Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefing

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefing

Article excerpt

RAYONIER NAMES HEAD AUDITOR

Rayonier, a Jacksonville-based wood products company, has named H. Edwin Kiker its vice president of internal audit.

Kiker will be responsible for auditing the company's financial, administrative and operating controls and reporting to management and the board of directors' audit committee.

Kiker was previously director of audit at Great Lakes Chemical Corp. and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Houston and is a certified public accountant.

LANDING VIDEO SCREEN COMES DOWN

Workers yesterday began removing the giant outdoor video screen at The Jacksonville Landing.

The 12- by 25-foot screen and the two poles that hold it should be down by today, according to DeDe Denmark, president of sign contractor T.G. Signs of Eustis. T.G. Signs is removing the screen, and the job should be completely done by tomorrow, she said.

The sign was installed in March, and was intended to display a mix of sporting events and civic programming, supported by paid advertising. But advertising sales were much less than expected.

Jacksonville Landing manager John Kiddy said that the screen would remain on premises in storage for an undetermined future use.

In the short term, the video screen will be replaced by the Landing's Christmas tree. However, Kiddy said that no other plans for the prime riverfront space have been made.

EARNINGS

AMERICAN EXPRESS PROFITS RISE

Profits rose strongly at American Express in the third quarter, beating analysts' estimates.

The financial and travel company, which was hit hard last year by investment losses and fallout from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said yesterday its net income totaled $687 million, or 52 cents a share, in the July-September period, up from $298 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier. Results in 2001 were reduced by a $232 million restructuring charge as well as $65 million in Sept. 11-related expenses.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had projected earnings of 51 cents a share.

American Express shares rose $1.12, or more than 3 percent, to close at $34.25 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement accompanying the report that the results "reflect stronger revenue momentum in the card businesses, which more than offset the impact of weaker equity markets on our financial services business."

GOODRICH PROFITS SKID, MISS GOALS

Aerospace parts maker Goodrich Corp. said yesterday that its third-quarter profit fell 47.7 percent from a year ago, hurt by the slump in the commercial aerospace market and falling far short of Wall Street expectations.

Its shares fell as the company said earnings for the full year and next year may also come in below expectations. …

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