Business memo 10/22/01

Monday, October 22, 2001

Schaefer Water Centers acquire WaterTalk

Schaefer Water Centers recently purchased Roberts WaterTalk of Millstadt, Ill.

Schaefer Water Centers, with headquarters in Perryville, Mo., was founded almost 50 years ago, has grown to a five-store operation in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois.

The business provides treatment for water concerns.

Schaefer's offers purchase and rental plants for all type of water treatment equipment.

"The acquisition is a perfect fit for out business," said Schaefer president Mike Schaefer. "We already help residents and businesses in the Millstadt area.

Business counseling sessions available

The Small Business Development Center will conduct counseling sessions at Cape Girardeau, Sikeston and Perryville.

The counselor, Gil Degenhardt, will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce office. The counseling sessions (about one hour) are free. Call 335-3312 for appointment.

He will conduct sessions at the Sikeston Chamber of Commerce from 9-11 a.m. Nov. 13. Appointments are available by calling (573) 471-2498. He will hold sessions at the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning office in Perryville from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15. Appointments are available by calling (573) 547-8357. He will conduct sessions at the Malden Chamber of Commerce from 9-11 a.m. Nov. 8. Appointments are available by calling (573) 276-4519.

Homebuyers' seminar scheduled for Thursday

A homebuyers' seminar will be presented at the Osage Center in Cape Girardeau Thursday. The seminar, to start at 7 p.m., is sponsored by RE/MAX Realty One and local lenders, will discuss buying a home.

The program is designed to help both first-time and repeat homebuyers understand the process of buying a home.

Loans, home inspections, title and closing a long and tax advantages for home owners will be discussed.

For more information or reservations, call RE/MAX Realty One at 335-8565

Merchants Association to meet Tuesday

The Christmas Lights parade will be held in Cape Girardeau Nov. 25. The parade is among items to be discussed Tuesday during the Downtown Merchants Association meeting, to be held at Port Cape at 5:30 p.m.

Commerce announces record quarter earnings

Commerce Bancshares Inc. announced record earnings of $135.2 million, or $2.12 per share for the first nine months of 2001. This compares with $l132.4 total earnings and $2.04 per share during the same three quarters, through Sept. 30, a year ago. During the first three quarter, the return on average assets was 1.56 percent. The return on realized equity was 15 percent and the efficiency ratio was 58 percent.

For the third quarter, net earnings amounted to $45.5 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30, or 71 cents a share, compared with similar amounts for the same period a year ago.

Ford Motor loses $692 million in third quarter

Ford Motor Co. reported last week it lost $692 million in the third quarter as its sales slumped by 9 percent. The results were in line with Wall Street expectations.

"This was a difficult quarter, as our results were affected by an uncertain and slowing U.S. economy, compounded by the tragic events of Sept. 11," Ford president and CEO Jacques Nasser said in a statement.

Ford's loss amounted to 38 cents a share in the July-September period.

Total revenues were $36.5 billion, a 9 percent decline from $40.06 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

Tax changes seminar scheduled for Tuesday

Cheryl Mothes, an Edward Jones investment representative will host a seminar, "Tax Changes that Matter to You," Tuesday at the Route 25 Banquet Hall at Jackson.

The seminar will explain how to take full advantage of changes in college savings plans, retirement planning, IRAs, estate planning and business retirement plans.

"There are some provisions is this new tax law that will greatly benefit many people," said Mothes.

The seminar is free, but seating is limited. For more information or reservations, call Mothes, 243-7798.

Edward Jones, a financial service firm, has more than 7,000 offices in the United States.

Cigar tasting to be at Tobacco Lane

A cigar tasting event will be held at Tobacco Lane, 244 South Silver Springs Road, from 4-6 p.m. Friday.

Light refreshments and door prizes will be presented to those attending the event.

Many cigar tasters keep their own logbook, listing information regarding their cigar preferences -- strength of tobacco, country of origin and other data.

For more information on the event, call 651-3414.

-- From staff, wire reports

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