Day: April 28, 2016

dd72ef_c0fd1a9b1cd54df5a2778d9922efc6eeAdmission to the KMAC art and craft museum will be free for one year after its June 4 reopening, underwritten by a gift from Delta Dental of Kentucky, the benefits company said today, according to The Courier-Journal. The dental benefits giant didn’t disclose the amount, however.

The Louisville company’s budget was about $166 million in 2014, according to its most recent IRS tax return on GuideStar. It donated a combined $40,000 to four groups that year: Family & Children’s Place of Louisville ($5,000); Kentucky Dental Society of Lexington ($5,000), American Heart Association of Des Moines ($20,000), and the Kentucky State Police in Frankfort ($10,000).

CEO Clifford Maesaka was paid $524,546 in 2014; annual pay for all officers and directors starts on Page 7 of the IRS Form 990 return.

On Kingdom’s new coaster: ‘clutching my safety harness extra tight during that 100-foot drop’

Kentucky Kingdom opens Saturday, and this year’s big attraction is the new $8 million “Storm Chaser” steel roller coaster — the amusement park’s fifth coaster. Business First‘s Marty Finley survived a test ride yesterday, reporting: “While I’m not scared of roller coasters, I have never been an enthusiast and found myself clutching my safety harness extra tight during that 100-foot drop.”

Watch this point-of-view video (but maybe not on an empty stomach!):

To be sure, the new coaster isn’t the only fresh feature this year. (Courier-Journal). So, what’ll it cost to get inside for day tickets?

  • Adults: $44.95 general admission
  • Children: $39.95 (less than 48 inches tall)
  • Seniors: $39.95 (those 55 or older)

With those prices, a season pass at $59.95 is a steal.

Related: The park’s history, starting with its original 1987 opening, has seen coaster-like ups and downs, too.

Great GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald’s best-known novel chronicles the star-crossed romance between Louisville debutante Daisy Fay Buchanan and a local soldier, the future tycoon Jay Gatsby. It’s 1922, and Gatsby is now wealthy. Having found Daisy again, he fantasizes she will leave her husband Tom Buchanan. Daisy’s cousin Nick Carraway, the book’s narrator, is visiting Gatsby after a party at his Long Island mansion.

He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken. One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house — just as if it were five years ago.

He began to walk up and down a desolate path of fruit rinds and discarded favors and crushed flowers. “I wouldn’t ask too much of her,” I ventured. “You can’t repeat the past.”

“Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!”

Amazon blows past forecasts; Churchill, not so much; as Ford, UPS disclose cascade of first-quarter earnings

Latest news, with a special focus on big Louisville employers; updated 4:50 p.m.

AMAZON just reported a huge first quarter, and its stock was recently soaring 12% in after-hours trading, to $675 a share (MarketWatch).

CHURCHILL DOWNS just released first-quarter results showing what appears to be a big miss on earnings per share: 16 cents vs. a Wall Street consensus forecast of 48 cents. But the $288 million in revenue was ahead of the consensus $275 million (forecasts). Here’s the press release. The company’s stock was unchanged in late trading.

FORD this morning delivered record first-quarter results amid strong truck sales, with net income more than doubling and operating margins in the core North American unit rivaling those of high-end luxury brands (MarketWatch); shares surged 1.6% to $13.88 in pre-market trading. Separately, Ford supplier Louisville Seating is planning a $13 million expansion in Shepherdsville that could add 170 jobs (Courier-Journal).

UPS beat first-quarter profit forecasts, but whiffed on revenue. (MarketWatch); premarket, shares rose less than 1%, to $106.90. HUMANA: Aetna reported a nearly 4% decline in first-quarter operating earnings as the health insurer lost members in its commercial business; Aetna has agreed to buy Humana for $37 billion, subject to a tough regulatory review (Reuters); Aetna shares were flat at $111.52, premarket.

Gibbs_rt
Gibbs

YUM‘s newly appointed CFO will get additional stock rights worth $500,000, which and will vest in four equal annual installments starting May 20, 2017 (SEC filing). David Gibbs was promoted to the job from CEO of Pizza Hut yesterday. Yum shares closed yesterday at $81.53, essentially flat.

GE: Qingdao-Haier Co. is making written offers to GE employees as the China-based company nears completion of its $5.4 billion purchase of the appliance maker (Business First).

In other news, AT&T is laying ultra-fast Internet fiber lines throughout Norton Commons, the 600-acre Northeast Louisville residential development. Work is expected to be finished by the end of the year, and comes as Google Fiber advances plans to offer the service city-wide (WFPL). And U.S. stock markets were headed for an ugly day; Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were plunging 140 points after the Bank of Japan’s surprise decision to keep monetary policy steady (CNBC).