Other items: 40 positions to be cut as bank reorganizes; $26 million raised for investment; Global Crossing settlement reached ...

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Starbucks

Starbucks’ same-store sales — sales at stores open at least 13 months — rose last month by 9 percent, the biggest increase in three months, helped by the introduction of its Chantico chocolate drink.

The gain exceeded analysts’ expectations of a 6.7 percent increase and pushed the Seattle-based coffee-shop chain’s stock up $1.81, or 3.4 percent, to $54.62 in after-hours trading yesterday.

Overall sales rose 23 percent to $468 million for the four weeks ended Feb. 27.


FHLB

40 positions to be cut as bank reorganizes

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle will reduce its work force by about 40 positions, officials said yesterday. The bank employs roughly 190 people in Seattle.

The troubled bank, which is owned by a group of member banks, also has decided to get out of the mortgage-buying business to reduce risk, and will focus more heavily on its traditional mission of lending to members such as Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo.

The home-loan bank’s regulator has extended by five weeks, to April 5, the deadline for it to submit a three-year business and capital-management plan.


drugstore.com

$26 million raised for investment

Bellevue-based drugstore.com yesterday said it raised $26 million in a private financing.

The online drugstore sold 10 million shares to a New York-based private investment partnership. The company said it plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including investments in marketing and technology.

Under terms of the deal, the investor agreed not to sell the shares for one year, while drugstore.com agreed to file a registration statement covering the resale of those shares.


Nation / World



Citigroup

Global Crossing settlement reached

Citigroup said yesterday it has settled class-action litigation brought on behalf of purchasers of Global Crossing securities but specifically denied any violation of law.

The suit alleged that insiders sold artificially inflated Global Crossing stock while in possession of material, nonpublic information.

Citigroup will pay $75 million pretax, or $46 million after tax, to the settlement class, which consists of all investors in publicly traded securities of Global Crossing or Asia Global Crossing during the period from Feb. 1, 1999, through Dec. 8, 2003.


SEC

Ex-banker seeks reversal on ban

Former star technology banker Frank Quattrone has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to reverse the decision by a securities-industry watchdog to ban him from the profession for refusing to answer its questions in 2003.

Lawyers for Quattrone, who has appealed his May conviction for obstruction of justice, sent the SEC written arguments dated Monday saying that the ban by the National Association of Securities Dealers was unconstitutional.

Compiled from Bloomberg News, Seattle Times business staff and The Associated Press.