200 workers at macdill could face layoffs
Defense contractor Science Applications International Corp. has tentative plans to lay off 200 workers at its operations at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa this fall if it does not get a contract renewal. The layoffs will be effective Sept. 21, according to a notice filed with the state this week. In a letter to state officials, SAIC executives indicated the company is "optimistic" about winning the contract through U.S. Central Command at MacDill as it is the incumbent, but it is required by law to warn about the prospect of layoffs. SAIC, which is based in McLean, Va., is heavily involved in providing scientific, engineering systems integration and other technical services to the government. All told, it has about 40,000 employees and $10.6 billion in annual revenues though contracts involving the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the Department of Homeland Security and other government civil agencies. A spokesman for SAIC could not be immediately reached Thursday to give more details.
TECO blames its decline on weather
TECO Energy reported a decline in earnings during the second quarter of this year, largely attributed to mild weather. Second quarter net income fell to $73.1 million or 34 cents per share, compared with $77.5 million or 36 cents per share a year earlier. "Our results this quarter reflect better growth at our Florida utilities, and the current challenging coal markets," said John Ramil, TECO's president and chief executive officer. "Our Florida utilities are benefiting from continued improvement in the state and local economies with the strongest customer growth in more than three years, but weather has not been our friend this year," Ramil said.
Publix sales grow in second quarter
Publix's sales for the second quarter of 2012 were $6.8 billion, a 3.2 percent increase from last year's $6.6 billion. Comparable-store sales for the second quarter of 2012 increased 1.9 percent. Net earnings for the second quarter of 2012 were $381.6 million, compared with $382.4 million in 2011, a decrease of 0.2 percent. Earnings per share for the second quarter increased to 49 cents for 2012, from 48 cents per share in 2011. Publix's sales for the first half of 2012 were $13.9 billion, a 3.7 percent increase from last year's $13.4 billion. Comparable-store sales for the first half of 2012 increased 2.6 percent. Net earnings for the first half of 2012 were $791 million, compared with $780.5 million in 2011, an increase of 1.3 percent. Earnings per share increased to $1.01 for the first half of 2012, up from 99 cents a share in 2011. Publix is privately owned.
State has finalized funding for GrowFL
The Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida (GrowFL) announced Thursday that $2 million in funding, authorized during the 2012-13 legislative session, has been finalized by the state. The GrowFL program, piloted in 2009, will continue to cultivate entrepreneurial growth through support and funding by the Department of Economic Opportunity. Since its inception, GrowFL has worked with hundreds of second-stage companies, providing assistance under the economic development methodology known as Economic Gardening.
Times staff, wires