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Cornerstone Therapeutics aims higher

Tags: .biz

Cornerstone Therapeutics today upped its revenue projections for the year from$95 million to $104 million.

The increase takes into account two new products recently acquired by the Cary-based pharmaceutical company: the antibiotic Factive and Curosurf, which is used to treat a lung ailment that afflicts premature infants.

"We are excited about the potential these products have in the hands of our sales force, and expect them to be strong long-term contributors to our success," CEO Craig Collard said in a prepared statement.

Cornerstone also announced today that it posted a loss of $538,000, or three cents a share, in the third quarter.

Cornerstone was created last year when Cary's Cornerstone BioPharma acquired a Boston biotechnology company, Critical Therapeutics.

Walmart to install Cree lights in 650 stores

Tags: .biz | Cree | Walmart

Cree's very good year has gotten just a bit better.

The Durham LED maker has won over retail behemoth, Walmart. The chain plans to install Cree's energy-efficient LED lamps in 650 stores.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed and Walmart is known for squeezing a penny, still it's another high-profile deal that can help to further cement Cree's reputation in LED lighting.

Last month, the company reported quarterly results that were better than analysts expected with revenue of $169.1 million. It had previously announced plans to hire 200 new workers in Durham over the next couple of months and another 375 by the end of 2012 to expand capacity and meet growing customer demand. Cree's LEDs are used to illuminate mobile phones, computers and other gadgets, and it also makes lighting LED lighting fixtures such as those Walmart will be using.

Neal Hunter, president of Cree Lighting, said in a statement that the company's TrueWhite technology makes "food and merchandise attractive." The lamp chosen by Walmart, which is on an energy-efficiency campaign, is designed to last 50,000 hours and uses 82 percent less energy than the bulb it replaces.

The company currently has about 1,500 workers in Durham and 3,300 overall.

Innovation center hires president

Tags: .biz

The new N.C. Advanced Medical Technologies Center of Innovation, a nonprofit that aims to promote the growth of the state's medical devices industry, is up and running.

The center -- funded earlier this year by a four-year, $2.5 million grant from the state-funded N.C. Biotechnology Center -- announced today that it has hired Cindy Clark as its first president. Clark is the former CEO of Sirga Advanced Biopharma in Research Triangle Park and has a law degree from American University.

The center also announced that J. Greg Davis, the CEO of Tryton Medical in Durham, was elected chairman of the board of directors.

Davis said in a prepared statement that Clark "was selected after an extensive, nationwide search for the new center's founding president. The hiring committee was impressed with her entrepreneurial experience and demonstrated ability to build alliances and deliver results."

Tekelec reports solid third-quarter sales, profit

Tekelec posted another strong quarter Wednesday, largely driven by a recovery in product sales in North America.

Based on the sales boost, and a rise in customers orders, the Morrisville technology company increased its guidance for the year, saying per share earnings would be between 95 cents and $1. Previously the guidance had been between 90 cents and 95 cents.

"We had a very strong quarter in very challenging circumstances," said Bill Everett, Tekelec's chief financial officer.

Butterball's help line offers money saving tips

Butterball's help line is now live.

Every year, the Garner-based company's turkey experts help more than 100,000 callers to 1-800-BUTTERBALL. Butterball also now offers live online assistance, and advice via Facebook, Twitter and texting.

Recognizing that even Thanksgiving dinner might take a hit during a recession, Butterball also is emphasizing "new ways that families can celebrate for less." There are $2 coupons available online, for example.

The country's largest turkey producer last year moved its corporate headquarters to Garner, where it now employs about 70 employees. Butterball also has a massive poultry plant in Mount Olive.

Rush Limbaugh to switch Triangle radio stations

One of the first radio stations to broadcast Rush Limbaugh's talk show, WPTF AM-680, will be losing the conservative media icon after 21 years on the air.

Limbaugh's trademark in-your-face talk show will be moving to a competitor, WRDU FM-106.1, a country music station owned by media conglomerate Clear Channel Communications. Starting January 1, WRDU will switch to an all-talk format and feature a 9-hour non-stop marathon of conservative talk by Glenn Beck, Shawn Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

Curtis Media, the Raleigh-based company that owns WPTF, will fill the three hours vacated by Limbaugh with political talk that's more centrist and moderate, said president and chief operating officer Phil Zachary. Still, losing Limbaugh is a big deal, he said.

"We were there from the beginning, which makes this more painful," Zachary said. "We were there before Rush was arguably Rush."

Donnelley revenue falls again

Tags: .biz

Yellow pages publisher R.H. Donnelley continues to face a declining advertising market.


The Cary-based company announced this afternoon that its revenue in the third quarter fell 18 percent to $534 million. Ad sales, an indicator of future revenue, fell 21 percent.

EBITDA -- earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization -- declined 21 percent from a year ago.

"While there are preliminary signs of stabilization, the local ad sales market environment remained difficult in the third quarter," CEO David Swanson said in a prepared statement.

Donnelley is restructing its business after filing for bankruptcy in May as a result of struggling revenue and debt totaling more than $9 billion. It expects to emerge from bankruptcy in January.

Donnelley publishes directories under the Dex brand name in 28 states.

State regulators target foreclosures

Tags: .biz

State regulators have taken a first step toward implementing new protections for homeowners facing foreclosure.

The N.C. Office of the Commissioner of Banks, headed by banking commissioner Joe Smith, announced today that it has proposed a new regulation that would put a halt to a mortgage companies' foreclosure efforts once a homeowner asks for a loan modification.

Currently, lenders simultaneously pursue foreclosure while working with homeowners who are seeking to modify the terms of the loan so that they can make payments. It's a situation where time frequently isn't on the homeowners' side -- foreclosure happens before they are qualified for loan modification programs, some of which are government-sponsored.

A second rule under consideration requires the mortgage servicer to respond quot;promptly and clearly" to homeowners when they ask for assistance on their mortgage. The banking commission has found that failure among mortgage services to respond promptly with the necessary information "leads to homeowner frustration, multiple calls to the mortgage servicers and basic communication failures that result in needless foreclosures."

Progress CEO: Climate bill could spur more nuke plants

The climate change legislation being debated in Congress would require Progress Energy to build a dozen nuclear reactors to comply with the greenhouse gas limits proposed in the bill, company CEO Bill Johnson told Bloomberg News at an industry conference in Florida.

Proposals in Congress seek to reduce the nation's carbon dioxide emissions by 83 percent by 2050. Coal-burning power plants, which account for more than half the electricity generated in North Carolina, are a major contributor of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat and is believed to exacerbate global warming.

Johnson spoke at the Edison Electric Institute financial conference in Hollywood, Fla.

Raleigh-based Progress currently operates five nuclear reactors, one in Florida and four in the Carolinas. The company has applied for a federal license to add two reactors in Florida and two at its Shearon Harris complex in Wake County. The company hasn't made a final decision whether to build the plants.

Lulu.com adding thousands of e-books by traditional authors

Lulu.com will begin selling electronic books by traditional authors, expanding beyond its lineup of self-published titles for the first time.

By offering 200,000 titles from popular authors such as Dan Brown and Malcolm Gladwell, the Raleigh-based online book publisher is trying to attract more mainstream book browsers.

But the strategy also puts Lulu in more direct competition with the world’s biggest book sellers, including Amazon.com.

“As we get more selection on Lulu, we become more relevant to all kinds of readers,” said Harish Abbott, senior vice president of products.

Lulu was founded by Bob Young, left, who relishes playing an underdog role and taking on bigger corporations. Young was the former CEO of Red Hat, the Raleigh company that is the world’s largest distributor of Linux open-source software – and a rival for Microsoft.