportunity to purchase new issue State of Vermont bonds. The State Treasurer’s Office recommends that anyone interested in buying some of the $25 million in soon-to-be available bonds contact a registered broker/dealer well in advance of the November 16 sale date. Previous bond offerings targeted to Vermont investors have sometimes had three times as many orders for the bonds as there were bonds available.These general obligation bonds are part of a ‘Citizen’s Bond’ program developed by the Vermont State Treasurers’ Office. They may be purchased in $1,000 increments and are made available first to Vermont residents and businesses. The bonds’ maturities will range from one to 10 years. Interest rates are estimated to range from 0.25 percent for one-year bonds to 2.25 percent for 10-year bonds, but could be higher or lower depending upon market conditions on November 16. Interest earnings from the bonds are exempt from Vermont state and federal taxes.‘Since we don’t issue a whole lot of debt and our credit is strong, we anticipate a positive response to this bond offering,’ said State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding. ‘I like to emphasize that these bonds are sold without commission or trading mark-up, but from a financial perspective, these bonds are not appropriate for all investors.’The State Treasurer’s Office does not sell the bonds directly and does not endorse any particular broker or dealer. Vermonters may purchase bonds through their broker or dealer, or from one of the firms assisting Vermont with the bond sale. The senior manager is Bank of America Merrill Lynch and selling group firms include: Citi, Edward Jones, Fidelity, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Keegan, Morgan Stanley, RBC, and Rockfleet. Brokers wishing to join the selling group should contact Bank of America Merrill Lynch.The State sells bonds to investors to borrow money to make critical investments in public infrastructure. The money raised by a bond sale funds a wide range of capital purposes, including State building construction and maintenance, health and public safety, and pollution control projects. Vermont bonds are rated Triple-A by Moody’s Investor Service and Fitch Ratings, the highest rating available and Double A+ by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service. The higher the bond rating, the more creditworthy the rating agency evaluates a bond issuer to be.The preliminary Official Statement for this offering will be available on the State Treasurer’s web site November 10. For a direct link to the bond offering, go to www.BuyBonds.Vermont.gov(link is external). The offering is named: State of Vermont General Obligation Bonds, 2010 Series E (Vermont Citizen Bonds).Under no circumstances should this announcement of bond issuance be considered an offer to sell or a solicitation to offer to buy, nor shall there be any sales of the bonds in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sales would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. The bonds will be offered for sale by means of an Official Statement.Source: Vermont State Treasurer’s Office. 11.4.2010last_img read more

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Green Mountain Coffee Roasters added to the NASDAQ-100 Index

first_imgGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc, (NASDAQ: GMCR), a leader in specialty coffee and coffeemakers, today announced that the Company will be added to the NASDAQ-100 Index, effective at the start of trading on Friday, May 27, 2011. The NASDAQ-100 Index is composed of the 100 largest non-financial stocks on the NASDAQ stock market. “I speak for all of the employees of GMCR when I say we are pleased to be added to the roster of companies that comprise the NASDAQ-100 Index,” said Lawrence J Blanford, GMCR’s president and CEO. “We believe this is another acknowledgement of GMCR as an enduring company that has achieved strong growth over three decades and remains guided by the synthesis of financial results, social responsibility and strong commitment to our employees.”About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.As a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR), is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative Keurig Single-Cup brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in sustainably-grown coffee, and donating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects.GMCR routinely posts information that may be of importance to investors in the Investor Relations section of its website, including news releases and its complete financial statements, as filed with the SEC. The Company encourages investors to consult this section of its website regularly for important information and news. Additionally, by subscribing to the Company’s automatic email news release delivery, individuals can receive news directly from GMCR as it is released. WATERBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. 5.23.2011last_img read more

