Shares in the major Louisville-area employer traded for $825.24 before easing back to a more recent $825.09, up $9, or 1.1%. Today’s were the second consecutive day of gains following a Wall Street Journal report yesterday that Amazon planned a full-on assault against UPS by establishing itself as a standalone shipper. The retailer has 6,000 employees at distribution centers in Jeffersonville and Shepherdsville.
Tackling the delivery business, Amazon executives publicly say, is a logical way to add delivery capacity — particularly during the peak Christmas season, according to a new Wall Street Journal this afternoon.
“But interviews with nearly two dozen current and former Amazon managers and business partners indicate the retailer has grander ambitions than it has publicly acknowledged,” the newspaper says.
Amazon’s goal, these people say, is to one day haul and deliver packages for itself as well as other retailers and consumers — potentially upending the traditional relationship between seller and sender.
The shipper’s grander ambitions has enormous implications for Louisville, where UPS is the city’s single-biggest employer, with 22,000 workers. Amazon itself also is a major area employer, with 6,000 workers at distribution centers in Jeffersonville and Shepherdsville.
A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 12:57 p.m.
PIZZA HUT‘s introduction of its newest stuffed crust pizza — a grilled cheese version — recalls the fact that the original was launched 21 years ago by a kinder and gentler version of Donald Trump, according to AdWeek.
The new pizza debuted March 26, 1995. Six days later, Pizza Hut kicked off a $45 million national ad campaign, buying TV time during the NCAA’s Final Four weekend. The 30-second spot created by BBDO New York showed a tuxedo-clad Trump in a gilded suite along with Ivana Trump, whom he’d divorced five years earlier. (Watch the ad below.) In the commercial, the two poke fun of their headline-grabbing split.
“He was an egomaniac billionaire and almost charming,” said Hayes Roth, principal of brand and marketing firm HA Roth Consulting. “His egomania was so huge that he makes fun of himself. He’s lost that sense of humor. But he put on a great show, and back then we bought it” (AdWeek).
A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 4:42 p.m.
Nearly all the local companies tracked by Boulevard bounced back from steep losses last week, when markets swooned amid growing concerns about the direction of interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which lost nearly 400 points Friday, closed up 240 points this afternoon, or 1.3%, to 18,325. The broader S&P 500 index ended the day at 2,159, up 1.5%.
Here’s a list of the 10 companies in Boulevard’s Stock Portfolio, with today’s closing prices:
- Amazon: $771.49, up 1.5%.
- Brown-Forman class B: $46.44, up 1.9%.
- Ford: $12.70, up 2.6%.
- GE: $30.49, up 1.3%. (Owner Qingdao Haier: $10.22, down 0.5%.)
- Humana: $176.78, up 0.2%.
- Kindred: $10.69, up 1.5%.
- Papa John’s: $76.17, up 2.9%
- Texas Roadhouse: $43.41, up 2.3%
- UPS: $108.55, up 0.8%.
- Yum: $88.66, up 1.9%.
In other news, Papa John’s apologized after a Cleveland franchise used an “extremely insensitive” promotion yesterday tied to the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The promotion was called “9/11 Remembrance” and underneath a picture of pizzas it read: “Never Forget, In Memory of Those We Have Lost, United We Shall Always Stand! Enjoy ANY LARGE PIZZA for $9.11.” The corresponding promo code was listed as “911RMBR” (Cleveland 19).
John Schnatter told the Securities and Exchange Commission moments ago that he’d sold 44,174 Papa John’s shares for $3.4 million, the single-largest block he’s sold since he began aggressively selling at the start of the month; see table, below.
The filing shows he sold the shares at an average $76 each on Thursday. That brings to nearly 103,000 the number of shares he’s sold since Aug. 5, SEC documents show. Still, he remains far and away the single-biggest stockholder in the company he founded in 1984, with about 10.5 million shares, including those subject to options.
The company’s PZZA shares closed today at $75.36, up 91 cents, or 1.2%.