Workers broke ground last week on Cool Springs Montessori, which expects to open its doors to students in July. The project is being backed by couples Sean and Kimberly Caley and Neeti Agarwal and Shishir Bhushan and will be able to house 90 children. H. Michael Hindman Architects designed the building, which is being constructed by Baron + Dowdle and financed by Franklin Synergy Bank.
“Our mission is to provide students with a quality education in a nurturing environment while meeting the needs of busy working parents,” explains Kimberly Caley, one of the principals. “At CSM, professional Montessori-credentialed educators guide children through purposeful and ordered lessons, encouraging a love of learning, problem solving and self-motivation. The CSM building was designed to easily accommodate 90 children from ages 30 months through lower elementary.”
Tractor Supply COO Stan Ruta — who in January announced plans to retire later this year — last Friday exercised more than 17,000 options granted to him in early 2009, when the retailer's shares were changing hands around $17. He then sold the resulting shares at more than $52, booking a profit of $730,000. Ruta, who has been with Tractor Supply (Ticker: TSCO) since 1994, is similarly in the money with another 17,000 options from the 2009 grant.
Shares of Delek US Holdings on Monday surged more than 5 percent to reach their highest levels since May of 2008. Investors continue to take kindly to the company's reiteration last week of its acquisitive ambitions, but also helping Monday was the impact of Japan's earthquake on nuclear energy sentiment, which in turn is lifting refiner stocks.
Nissan has announced a raft of management changes kicked off primarily by the retirement of its Canadian president, Mark Grimm. Closer to home, Vice President of Corporate Communications Scott Stevens has left the company and David Reuter has been promoted. Stevens was named to his post almost two years ago.
Two senior officers at Franklin-based insurer HealthSpring last week cashed in some of their chips by exercising stock options and selling on the resulting shares. General Counsel and Secretary Gentry Barden booked a $2.6 million profit on his sales, Executive VP Matthew Morris more than $1.7 million. Shares of HealthSpring (Ticker: HS) are up some 40 percent year to date and have more than doubled in the past 12 months.
The tide has turned dramatically at Universal Safety Response, the Franklin-based manufacturer of security barriers that sold itself to Smith & Wesson in the summer of 2009. On track to add "substantial ongoing growth" to its parent last summer, the business is now struggling with lower sales, lower margins and government customers who don't have money to spend. Smith & Wesson yesterday told investors it will take a $51 million impairment charge related to USR — on top of the $39.5 million it wrote down three months ago — and change the division's name to play off the mothership's heritage.
SEE ALSO: Smith & Wesson buying Franklin firm in a deal valued at about $80 million
A few days after several of his lieutenants booked profits of more than $3 million on their stock holdings, LifePoint Hospitals Chairman and CEO Bill Carpenter on Wednesday did some selling of his own. Carpenter unloaded almost 9 percent of his more than 640,000 shares, pocketing some $2.2 million.
The folks at New Jersey money manager Lord Abbett appear to have decided to cash in their HealthSpring chips. Since the end of 2010, they have trimmed their stake in the local Medicare Advantage insurer by almost 580,000 shares and now own 4.2 percent of the company, down from 5.8 percent last fall. HealthSpring's stock (Ticker: HS) is up almost 40 percent year to date and has more than doubled in the past year, lifting its market cap well north of $2 billion.
Two more analyst have lifted their expectations for shares of Tractor Supply. Credit Suisse researcher Gary Balter has maintained his 'neutral' rating but now sees the stock (Ticker: TSCO) climbing to $57, up from his previous $53 estimate. Peter Benedict at Baird has gone a step further, upgrading Tractor Supply to 'market outperform' and hiking his target to $64. Benedict said the Brentwood-based retailer has the stuff grow earnings per share at a double-digit clip for the next five years and thus "deserves a premium valuation."
He also said Tractor Supply has a new focus on returning excess cash to shareholders through increased share buybacks. He predicted that first-quarter earnings per share would exceed last year's record of 14 cents and raised the share price target to $64 from $53, implying growth of 18 percent from Tuesday's close.
SEE ALSO: The less enthusiastic recent price target hike from Goldman
Danny King at Daily Finance has the story of Cool Springs Life, a group of high-end financial planners who were looking to make inroads into the entertainment industry. Where to find someone who could open doors and be a credible financial personality? Why, in Detroit Rock City, that's where, in the form of Kiss bassist, entrepreneur and master merchandiser Gene Simmons. Plus, he's always good for a quote.
"I didn't buy my first car until I was 34. . . . I didn't buy my first house until I was 36," Simmons said in an interview with DailyFinance. "Why do you need them when you're always on the road? I lived with my mother until I was about 20. You wanna go out and have some privacy? You go to a hotel."
Learn more about the men behind Cool Springs Life here.
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