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People’s United reports Q2 net income of $51 million, 15 cents per share

first_imgFINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS  Dividend payout ratio106.4%104.9%172.5%230.4%352.0%  Net income51.251.732.024.116.0 Selected Statistical Data: (dollars in millions, except per share data)20112011201020102010  Return on average tangible stockholders’ equity (3)6.36.43.72.71.7  Operating earnings (2)57.353.836.727.731.8 Per Common Share Data:  Non-interest income76.674.668.168.069.7  Operating return on average assets (2), (3)0.920.870.640.500.58 Earnings Data:  Operating dividend payout ratio (2)95.1100.7150.4200.4176.7 BRIDGEPORT, Conn., July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —  Net interest income$   221.2$   220.3$      189.8$   175.8$   173.8    stockholders’ equity (2), (3)7.16.74.23.13.4  Return on average assets (3)0.820.840.560.440.29  Non-interest expense (1)207.0202.8199.1186.3202.7  Dividends paid per share0.15750.15500.15500.15500.1550  Return on average stockholders’ equity (3)4.04.02.41.81.2  Common shares (end of period) (in millions)346.12345.97350.07356.73358.51  Operating return on average tangible People’s United Bank,People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: PBCT) today announced net income of $51.2 million, or $0.15 per share, for the second quarter of 2011, compared to $16.0 million, or $0.04 per share, for the second quarter of 2010, and $51.7 million, or $0.15per share, for the first quarter of 2011. Operating earnings totaled $57.3 million for the second quarter of 2011, compared to $31.8 million for the second quarter of 2010 and $53.8 million for this year’s first quarter.  As previously reported, People’s United Financial completed its acquisition of Danvers Bancorp, Inc. on June 30, 2011, effective July 1, 2011.  Accordingly, People’s United Financial’s second quarter and six month results do not include the results of Danvers.The Company’s Board of Directors declared a $0.1575 per share quarterly dividend, payable August 15, 2011 to shareholders of record on August 1, 2011.  Based on the closing stock price on July 20, 2011, the dividend yield on People’s United Financial common stock is 4.7 percent.”Our performance this quarter continues to build on the momentum generated in the first quarter of 2011, reflecting another solid quarter of operating results, organic loan and deposit growth throughout our franchise, and encouraging overall trends in asset quality,” stated Jack Barnes, President and Chief Executive Officer.  “In fact, on an annualized basis, both loans and deposits increased 4 percent this quarter; our net interest margin remains above 4 percent; and our efficiency ratio continues to improve.”Barnes added, “In the second quarter, our originated commercial and retail loan portfolios increased $239 million, or 9 percent annualized, and $213 million, or 19 percent annualized, respectively.  We also had another quarter of meaningful deposit growth in our legacy and de novo branch network.  In addition, we successfully completed the Bank of Smithtown core system conversion and our efforts with respect to the Danversbank conversion, scheduled for early in the fourth quarter, are already well under way.”Barnes concluded, “We continue to evaluate opportunities to reduce our level of non-interest expenses and lower our efficiency ratio.  As such, earlier this month we implemented several cost-saving initiatives, which included changes in certain retirement benefit programs and the elimination of selected positions, primarily within corporate functions, non-core lending businesses and the former Bank of Smithtown.  We expect to realize annual cost savings of approximately $23 million beginning in 2012.””On an operating basis, earnings were $57 million or 17 cents per share this quarter,” said Kirk W. Walters, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  “The Company’s performance this quarter reflects an improvement in net interest income, continued positive results in our fee businesses and tighter expense control.”Walters continued, “The net interest margin increased 44 basis points in the second quarter of 2011 compared to last year’s second quarter and, as expected, declined a modest 3 basis points from the first quarter of 2011.  The decline in the net interest margin from the first quarter reflects repricing pressure within the loan portfolios, partially offset by an increase in investment income and a reduction in our cost of deposits.”Walters added, “Non-interest income this quarter continues to reflect improvement in most of our fee-based businesses as well as additional gains on sales of acquired loans, partially offset by weakness in insurance revenue and lower gains on sales of residential mortgages.  