Eastman announces stock repurchase
Bristol Compressors to lay off 240
Alley's Dodge sponsoring hat contest
KINGSPORT - The board of directors of Eastman Chemical Co. has approved the repurchase of up to $300 million of Eastman common stock, effective immediately. "Our plan to repurchase shares reflects both our strong financial profile and our confidence in future cash flows while also preserving flexibility as we continue to fund profitable growth initiatives," said Rich Lorraine, senior vice president and chief financial officer. "It also demonstrates our commitment to enhancing stockholder value." Share repurchases will be funded with available cash. Eastman expects to implement the program through purchases made from time to time in either the open market or through private transactions. The timing, volume and nature of share repurchases will be at the discretion of management, depending on market conditions, applicable securities laws and other factors, and may be suspended or discontinued at any time. Eastman may also implement all or part of the repurchases under a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan, which would allow repurchases under preset terms at times when Eastman might otherwise be prevented from doing so under insider trading laws or because of self-imposed trading blackout periods. The share repurchase program replaces Eastman's existing board share repurchase authorization, under which $288 million remained available.
BRISTOL, Va. - More workers at Bristol's largest employer are losing their jobs, suggesting time is running out in the quest of Bristol Compressors' new owner to sell the plant. The plant's 1,300 employees learned Wednesday that about 240 people will be out of work by the end of March, according to a news release from parent company Johnson Controls Inc. The company also plans to idle the plant for two weeks starting Sunday, and the news release cited "higher than anticipated" inventories for both the layoffs and the temporary shutdown. A spokesman for Johnson Controls sounded upbeat about efforts to sell Bristol Compressors, a tactic the company announced in January 2006 shortly after purchasing Bristol Compressors from York International. "We've been aggressively pursuing prospective buyers, and we're encouraged by what has been occurring so far," Darryll Fortune said. Johnson Controls has trimmed several hundred workers in Bristol since purchasing the company from York International in late 2005, and workers were told shortly after the purchase that Johnson Controls would market the business but may not be able to keep the plant open if it could not sell. The plant produces reciprocating compressors used in air-conditioning and heat pump applications.
KINGSPORT - In honor of a long-standing tradition of the Kentucky Derby, a horse racing event often known for its fans' fashionable hats, the Chrysler brand and Alley's Dodge World of Kingsport are participating in a nationwide hat design competition inspired by the brand's 2008 Chrysler Sebring convertible launching in spring 2007. The top three finalists in the "Chrysler Sebring Hats Off to the Derby" contest will win tickets to the derby to wear their designs. One grand prize winner will be named in Louisville during Kentucky Derby weekend and will receive a 2008 Chrysler Sebring convertible. Entrants must submit a sketch by March 5. For contest rules visit www.chryslersebringhatsofftothederby.com.