South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 10, 2005 · 55
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South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida · 55

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, November 10, 2005
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BROWARD Sun-Sentinelcom ' Get The Latest Breaking News Busines Market Watch2 March Hhrol'x Pounis J """ stock LIST1NGS4 Mutual funds .5 " SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL THURSDAY NOVEMBER 1 0 , 2 0 0 5 SECTION D A DOW: 10,546.21 (6.49) A S&P 500: 1,220.65 (2.06) A NASDAQ: 2,175.81 (3.74) A RUSSELL 2000: 659.83 (3.60) A 10-YR NOTE: 4.65 (0.09) .I. Business Briefing IRobot stock makes strong debut Shares of iRobot Corp. closed up more than 1 1 percent in Wednesday's trading debut for the world's largest maker of mobile robots for the consumer market, from the floor-cleaning Roomba to the soldier-accompanying Packbot. The 15-year-old company, which began turning a profit last year, offered 4.3 million shares at $24 apiece. They rose as high as $34. 16 in early trading before retreating to close up $2.70 at $26.70 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The offering, announced July 27, sought to raise $ 120 million to finance growth at a company that is the world's largest in the fields of mobile robotics and consumer robots, as opposed to industrial robots used on factory floors. Spirit suit vs. Northwest reinstated A U.S. appeals court reinstated Spirit Airlines Inc's lawsuit accusing Northwest Airlines Inc of using predatory pricing to drive SPIRIT. its smaller rival out of the market for routes to Boston and Philadelphia from Detroit. Spirit, a Miramar-based discount carrier, brought an antitrust suit against Northwest in 2000, alleging the No. 4 U.S. carrier cut prices below costs in an attempt to monopolize the market. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit said a lower court shouldn't have tossed out the case because Spirit presented enough evidence to support its claim. Trade breakthrough called unlikely President Bush's top trade negotiator said Wednesday that a meeting next month of 148 countries will not be able to achieve a hoped-for breakthrough. Trade Representative Rob Portman's comments came after three days of talks in London and Geneva. The talks failed to clear roadblocks so negotiators could agree on the outlines of a deal to lower tariffs and other barriers for manufactured goods, services such as banking and insurance, and farm products. The meeting Dec. 13-18 in Hong Kong is taking place under the auspices of the World Trade Organization. HP showcases printing innovations :, Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's largest printer maker, unveiled new laser printer software designed for business customers seeking to cut imaging costs. HP Web Jetadmin and the HP Universal Print Driver programs aim to make it easier for businesses to manage and install printers on their corporate networks, George Mulhern, who runs Hewlett-Packard's LaserJet business, said. Hewlett-Packard introduced more laser printers in October to win customers from competitors including Dell Inc. AIG puts earnings report on hold American International Group Inc, one of the world's largest insurers, said Wednesday it was delaying its third-quarter earnings report until next week because it must again restate earlier financial results to correct accounting errors. AIG's shares seesawed in trading as investors weighed the prospect of yet another restatement this time for fiscal years 2002, 2003 and 2004 against broker recommendations that AIG remained a good investment. After dropping more than a dollar in early trading, AIG shares closed up 52 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $66.37 on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares have been recovering from a 52-week low of $49.91 in the spring. Paper products' prices headed up Kimberly-Clark Corp., the largest U.S. maker of diapers, plans to raise prices about 6 percent for bathroom tissue, paper towels and napkins in February. The price increases are necessary to counter higher costs for raw materials and energy, Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark said Wednesday. The products have annual sales of more than $2.5 billion. Guidant discloses devices' failures Guidant Corp., whose $25.4 billion acquisition by Johnson & Johnson is in jeopardy, released a report giving details on failures in its heart devices. The report also includes articles to help doctors better understand Guidant products, such as implanted defibrillators, the Indianapolis-based company said in a statement. J&J has said it is concerned about Guidant's recalls, including warnings issued in June affecting 109,000 defibrillators. