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Tickers: April 30


JetChoice LLC, a private jet service that opened a hub late last year at Des Moines International Airport, has shut down. The St. Paul, Minn.-based company notified clients in Greater Des Moines that the service would stop operating effective today. JetChoice was launched by Twin Cities businessman Dave Kloeber after he became frustrated with commercial service during a trip with his family to Mexico. JetChoice operated six hubs, including the Des Moines location. Local clients included developers William Knapp, Jim Cownie and John Kline. A Knapp spokesperson said JetChoice gave 30 days’ notice that it would close. The company’s telephone in St. Paul was not in service today, nor was its local line. JetChoice was a tenant of Elliott Aviation Inc. Click here for related article.

Chrysler LLC will file for bankruptcy protection but continue to operate with government aid, the White House announced today. The New York Times reported that this is the first time a major American automaker has tried to restructure under bankruptcy protection since Studebaker’s filing in 1933. White House officials expect the process to begin immediately and last as little as 30 to 60 days, with the government providing debtor-in-possession financing of $3 billion to $3.5 billion and another $4.5 billion in financing to restart operations. Chrysler also will enter an alliance with Fiat S.p.A., which calls for the Italian automaker to provide technical operations. Chryser and the Treasury Department were unable to reach agreements with bondholders concerning debts totaling $6.9 billion, which led to the bankruptcy filing.

Iowa Telecommunications Services Inc. reported that its net income for the first quarter declined 35.2 percent to $4.5 million, while revenues rose 0.7 percent to $61.3 million. Operating expenses increased $5.1 million primarily related to the company’s acquisition of Bishop Communications, Capital expenditures were $3.6 million for the quarter and cash interest expense was $7.4 million. Total access lines decreased 3,600 during the quarter. For the complete release, go to www.iowatelecom.com.

Patricia Clare Sullivan will not seek renomination to Casey’s General Stores Inc.’s board of directors, according to a filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Sullivan, who has been a board member since 1996, will remain on the board until the annual shareholders meeting on Sept. 18. The nominating committee expects to interview several potential board candidates in early June.

Teresa Wahlert, former president and chief operating officer of Mid-America Group, has joined the board of directors of Wesley Retirement Services Inc., which operates five retirement communities in Iowa and will open a sixth in September in West Des Moines. Wahlert, who also has served as president and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, said in a news release that her experience in real estate and business will help Wesley plan future retirement developments.

Dow Chemical Co. reported that first-quarter profits fell 97 percent to $24 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with $941 million, or 99 cents per share, a year ago, the Associated Press reported. Sales fell 39 percent to $9.09 billion. The earnings result beat analysts’ estimate of a 21 cents per share loss. Dow recorded a $19 million charge related to 9,500 job cuts and 20 plant closures. It also had a $48 million charge related to its acquisition of Rohm & Haas and a $29 million charge connected to its stake in Dow Corning. One positive spot was Dow’s agriculture business, which had a sales volume increase of 10 percent.

Meredith Corp.’s stock price soared 16 percent on Wednesday to close at $24.39 after its fiscal third-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates, Bloomberg reported. Earnings fell to 56 cents per share for the period ended March 31, but that was higher than analysts’ predictions of earnings of 53 cents per share. Meredith’s shares are up 42 percent this year. This morning, the stock was trading at $25.52 per share.

The 2009 Business Record Best Places to Work Awards Luncheon will take place Tuesday, May 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Des Moines Club, 666 Grand Ave., 34th Floor, Des Moines. Nine finalists will be honored. The cost to attend is $35 per person or $240 for a table of eight. Click here to register.

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