Monday Business Briefing: postelection bump for stocks; speakeasy takes over Groucho’s space; free food for a cause; spin gym to open; and more
Welcome to the Nov. 21 Monday Business Briefing, your private business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.
Banking, health care stocks have spiked since Trump election
Shares of Louisville-based Porter Bancorp and Stock Yards Bancorp have jumped by nearly a quarter since the close of Nov. 8, while Republic Bancorp has posted a gain of more than 12 percent.
Shares of pharmacy services provider PharMerica and insurance giants Humana and Aetna also have experienced double-digit gains during the period.
Porter Bancorp, the parent of PBI Bank, said recently that it earned $1.3 million in the third quarter. A year ago, the company had reported a $1 million loss. CEO John T. Taylor said that Porter Bancorp has made progress in getting rid of nonperforming assets, which are loans for which people are making payments late or not at all. At the end of the third quarter, the company had about $17.2 million of nonperforming assets on its books, down from $46.2 million a year earlier.
Stock Yards recently posted record third-quarter profit, and said last week that it was raising its quarterly dividend to 19 cents per share, up 5.6 percent.
Shares of racetrack operator Churchill Downs have risen 10.8 percent since the election. The company said Thursday that general admission tickets for next year’s Kentucky Derby can now be bought online through Dec. 31 at up to 25 percent off. On the same day, the company said it plans to invest $37 million to expand and upgrade the local racetrack in time for the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
Kindred Healthcare is up nearly 9 percent since Trump’s election, despite a downgrade from Moody’s, which expects “that the company will have difficulty growing earnings over the next year.” Kindred shares got hammered after the company, a hospital and rehab center operator, said two weeks ago that it lost $685 million in the third quarter, but then rose sharply after it announced a $700 million deal to buy and sell nursing homes.
Papa John’s delivered a gain of 6.1 percent, more than double the gain recorded by the Dow Jones Industrial Average during the same period.
Ford, Sypris Solutions and UPS rose around 2 percent, roughly matching advances of the S.&P. 500. Shares of Yum Brands have barely changed since the election, while Brown-Forman shares have slid 2.6 percent, and Amazon’s have fallen 3.5 percent.
Among 16 publicly traded companies of local importance that IL tracks, CafePress has posted the biggest stock price decline since Trump’s election, at 6.3 percent. Shares fell after the company announced a third-quarter loss of $3.4 million. The company also has been sued by Ohio State University for trademark infringement. —Boris Ladwig
Homemade Pie & Ice Cream Kitchen opens new Louisville location
Louisville-based dessert company Homemade Pie & Ice Cream Kitchen has finally heeded the cries of residents in the South End.
Last week, the 34-year-old business opened its first South End location at 4810 Dixie Highway, owner Adam Burckle informed Insider Louisville.
Earlier this year, IL reported that Homemade Pie & Ice Cream Kitchen planned to open a full-scale Dixie Highway location following the closure of its Frankfort Avenue store. In addition to its signature ice creams and pies, the Dixie Highway store will have a cafe.
The menu includes paninis, large salads, soups and traditional sandwiches, such as Cubans, grilled cheese and clubs.
Yum Brands pledges to buy $2 billion in shares and other Yum news
Yum Brands, which just spun off its China operations, announced Friday that its board approved plans to purchase $2 billion worth of shares by the end of 2017.
Despite dedicating a fair amount of capital to the share buybacks, one analyst believes Yum Brands could be preparing to acquire another concept, possibly Dunkin’ Brands, according to a report from TheStreet.com.
TheStreet.com quoted Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed, who in October said, “If an opportunity arose, we’ve got plenty of liquidity and we’ve got plenty of cash to take advantage of it.”
The story notes that an activist investor in Dunkin’ Brands may try to push the company into going on the market and that Yum Brands would have the infrastructure and knowledge to accelerate the growth of Dunkin’ Brands nationally and internationally. —Caitlin Bowling
Spin gym is opening its first Louisville location
A new indoor cycling gym is open just in time to work off that Thanksgiving turkey, as well as those Christmas sweets.
Cincinnati-based fitness franchisee Cyclebar will open its first Louisville location in Shelbyville Road Plaza, 4600 Shelbyville Road. Class registration begins on Nov. 28, and the Louisville Cyclebar will offer free classes to the public from Dec. 8-18 as part of its grand opening celebration.
Cyclebar offers 50-minutes classes in “a rock concert-like atmosphere,” according to the company. Customers pay per class or buy a package rather than pay for a monthly or annual membership. Classes cost $18 to $20; the price includes access to showers, lockers, cycling shoes, towels and fresh fruit.
Each class takes place in a “CycleTheatre” with 50 bikes, LED lighting, widescreen graphics and a deejay booth. The bikes track a riders performance during class and allows the rider to download music used during the class.