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer last week sued Guidant, the second-biggest maker of defibrillators, saying the company failed to tell doctors about product flaws. The report is available at the following Web site: www.Guidant.comphysicianppr. Microsoft, AP plan joint venture Microsoft Corp., the world's biggest software maker, will develop a news video distribution network for The Associated Press and share in advertising revenue generated by newspapers and broadcasters that use the footage. The AP Online Video Network will be available to the news service's more than 3,500 U.S. newspaper and broadcast members at no charge in the first quarter of 2006, the companies said. STAFF REPORTS. BLOOMBERG NEWS AND WIRE REPORTS UTILITIES Steep FPL increase OKd Regulators tack extra margin on fuel surcharge By Joseph Mann BUSINESS WRITER More than 4 million Florida Power & Light Co. customers are in for a rate shock starting Jan. 1. State regulators Wednesday approved fuel surcharges that will add 19 percent to monthly residential bills for FPL customers. FPL had asked for a 1 6 percent increase. Commercial and industrial subscribers, including corner markets, malls and school systems, will face even higher increases, ranging from 30 percent to 41 percent. Meeting in Tallahassee, the Public Service Commission also rejected FPL's request that a $25 million project to repair a steam-generating plant at its St. Lucie nuclear facility be included in the fuel surcharge. Harold McLean, the state's consumer advocate, applauded the commission's action, but noted that members of the panel seemed to be making excuses after their negative vote on the nuclear power plant maintenance item. "The commission should have followed the excellent staff recommendations without making apologies." He also warned that adding this project to the fuel surcharge could open the door to expensing other maintenance charges in the same way. The surcharge for a family using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will be $16.99, raising theirmonthlybillto$108.61 from FPL CONTINUES ON SO HURRICANE WlLMA : - - - r r A-1. Ti. i-v.. DOWNED POLES: Line crews work on power transmission poles that were snapped by Hurricane Wilma. The poles are just east of Belle Glade in sugar cane fields. Sugar farmers say damage will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Staff photoNicholas R. Von Staden By doreen Hemlock BUSINESS WRITER The damage reports from Hurricane Wilma keep streaming in, and the Port of Miami alone reports a hit of at least $5 million. South Florida's busiest seaport said preliminary assessments show its most extensive damage is to 2,000 feet of bulkheads. A new cruise terminal also lost part of its roof and a container yard suffered a blow. The seaport also needed to remove six sunken boats from various bulkheads, while two boats washed up on a wharf, among other damage, according to Port of Miami spokeswoman Andria Muniz. Yet cruise and cargo operations at the Miami seaport are back strong after the storm, Muniz said this week. Port Everglades in Broward SEAPORTS, GROWERS HARD HIT BY STORM Sugar cane farmers report $400 million in damage County reported a preliminary estimate of $6 million and the Port of Palm Beach $4.5 million as of last week. Meanwhile, preliminary estimates from Florida sugar farmers indicate Wilma will cost them "hundreds of millions of dollars," likely at least $400 million. That's more than the $370 million-plus in damages to Florida sugar farming from last year's hurricane season, according to the Florida Sugar Cane League. "Because sugar cane is harvested several times from the same planting, Wilma's damage will impact next year's crop as well," the League said. Even so, harvesting has resumed and mills are starting to process the damaged cane, the WILMA CONTINUES ON 8D ADVERTISING Marketing to vour health Food firms pitch products to consumers with chronic illnesses. BY J.M. HlRSCH THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Overweight? Diabetic? Cholesterol out of control? Have we got a deal on a meal for you! If that sales pitch sounds a little sick, that's the point. Aging Baby Boomers and rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other health conditions have marketers looking to chronic illness as the new must-reach demographic. It's part of a cultural shift that increasingly sees health problems as lifestyles rather than diseases. Now the food industry is realizing those lifestyles can have a major influence on spending habits. It's easy to see why this is a fast-growing trend. For people like Karen Merrill, her lifestyle has become a matter of life and death. ADS CONTINUES ON 2D 77 - ii. ' t:- -i ' ' V i-:. - , - ( r.-,. i CAREFUL SHOPPER: Karen Merrill of Barrington, N.H, likes good-for-you marketing. AP photoLarry Crowe ECONOMICS Summit looks at growth in P.B. County by Harriet Johnson brackey : BUSINESS WRITER The first economic summit in more than a decade in Palm Beach County drew several hundred people to the Palm Beach Convention Center to discuss and vote on the issues the county needs to address as it manages its future growth. "For so many years, we've let things happen and then we react to them," said Richard Stauding-er, an engineer at CH2M Hill in West Palm Beach who attended the meeting. "We can't continue that way." The list of topics is familiar to anyone in South Florida who has struggled with traffic congestion, high housing prices and below- SUMMIT CONTINUES ON 23

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