The level of quarterly operating non-interest expense continues to remain below $200 million, despite the addition of the acquisitions completed in the fourth quarter of 2010, and our efficiency ratio improved to 65.7 percent.”Walters concluded, “While the overall level of non-performing loans is reflective of a period of prolonged economic weakness, we are pleased with the improvements noted over the past few quarters.  The increase in originated non-performing loans this quarter is attributable to a single commercial real estate loan (with a remaining balance of $23 million) that was placed on non-accrual status this quarter. The decrease in the allowance for loan losses this quarter reflects a $6.0 million charge-off on this loan against a previously established specific reserve, partially offset by steps taken to increase the allowance for loan losses in light of continued strong growth in the commercial and residential mortgage loan portfolios. In addition, the decline of $74.0 million in acquired non-performing loans this quarter reflects our efforts to proactively reduce this portfolio through a variety of resolution efforts.”Loans acquired in connection with acquisitions have been recorded at fair value, including a reduction for estimated credit losses, and without carryover of the respective portfolio’s historical allowance for loan losses.  As such, selected asset quality metrics have been highlighted to distinguish between the ‘originated’ portfolio and the ‘acquired’ portfolio.At June 30, 2011, the allowance for loan losses as a percentage of originated loans was 1.15 percent and as a percentage of originated non-performing loans was 68 percent, compared to 1.19 percent and 74 percent, respectively, at March 31, 2011.For the originated portfolio, representing all loans other than those acquired, non-performing loans totaled$258.8 million at June 30, 2011, or 1.69 percent of originated loans, compared to $240.5 million and 1.62 percent, respectively, at March 31, 2011, and $219.7 million and 1.57 percent, respectively, at June 30, 2010.  Excluding the $23 million non-performing commercial real estate loan discussed above, originated non-performing loans were 1.54 percent of originated loans at June 30, 2011.Non-performing loans in the acquired portfolio, which represent the contractual balances of loans acquired that meet our definition of non-performing but for which the risk of loss has already been considered by virtue of our estimate of acquisition-date fair value and/or the existence of an FDIC loss-share agreement, totaled $250.4 million at June 30, 2011 compared to $324.4 million at March 31, 2011 and $359.8 millionat December 31, 2010.  During the second quarter, loans with a contractual balance of approximately $56 million (carrying amount of approximately $41 million) were sold at a gain of approximately $7 million.  In addition, loans with a contractual balance of approximately $64 million were reduced by virtue of full or partial payoffs.Non-performing assets (excluding acquired non-performing loans) totaled $315.4 million at June 30, 2011, up from $292.1 million at March 31, 2011 and $284.5 million at June 30, 2010.  Non-performing assets equaled 2.05 percent of originated loans, REO and repossessed assets at June 30, 2011 compared to 1.96 percent at March 31, 2011 and 2.02 percent at June 30, 2010.Second quarter net loan charge-offs totaled $15.5 million compared to $9.6 million in the first quarter of 2011.  The previously mentioned commercial real estate loan, which carried a specific reserve, accounted for $6.0 million, or 39 percent, of this quarter’s total loan charge-offs.  Net loan charge-offs as a percent of average loans on an annualized basis were 0.35 percent in the second quarter of 2011 (0.22 percent excluding the aforementioned $6.0 million loan charge-off) compared to 0.22 percent in this year’s first quarter.  The provision for loan losses in the second quarter of 2011 reflects a $4.5 million increase in the allowance for loan losses related to the growth in the commercial and residential mortgage loan portfolios.For the second quarter of 2011, the return on average assets was 0.82 percent and the return on average tangible stockholders’ equity was 6.3 percent, compared to 0.84 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively, for the first quarter of 2011 and 0.29 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, for the second quarter of 2010.  Operating return on average assets was 0.92 percent for the second quarter of 2011, compared to 0.87 percent for the first quarter of 2011 and 0.58 percent for the second quarter of 2010.  Operating return on average tangible equity was 7.1 percent for the second quarter of 2011, compared to 6.7 percent for the first quarter of 2011 and 3.4 percent for the second quarter of 2010.  