Pacific Northwest Washington Mutual altered employment agreements with Chief Executive Officer Kerry Killinger and Chief Operating Officer...

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Washington Mutual altered employment agreements with Chief Executive Officer Kerry Killinger and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Rotella governing what they’ll be paid if they leave or if the lender changes hands.

The new terms change the definition used to calculate termination pay and add a six-month delay under some circumstances, the Seattle-based company said in a regulatory filing Monday.

WaMu also changed its agreements with Chief Financial Officer Thomas Casey, James Corcoran, president of the retail bank, and all other executive officers giving them “certain payments and benefits” if the lender is sold.

WaMu shares have dropped 70 percent in the past 12 months, giving it a market value of $11.7 billion.


Slower growth for sports retailer

Shares of Everett-based Zumiez dropped 9.2 percent Monday after the action-sports retailer downgraded its outlook for fiscal 2007, citing slower growth in sales at stores open at least a year.

Zumiez now expects to post a per-share 2007 profit in the range of 82 to 83 cents, down from its previous forecast of 92 to 94 cents.

The company also said sales at stores open at least a year increased 3.9 percent for the five-week period that ended Jan. 5. A year earlier, Zumiez recorded an 11.5 percent increase in December same-store sales.

Zumiez stock fell $1.71 Monday to $16.94.


New products boost sales, shares

SonoSite said Monday that its fourth-quarter revenue rose by 20 percent to $65 million on higher sales of its new products.

The revenue estimates are preliminary, the Bothell company said, adding that it will report complete financial results Feb. 14.

During the fourth quarter, SonoSite “unleashed its largest ever rollout” of new products, the medical-equipment maker said in a statement. International sales also rose: Global revenue increased by 20 percent to about $205 million.

The news pushed SonoSite shares up $2.52, or 7.4 percent, to $36.56.


3 firms revise helicopter bids

Boeing, Lockheed Martin and United Technologies’ Sikorsky revised their bids to build a new combat search-and-rescue helicopter in an Air Force competition that has been twice delayed by losers’ protests.

Lockheed and Sikorsky challenged Boeing’s November 2006 win of the $10 billion contract, saying the Air Force overlooked support costs for the aircraft. The Air Force reconsidered its original award after the Government Accountability Office supported the protests in February.

None of the companies indicated when the military will pick a winner. The contract calls for 141 new helicopters, Boeing said Monday in a statement.

Officials for Boeing, Lockheed and Sikorsky also declined to provide details on their companies’ new offers.


Marketing pact with XM ends

XM Satellite Radio Holdings and Starbucks have ended a marketing pact that included music promotions in the coffee chain’s stores and CDs sold with both companies’ logos.

Both companies said the decision to end the pact was mutual, without explaining why. Starbucks and XM began their marketing deal in October 2004.

To get out of the deal, XM issued about 1.85 million shares worth about $22 million to the Seattle-based coffee retailer, XM said Monday in a regulatory filing.

Starbucks has the right to sell those shares, which represent less than 1 percent of XM’s total 314.2 million shares outstanding at the end of September.

If Starbucks does not generate $22 million from the stock sale, XM said it may be forced to issue more shares to Starbucks or pay the difference in cash.

Westover Scientific

JDSU spends $50M for fiber division

Mill Creek-based Westover Scientific said Monday that JDSU of Milpitas, Calif., acquired its fiber-optic cleaning division for $50 million in cash.

Westover Scientific develops special microscopes to detect dirt that impedes fiber-optic networks. The Westover division will become part of JDSU’s Communications and Test Measurement business, which also sells fiber-optic test equipment.

As part of the deal, JDSU said it intends to acquire Westover’s manufacturing company in China by the end of the year. That deal is pending regulatory approvals.

Westover Scientific’s fiber business has about 80 employees and last year had revenue of $15 million.

Pope & Talbot

Court approves sale of sawmills

Portland-based Pope & Talbot won U.S. bankruptcy-court approval of a sale of its sawmills for $69 million, one day before a deadline imposed by lenders.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi in Wilmington, Del., ruled Monday that the company may sell the Canadian and South Dakota assets to International Forest Products. The approval meets one deadline of the company’s bankruptcy lenders. Attorneys for Pope said they won’t meet a requirement that the sale close by the end of this month.

Sontchi said he expects the lenders, Wells Fargo Financial Corp. Canada and Ableco Finance, to give Pope more time. Should the banks declare a loan default, “it is highly unlikely the court would allow them to enforce it,” the judge said.

Bear Stearns

Report: Bank CEO expected to resign

Bear Stearns Chief Executive James Cayne is resigning under pressure from shareholders upset over the firm’s losses amid a slew of problems sparked by the collapse of mortgage markets, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Cayne was expected to be replaced by Bear Stearns President Alan Schwartz, a 57-year-old investment banker respected for his deal-making savvy.

Bear Stearns representatives did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment late Monday.

Cayne, 73, had been under scrutiny since the summer, as the liquidity crisis pushed scores of mortgage lenders out of business, bled more than $100 billion from Wall Street’s books, and coaxed the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates by a full percentage point.

The company, one of the nation’s biggest underwriters of mortgage-backed bonds, may be the Wall Street investment bank most directly exposed to this year’s credit squeeze.

Sallie Mae

Bank exec named new chairman

Sallie Mae Monday named former bank executive Anthony Terracciano chairman, a title that had been held by chief executive Albert Lord.

The appointment gave a boost to the student-loan company’s stock, which has plummeted in recent weeks, partly as a result of a December briefing in which Lord’s lack of answers, profanity and brusque treatment of analysts shook investors’ confidence.

The stock closed at $17.85 Monday, up $1.18 but still far below its 52-week high of $58.

Terracciano, 68, brings substantial experience to the role as a former president of First Union Corp., now known as Wachovia. He also held senior positions at First Fidelity, Mellon and Chase Manhattan banks.

Circuit City

Electronics retailer says sales fell 11.4%

Electronics retailer Circuit City on Monday said same-store sells fell 11.4 percent in December, as strength in the last two weeks of the month was not enough to offset declining sales of tube televisions, camcorders and other devices earlier in December.

Based on its sales results, the company continued to back its forecast of a “modest loss” before taxes for the fourth quarter, despite America’s traditional holiday hunger for televisions and other high-tech gadgets.

The company had laid off 3,400 high-paid workers and replaced them with lower-paid new hires in March.

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

Compiled from Bloomberg News and Seattle Times staff