Monthly Archives: January 2011

No Safe Boats decision announced


Safe Boats International has made no announcement whether it’s staying in Kitsap County or leaving the area. The new owners’ board of directors met last week, but at this point, no announcement is being put out there.

A person associated with Safe Boats suggested Monday the company is working on a long-term future in Kitsap.

Port of Bremerton Commissioner Bill Mahan and others had said the Safe Boats board would make a decision to go or stay Jan. 24. Safe Boats is one of the port’s major industrial-park tenants and a big employer with close to 200 workers. They make security boats sold around the world.

Safe Boats has taken a bit of a public thrashing lately for allegedly tearing up the Port Orchard boat ramp when it tests its boats. The port, now having leased the ramp from the city of Port Orchard, most likely will put repairs at the top of its list. Port leaders hope that will be a big inducement for Safe Boats to hang its future here.

Beyond that, the facility Safe Boats leases in the port’s industrial park is small and far less than ideal. I cannot imagine that upgrades aren’t continuing to be a big part of the discussion.

Here’s some background:

So, all I can do is check in with the company regularly and hope at some point someone will speak with me.

Rachel Pritchett

Monday stocks rise despite Suez concerns

Midday Dow at 11,866, up 42 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Energy stocks led indexes higher Monday on the first day of trading since the growing unrest in Egypt sent stocks to their biggest one-day drop in more than three months.
Exxon Mobil Corp. rose 1 percent after it reported that its quarterly profit beat Wall Street’s expectations. Massey Energy Co. jumped 16 percent after Alpha Natural Resources Inc. said that it would buy the coal producer in a $7.1 billion deal. Alpha Natural Resources fell 8 percent.
The Massey deal suggests “maybe coal isn’t dead,” said Kim Caughey Forrest, equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group. It also raises hopes for similar deals in the future, she said.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 29 points, or 0.3 percent, to 11,852 in midday trading. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 index rose 6, or 0.5 percent, to 1,282. The Nasdaq composite index gained 7, or 0.3 percent, to 2,693.
Eight of the 10 company groups that make up the S&P index rose. Energy companies gained 1.7 percent, the most of any group.
Concerns remained over Egypt’s impact on oil prices, especially if the Suez Canal, a key route for oil tankers and cargo ships, may be closed. Oil prices rose 1.6 percent to $90.75 a barrel.
“The market wants to work its way higher,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist of Standard & Poor’s. “The big worry is the unknown — the cascading effects that could occur.”

Will Egypt situation send Kitsap gas prices up?

It could happen if oil transport bogs down in the Suez Canal.

So far, the local gas price stands at $3.24 per gallon of unleaded, up a penny from last week. But with the price of oil rising in reaction to the Egypt crisis, I shudder to think what’s going to happen.

Here’s a bit of the oil-price story off the AP from this morning.

Rachel Pritchett

NEW YORK (AP) — Brent crude oil topped $100 for the first time since 2008 as investors kept an anxious eye on Egypt and worried about unrest there disrupting the flow of oil from the Middle East.
Brent is the benchmark for oil prices in Europe and Asia. The price of West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark in the U.S., rose $1.46 to $90.80 a barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
While Egypt is not a major oil-producing country, each day almost two million barrels of oil pass through the Suez Canal, which is controlled by Egypt. The Suez remains open and shipping has not been interrupted.
“Those watching it closely do not believe it is terribly likely to happen soon or at all, but recognize the possibility that it could occur,” energy consultants Cameron Hanover said.
In London, Brent crude rose $1.18 to $100.60 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. That’s the first break above $100 since September 2008.
Oil prices also got a boost from positive U.S. economic news and rising stock markets. The Commerce Department said that consumer spending rose sharply in December, and purchases for the whole year increased at the fastest pace in three years.
Stocks of energy companies led major indexes higher after Exxon Mobil reported its most profitable quarter since the third quarter of 2008.

Kitsap gas at $3.23 a gallon today …

Up seven cents from a month ago, and up 23 cents from a year ago. Oil prices may be moderating. See this from the AP this morning.

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil fell on Monday after the Saudi oil minister hinted that his country, the world’s biggest oil producer, may raise supplies to put the brakes on higher oil prices.
Benchmark crude for March delivery lost $1.36 at $87.75 per barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price of oil has fallen more than 3 percent since Thursday, when it was close to $92 a barrel.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he expected world oil demand will increase this year to between 1.5 million and 1.8 million barrels per day. That’s higher than forecasts from the Energy Information Administration and the International Energy Agency. JP Morgan analysts point out that al-Naimi’s prediction of stronger demand probably means the Saudis are willing to raise production.
“It would seem more oil is on the way, which will reduce the supply deficit and will moderate the price gain,” JP Morgan said.

