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Business today

Borrowing dips

By Times Staff
Published November 8, 2005

Credit-card borrowing and other kinds of consumer debt declined for the first time in 10 months in September, reflecting sagging auto sales. The Federal Reserve reported that total borrowing fell at an annual rate of $59.4-million in September. The decline left total consumer credit at $2.16-trillion in September, close to a record high.

MarineMax stock

Recreational boat retailer MarineMax Inc. said Monday its board approved a plan to repurchase up to 1-million shares of its common stock. The Clearwater company said it may buy back common stock from time to time in the open market or via block purchases. MarineMax's stock closed Monday at $28.50 a share, up 92 cents.

Paxson founder exits

Paxson Communications Corp. founder and chief executive Bud Paxson is resigning from the broadcast network and television station operator, the company said Monday. He will be succeeded as chief executive by R. Brandon Burgess, an executive vice president of NBC Universal, which owns a 32 percent stake in Paxson. As part of an agreement with Paxson, NBC Universal has 18 months to either acquire the company, which is based in West Palm Beach, or find a third party to buy Paxson.

Airline bankruptcy

Flyi Inc., which launched low-fare Independence Air just one year ago from its hub at Washington's Dulles Airport, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday and said it hopes a court-supervised auction will attract a new investor. A spokesman said customers should not expect any immediate disruptions.

First Advantage deal

First Advantage Corp. of St. Petersburg has acquired the mortgage credit reporting assets of Credit Data Services from Experian. The sale price was not disclosed. Based in Maitland, Experian's credit data business provides mortgage credit and real estate services to national lenders and mortgage brokers, with customers primarily in the Southeast. It will become part of First American CREDCO, a division of First Advantage.

Progress Energy unit

Progress Energy Florida said Monday that it has placed into service a new, 500-megawatt natural gas-fired generating unit at its Hines Energy Complex in Polk County. The St. Petersburg utility is scheduled to begin construction on another Hines generating unit in early 2006. Progress has been adding generating capacity to meet rising electricity demand.

T-bill rates mixed

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Monday's auction. The Treasury Department auctioned $19-billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 3.870 percent, down from 3.890 percent last week. Another $17-billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 4.155 percent, up from 4.125 percent last week.

[Last modified November 8, 2005, 11:27:27]

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