|2||2||Alexander & Baldwin|
|4||4||Maui Land & Pineapple Co.|
|9||9||Maui Electric Co.|
|10||10||Wailuku Water Co.|
Could it be possible? Have the stars aligned in such a formation that would topple the existing power structure as we know it? “For the first time since its rebirth as an independent company two years ago,” the Honolulu Star–Bulletin reported on May 16, “Hawaiian Telcom has recorded a quarterly profit.” I was stunned, too, probably because I had grown used to reading the papers month after month after month and finding ever more news that HT—owned by Carlyle Group, one of the wealthiest and most powerful private equity firms in the world—could not even master its most elemental function, which was to answer the phone when customers called to complain about billing problems. But now, according to HT CEO Michael Ruley, all that is in the past. “We are building a stronger foundation going forward,” Ruley told the Star–Bulletin, which is a beautiful, though paradoxical and ultimately physically impossible, quote.
THE PRICE IS NOT RIGHT
Anyone who drives an automobile that feeds on petroleum-based fuel—the vast majority of drivers, I’m afraid to say—knows exactly why Tesoro Hawai`i is at the top of the food chain this week. Prices at the pump have topped $3.70 a gallon, and there’s no reason to believe they’ll drop any month soon. The May 17 Pacific Business News says the company’s stock price is rising just about as fast: on May 16, the release of a U.S. government gas supply report predict “tight supplies” and “higher consumption” are going to drive prices up, up and up, and that drove Tesoro stock price up two percent in just one day, to $116 a share. Can you imagine what the refiner’s quarterly reports are going to show profit-wise? It’s going to be a bitchin’ summer, I can feel it. MTW