Tech companies led by Intel push Monday stocks higher

Dow now at 11,995, up 83 points at midday

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology and materials stocks led broad gains in the stock market Monday.
Technology stocks in the Standard and Poor’s 500 index rose 1 percent after Intel Corp. increased its dividend and said it would buy back more of its stock. The company gained 1.5 percent.
Materials companies gained 1.4 percent after a report from the National Association for Business Economics showed that economists are more positive about economic growth and the job market than at any time since the start of the Great Recession.
Vulcan Materials Co., Alcoa Inc. and Sealed Air Corp. each gained more than 3 percent. Alcoa was the top-performing stock among the 30 that make up the Dow Jones industrial average.
All ten company groups that make up the Standard and Poor’s 500 index rose.
The S&P 500 gained 8 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,291 in midday trading. The Dow gained 92, or 0.8 percent, to 11,964. The Nasdaq composite rose 27, or 1 percent, to 2,716.
J.C. Penny Co. jumped 7 percent after the retailer said it would close some stores and its catalog business to reduce costs.
American Express Co., CSX Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. are scheduled to release their results after the market closes.

Look for my package on Kitsap’s 12 port districts starting Sunday


Kitsap County has the most port districts of any county in the state. We’ll see why we have so many, and ask the tough question whether that configuration best suits us today.

We’ll look at another Washington county that does things differently, and visit in on a Bainbridge man set on establishing a 13th port district here in Kitsap.

The package of stories is scheduled to begin Sunday.

Rachel Pritchett, reporter

Lightweight Carbon-Materials Manufacturer Coming to Bremerton

By Rachel Pritchett
BREMERTON — Profile Composites, Inc., Canada-based maker of lightweight composite products, is expanding to Bremerton, with early indications it could create as many as 200 new jobs, many of them for disabled veterans.
Company President Geoff Wood, speaking Thursday at a Decision Makers Breakfast, made formal announcement of the company’s arrival, saying the welcome received in Bremerton, as well as close proximity to other developers and manufactures of lightweight composite materials, helped him in his decision.
The company and local economic-development leaders have yet to release details about the company’s arrival, but Wood said the company will manufacture high-tech, foldable wheelchairs and high-tech crutches at its new facility.
The Profile Composites activity will be in the Olympic View Industrial Park in half of a building also occupied by General Dynamics Electric Boat. The park is owned and run by the Port of Bremerton.
Wood, 54, told the gathering of business, political and educational leaders that the carbon composite-products industry has gone through its growing pains with the Boeing 787 and other projects. But now, he said, the new materials can be used in “anything that moves” where greater strength and less weight is desired. That’s especially true in automobiles, he said.
“That’s where carbon fiber-composite industry is today,” he said.
The company is based in Sidney, British Columbia.
More information will be coming as this story develops.

Boeing leads Tuesday stocks higher

Midday Dow up 63 points to 11,850.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks swung between small gains and losses in midday trading Tuesday. Apple Inc. weighed on the Nasdaq composite index after the company announced that its CEO, Steve Jobs, was taking another medical leave.
Boeing Co. led the Dow Jones industrial average higher. The aircraft maker rose 3.3 percent after reporting that it expects to deliver its long-awaited 787 jet in the third quarter.
Other indexes were mixed after Citigroup Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. reported weak earnings.
Apple fell 3 percent to $338. The company will also report earnings after the stock market closes, along with IBM Corp.
The Dow has already gained 2.3 percent this year as optimism builds about the economy. The index rose 11 percent last year, or 14 percent including dividends.
Citigroup fell 6.5 percent after reporting earnings that fell short of forecasts. Delta lost 6.1 percent after winter storms caused its earnings to come in lower than investors had expected.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 59, or 0.5 percent, to 11,846. Boeing was the biggest gainer of the 30 stocks that make up the average, followed by Caterpillar Inc. and Alcoa Inc.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.4 to 1,292. The Nasdaq composite index lost 0.5, or 0.1 percent, to 2,754.
European markets rose after Greece raised $865 million in another successful bond auction. That allayed concerns about Europe’s financial system, which have been a drag on U.S. markets.
Bond prices fell, pushing their yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.38 percent from 3.32 percent late Friday. U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.