Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Morning memo


News and tips to start your business day

Today's number: $2 billion

Maximum amount of stock that PepsiCo Inc., the world's second-largest soft-drink maker, plans to buy back this year.

Dow Jones News Service

Today's mover

Christopher Hatcher has been appointed assistant vice president, commercial lending for Unizan Bank in the Cincinnati business lending center. Hatcher is responsible for the origination of commercial real estate and business acquisition loans in Unizan's Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky markets. He has 10 years of financial services industry experience, most recently as financial institution sales officer for Fifth Third Bank. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree from Xavier University.

Shirley Dees

Today's career talk

In the late 1990s, Michael Dell took customer focus in what seems to be an obvious direction: structuring his organization around the customer. "He had become convinced that organizing by product alone would not ensure the high-quality customer relationships he hoped to achieve," says Jeffrey A. Krames, author of What the Best CEOs Know. One way to do this is to split your sales division into at least three sectors: large and medium-sized firms, educational organizations, small business and consumers.

John Eckberg

Today's money tip

Timing of capital losses is not as important as the timing of capital gains for income tax purposes. Without any gains, long-term losses are treated the same as short-term losses.

But if you do have gains, long-term losses offset long-term gains. Same for short-term losses and gains. Then up to $3,000 in any kind of loss can offset ordinary income. Losses above that can be carried over to future years until they are used up.

Amy Higgins

Today's Company: Neon Novelties Inc.

Neon Glow: Steve Weeks, owner of a sign company in West Chester, decided to build on his niche by opening a retail store that would feature reproduction neon signs as well as custom-made ones. He and his partners opened Neon Novelties in November. So far, the most popular items have been neon beer signs for home display.

Family Fun: In addition to its neon merchandise, the store sells other home recreational items: token-taking slot machines, pinball machines and other games. Neon Novelties' inventory of brand-logo wall clocks includes one that commemmorates OSU's 2002 football championship.

Tube Techs: The company can repair neon signs as well as design new ones. A special machine enables technicians to bend the neon tubes.

Jenny Callison



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