Website allows people to find, compare and rate local funeral homes
As the saying goes, “Nothing in life is free” — but neither is dying. Cremation alone can cost more than $1,000.
A website called Parting now offers Louisville and Southern Indiana residents a quick and easy look at how much death could cost them or their loved ones. The tool can particularly be useful for people who haven’t planned their funerals in advance.
The average cost of a traditional funeral in the Louisville area is $7,253, according to Parting, which has 39 local funeral homes listed on its site. The price of cremation ranges from $745 to $3,990 locally.
In addition to pricing, Parting also allows consumers to leave reviews of various funeral homes, similar to websites such as Yelp or Angie’s List.
Founder Tyler Yamasaki created the website after planning the funeral for his grandmother. Yamasaki spent several days calling multiple funeral homes to ask about services and cost after he failed to find any prices online, according to information Parting provided to Insider Louisville.
Parting staff has found that only 10 percent to 15 percent of funeral homes they’ve contacted had prices listed online, and some were reticent to give out prices over the phone even though it is required by the Federal Trade Commission.
“Even when you call them, there’s a hesitancy to pass out these price lists, because transparency is not something the industry has embraced,” Yamasaki said in a statement.
LG&E installs electric vehicle charging station
Louisville Gas and Electric Co. has installed a public electric vehicle charging station in Butchertown.
LG&E unveiled the station, in the 1100 block of East Washington Street, on Friday. Drivers will pay an average rate of about $3 per hour, which will give their vehicles a range of about 25 miles.
The utility plans to install nine more stations in its service territory, which includes Louisville and 13 surrounding counties. Its sister company, Kentucky Utilities Co., also plans to install 10 charging stations in its territory, which includes 77 counties in Kentucky and five in Virginia. The companies said they’re installing the stations through the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Program, which was approved in April by the Kentucky Public Service Commission. Exact locations have not been determined.
“Building additional charging station infrastructure across Kentucky will help meet the growing needs of electric vehicle drivers and provide greater access to regional charging stations for our customers who are concerned about their transportation environmental footprint,” LG&E and KU COO Paul W. Thompson said in a press release. —Boris Ladwig
Urban League, NAACP talk with Kentucky’s chief education officer
Stephen L. Pruitt, Kentucky’s commissioner of education, will speak on the achievement gap and the law’s impact on students during an event co-hosted by the Louisville Urban League and NAACP.
The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. today, Nov. 21, at the Louisville Urban League, 1535 W. Broadway.
Pruitt will talk about the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind in 2015, and its impact on students. The legislation provides states and school districts with greater flexibility and control over the accountability processes, the event information states. —Caitlin Bowling
New speakeasy bar, Mr. Lee’s, to open in former Groucho’s space on Goss Avenue
Last year, Insider gave you the scoop on two businessmen who wanted to open a speakeasy-style bar along Germantown’s now bustling Goss Avenue. That plan will become a reality on Tuesday, when Mr. Lee’s opens at 935 Goss Ave., in the former spot of Groucho’s karaoke bar.
Conceived by David Gilbert and Tommy Humphries, the bar is a modern take on a classic cocktail lounge. The lights will be dim, the furniture will be plush and the elegant bar will be inviting.
The location of Mr. Lee’s on Goss places the bar pretty much across the street from the new Germantown Mill Lofts, as well as down the street from recent neighborhood additions like the Germantown Craft House and The Pearl.
According to a press release, bartender Casey Kraft has created a specialty cocktail list, and there will be a few gourmet-level snack items on the menu by Susan Hershberg of Wiltshire Pantry. The release also states, “A dim lighting program, imaginatively chosen furnishings and details, and an eclectic soundtrack (along with the absence of televisions) will be seamlessly blended to create the ideal ambiance for conversation and drinking in an environment unlike any in Louisville.”
Louisville restaurants offering free food this week to customers
Three restaurants in Louisville plan to give free food to customers on Thanksgiving Eve as part of a Customer Appreciation Day, and the owner hope guests will appreciate it enough to make a donation.
For the 16th year in a row, restaurateur Coco Tran is serving up free food for a cause.
Rather than pay a bill, diners are asked to leave a donation that will go to support Hand in Hand Ministries, which brings necessities to the poorest of the poor internationally; Water Step, which provides safe drinking water in developing countries; Compassionate Service Society, which specializes in spiritual healing; and Drepung Gomang Institute, a Buddhist temple that provides various services.
All three of her restaurants, which are Southeast Asian-inspired, will participate. Four Sisters is at 2246 Frankfort Ave., and Roots and Heart and Soy are located next door to each other at 1216 Bardstown Road.