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Talk of the bay: TIA stands out within a rough 2007 of flying

By Times staff
Published February 6, 2008


Yes, flying really was that bad last year. But Tampa International travelers fared better than most. Just 73.4 percent of flights arrived on-time for the year, barely better than 2000, the worst year since the feds started keeping comparable numbers in 1995. The biggest offender among the Top 10 airlines was US Airways (68.7 percent), the best was Southwest (80.1 percent). One out of every 143 pieces of checked luggage was lost or misrouted, the highest rate in at least a decade. US Airways again was the worst when it came to luggage problems. AirTran, however, was the best with passengers' luggage. Tampa International was one of the most punctual places for travelers. The airport was No. 4 for on-time departures (81.5 percent) and No. 11 for on-time arrivals (76.8 percent) among 32 major U.S. airports.

Raymond James gets a bull's-eye
Raymond James Financial looks like an attractive takeover target to Barron's columnist Michael Santoli. "The risk-reward bargain looks favorable," he writes, noting that the stock price has fallen substantially (now off 29 percent in the past three months). Santoli suggests the company, based in St. Petersburg, is worth about $4-billion based on what Wachovia paid for A.G. Edwards, a deal that he said enhanced Raymond James' "scarcity value" as an independent brokerage. But don't look for a blockbuster deal any time soon. "I don't see any reason that we need to sell to anyone," chairman Tom James says in a video clip featured on the home page of the company's Web site.

More U.S. retailers shed stores, staff
Add Ann Taylor Stores Corp. to the growing ranks of retailers digging in for a down economy and the ever-increasingly frugal consumer. The upscale women's apparel chain, which operates Ann Taylor and Loft Outlet stores in the Tampa Bay area, will close 117 of its 921 stores over the next three years. That's on top of the usual closings of a handful of unprofitable stores every year. The company also will shrink headquarters staff by 13 percent and put off until better times the launch of an experimental third chain. Meanwhile, Eddie Bauer Inc., will trim its corporate staff 13 percent, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will eliminate 200 jobs at its apparel buying office, Home Depot will lay off 10 percent of its 5,000-person headquarters staff and J.C. Penney will cut 150 corporate jobs by merging its online merchandise buying staff with one that supports stores.

All about housing
James Thorner digs deeper into bay area housing news in his (Un)Real Estate blog at

[Last modified February 5, 2008, 23:38:24]

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