At June 30, 2011, People’s United Financial’s tangible equity ratio stood at 13.9 percent.People’s United Financial, a diversified financial services company with $28 billion in assets (pro forma with Danvers), provides commercial banking, retail and business banking, and wealth management services through a network of approximately 375 branches in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire and Maine. Through its subsidiaries, People’s United Financial provides equipment financing, brokerage and financial advisory services, and insurance services.Conference CallOn July 21, 2011, at 5 p.m., Eastern Time, People’s United Financial will host a conference call to discuss this earnings announcement.  The call may be heard through www.peoples.com(link is external) by selecting “Investor Relations” in the “About Us” section on the home page, and then selecting “Conference Calls” in the “News and Events” section.  Additional materials relating to the call may also be accessed at People’s United Bank’s web site.  The call will be archived on the web site and available for approximately 90 days.2Q 2011 Financial HighlightsSummaryNet income totaled $51.2 million, or $0.15 per share.Operating earnings were $57.3 million, or $0.17 per share.Net interest income totaled $221.2 million.Net interest margin decreased 3 basis points from 1Q11 to 4.13%.Investment income increased $2.2 million from 1Q11.The interest cost on deposits declined 1 basis point from 1Q11 to 58 basis points.Provision for loan losses totaled $14.0 million.Net loan charge-offs totaled $15.5 million or 0.35% of average loans.Non-interest income totaled $76.6 million in 2Q11 compared to $74.6 million in 1Q11.Bank service charges increased $1.9 million in 2Q11 to $32.9 million.2Q11 and 1Q11 include $7.2 million and $5.5 million, respectively, of net gains on sales of acquired loans.Net gains on sales of residential mortgages declined $2.0 million from 1Q11.Non-interest expense totaled $207.0 million in 2Q11 compared to $202.8 million in 1Q11.Operating non-interest expense totaled $197.8 million in 2Q11 compared to $199.7 million in 1Q11.2Q11 and 1Q11 include a total of $9.2 million and $3.1 million, respectively, of merger-related expenses and one-time charges.Effective income tax rate was 33.3% in both 2Q11 and 1Q11.Commercial BankingExcluding acquired loans, commercial banking loans increased $239 million, or 9% annualized, from March 31, 2011.Average commercial banking loans totaled $12.7 billion, an increase of $227 million, or 7% annualized, from 1Q11.Non-performing commercial banking assets, excluding acquired non-performing loans, totaled$220.7 million at June 30, 2011, up from $192.2 million at March 31, 2011.A single commercial real estate loan accounted for $23.3 million of the increase.The ratio of originated non-performing commercial banking loans to originated commercial banking loans was 1.71% at June 30, 2011 compared to 1.54% at March 31, 2011.Net loan charge-offs totaled $13.2 million, or 0.42% annualized, of average commercial banking loans in 2Q11, compared to $6.8 million, or 0.22% annualized, in 1Q11.2Q11 net loan charge-offs include $6.0 million related to a single commercial real estate loan.For the originated commercial banking portfolio, the allowance for loan losses as a percentage of loans was 1.55% at June 30, 2011 compared to 1.61% at March 31, 2011.The commercial banking allowance for loan losses represented 91% of originated non-performing commercial banking loans at June 30, 2011 compared to 104% at March 31, 2011.Retail and Business BankingExcluding acquired loans, residential mortgage loans increased $187 million, or 30% annualized, from March 31, 2011.Average residential mortgage loans totaled $2.9 billion, an increase of $151 million, or 22% annualized, from 1Q11.The ratio of originated non-performing residential mortgage loans to originated residential mortgage loans was 2.47% at June 30, 2011 compared to 2.84% at March 31, 2011.Net loan charge-offs totaled $1.2 million, or 0.16% annualized, of average residential mortgage loans in 2Q11, compared to $1.6 million, or 0.23% annualized, in 1Q11.Excluding acquired loans, home equity loans increased $23 million, or 5% annualized, from March 31, 2011.Average home equity loans totaled $1.9 billion in 2Q11, unchanged from 1Q11.Net loan charge-offs totaled $0.8 million, or 0.17% annualized, of average home equity loans in 2Q11, compared to $0.8 million, or 0.16% annualized, in 1Q11.Wealth ManagementInvestment management fees and brokerage commissions both increased slightly from 1Q11.Insurance revenue decreased $1.3 million from 1Q11, primarily reflecting the seasonal nature of insurance renewals and the continued soft insurance market, and increased $0.3 million from 2Q10.Assets under administration and those under full discretionary management, neither of which are reported as assets of People’s United Financial, totaled $12.8 billion and $4.3 billion, respectively, at June 30, 2011.Certain statements contained in this release are forward-looking in nature. These include all statements about People’s United Financial’s plans, objectives, expectations and other statements that are not historical facts, and usually use words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe” and similar expressions. Such statements represent management’s current beliefs, based upon information available at the time the statements are made, with regard to the matters addressed. