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Tractor Supply is a long-term story

William Blair analyst Jack Murphy liked what he heard earlier this week from Tractor Supply CFO Tony Crudele. The farm and ranch retailer has 2010 momentum in both sales and profit and still plans to eventually double its store base, with most of the growth projected out West. In analyst-speak, that translates into "a square-footage growth opportunity greater than most publicly traded retailing companies."
Jun 18, 2010 7:10 AM

TennCare director in Medicaid leadership group

TennCare Director and Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Darin Gordon is one of six state Medicaid directors selected as a fellow for the 2011 class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute. The initiative, managed by the Center for Health Care Strategies, is designed to "enhance the leadership capacity of Medicaid directors to help their programs serve as national models for high-quality, cost-effective care."
“Medicaid plays a huge, often underappreciated role in the U.S. health care system. At a time when national health care reform implementation will greatly affect their programs and responsibilities, these six remarkable leaders form an exceptionally talented class for the Medicaid Leadership Institute,” said Tommy Thompson, Former Governor of Wisconsin, who chairs the program’s national advisory committee. “These directors are well positioned to blaze a trail for their states and the nation in achieving better quality care for every taxpayer dollar invested in publicly financed health care.”
The other participants include Medicaid directors from Arizona, Illinois, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
Jun 17, 2010 2:46 PM

Burcham brings his projects together

Michael Burcham, current director of the Vanderbilt Accelerator Summer Business Institute and future inaugural president of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, has found a way to bring both worlds together. Just two weeks before Burcham takes his post as the NEC, the center and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce will launch a project whereby Vanderbilt Accelerator students will be charged with developing an "incubator-type program" for entrepreneurs interested in music business. The people who participate in the Accelerator program come out with business knowledge and savvy that only this type of intensely creative atmosphere can create,” Burcham said in a statement. “A specialized version of Accelerator would be the perfect model for jumpstarting entrepreneurs tackling the music industry.”
Jun 17, 2010 1:46 PM

Abridged health reform 101

That seemed to be the theme of today's Nashville Health Care Council visit from Health and Human Services' Health Policy counselor Rima Cohen. At a gathering of more than 200 health care professionals in Cool Springs this morning, Cohen discussed some provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will go into effect immediately — such as a 35 percent tax credit for small businesses buying coverage for their employees — and those, like state health insurance exchanges, that will kick in several years from now. Cohen's rapid-fire reform fact list was prefaced with a discussion of Tennessee's dismal health statistics — including that a third of Tennessee children are overweight or obese and residents' life expectancy is below the national average — to drive home the administration's message that individuals have "so much to gain" from reform through provisions designed to make care more accessible and affordable. She also touched upon the benefits for employers:
“Businesses large and small have seen the cost of providing health coverage to their employees rise dramatically The Affordable Care Act preserves what is best about our current health care system while helping to give employers and employees more affordable coverage. The Act builds on our employer based system and works to control costs, stabilize insurance markets, and provide new protections for employers and their workers.”
Jun 17, 2010 1:00 PM

Some CCA facilities getting softer

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants to make a number of its detention centers more comfortable and has enlisted Corrections Corp. of America to pitch in. Critics and skeptics worry about safety and moral hazard, though.
CCA will soften "the look for the facility with hanging plants, flower baskets, new paint colors, different bedding and furniture" and allow lengthy visits from friends and family who can provide outside packages or food for special celebrations under changes to be made over the next six months.
Jun 17, 2010 11:19 AM

Bright outlook at Franklin colorants company

Prime Colorants, a Franklin maker of color concentrates for the auto and consumer sectors, plans to invest in new machinery and employees this year. The company, which had $10 million in 2009 revenue, is set to grow 40 percent this year — especially impressive given that the company was in bankruptcy court six months ago tussling with a former shareholder.
Jun 17, 2010 10:40 AM

Still no turn in jobless claims

Sigh. The latest set of initial unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are up from last week's number, which was itself revised upward.
Did companies receive the memo to fire, yet miss the other one, with the much more critical rhyming verb? Never fear - the BLS has an explanation for everything, and the surge in claims was presumably not only predictable, it was expected, and was blamed on the fact that there was a federal holiday in the prior week.
Bespoke says the claims trend doesn't bode well for stocks, but another indicator suggests the receovery is indeed taking hold.
Jun 17, 2010 9:56 AM

Naxos names digital marketing point man

Franklin-based classical label Naxos has promoted Collin Rae to senior manager of digital marketing. Rae has worked on a number of Naxos projects, including its take on Guitar Heroes.
Jun 17, 2010 9:46 AM

Turns out a recession and higher ticket prices aren't very good for touring acts

BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield digs into how the music tour industry is being buffeted by the 360-degree deal, the LiveNation/Ticketmaster deal and the continuing decline of music sales.
Taking a long-term approach, artists/managers should focus on lower upfront guarantees, so ticket prices can come down so they have more “butts in seats.” This would drive merchandise sales, recorded music sales, etc. It is also important to keep the consumer from getting in the habit of not including live music as a form of entertainment or from forming the view that concert-going is simply too expensive.
Jun 17, 2010 9:02 AM

Three out of four out of 155 million

Nashville-area suppliers and workers are in line for about $115 million worth of spending on the Music City Center. The Convention Center Authority has awarded $155 million of contracts, but the three largest have gone to out-of-town companies. SEE ALSO: Channel 4's closer look at the hiring practices of one of those contractors.
Jun 17, 2010 8:18 AM