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AutoZone breaks a record

One Memphis-based public company is doing so well that last Wednesday, its triple-digit stock price hit a record.

An all-time high, to be more specific.

AutoZone shares closed at $304.10. Just in the last six months, the stock is up a little more than 14 percent.

AutoZone reports fourth quarter earnings Sept. 20. The consensus expectation among analysts is that the company will report a profit of $6.95 per share, up from $5.66 during the same period in 2010.

In other words, the Memphis-based auto parts retailer remains firmly in the zone.

 

 

(UPDATE: A few hours after posting this, AutoZone roared past the high I noted above and topped $306 during trading Monday.)

The Power of the Pyramid?

 

The futures of The Pyramid and the soon to be merged city and county schools systems have again crossed paths.

When The Pyramid was just an idea in the late 1980s, it was common for civic leaders to talk about the “power of The Pyramid.” Yes, this was among the phrases that passed for legitimate political discourse at the time as long as it was coupled with another phrase – “world class” — to describe the next bricks and mortar structure that was going to do for Memphis what Memphians themselves couldn’t do for the city.

It turns out there may be something to the “power of The Pyramid” after all. There is certainly an alignment of timelines.

Bass Pro Shops has set a new target date for the reopening of The Pyramid for August 2013. As that was happening, U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays ruled in the schools consolidation case and set the start of the schools merger for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year which will also be August of 2013.

As Bass Pro Shops set the new reopening date for The Pyramid, the city of Memphis announced as part of the deal that construction work for the adapative reuse of The Pyramid would begin Oct. 1.

As all of the attorneys for all of the players in the schools consolidation lawsuit were in mediation just a few feet away from City Hall at the federal building, the settlement they came up with included a new 23-member school board – all nine Memphis City Schools board members, all seven Shelby County Schools board members and seven new board members to be appointed by the Shelby County Commission. And what date did the parties in the lawsuit set as the start date for the new countywide school board – Oct. 1.

So far, no one has used the phrase “world class” to describe the merged school system to come in two years. But with a 23-member school board, some on the board could have a real problem being heard — yet another Pyramid parallel.

 

 

Morgan Keegan is still hiring

Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. has been put up for sale, its future is still not settled at this point, and the field of bids submitted for the Memphis-based investment banking firm is this very minute being narrowed down.

But even with that uncertainty, the subsidiary of banking giant Regions Financial Corp. is still doing something interesting: it’s hiring.

The firm, for example, is currently looking for a transportation industry analyst to work at its corporate headquarters in Memphis.

Memphis companies get some nat’l recognition

Congratulations are in order to the Memphis-area companies who made the just-announced 2011 Inc. 500|5000 list.

They include Memphis-based law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC; investment firms Duncan-Williams Inc. and Wunderlich Securities Inc.; Bartlett-based 3D products maker American Paper Optics; food products maker Monogram Food Solutions; medical reimbursement and claims management service RemitDATA; and fitness equipment services company Treadmill Doctor.

Also making the list were AIL; Mone’t; StatLink Systems; Pathmark Transportation; Interactive Solutions; directFX Solutions; International Sourcing; and Unistar-Sparco Computers

The list is a nice honor recognizing the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. Well-known brands that have been honored by the list include Pandora, Toys ‘R’ Us and 7 Eleven.

R.I.P., Music Man

Jerry Leiber, one half of the the great Leiber-Stoller songwriting partnership that produced timeless gems like “Stand by me” and hits for Elvis like “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock”, has died. He was 78.

Leiber’s partnership with Mike Stoller is often mentioned as on par with that of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

According to Rolling Stone, Leiber was irritated by changes Elvis made to the lyrics of “Hound Dog”:

“To this day I have no idea what that rabbit business is about,” he said in 2009. “The song is not about a dog; it’s about a man, a freeloading gigolo. Elvis’ version makes no sense to me, and, even more irritatingly, it is not the song that Mike and I wrote. Of course, the fact that it sold more than seven million copies took the sting out of what seemed to be a capricious changes of lyrics.”

Rest in peace, music man. Sing with me now, folks – “When the night has come, and the laaaaaand is dark….”

Dansette

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