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause People’s United Financial’s actual results or financial condition to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such statements. Factors of particular importance to People’s United Financial include, but are not limited to: (1) changes in general, national or regional economic conditions; (2) changes in interest rates; (3) changes in loan default and charge-off rates; (4) changes in deposit levels; (5) changes in levels of income and expense in non-interest income and expense related activities; (6) residential mortgage and secondary market activity; (7) changes in accounting and regulatory guidance applicable to banks; (8) price levels and conditions in the public securities markets generally; (9) competition and its effect on pricing, spending, third-party relationships and revenues; (10) the successful integration of acquired companies; and (11) possible changes in regulation resulting from or relating to recently enacted financial reform legislation. People’s United Financial does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.Access Information About People’s United Financial at www.peoples.com(link is external) .People’s United Financial, Inc.  Efficiency ratio (2)65.766.271.171.272.2  Tangible book value (end of period) (2)9.389.279.3010.0710.14  Provision for loan losses14.014.610.921.817.8  Stock price: June 30,March 31,Dec. 31,Sept. 30,June 30,  Weighted average diluted common shares (in millions)343.88346.01352.53354.99358.24 Three Months Ended    Close (end of period)13.4412.5814.0113.0913.50  Book value (end of period)$   15.01$   14.92$      14.91$   15.04$   15.10    Low12.5512.1712.2012.5613.49 (1) Includes a total of $9.2 million, $3.1 million, $7.0 million, $5.3 million and $23.2 million of merger-related expenses, core system conversion costs and one-time charges for the three months ended June 30, 2011, March 31, 2011, Dec. 31, 2010, Sept. 30, 2010 and June 30, 2010, respectively.(2) See non-GAAP financial measures and reconciliation to GAAP.(3) Annualized.    High13.8114.4914.1714.3516.79  Net interest margin (3)4.13%4.16%3.87%3.74%3.69%  Income before income tax expense76.877.547.935.723.0  Return on average tangible assets (3)0.890.910.610.480.32  Basic and diluted earnings per share$     0.15$     0.15$        0.09$     0.07$     0.04  Operating earnings per share (2)0.170.150.100.080.09last_img read more

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Bellows Falls-based Sonnax Industries named to SBA 100 for growth and job creation

first_imgSonnax Industries,US Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator Marie Johns will tour Sonnax Industries, a Bellows Falls and SBA success story.  Sonnax Industries, a designer, producer and distributor of automotive transmission components for the automotive aftermarket, has been announced as part of the ‘SBA 100.’  After receiving an SBA loan, the company increased revenue, expanded their facility and hired an additional 118 employees.  The SBA 100 features one hundred businesses that have created at least 100 jobs since receiving SBA assistance.  Descriptions and a photograph gallery of each of the SBA 100 companies can be found at www.sba.gov/100(link is external).   The SBA 100 companies include businesses in a variety of industries, from manufacturing, to food and beverage, to shipping.  Each business received SBA support in the form of capital, contracting, counseling or investment before going on to create at least 100 jobs.   The SBA provides small businesses with the tools and resources they need to grow and create jobs.  The SBA 100 is a cross-section of the diverse array of businesses that stand to benefit from SBA assistance.  With the help of SBA, the SBA 100 companies have succeeded and created thousands of jobs across America. Today, SBA 100 firms like Sonnax Industries, Inc.  in Bellows Falls continue to expand and contribute greatly to their local economy. WHO:             Marie Johns, SBA Deputy AdministratorTommy Harmon, President and CEO, Sonnax Industries, Inc.                        WHEN:          Friday, August 12, 2011                        10:15 AM’press tour of facility                        Deputy Administrator Johns. WHERE:        Sonnax Industries, Inc.                        2 Imtec Lane                        Bellows Falls, VT 05101last_img read more

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