SC business notebook, April 24

April 24, 2013 

Concrete company leases space, brings jobs to Hopkins

A company that makes concrete barriers for highway expansion projects has leased a 40,000-square-foot building in Hopkins, creating 28 jobs. Cherry Precast, based in Rural Hall, N.C., recently opened the factory at 9790 Garners Ferry Road, investing $750,000 into the facility, vice president and co-owner Nelson Fulcher said. The company makes sound walls, retaining walls, barrier walls and culverts and will be manufacturing sound walls for the I-20 widening project for the next year and a half, he said. If South Carolina officials dedicate money to more road projects – a measure under consideration by the state legislature – the company will buy the plant and could increase the number of workers to around 50, Fulcher said. He said the location will allow it to serve all of the state’s major cities and Charlotte and Asheville. The company will be hiring loaders and truck drivers as it begins delivery on the I-20 project, Fulcher said. To apply, call (803) 708-2222, email or fax your resume to (803) 708-3198.

Higher profits prop stocks up

Companies that do the best when the economy is improving led the market higher Tuesday after several of them reported strong quarterly earnings. Coach, a maker of luxury handbags, and Netflix, which streams TV shows and movies over the Internet, were winners after announcing profits that impressed investors. That’s a change from earlier this year. The stock market’s surge in 2013 has been led by so-called defensive industries such as health care, consumer staples and utilities. Stocks closed higher even after markets were shaken in the afternoon when a fake tweet on The Associated Press Twitter account saying there had been explosions at the White House prompted a sudden sell-off. The Dow recovered to close up 152 points at 14,719. The S&P 500 ended 16 points higher at 1,578. The Nasdaq composite rose 35.78 points to 3,269.

Apple to distribute $100 billion to shareholders by end of 2015

Apple is opening the doors to its bank vault, saying it will distribute $100 billion in cash to its shareholders by the end of 2015. At the same time, the company said revenue for the current quarter could fall from the year before, which would be the first decline in many years. Apple CEO Tim Cook also suggested that the company won’t release any new products until the fall. Apple Inc. on Tuesday said it will expand its share buyback program to $60 billion – the largest buyback authorization in history. It is also raising its dividend by 15 percent from $2.65 to $3.05 per share. The dividend yield will be about 3 percent at current stock prices.

Kristy Eppley Rupon and The Associated Press contributed.

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