Spokane Journal of Business

Top Stories

Avista reports rise in annual net

Avista Corp., of Spokane, reported net income of $136.4 million, or $2.07 a diluted share, for 2018, up from $115.9 million, or $1.79 a share, for 2017. For the recently completed fourth quarter, net income was $45.8 million, or 70 cents a share, compared with $27.6 million, or 42 cents a share for the year-earlier quarter. “We are initiating our 2019 earnings guidance with a consolidated range of $2.78 to $2.98 per diluted share, which includes $1.01 per diluted share for the termination fee received from Hydro One and the payment of remaining transaction costs,” said Scott Morris, Avista chairman and CEO.

Lisa Brown to head Commerce

Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Lisa Brown, of Spokane, as director of the Washington state Department of Commerce. Brown, a former state Senate majority leader, served as chancellor of Washington State University Spokane and played a major role in the creation WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Brown, who ran an unsuccessful bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers last fall, replaces Brian Bonlender, the former head of the department.

County returns tax overpayments

Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner and Assessor Tom Konis announced that more than $4 million in tax overpayments from 2018 were returned to taxpayers. Common causes for tax overpayment include duplicate payments of property tax bills or a pending tax-exempt status. Baumgartner and Konis also urged eligible veterans, senior citizens, and disabled people who believe they may qualify for property tax reductions to contact the Assessor’s Office.

Shopko to close stores here

Shopko Stores Inc., the Wisconsin-based big-box retailer that’s liquidating its store on Spokane’s South Hill, plans to close its two remaining Spokane-area stores. A list of store closures shows that the North Side store, at 9520 N. Newport Highway, is scheduled to close May 5, and the Spokane Valley store, at 13414 E. Sprague, is to be shuttered May 12. The company has closed or plans to close a total of 250 stores

Cowles to move printing ops

Cowles Publishing Co., which publishes the Spokesman-Review newspaper, plans to acquire a commercial printing press and move its printing and insertion operations to Spokane Valley by the end of the year. Centennial Real Estate Investments is developing a building on the 19200 block of east Euclid Avenue into which Cowles will move the new press.

PotlatchDeltic reports drop in net

PotlatchDeltic Corp. reported net income of $1.8 million, or 3 cents a diluted share, for the 2018 fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31, down steeply compared with income of $11.6 million, or 28 cents a share, for the year-earlier quarter. Net income for the full year was $122.9 million, or $1.99 a share, compared with 2017 net income of $85.5 million, or $2.10 a share.

Key Tronic posts rise in earnings

Key Tronic Corp., a Spokane Valley-based provider of electronic manufacturing services, reported net income of $1.6 million, or 15 cents a share, for the second quarter of its 2019 fiscal year, that ended Dec. 29, up from a loss of $200,000, or 2 cents a share, during the year-earlier quarter.