Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Article excerpt

PATRIOT TRANSPORTATION EARNINGS FALL IN QUARTER

Patriot Transportation Holding Inc. said late on Tuesday earnings fell 11.7 percent in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30 to $2.3 million, or 74 cents per diluted share. Revenue rose 1.5 percent to $39.4 million.

The Jacksonville-based transportation and real estate company said its trucking businesses are facing challenges from high fuel expense and lower demand for freight services.

For all of fiscal 2007, Patriot's earnings rose 17.7 percent to $9.5 million, or $3.04 a share. Revenue rose 4.7 percent to $154.3 million.

Mark Basch/The Times-Union

FLORIDA CAPITAL TAKES $2.8 MILLION PRETAX LOSS

Florida Capital Group Inc. reported a pre-tax operating loss of $2.8 million in the third quarter Wednesday, due largely to a $2 million increase in its loan loss provision.

"Recent industry trends in credit quality have been unfavorable, and we did see an increase in our non-performing loans during the quarter.

"To that end, we have taken appropriate steps in addressing underwriting standards, certain asset concentrations and have increased portfolio oversight activities as this difficult credit environment will likely continue," said a statement by CEO Charles Hughes.

The Jacksonville-based company operates the Florida Capital Bank, which has 16 branches throughout Florida. The bank's total assets rose 13 percent during the third quarter to $735 million.

Mark Basch/The Times-Union

MICROSOFT SHUTS DOWN SANTA FOR TALKING DIRTY

Microsoft Corp. quickly shut down Santa Claus' Web privileges after it found out the automated elf it created for kids to instant message with was talking naughty, not nice.

Last year, Microsoft encouraged kids to connect directly to "Santa" by adding northpolelive.com to their Windows Live Messenger contact lists.

The Santa program, which Microsoft reactivated in early December, asked children what they wanted for Christmas and could respond on topic, thanks to artificial intelligence. …

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