April 11, 2013

Briefcase

From staff and news service reports

FairPoint to cut 90 jobs in Maine, N.H., Vermont

FairPoint Communications Inc. will eliminate about 90 positions across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont over the next several months.

The company is unable to say yet how many jobs will be cut in each state, in accordance with its collective bargaining agreement with unionized workers.

These reductions are in addition to cuts last month of 30 management positions across the company.

“We are adjusting our work force to remain competitive in our market and to further position FairPoint for success,” said Greg Castle, executive vice president of human resources.

FairPoint expects the reductions to result in annualized operating expense savings of $11 million, with the full benefit realized in 2014.

The company expects to provide severance or incentive payments to eligible affected employees. The total amount of such payments is expected to be $5 million to $8 million.

FairPoint has about 3,300 employees across 17 states.

Auburn man to serve as president of AARP in Maine

A retired business consultant who lives in Auburn will serve as AARP’s Maine state president.

The seniors’ issues organization says Rich Livingston was chosen following a statewide search. In the volunteer role, Livingston will lead and speak for hundreds of volunteers and more than 230,000 AARP members in Maine.

The state president works in collaboration with the state director to advance AARP’s mission and priorities in the state.

PC sales plunge blamed in part on Windows 8

Global shipments of PCs fell 14 percent in the first three months this year, the sharpest plunge since research firm IDC started tracking the industry in 1994.

The firm said Wednesday that the appeal of tablets and smartphones is pulling money away from PCs, but it also blames Microsoft’s latest version of Windows, which has a new look and forces users to learn new ways to control their machines.

Microsoft launched Windows 8 on Oct. 26.

“Unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only didn’t provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” IDC Vice President Bob O’Donnell said.

CarMax Inc. sees profit rise 13% in fourth quarter

Used car dealership chain CarMax Inc. said Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit increased 13 percent as improved inventory and financing offers drove up sales.

The Richmond, Va., company, which runs more than 115 stores in 59 markets that mainly sell used cars and trucks, reported earnings of $107.2 million, or 46 cents per share, for the three-month period ended Feb. 28, compared with from $95 million, or 41 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue grew 13 percent to $2.83 billion.

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