Archive | April, 2010

Twin Cities Q1 foreclosures up 22 percent

Twin Cities foreclosures increased by about 22 percent in the first three months of 2010 from the same period one year ago, according to a new industry report out Thursday.

The 8,305 Minnesota and Wisconsin properties with first-quarter foreclosure filings in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region is a 2 percent improvement over the final quarter of 2009, according to the Q1 2010 Metropolitan Foreclosure Report by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc.

The Twin Cities region’s foreclosure rate ranked 80th highest on a list of 206 United States metropolitan areas with populations more than 200,000.

California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona cities dominated the top of the list.

The report says one in every 162 housing unit properties in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, or 0.62 percent, has at least one foreclosure filing entered into RealtyTrac’s database.

Nationally, 932,234 properties met that criteria in the first quarter, the report said. That’s one in every 138 housing units, or 0.72 percent.

Of the 10 cities with the worst foreclosure rates, eight showed improvement in the first quarter compared to the same time last year.

Read the entire article about the Twin Cities foreclosures.

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Great Northern buys K&M Manufacturing

Rogers, Minn.-based Great Northern distributes small engines and outdoor power equipment. The company is owned by Minnesota’s Don Kotula and his family, who also own the Burnsville-based Northern Tool + Equipment Co. retail chain.

K&M, based in Renville, Minn., will continue its tractor and mower part manufacturing operations there. Great Northern Equipment said the previous owners, members of the Mulder family, will have continued involvement in day-to-day operations.

Entire story here.

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    Xcel reports Q1 earnings dip

    First-quarter earnings at Xcel Energy Inc. dropped 4 percent, from $174 million, or 38 cents per share, to $167 million, or 36 cents per share.

    The Minneapolis-based power utility said higher gas and electricity margins and increased sales, especially to Colorado and Texas residents, were offset by increases in operating and maintenance expenses and property taxes.

    Xcel’s revenues for the quarter increased 4 percent to $2.81 billion from $2.7 billion in the prior-year quarter.

    Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted earnings of 41 cents per share on $2.84 billion in revenue.

    Xcel said profits would have been 42 cents per share excluding one-time charges.

    Chairman and CEO Richard Kelly reaffirmed Xcel’s 2010 ongoing per-share earnings predictions of $1.55 to $1.65. Analysts estimate year-end earnings at $1.62.

    Xcel’s shares (NYSE: XEL) were trading at $21.58 per share Thursday afternoon, up by about 9 cents, or less than 1 percent, for the day.

    Rest of story here

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      Jobless rate down in Twin Cities, but not rest of country

      The Twin Cities was one of only two metropolitan areas in the U.S. where the March jobless rate was down year-over-year, according to new federal labor statistics.

      The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday that 47 of 49 large metropolitan areas (with a Census 2000 population of at least 1 million) had higher unemployment rates in March 2010 than March 2009.

      Only the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area in Minnesota and Wisconsin, down six-tenths of a percentage point, and the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region in New York, down two-tenths of a point, beat the trend.

      Read the rest here.

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      BMW of Minnetonka’s $30 million facility opens

      BMW’s newest dealership officially opened in Minnetonka on Wednesday.

      The $30 million, 223,000-square-foot facility has room for 500 vehicles, 80 work bays and a 12-seat movie theater, according to a news release. It employs 100 people.

      BMW of Minnetonka, located at 15802 Wayzata Blvd., also has driving simulators and green features like recycled-plastic-bottle wallpaper, a reclaimed-water car wash and a service department heated with waste oil.

      “Our center was designed to provide our customers and guests with the ultimate sales, service and parts experience – we expect the dealership to perform well and increase BMW’s presence in the region,” Dealer Principal Peter Hasselquist said in a statement.

      Read the rest here.

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